Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

Published 6 years ago by

Short version: The Clone Wars is visually interesting, but in the end pointless – and worse: annoying.

star wars clone wars wonder Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review
Screen Rant reviews The Clone Wars

Holy cow there’s a lot of… angst? anger? annoyance? surrounding the latest addition to the Star Wars saga: The Clone Wars. Me, I’m indifferent. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan (although I was when the first three movies were released for the first time) and I think that George Lucas has run the franchise into the ground and it’s all about:

1. Visual Effects

2. Merchandising

3. Money (see #2)

The Clone Wars takes place between Star Wars episodes 2 & 3, covering the most intense part of the fabled “Clone Wars” first mentioned by Obi-Wan Kenobi way back in 1977 in the original Star Wars film. Therefore we have Anakin Skywalker (destined to become Darth Vader) still playing the hero and a young Obi-Wan Kenobi no longer teaching Anakin but fighting side by side with him.

I really won’t get into the story too much. It basically consists of a whole lot of battle sequences, one after the other – all very loud and very “busy” as far as what’s going on. The main plot involves Anakin having to rescue the infant son of Jabba the Hut. Yes, you heard right. Jabba the Hut is a loving daddy.

Go figure.

Of course we have Count Dooku in the mix, playing one side against the other and misleading Jabba the Hut into thinking that the Jedi have kidnapped his son when in fact he is the one behind it.

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

What’s good:

The animation, once you get used to the style of the characters, is excellent. There is nothing 2D about this, with sequences filmed in a very cinematic manner in regards to camera angles and movement. Hayden Christensen did NOT return to supply the voice of Anakin, and that my friends, is a blessing. Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee returned to supply the voices of their characters, and having Lee voice Dooku is a good thing.

clone wars scene2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review
Obi-Wan and Anakin in The Clone Wars

This may sound odd, but with the direction that George Lucas has taken the series, it actually worked better as a 100% CGI animated film. As it was with Episodes I, II & II, they were 90% CGI anyway. The live actors actually looked out of place in those films. At least here everything “matches.”

Finally, it’s actually an improvement over the three prequel films.

(Continue reading The Clone Wars Review)

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

What’s bad:

Hoo boy… where to start. How about the primary issue… Why is this necessary? We already had an excellent 2D version of The Clone Wars created by Genndy Tartakovsky that was highly stylized and very well done. This one is fancier, with 3D CGI and a more expansive story that will be told (the film is an introduction to an animated series that will run on Cartoon Network as well this Fall), but what is the point? We already know how the story will end!

So why was that not an issue with the previous version of The Clone Wars? Because it was broadcast in between Episodes 2 & 3 of the live action movies. We didn’t know how it would turn out, and it was a bonud story to help fill in what happened during the gap. But now, the entire story has been told, we know the conclusion, and I don’t really see the point.

Beyond that you’ll be annoyed within seconds of the film starting as Lucas has done away with the traditional “crawl” which brings you up to speed as it fades away into space. What did he replace it with? A voiceover that sounds like it was recorded by some cheesy game show host, describing events that led up to the start of the movie. I kid you not.

clone wars scene1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review
Anakin, Ashoka and Obi-Wan in a scene from The Clone Wars

What else? How about an uber-annoying “tween” female Padawan that is placed under Anakin’s care? This character doesn’t act like a Jedi in training, she acts like a typical Junior High student that’s used to being spoiled by her parents. VERY annoying (she actually even annoyed the heck out of my own 12 year old daughter). I also found her kind of creepy as compared to the older characters she looked like she was 10, but had C-cup breasts that were housed in a tube top. Very appropriate for battle.

Lots of snarky repartee ensues between her and Anakin and it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Then we have Jabba the Hut’s brother (I guess). I’m a bit uncertain because he sounded like either Truman Capote or just plain female (another item that confused and annoyed my daughter). Also making an appearance was Padme in a seemingly spray-painted on costume. It wouldn’t bug me so much if this was anime targeted at a slightly older crowd but the target is really little kids. The audience was chock full of cute little ones running around with light sabers and Darth Vader helmets.

I’ll admit that by the time I was about 2/3 into the film, I actually started to enjoy the ride a little bit (and that’s why I rated it as high as I did), but overall I think fans are going to be disappointed.

Overall it was like watching a fireworks display: A lot of sound and fury, but not much substance.

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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TAGS: 2 star movies, clone wars

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  1. So far fridays take was 6.9 mil.
    Estimated gross for the weekend 19. Mil.
    Not exactly the Block buster type numbers. Its expected to come in second behind Tropic Thunder. 8-)

  2. Star Wars and George Lucas have (long ago) gone to the DARK SIDE. Darth Lucas and his films are MORE MACHINE than MAN. Now, completely digital, the franchise itself has fulfilled its own prophetic warning: do not fall prey to ego, arrogance, self-centered-ness, or GREED.. Behold, the Star Wars Marketing Empire. “All Hope is Lost.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1-f08kXn6c

  3. Thanks 790. From what I’ve been told Timothy Zahn sounds like he’s got a genuine feel for the Star Wars mythos and isn’t just cranking ‘em out. That Comic Book movie sounds like a little gem. Anything with Bruce Campbell gets my vote. I hadn’t watched Bubba Ho-Tep for ages, and you mentioning it on another post made me dig it out again. It’s a great performance – a lot more to it than just a wacky idea. I always thought he should have got more leading parts thrown at him.

    Bill, that’s a good one. Sad but 100% true. Lucas should be locked in a room with this playing on a loop until he begs for forgiveness.

  4. Ask not what your rest home can do for you, but what you can do for your rest home. :D

    That movie is much more than just a wacky idea. One of my favourites.

  5. I wonder if George and his posse are reading what’s going on the ze internets in regards to him and what has happened to the once-godlike franchise.

    I’ve never thought in all my life growing up that I’d actually be upset and frustrated with Star Wars…to the point where I’m avoiding it…That makes panda sad :( [south park quote]

    Bring on the Enterprise baby!

  6. Rob, if he is, in true Darth fashion he probably thinks he’s surrounded by the forces of chaos that he and he alone can bring balance to…

    Steven, “Even a big b**** cockroach like you should know… Never, but never, f*** with the King…”!

  7. Rob, if he is, in true Darth fashion he probably thinks he’s surrounded by the forces of chaos that he and he alone can bring balance to…

    Steven, do you think we’re ever going to see that “Bubba Nosferatu: Curse Of The She-Vampires”?

    “Let’s get decadent!”

  8. I hope so, but can’t see it. Ho-Tep was some years ago. Think they said they might make it as a prequel, so when he was younger. Sure Bruce can do it all again. :D

    One of my favourite lines is from Ossie:
    “The woman who calls herself my niece…”
    He was brilliant as ‘JFK’.

  9. Whoops, one of those got stuck. Strange parallel with Ian McDiarmid if that’s the case: able to play Palpatine 20-odd years on no prob by just having less makeup!

    George: the more he tightens his grip, the more star systems will slip through his fingers…

  10. Timothy Zahn’s, work is great I highly recomend it.!!
    Also I highly recomend , Tales of the Bounty Hunters, Tales from Mos Eilsy Cantina, and Tales from Jabba’s Palace,,, all really good books that explore all the characters mentioned.
    The IG-88 story is “film worthy” and has a great cameo from Vader.

    Yeah Bid Dentist, I wouldnt hype (Comic Book the Movie) so much if I didnt know that EVERY Star Wars fan would love it !!! 8-)

    Im gonna have to watch Bubba again !!
    (Such a great film)

    Rob, ive heard Lucas himself say that he never reads reviews,,, However im sure his ppl do,,, and they prob have to tell the Emperor that his new clothes are just fine, just fine,,,

  11. The review is off base. If you love Star Wars, you will love this movie. It recaptures the spirit of 4,5, and 6, and is much better than 1, 2, and 3. I was skeptical at first (since it is all CGI), but found myself deeply immersed in the story. I went for my son, but wound up enjoying it myself. I give it 4 stars.

  12. @Capt Jack

    Take some time to look around the ‘net for other reviews. You’ll see that this is one of the more… generous ones.

    Vic

  13. 790 said: “Its expected to come in second behind Tropic Thunder.”

    Not even that TDK edged it out!
    TT $37,033,000
    TDK $16,790,000
    SWCW $15,505,000

  14. Did I say that ??

    Well im glad to be wrong on that !!

    Also there saying that TDK is only 75mil behind Titanic. 8-)

  15. Capt Jack, there’s a typo in your message.

    I think you meant to say, if you love star wars, you will hate the clone wars film more than anything.

    The original Star Wars had an excellent story and universe setup. It set rules that it followed. Clone Wars spits on those rules and that universe and gives us hardcore Star Wars fans the big middle finger. Atleast, that’s how I feel.

  16. I was around in 1977 when the first film came out (which originally wasn’t called “A New Hope”), and have seen every movie at the theater since. I’ve read the Zahn books (which are excellent), and waited in vain for George to make 7, 8, and 9 (I now fully understand why that will never happen; I’ll get back to that in a minute). So I’m by no means coming late to the Star Wars party.

    I agree Vic that your review is probably more generous than others. However, having seen the film, I thought that the review nitpicked too much. I too found some aspects of the film annoying (such as the introduction, the acting of Jabba the Hut’s uncle, the overdose of battle sequences, etc.), but overall felt that the story was good, and the acting excellent. The characters in this story acted with humor and emotion reminiscent of 4, 5, and 6. Ironically, the depth of the characters in this film made the characters in 1, 2, and 3 seem “two dimensional.” I watched #2 again on DVD prior to seeing Clone Wars, and found myself bored with it (and agitated by how immature and bratty Anakin acted in that film). In comparison, Clone Wars is a breath of fresh air. In short, I enjoyed Clone Wars, and am looking forward to seeing it again (along with the TV series).

    Now as to why 7, 8, and 9 will never happen: the story is complete, and George doesn’t care what happens after 6. I eagerly read every Zhan book when they first came out, and couldn’t wait for the movies to (hopefully) appear. But one thing always bothered me about the Zhan books: why did George let Zhan write such an important installment in the Star Wars series? After seeing 1, 2, and 3, it became clear to me that George had altered what Star Wars was about. It was no-longer about Luke and company fighting the evil empire; it is now the story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Episode 1 through 6 (with Clone Wars in between) complete the story. Sure, there can be other stories, but the part that George wanted to tell is complete. This revelation, along with the alternating of the original films to fit this view, was far more unsettling to me than anything else that has transpired in the Star Wars universe.

  17. Lucas can retain his version of the Saga within the Zahn framework, since it carries on with the Skywalkers.
    I dont see your point Capt Jack ??

    And is that Capt Jack from Torchwood ??? Or Pirates ???
    8-)

  18. ehh ill wait till dvd.

  19. ┬╗Episode III and II are fine but C’MON! PLEASE STOP!┬ź

  20. holy……….S**T!

  21. WTF is this crap! is all I have to say. If I want to watch cartoons, I’ll watch them on Saturday mornings.
    If I want to see a movie, especially a Star Wars movie, I want to see the special effects, the tangible Stormtroopers, speederbikes, planets, light sabers……and so on.
    Common…..this is the most foolish rubbish and a stab in the back to all of us who have been long time SW fans.
    Didn’t they make enough money to make a better movie than that?

  22. I like the star wars the clone wars movie and the TV show.

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