US Release Date: 08-15-2008
Directed by: Dave Filoni
- Samuel L. Jackson, as
- Mace Windu (voice)
- Anthony Daniels, as
- C-3PO (voice)
- Christopher Lee, as
- Count Dooku (voice)
- Matt Lanter, as
- Anakin Skywalker (voice)
- Ashley Eckstein, as
- Ahsoka Tano (voice)
- James Arnold Taylor, as
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice)
- Nika Futterman, as
- Asajj Ventress(voice)
- Ian Abercrombie, as
- Chancellor Palpatine (voice)
- Catherine Taber as
- Padme Amidala (voice)
Yoda in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
I really had high hopes for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It bothered me not that it was in cartoon. After all, the last Star Wars movie was as much animated as it was live action.
This film takes place between Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002) . As the movie opens, Anakin and Kenobi are on a far off planet, helping a Republic army battle a huge clone army. Anakin has his very own Padawan, Ahsoka. The key moment in this battle comes when the clone army approaches, with the protection of a force field. Their goal is to destroy the Republic's cannons. Anakin and Ahsoka sneak behind enemy lines to destroy the shield generator, by means last seen in a Scooby Doo episode. The approaching clones, defended by the force shield, close in on the helpless army, who lay in wait for the shield generator to be destroyed. Why didn’t Kenobi just use those powerful cannons to blow up the bridge that the clones were crossing? Just a thought.
The real plot gets going when Anakin and Ahsoka are later sent to rescue Jabba the Hutt’s son. We are introduced to a Sith Lady who has a light saber that resembles Darth Mauls. At stake are free passages through the outer rim, or some such area in space that the Hutts control. When exactly did Jabba become so vastly important and threatening to the Jedi council? It would be like The United States bowing to Osama Bin Laden. Why should such a powerful force for good even consider negotiating with a mere hoodlum.
The Star Wars movies have set rules. This one breaks them when it fits the plot. At one point, Anakin flies over Ahsoka some one hundred feet below. She desperately needs his help, yet he cannot sense her presence? At another point in the movie Anakin and Ahsoka leave a planet’s orbit, as Kenobi senses they have gone. Anakin cannot sense a Jedi he is so close to he could see, if he looked, but Kenobi can sense one from miles away?
The Clone Wars has plenty of action. From the large battle, to a rescue at an old monastery, to light saber duels, you will have plenty to keep you watching. Many familiar faces show up for small roles, like the droids, Mace Windu and Amidala. There are also some new characters, such as the Sith Lady and the most unique addition of Jabba’s gay, southern accented brother.
With a new animated series starting this year, the Star Wars universe will be mined for a long time for science fiction, action filled entertainment. I am personally waiting for a Han Solo/Lando Calrissian movie. I just hope they take it a bit more seriously than they did this one.
Ahsoka and Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Actually Eric, this movie is set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. If you remember, the Clone Wars didn't even begin until Episode II. This movie takes its storyline from the first four episodes of season one of the animated Clone Wars television series, the events of which take place during the 3 year window of time between Episode's II and III of the feature films.
It's a shame they couldn't entice more of the original cast members to recreate their characters for this movie. Only the hardworking trio of Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, and Anthony Daniels lent their voices to it. James Arnold Taylor does a great imitation of Ewan McGregor, but Matt Lanter doesn't sound anything like Hayden Christensen. Also this is the only Star Wars movie to date in which Frank Oz doesn't voice the syntax challenged Yoda. Tom Kane does the honors this time around.
Newcomers Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress make this the most estrogen heavy entry in the franchise. With the former being good and the latter being squarely on the dark side of the force, Lucas balances it out. Both characters are welcome additions to the Star Wars' universe.
The main thrust of the story details Anakin and Ahsoka's attempt to save the kidnapped -and very ill- son of Jabba the Hutt. It tries to be touching and humorous but only partly succeeds. Ahsoka gets maternal with the little boy Rotta, who looks pretty much like you would expect Jabba the Hutt's baby to look like. Anakin refers to him as a little slug on more than one occasion.
I have long wondered about the lack of gay characters in the Star Wars' universe. As Eric mentioned Jabba's Uncle Ziro (not his brother) is overtly effeminate in mannerism and appearance. His speaking voice was modeled on Truman Capote's. The scene where Senator Amidala visits him includes a brief kiss between two life forms that may or may not be of the same sex. I applaud George Lucas for continuing to expand the diversity of the inhabitants of his imaginary playground.
But none of that changes the fact that this is easily the least entertaining of all the Star Wars movies. And I agree with Eric that it has nothing to do with it being animated. It wasn't even intended to be a film but as I said earlier was merely several television episodes cobbled together. This accounts for the episodic style in which it unfolds. Eric, it seems your wait for a new movie with Han Solo and (hopefully) Lando Calrissian is nearly over. Filming has at long last begun on the new Star Wars trilogy.
Photos © Copyright Lucasfilm (2008)