Ken's Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Force Is Strong In This One
by Ken Evans
August 14, 2008
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.
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.
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.