It’s been a little over twelve years since Samurai Jack aired its fourth season, and while the show was never a huge hit when it originally aired on Cartoon Network, it’s developed quite a cult following in the years since. This eventually led to development of a fifth season by original Samurai Jack creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, but will follow Jack fifty years later (thought the character has not aged) and feature darker and more mature themes as well as more blood and violence. Samurai Jack will also be moved to the Adult Swim timeslot on Cartoon Network to accommodate the change in tone and increased level of violence.
This is more than likely a move by Tartakovsky and Cartoon Network to appeal to older fans of the original show who won’t necessarily be drawn in to a rehashing of Samurai Jack’s more child-like elements from the original show. However, now the showrunner has revealed that the upcoming fifth season will also serve as the final chapter for the journey of Jack.
While speaking to EW, Tartakovsky talked about the fifth season of Samurai Jack serving as a “definitive end” to his vision of the character of Jack. While he didn’t rule out the possibility of someone else coming in and filling the fifty year gap between the fourth and fifth seasons, Tartakovsky did confirm that this is “the end” for his journey with the character. For his full thoughts on Samurai Jack and its conclusive fifth season, read below:
“This is it. This is the definitive end, and it’s a great end. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve storyboarded it, and I think it’s super satisfying, and it should close the door for me for Samurai Jack.
“Now, look, there’s 50 years between season 4 and season 5, and if somebody wanted to jump in and do some stories in between, but for me this is the end.”
While it’s certainly a little disappointing that Samurai Jack will only be coming back for one more season, most fans are probably happy that the show is not only finally getting a proper ending but that it’s finally embracing the more violent nature that the original show merely hinted at. This apparently includes Jack finally tackling with taking a human life after years of battling robots as well as a more long-form story as opposed to the original’s more stand-alone nature.
Regardless of the increased maturity level, there are certainly fans who would have preferred the original Samurai Jack remain untouched, and simply see this as Cartoon Network and Tartakovsky cashing in on television and Hollywood’s growing obsession with reboots and remakes. Either way, it’s encouraging that Tartakovsky is trying something different with the character instead of simply rehashing the same old formula again and, perhaps more importantly, that Cartoon Network decided to take a chance on such a risky concept.
Samurai Jack will debut its fifth and final season on March 11, 2017 on Cartoon Network in its Adult Swim timeslot.