Star Wars: Clone Wars Review

Some spoiler follows...

So Spencer and I made it to the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie, Clone Wars. I was glad the theatre (we went to Crossroads Cinema in Bellevue) wasn't sold out, and we had excellent seats. The Clone Wars take place between episodes II and III of George Lucas' movie series, and a Google on the topic will give you all the background you can handle. I had seen the two Clone Wars cartoon movies made several years ago (just called Vol I and Vol II) which were compilations of the TV series, which in turn were based on the Clone Wars Adventures book series. I enjoyed both the book series as well as the movies.

I left the theatre with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the movie was well done - it did not feel cartoony, the dialogue was very good for a Star Wars movie, and there was tons of action as part of the plot, as opposed to gratuitous action. The characters were well played, and I felt were more true to their real character, especially Count Dooku. On the flip side, the Clone Wars as part of the Star Wars story are an era involving all the Jedi in a variety of conflicts, as well as numerous leaders and warriors emerging as part of the separatists. The movie only covered one aspect of the Clone Wars - a plot involving the kidnapping of Jabba the Hutt's son - and only a few characters (Yoda, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Dooku, Asajj Ventress, and Ahsoka Tano). For a 105 minute movie, I felt they would have been better served covering a broader set of conflicts and showing the Jedi or their evil counterparts in their glory than unfolding a single plotline.

For example, General Grievous comes to power as Count Dooku's second-in-command during the Clone War period, and his character is never shown. If there is a character that epitomizes the Clone Wars, it is General Grievous.

Again, the animation was excellent. Even times when you could barely tell it was animated. And in the end it actually made for better scenes than using real people and props. If there was a downside to the animation it was that the lightsaber fight scenes were too fast - they were jumpy rather than more "realistic." On the plus side, the droids had a lot of dialogue, most of it actually funny.

Another interesting aspect were the character voices. Some were replicated very well (Obi-wan, Dooku), others weren't even close (Anakin, Padme) - as if they didn't try. Samuel L. Jackson was the voice of Mace Windu, even though he had a small part.

I don't regret seeing this movie, but I also don't seeing myself taking time out to watch it again. Then again, maybe this is the first in a series, and LucasFilm wants to see how this goes before announcing sequels? That would be a good thing.

No comments: