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Cartoon Network's ‘Star Wars’ Mall Tour, It Is

In a mall, not so far away…

Cartoon Network today is blasting off an eight-week mall tour in support of its latest animated Star Wars series. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars Intergalactic Tour” touches down this weekend in Gurnee Mills Mall, serving the Chicagoland area, before transporting to Long Island’s Roosevelt Field from Sept. 26-28. 

Those stops precede the Oct. 3, 9 p.m. debut of Lucasfilm Animation’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which chronicles the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Ahsoka Tano and other favoritecharacters from the franchise they struggle against the dark side during the divisive Clone Wars. The show’s first season encompasses 22 installments.

Working together, Cartoon Network, Lucasfilm Ltd. and iris Experience, a New York-based marketing agency, will present a Jedi experience at each mall stop tailored for “younglings.”  The environment will mix Star Wars characters and a variety of entertainment stations, offering interactive games and activities. Kids can choose to take a Lightsaber Skill Test; preview the soon-to-be released “Clone Wars”; take their picture with the their favoritecharacters from the saga; get a sneak preview of the weekly adventure series in a special screening area; and even be adorned with a temporary tattoo. 

“Our goal is to offer our young viewers the chance to fully immerse themselves experientially in Star Wars,” said Cartoon Network chief marketing officer Brenda Freeman in a statement. “Parents will be able to introduce their kids to the Star Wars characters they’ve come to know and love, as well as some exciting new ones from the upcoming series. At its core, this is an interactive event that brings the world of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to life for longtime fans and fans in the making.”

For Cartoon, the series marks second go-round with Stars Wars. Back in 2004, the network aired a microseries, comprising 20, three-minute installments. Positioned as interstitials, the work won an Emmy for outstanding short-form animation (the episodes were combined into a one-hour submission).

This time, Cartoon will start the Clone Wars -- which is brought to the screen by supervising director Dave Filoni and executive producer George Lucas -- with a one-hour presentation on Oct. 3. The show will serve as the centerpiece of the network’s new Friday night of fantasy, action and adventure also featuring series Ben 10 Alien Force and fellow new entry, The Secret Saturdays.

The other stops on the interactive mall tour: King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia, Oct. 4-5; Tysons Corner Center Mall, Washington D.C., Oct. 11-12; Lenox Square Mall, Atlanta, Oct. 18-19; Dadeland Mall, Miami, Oct. 25-26; Houston Galleria Mall, Oct. 31-Nov. 2; and Brea Mall, Los Angeles, Nov. 8-9. 

Meanwhile, the feature, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, remains in theaters. The film has generated $34 million at the domestic box office to date.