STAR WARS: The CLONE WARS - Space Opera
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (animated sci-fi adventure)
Voice cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee and James Arnold Taylor
Director: Dave Filoni
Time: 98 mins
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Although there was a TV series called 'Star Wars: Clone Wars' way back in 2003, this is the first animated Star Wars feature film made for the cinema. The timeframe of the story is between George Lucas' 'Attack Of The Clones' and 'Revenge Of The Sith'. This cinema feature will lay the ground for a new animated TV series.
For ardent Star Wars fans, the events of the Clone Wars, first mentioned in a discussion between Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 1977 original, are among the most important in the overall saga. They were not covered in detail in any of the feature films. Of The Clone Wars animated feature, Lucas says it's "an extension of the Star Wars story, it takes place between Episodes 2 and 3, where in 2 we start the Clone Wars and in 3 we end the Clone Wars". In short, this is the soap opera of all the stuff that goes on in between.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The Clone Wars are raging between the Separatists and the Galactic Republic. When Jabba the Hutt's infant son is taken by a group of renegades, the two Jedi knights, Anakin Skywalker (voice of Matt Lanter) and Obiwan Kenobi (James A. Taylor) are summoned to investigate. Meanwhile, Yoda sends the feisty Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) to be Anakin's apprentice, providing the 'odd-couple'-type barbs for comic relief. We also meet Asajj Ventress, the chief sidekick of Count Dooku, and Anakin finds himself duelling with Count Dooku once more. Meanwhile, the Sith plan to instigate a three-way war that include the Hutts.
HITS & MISSES: The first few minutes of the movie will have you trying to place the main characters with their animated graphics. Then you will start to notice the discrepancies between the real-life action scenes and these computer-drawn ones. Yeah, it takes a while for us to get into the flow of the story which is basically an episode of the Clone Wars - spiced up with bits of interaction between the characters.
Here, the most prominent is how Anakin bonds with his apprentice Jedi Ahsoka, a girl who seems to be too cocky for her own good. Curiously, however, we don't get to see any fireworks from the Anakin-Amidala-Ahsoka triangle - or any development of gthe relationship between Anakin and Senator Amidala. On the whole, the animated version is nothing as involving or as engaging as the live-action films.
THE LOWDOWN: Basically for Star Wars fans who need a regular fix of Jedi action and fantasy!