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Star Wars: The Clone Wars
An unnecessary addition to the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
OPENING WEEKEND: $42,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $80,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

May 19th, 2008: On the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, fans young and old will join such favorite characters as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, along with brand-new heroes like Anakin's padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villains – led by Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous – are poised to rule the galaxy. Stakes are high, and the fate of the "Star Wars" universe rests in the hands of the daring Jedi Knights. Their exploits lead to the action-packed battles and astonishing new revelations that fill "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

What to Expect: George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, was once thought of as the "chosen one" when it comes to movies. However, much like the characters in his films he has shown us how easy it is to fall. In the 70's and 80's he gave us two of the greatest franchises of all time in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, making a huge bundle of money with both. Then in the 1990's with both his legacy and fortune secured, Lucas took a break from Star Wars choosing instead to mess around with Indiana Jones (he actually proposed to make "Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars"). Then in the late 90's he decided to revisit Star Wars and make the three prequels to his original trilogy (Star Wars is actually 9 parts). The first two films in the trilogy, "Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones," exposed Lucas as a terrible writer with some of the worst dialogue ever uttered on screen, one of the most annoying characters in Jar Jar Binks and a terrible producer with the casting of Hayden Christensen as Anakin (Christensen won a Razzy for worst supporting actor for Clones). Then he surprised everyone by wrapping up the trilogy with "Revenge of the Sith" which was a great movie and by most accounts either the best or second best film of the entire franchise. I, along with millions of fans, was extremely happy and assumed that Lucas would quit on this high note, but boy was I wrong.

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It seems Lucas has decided to slaughter Star Wars' good name by saturating it to death. In the next two years he is releasing an animated series, a live action series and an animated film called "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" to kick off the animated series which is supposed to take place between the events of the last two prequel movies. These are in addition to the "Clone Wars" micro animated series that aired on Cartoon Network in 2003. All I can say is wow, talk about diluting your product. The animated movie is going to feature some slick CG animation and I am sure that a lot of kids are really going to enjoy it, but as a seasoned Star Wars fan, I could not be any madder. If you think about it, how much of the story can you really tell without intruding on the two movies that surround it? As a result the movie is going to be a lot of action, but not enough of that deep, dark drama that distinguishes Star Wars from other science fiction action movies. Consequently, "The Clone Wars" should resonate well with younger audiences looking for a cheap thrill at the movies, but seasoned Star Wars fans like me, who have a certain level of expectation, are going to be very upset.

First, let's figure out where this new film fits into the entire Star Wars story. If you remember, the whole saga takes place at a time long ago and a galaxy far away. At the onset of Star Wars, the universe is governed by the Republic and lives in relative peace, with the Jedi (A warrior religion that uses the good side of the force to help those around them) Council playing an intimate role with the government, but that soon changes. Several outlining star systems ban together with various guilds and form the Confederacy of Independent Systems and challenge the empire's control of the universe. A shrewd politician named Senator Palpantine manipulates the situation to first get elected Chancellor and then to slowly empower the position. That is covered in "Phantom Menace" and is followed by "Clones," where it is revealed that Palpantine is actually a powerful Sith Lord (evil warriors who worship the dark side of the force) who is not only controlling the Republic but also controlling the rebellion now called Confederacy of Independent Systems through his apprentice and former Jedi Count, Dooku. Dooku, while still a Jedi, had convinced another Jedi, named Sifo-Dyas, to commission the building of an army made up of genetically modified clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett. Dooku then killed Dyas and Palpentine covered Dooku's tracks. When the army is discovered, the Republic has no choice but to authorize its use. For the next three years the Republic clone armies, led by the Jedi, take on the droid armies of the separatists. The war serves to accomplish three goals for the chancellor: thin out the ranks of the Jedi, create chaos to force people to be more welcoming of his totalitarian empire and to allow Anakin Skywalker to move toward the dark side. "The Clone Wars" end in the final of the prequel trilogy with the extermination of most of the Jedi and the Emperor assuming his throne with Anakin at his side as Darth Vader.

Those three long years of wars encompass a huge amount of battles, but it all has been documented extremely well already. First, all of the major events leading up to the war and large battles are covered in the second and third movie. Then for the time in between the two movies, the micro series that aired in 2003-2004 covered the events between the wars. The series actually ends with the kidnapping of Palpantine while the third movie kicks off with Anakin and Obi Wan rescuing the Chancellor, making it almost impossible to tie in the new animated movie with the old series. Instead, the film is going to take place after Anakin ends his apprenticeship and becomes a full Jedi. Soon after becoming a Jedi knight, he takes on an apprentice named Ahsoka Tano which is something he needs to do in order to become a Jedi Master, but he is not the only one who has taken on a new apprentice. At the same time, Count Dooku takes on a new sith apprentice named Asajj Ventress, the first female sith in Star Wars. It was originally planned that Ventress would be the main villain in Clones, but instead she was later completely removed from the script. The Chancellor and Dooku, with their new Sith apprentice in tow, hatch a new plan to drag the Hutts into a three way conflict by kidnapping Jabba the Hutt's son and blaming it on the Jedi. As usual, the Jedi are blind to who is behind the plot and Yoda dispatches Obi Wan, Anakin and Tano to the Hutt planet to investigate the mysterious group behind the kidnapping and stop the Hutts from entering the war.

Well that does not sound so bad, but unfortunately there are a lot of things bad about this film. First of all, making this film was a complete afterthought. It all went down when Lucas was previewing the new animated series on his big screen and kind of just said, "This is so beautiful, why don't we just go and use the crew and make a feature?" Well, at this point a lot of the best material had not just been used by all of the movies but by both animated series, leaving very little for anything new. Consequently, this movie will not really deal with any of the big issues of Star Wars and nothing that huge will be revealed. Furthermore, there are certain disconnects between the show and the movies. First, if Anakin takes on a new Padawon, why is she never mentioned in any of the movies or the "Clone Wars" micro series? Then, the Chancellor has already plunged the entire universe into total war with hundreds of star systems and huge armies involved. Why in the world does he need the Hutts dragged into this considering that the Hutts are really the Star Wars version of organized crime and are isolated to their Hutt planet? Thus, in the grand scheme of things, they are pretty insignificant to the Chancellor's overall goals.

It seems this movie's plot will be very small in scale in comparison to the other movies and no major character will actually die since most of them must survive to be around for the series that follows it and later Star Wars material. Beyond the plot, the actual movie itself looks pretty bad. It will utilize state of the art CGI animation that will be created by one of the best special effects studios in the world, Lucasfilm Animation. However, the animation still seems to look a little fake and boxy at times, especially in High Definition. The final bad is the director. The movie is also not being directed by Genndy Tartakovsky who created the micro series, but by David Filoni, although some of Tatrakovsky's character designs were kept. Filoni's only other major experience is directing the anime cartoon "Avatar" and his anime influence will be stamped on this movie. Steve Sansweet, the writer of eight Star Wars novels and official Star Wars ambassador for LucasFilms, actually described this movie as, "a melding of Asian anime with unique 3-D animation styling." Well, I do not really care about anime, it obviously has its fans, but I really think it has no place in Star Wars. I guess I have griped enough and now it is time to leave you with some positives.

Perhaps the greatest thing this movie has going for it is that it is not being directed by Lucas. Lucas really is too much of a little kid to make his movies dark enough, in fact the darkest and best of the films, "Empire Strikes Back", was actually not directed by him. Fortunately, Lucas is actually humble enough to realize his shortcomings and has wisely delegated all the day to day directing and writing to others. As a result, this movie should be a little darker and have much better dialogue than most of the prequels. Lucas actually said that the new show will not be "kiddie," but instead be a sort of PG-13 "war picture." Well, that may be true for the show, but currently the movie has a PG rating, but the intent is there. Finally, although this new Star Wars style may look completely foreign there are still little things that are familiar. We will have Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO, voicing our favorite effeminate droid. Joining him we also have Samuel L. Jackson reprising his part as Mace Windu, a role he did a great job with in the prequel trilogy. There have also been rumors circulating that Seth Green will voice a character. Green is a huge fan of Star Wars whom constantly pays tribute to it in his animated TV series, "Robot Chicken." It is good that now he will actually get to be a part of it, even if it is pretty bad.

In Conclusion: The reason we love Star Wars so much is not just the awesome action, but the overall story itself. Unfortunately, so much has already been done with the Clone Wars that this new film will be very small in terms of scale and overall storyline. That fact, combined with the awkward animation, is setting this film to be the next Ewok Adventure. Some kids who like CGI and anime may really like it because of all of its action and visual effects but if you are one of the millions of die hard Star Wars fans then you will agree with me in saying that this cartoon should have never been made.

Similar Titles: The Ewok Adventure, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
August 15th, 2008 (wide)
November 11th, 2008 (DVD)

Warner Bros. Pictures

David Filoni

Samuel L. Jackson

Total: 78 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Click here to view site

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.

90 min




Star Wars: The Clone Wars at Trailer Addict

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