It’s not just live-action TV shows such as Twin Peaks and Prison Break that are being revived for new seasons (or, in the latter’s case, an “event series”) on the small screen. A reboot of The Powerpuff Girls animated series debuted on Cartoon Network earlier this year, and now Adult Swim is the process of reviving Samurai Jack – the kung fu genre-inspired adventure series that, as it were, was created by the Powerpuff Girls alum Genndy Tartakovsky – for its fifth season overall, more than a decade after the show’s season 4 finale, ‘Jack and the Baby’, aired on Cartoon Network in 2004.
For years after Samurai Jack‘s final season 4 episode aired, Tartakovsky talked about the possibility of wrapping up the tale of the eponymous time-traveling Samurai’s ongoing battle with the shape-shifting demon Aku with a full-length movie. While such a film never came to pass (due in part to Tartakovsky’s commitment to other projects, including the Hotel Transylvania movie franchise), Jack’s story looks to at last get its proper conclusion with the show’s season 5 – a season that unfolds as “one episodic story,” as the show’s crew put it in a newly-released Samurai Jack featurette.
As Tartakovsky reveals during his interview in that video (see above), Samurai Jack season 5 has “no connection” to the events of the season 4 finale:
“When we start, we’re definitely a few years later [than the season 4 finale]. You don’t have to watch episode 52 to start this season. So, what’s changed in Jack’s world is a lot. There’s a lot of drama that’s happened.”
Samurai Jack season 5 writer Darrick Bachman – who served as a production assistant on the show’s earlier seasons and co-wrote the story for Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars (the 2D mini-series, not the 3D animated series) – later adds that Jack is “a little bit lost” when season 5 gets going – and that the season is “a story of redemption and him trying to find who he is again.”
The first Samurai Jack season 5 artwork released online shows Jack with a thick beard, covered in blood and looking angrier-than-usual – leading fans to speculate that season 5 is going to be more adult than seasons past. Tartakovsky confirms “there’s more darkness” in season 5 compared to past seasons in the above video, but he also indicates that this tonal shift reflects how, with its new season, Samurai Jack is changing from a more family-friendly programming block on Cartoon Network to Adult Swim – a programming block that caters to an older demographic with much of its animated programming (see Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, and so forth).
At the same time, Samurai Jack isn’t expect to be so much darker in season 5 that it feels like a completely different series, compared to seasons past. Similarly, although season 5 is being animated digitally rather than by hand (like seasons 1-4 were), the Samurai Jack crew offer their assurances in the above video that they are aspiring to recreate the “hand-painted” visual aesthetic of seasons 1-4 with season 5, as best as they can. Finally, despite the death of original Aku voice actor Mako in 2006, Tartakovsky says the character will not be “rebooted” – rather, a TBA voice actor will be doing their best to match Mako’s memorable vocals as Jack’s supernatural opponent, instead.
Samurai Jack season 5 is expected to air on Adult Swim as part of the 2016-2017 TV season.
Source: Adult Swim