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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Clone Wars’ imperfect

In the original 1977 Star Wars, a passing reference was made to a historic conflict known as "the Clone Wars." This ignited imaginations of fans for years, as surely such an important event would play a major role in the prequel trilogy promised by Star Wars creator George Lucas.

In reality, the prequel trilogy came and went without much Clone Wars action at all, and fans were left with only a short animated miniseries focusing on the past hostilities. Unlike the disappointing prequels, however, the Clone Wars cartoons are held in high regard and considered by many to be far superior to their live-action counterparts.

Unfortunately, Star Wars: Clone Wars has, aside from a shared title, nothing to do with its predecessor series. It is inferior in both style and substance and is little more than an attempt to milk the Star Wars cash cow for all it’s worth, which at this point is not very much.

Clone Wars misfires from the start when instead of opening to the traditional Star Wars music it instead features a cheesy voice-over reminiscent of Starship Troopers. John Williams’ stamp is sorely missed, and while the score occasionally reprises some of his themes, it is for the most part distinctly un-Star Wars like.

The plot itself fares no better, with Anakin Skywalker having a difficult time adjusting to his new apprentice Ahsoka Tano, a character no doubt created to pander to the young female demographic. Their interactions are at times cringe-worthy, not to mention the overly cute nicknames they develop for each other – Skyguy and Snips.

Various dangers aside, the film as a whole is juvenile in nature with nowhere near the level of sophistication of either its live-action or animated predecessors.

Obi-Wan Kenobi plays a major role in the movie, with other familiar characters such as Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Yoda, Chancellor Palpatine and the droid duo R2-D2 and C-3P0.

Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels all reprise their roles from the live-action films, but the remainder of the voice cast consists of replacements. This results in an odd mish-mash of performances. Of course one cannot blame Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman for not participating in this disaster.

The computer generated imagery (CGI) itself is impressive, and the decision to take a stylized approach to the animation (as opposed to a realistic one, such as Final Fantasy) was a wise one. Some of it is on par with the animation in the prequels, a testament to how rampantly overused CGI was in those films.

Most alarming of all is the fact that this film will serve as the pilot for a new television series of the same name premiering this fall on the Cartoon Network.

It seems George Lucas’ desire to run his once beloved franchise into the ground knows no bounds, and one longs for the days when Star Wars was a trilogy of three spectacular films instead of a multimedia franchise that’s primary goal is cash instead of quality.

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