The Clone Wars Reviewed

The Clone Wars

Thanks to TardisCaptain, this morning I was able to attend an advanced screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  For those who know me, you know that I’m a big Star Wars geek so being able to see the movie a whole week before it’s released was awesome.  (I think that it should help my geek cred.  Maybe +5?)

I’m too lazy to write a plot synopsis so here is one from allmovie.com.

George Lucas continues his most popular franchise’s legacy with Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a computer-animated 3-D film that takes place between Star Wars: Episode II and III. The first-ever animated feature from Lucasfilm Animation, this action-packed space adventure follows the heroic Jedi Knights as they attempt to maintain order and restore peace during a time of monumental galactic strife. The Clone Wars have engulfed the galaxy in chaos, and as the dreaded droid army of the Separatists wipes out everything in its path, the future of the Galactic Republic becomes increasingly uncertain. Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano embark on a pivotal mission that pits them directly against the dreaded Jabba the Hutt and his criminal minions while Count Dooku enlists the aid of Asajj Ventress and the rest of his sinister agents in ensuring that the young Jedi fails in his noble mission. Back on the front lines of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda attempt to fend off the forces of the dark side with the assistance of a massive clone army.

Anakin has a padawan?  What?  Since when?  Oh yeah.  I almost forgot that George Lucas has gone insane.

The animation in this movie surprised me.  I’ve watched all of the footage that Lucasfilm has released and to be honest, I wasn’t very excited to see it based solely on the fact that I thought it looked bad visually.  Even once the movie started, I wasn’t digging it too much.  Then I realized that I was starting to actually like the look of the movie.  The buildings, scenery, and ships all worked really well with the animation style.  I even started liking the look of the characters with the exception of the Hutts.  (They looked horrible.)  One thing noteworthy about the animation is that it actually looks like it was painted with a brush and paint.  I liked that.

I enjoyed seeing Asajj Ventress on the big screen but she seems a bit like the angry goth girl from high school. I also liked the new characters that they introduced, the clone, Rex and Anakin’s padawan, Ahsoka.  It was pretty obvious that Ahsoka was there mainly for kids but she was still fun to watch.

As for the movie itself, it was fun.  It felt like Star Wars.  There was a lot of action and the plot wasn’t as horrible as some would have you believe. They did mess with the Star Wars theme in the beginning but made up for it at the end.  There were a lot of problems with continuity however.

As I was sitting in the theater, I couldn’t help but wonder where this fit into the Star Wars time line.  Sure, they say it’s between Episode II and Episode III but what about The Clone Wars cartoon from Cartoon Network?  I thought that that was supposedly canon.  The second season of that show portrayed the events that led up to Episode III, including the kidnapping of Chancellor Palpatine. And let’s not forget all of the comic books.  There’s nine volumes of The Clone Wars comic books in trade paperback form.  What about all of that history?  Oh right, the “Lucas is insane thing”.  Honestly though, I’m sure that it will all be explained in the TV series.

If you’re a big Star Wars geek, you may have a tough time watching this movie because of the continuity issues.  Even twelve hours after seeing it, I’m still perplexed beyond reason as to how what I saw fits into that special galaxy far, far away.  Just try to enjoy it as a stand-alone story and you’ll probably be fine.  If you’re just a causal Star Wars fan though, you should enjoy yourself while watching this movie.

Despite my complaints, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is still a good movie.  Go see it.