By Mack Chico
Rated: PG for some thematic elements.
Release Date: 2008-08-15
Starring: Henry Gilroy, Steve Melching, Scott Murphy
Official Website: http://www.starwars.com/theclonewars/
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Unless you are a hardcore Star Wars fan, it will be difficult for the average moviegoer to remember all six, oh my humble apologies, seven Star Wars film episodes. With that said, in preparation to see the new computer animated ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ film, questions were beginning to emerge in me about George Lucas’ creativity. Is he stuck for eternity in this Star Wars bubble and is he incapable of filming anything else? I believe it is a warranted question. This is the same guy who wrote, directed, casted, and edited ‘American Graffiti’, a cinematic effort that earned him five Oscar nominations in 1974. That is evidence he can do something else outside of ‘the force’ – so why doesn’t he? This, my friends, is the million dollar question.
Lucas has been driven, for some time now, to create this new animated feature to coincide with the launch of his Lucasfilm Animation universe. The movie transports us to the middle of episodes two and three (as communicated to me by a Warner Bros. representative) where Jedi Knights struggle to maintain order and restore peace. Systems are falling prey to the forces of the dark side as the Galactic Republic slips further under the sway of the Separatists. Anakin Skywalker (soon to be Darth Vader) and his Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano (a sort of intern) find themselves on a mission that brings them face-to-face with crime lord Jabba the Hutt. But Count Dooku and his sinister agents, including the nefarious Asajj Ventress, will stop at nothing to ensure that Anakin and Ahsoka fail at their quest. Notable is a cameo of Samuel L. Jackson lending his voice for his character Mace Windu.
Since new characters are introduced here, and not continued in the following adventures of the Jedis, it is hard to say whether or not this film fits in nicely with the rest of the episodes. We will have to wait and see.
Nevertheless, boy was it entertaining! It began with great animated fighting sequences and it kept that tempo throughout the very end, a characteristic that spells out pure fun. I would actually dare to say it was more entertaining than Lucas’ recent Star Wars trilogy – Episodes I, II and III. Most of this decision is based on Hayden Christensen’s vapid and uninspiring acting as Anakin Skywalker in the aforementioned works, resulting in an unmemorable experience. These computer generated ‘actors’ did a better job of engaging me than he.
The premise was easy enough to understand, the characters were likable, the sequences were dynamic and full of brio. The film is obviously for fans of the Star Wars saga, but looking to attract young new legions of fans.