REVIEWS

Ken's Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Force Is Strong In This One

by
August 14, 2008

  • US Release Date: August 15, 2008
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • MPAA: Rated PG (for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking)
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Directed by: Dave Filoni
  • on IMDb
  •    6.5/10

While I wouldn't call myself a Star Wars fanatic, I am a big fan of the films and mythology Lucas has created. Somehow the existance of any previous animated Star Wars shows escaped me, and I thought this was the first. Luckly a friend of mine brought me up to speed and let me borrow the animated shows, that first aired back in 2003, on DVD. After watching those and loving them, I got really excited to see Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the big screen. Thankfully my excitement was not left entirely unrewarded.

This film roughly fits in between Episode's II and III of the live-action films, in theory. As we come into the story, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are immersed in battle fighting with the Republic to fend off the onslaught of Separatist droid troops. Yoda is trying to reach them to send Anakin on a mission to find Jabba the Hut's kidnapped son in order to gain the Hutt's respect. Finally, Yoda is able to get the message to Anakin while also surprising him with a new Padawan named Ahsoka Tano, much to his dismay. Skywalker, accompanied by his Padawan, leaves Obi-Wan's side to begin the search for Jabba's son, knowing full well that a Separatist trap is probably lurking just around the corner.

Anakin and Ahsoka prepare for a fight in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

I realize that a lot of Star Wars fans will probably watch this and be really picky about the content and the feeling of the film. Since I wouldn't be able to be as picky with the story, I just sat back and enjoyed. The visual look of the film was great. The animation during the battles was smooth and really captured my attention. Some scenes felt very epic as Anakin and Obi-Wan fought and flew over battlefields. I loved the drawing style and colors, which were on par with any animation I have seen recently. My only complaint was that when the characters weren't fighting and just walking, they seemed abnormally slow and a bit jerky. Hardly anything to make a big deal over.

The story was really good but not amazing, now that I look back at it. It didn't really fill in any stuff that I was dying to know about. More than anything I wanted to get deeper into Skywalker's character and his struggle with the dark side. There really wasn't too much about that. Mostly it deals with the battle on Christophsis, Anakin's relationship with his Padawan, and the rescue of Jabba's son. All of these things are pretty cool, but nothing major was revealed or added to the Star Wars mythology.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and a battalion of clones prepare to defend against a droid attack in a scene from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

There were really only a few things that bothered me about the film. The first, and biggest, problem I had was with Ziro the Hutt, Jabba's gay uncle. Right now I'm having a hard time imagining a more annoying, pointless and useless character. His design, voice and place in the plot were just stupid. The only other thing that bothered me was some of the misplaced humor. Most of it came from the Padawan saying annoying things, such as giving Anakin the nickname of "Skyguy" and so on. For the most, part I could chalk her annoyingness up to her being so young, but I could definitely see how a lot of people wouldn't like her.

For Star Wars fanatics this is going to be a must see. For the average Star Wars fan, which is where I place myself, this should be enjoyable, especially after watching the first series of the 2003 animated television show. Your average moviegoer should still have fun with this because it holds well as a stand-alone film that you can enjoy without knowing much about the Star Wars universe. It is definitely not a film that I would consider a waste of money to see in the theater, but if you have any reservations, just hold off and wait for the Blu-Ray version.

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  • Will S. (Co Springs)
    I skipped out on the midnight show of this, but plan on seein' it in the mornin' tomorrow. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations, as Star Wars is one of my favorite franchises. Episode V is on my top 10!
  • http://www.reproductions.co.nr Rory
    Looks AWFUL
  • http://www.levelgame.net Chris W. (Co. Springs...)
    I'd like to see it, but it isn't exactly a priority of mine. We'll see...
  • http://www.williammize.com William Mize
    Pass. This looks like an "Add to Netflix list, I get it when I get it" caliber movie.
  • The Real Alex
    If the "Force" was so "strong in this one" why did you only give it a 6.5? Your rating system is quite odd...
  • http://www.myspace.com/kevjohnphotography kevjohn
    I too was wondering about the 6.5 rating. But I guess it isn't that low of a rating in the grand scheme of things. I've been hearing some reaalllly bad things about this Ziro guy. Can't wait to see it and judge for myself. :)
  • avoidz
    Someone actually liked this piece of shit? Oh, and what's the son of Jabba called? Stinky (I'm not lying!). One word which describes this whole prequel mess of Lucas's.
  • http://Spill.com Kent
    It's official... i'm only ever coming here for news. If you honestly enjoyed ANY of this as any kind of "fan", whether it be small or uber, you're an idiot. You basically just told me you liked the pretty colors and the action. If you had any credibility at all you'd see this for the poorly stitched together TV show it is, and tell everyone to NOT waste there time and wait till it shows on Cartoon Network and TNT in October. This might be the worst movie i've seen all year and you gave it an average rating.... thanks... no please never review anything again.
  • Alex
    WOW this movie was so wack when i went to go see it. Both me and my little 12 year cousin fell asleep not even half way into the movie. I know its suppose to be part of the star war series but I'll just block this one out of my mind as if it never existed.
  • Simosarus
    Really, George Lucas just HAD to reach out and crush my soul one more time with the introduction of a big, gay, purple Hutt. Really? Egh. Of course, him yelling, "It was Dooku!" in his Scarlett O'Hara voice will be quoted by my friends for years to come and we'll get a lot of mileage out of it, so I guess it wasn't all bad.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    You guys have got to realize that Clone Wars was NOT meant to be another film on the same level as any of the 6 original Star Wars movies. It was meant purely 100% to be a kids cartoon that you'd see on Cartoon Network on Saturday mornings... My reaction was spot on with Ken's. It's not a great film, by any means, but I had a really fun time and enjoyed the visuals. I felt like I was watching a cartoon and I brought myself back down to that kid's level to enjoy it. Everyone is expecting it to be the next big Star Wars prequel but that's not its goal or intention! If you don't watch Saturday morning cartoons already, maybe you shouldn't be seeing Clone Wars either!
  • Veggies
    "You guys have got to realize that Clone Wars was NOT meant to be another film on the same level as any of the 6 original Star Wars movies. It was meant purely 100% to be a kids cartoon that you'd see on Cartoon Network on Saturday morningsā€¦" Right, be we GOT THAT already. It's called the Clone Wars animated DVD's, which were very well done for what they were and didn't have all the useless BS you mentioned as negatives in the review of this movies. I'm also probably bias, but I just think the hand-drawn style looked better than the hurky-jerky CG used in this move.
  • Obiwopkenobi
    Sorry, but it was not marketd as a kids movie from the get go. It was marketed as a CGI Star Wars movie. George screwed up on this one. 15 million for the weekend is a flop. If he would have made this for us, the fans it would have banked. George has lost his mind, plain and simple.
  • Holy Sht
    The part I like.... Ive been a Star Wars fan for 31 years. If anyone out there is the true Star Wars fan they always brag they are, then you would have smelled this piece of shit comin from the beginning and never wasted your time or money to go see it. Nor would you be buying up the ridiculous action figures and giving those people behind this embarrassment any profit. Did I see it? Hell no. My point of view comes from people I know complaining about it, people on line complaining about it, complaints about the figures, etc... Nothing but complaints and regret. Just because something has the Star Wars name behind it, does not mean its good. Im sorry but the trailer said it all... a female teenage padawan who speaks with no Jedi respect, a baby Hutt burping green gas????? Come on people.
  • http://www.theaterhopper.com Tom Brazelton
    I saw this movie Friday night and I knew what I was getting into. Reviews have been punishingly bad and every insists one should enter with lower expectations. Well, I did and I was STILL let down! It was nothing but cliched sound bites stringing action sequences together. And the cute nicknames? "Snips?" "Sky Guy?" Ugh. Nevermind the nagging thought in the back of your mind that Anakin is going to kill all the Jedi one movie from now. The whole false-drama with "Stinky" the Hutt and needing to get him to a medical freighter only to have his condition reversed after taking a small pill? That's just shitty storytelling no matter which way you slice it. Sure, this movie might be aimed at kids. But they gotta be the dumbest fucking kids on Earth to enjoy this tripe. Sorry, Ken. But this review makes everything you say from here on out suspect. I would give this film A star, if that. An only for the visual style, which, truthfully, doesn't have much going for it beyond a painterly quality. On the big screen, it looks awful!
  • SF
    U dumbshites this movie was awesome! The Character and was the only things I was looking for really considering the PT{Prequal Trilogy} sucked ass! U get a completely different Anakin and still get the VaDer- esque apperance and know that he'll turn to the dark side. The PT Anakin reminded me of my whiny ass sister and the average whiny popstar you try to avoid. I liked this Anakin and his relationship with Ahsoka. It had wit! Something you miss completely from the PT but yet you get from the OT{Original Trilogy}. The PT was all about who would be the next great politician and nothing to do with jedi or whatever the main concept of the story was. In the PT you don't get to like Padme' that much because she's pretty flat and has almost no character. Ahsoka was comical and witty and had oh wait... oh my god , Character! The Padme' in this installment was way better and is portrayed better as well. I mean come on! The scene in Revenge of the Sith where Anakin throws a fit because he didn't make master was Hideous and made me want to take a bathroom break. In this Installment Anakin is not the whiny brat but he is still your future Vader. I could actually picture him becoming the vader that was in the OT better than the Anakin in the PT. And don't forget Obi! He was also protrayed better but not that much cause I kinda did like him in the PT, The part where he taunts Asajj Ventress was awesome I could actually portray and picturing him doing that. What I don't get thopugh is why in the hell people get brainwashed in to thinking it doesn't have character. ANd also The guy who replyied to this review Holy Shit: Don't bother taliking if you haven't seen it yourself . You have thus proved you are indeed a Jackass. Anyway: The film will recieve a 8.5/10.
  • http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=137086138 Shero
    The trailer was enough to make me sure that this animated movie is so low ... I respect almost every 3D films ...but Star wars in such a low poly (Polygon) look ???? !!!! That is shame .... What is beautiful about 3D is having small details no matter if it is CGI for a movie or a full 3D animated film ... seeing the characters with such low poly is enough to understand that this movie it for TV... No matter if it is for children or not ....still low ....What is THAT mean : for children ? What about Ratatouille ? Wall- E ? Finding Nemo ? and of course Happy Feet ? ... they were for children too but they were with more details and have more dynamic than this one .... But I am sure there are some Star Wars fans who will hate me for this but it is the truth accepted or not it is so low 3D work .... and it is shame that such a big - classic - Historical movie appear in such a low look ...
  • Shocker
    I agree with SF! Had a great time watching the movie with my son. He was very excited to watch the clones fighting and Obi Wan in clone armor. Obi Wan is portrayed this way in Karen Traviss' clone wars series. I didn't really like the stupid nicknames, but she is a very young padawan, so it kinda works. Anyways, just my $0.02.
  • http://www.bartleby.com/61/66/C0726650.html Crapola
    If I ever saw George Lucas I'd punch him in his throat.
  • jmoney
    This generation's Ewok Adventure.... Nuff said. -Aimed soley at kids while having a conveluted storyline that clashes with the movies. Gennedy's was better but I enjoyed it as new SW material.
  • Mario Tenorio
    You guys drool over anything. I still like your site, though.
  • paul Johns
    Like many on this page, I am a huge Star Wars fan. We grew up with the original trilogy and since then we've forgiven a lot. The PTs and the more muscular action figures. Every new star wars initiative and event serve only to erode the past glory. It has felt to me that George Lucas was so in awe of what was now technically possible that he allowed that to get in the way of plot and character development. In this new medium, I was hoping that animated didn't mean childish. The green belches from the baby huttlet being one example of the infancy. That said, for a younger generation it was very good. this Annakan was certainly a better actor than the morons that played him in the Pre Trilogies. In short, comparing it to episodes 1-3, it comes out favorably but comparing this to A New Hope onwards and it is simply not good enough. 7 out of 10 if you are under 15. For the rest of us, put Return of the Jedi in the DVD for the 100th time and accept we've had our phenomenon that is Star Wars.
  • http://Zboneman.com Adam
    Hey Alex. Love the site. Read it all the time. Per your take on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you nailed it on the head in your piece. It is a Saturday morning cartoon and that's precisely the problem (among numerous other things). It has no business playing in theaters. Furthermore, it's an uninspired animated feature and pales in comparison to Genndy Tartakovsky's wonderful shorts from a few years back. I'd gladly pay to see those on the big screen. Even the Ewok t.v. movies knew where they belonged. To fall back on the whole "it's a kid's movie" is a complete cop out. It's also an insult to the intelligence of kids everywhere. Even John Williams wanted no part of this poorly executed rush job. True, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but I have a hard time buying that any true Star Wars fan would speak favorably of this flick. Just because it has the Star Wars name doesn't make it worth recommending. Far from it. As for the kids, I'd suggest taking them to Wall-E or Kung Fu Panda--films that know how to entertain folks of all ages. I think you're giving Star Wars: The Clone Wars far too much credit simply because others are shitting all over it (rightfully so). Still love the site though. Keep up the good work. I've got to go now. I'm going to go watch my Star Wars Holiday Special bootleg. At least it's so bad it offers up some entertainment value. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a mess and I can only hope creative writers and directors will make the upcoming t.v. series more tolerable.
  • Yawn
    Just a bunch of geeks and nerds crapping on about Star Wars and whose "light saber" is the the biggest. LAME. ... zzzzZZZZZzzzz...
  • avoidz
    Just another boring troll posting a comment bagging Star Wars fans... Zzzzzz.
  • Yawn
    Awww... ... there, there... ... there, there...
  • David
    Of course, every serious Star Wars fan knows this is BS. And that stupid thing about this being a saturday cartoon? I wouldn't have my son get teached by Lucas about Hutts' sexuality... crap, crap mega-crap, Lucas should try to make money somewhere else, which I doubt, since he can't write one simple plot.
  • http://www.people-magazine-reviews.com peoplemagazine lover
    Nothing like the real characters. This is not even close.
  • soul_reaver265
    The fact that George Lucas made this movie just says to me that he's still trying to milk his precious Star Wars for all its worth. It's bad enough he had to soil the SoulCalibur series with Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice from the Force Unleashed, but now THIS? Before I continue I'll let it be known that I am a Star Wars fan and I understand that its a Saturday morning cartoon and all, but - as someone previously mentioned - its already been done, and far better at that. Quite honestly this strikes me as being the Star Wars equivalent of the original Ninja Turtles complete: A complete and total embarassment upon the franchise that quite frankly has no business existing.
  • soul_reaver265
    Oops, meant to say "cartoon" when talking of the old Ninja Turtles. My bad.

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