Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars will live on as a pop culture phenomenon in the hearts of many over 30-years-old. We all remember a time where George Lucas's film brought us a great story from the outer reaches of the universe. It was funny, sad, full of action and odd characters. The last three Star Wars live -action films (Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clone and The Phantom Menace) have taken a little bit of the shine off the film series. I went to this one hoping it would restore a little of its previous luster.

The Clone Wars are continuing through the galaxy with the Republic having their hands full trying to defeat the Separatists. The war's outcome is made that much more precarious when a band of renegades kidnaps Jabba the Hut's (Kevin Michael Richardson – TMNT, Clerks II) son.

Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter – appeared in episodes of Heroes and Shark) and Obi-Wan Kneobi (James Arnold Taylor – provided voices for The Powerpuff Girls) are together battling the Separatist drones when Anakin's life is made a little bit more difficult when the young Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein – Sydney White) is sent by Yoda (Tom Kane – Shrek the Third, Rugrats Go Wild!) to be his Padawan (apprentice). As a man who likes to work alone, Anakin is more than a little put off by what he sees as a burden. Anakin and Ahsoka Tano are sent off to rescue the young Hut and to find out who is behind this renegade group. Things get trickier when they realize that the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee – The Golden Compass, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is behind the kidnapping and is hoping to frame the Jedis so Jabba the Hut will join forces with him.

After the disasters that were the prequels to the original trilogy of Star Wars films I must admit that I did not have to high hopes going into this animated film. This one would take place (chronologically) somewhere in between Episodes II and III. It is made as a jumping off point for the television series that is supposed to debut on American television this fall. After only a couple of minutes the film had won me over and I was convinced that the Star Wars series could be rescued.

It is not necessary to have seen any of the Star Wars films before, but it is helpful in order to quickly pick up the storyline and characters. On the downside, much of the dialogue in the film is quite cheesy, but I don't think anyone who has seen a Star Wars film expects anything different. Like many of the Star Wars films this one is filled with a number of subplots that compliment the main story. The main story is based on the relationship between Anakin and his young Padawan. With their constant bantering and the eventual softening of Anakin to the idea of teaching a young Jedi the story does more than enough to support the film.

No one could ever say that George Lucas is a bad business man. It is clear that he has made this film with the aim of bringing a young generation into the Star Wars fold. I'm sure he hopes that after seeing this that they'll want to rent/buy the rest of the live action films. The movie is full of fun, colourful visuals and the story is compelling enough. It is suitable for all ages with enough meat to it to make the 'older' kids happy and enough action to capture the attention of the younger audience members. The battle droids are also quite funny and will have all ages laughing.

The abundance of light saber duels, the frenetic pace of the constant battles and the dastardly villains will keep the sci-fi fans interested. The fact that the film is being shown on a big screen is something that those interested should take advantage of. It is an animated film of a grand scale that is a must-see for rabid Star Wars fans.

Special Features:
-'A Creative Conversation: Video Commentary'
-''The Clone Wars': The Untold Stories'
-'The Voices Of 'The Clone Wars''
-'A New Score'
-'Gallery Of Concept And Production Art'
-'Webisodes: 6 Making Of Featurettes'
-'Take 'The Hologram Memory Challenge''
-Deleted Scenes
-Director Commentary

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