Thursday, March 8, 2012

Star Wars Clone Wars - Review

If you're a fan of Star Wars, you probably had flashbacks to the *shudder* Christmas Special when you watched the CGI Star Wars "Episode 2.5": The Clone Wars. That thing is nearly unwatchable and added NOTHING at all to continuity. Wait, we're saving Jabba the Hutt's SON? And he's sick? And Anakin has a padawan now in some crazy padawan mix-up? UGH.

Still, being a completionist I had to have the recently released Star Wars: Clone Wars - The Complete Season One, Two, and Three DVDs. After all, the 2003 Cartoon Network animated Star Wars show of the the same name was VERY cool. It showed quite a few pivotal moments (Anakin becoming a Jedi Master, Anakin using a red lightsaber for the first time, Yoda kicking tail during a full scale invasion of Corrusant) and it had great style (The dialogueless episodes are awesome). So I was willing to give the newest Clone Wars show a try.

From the opening credits which feature an up-tempo, pulsing variant on the Star Wars theme I was (and am!) blown away. It's absolutely SPECTACULAR. First, each episode opens with a Jedi fortune cookie quote and a 1950's newsreel style plot summary. The show is rendered in beautiful CGI with fully constructed worlds. Every episode has a completely different focus and tone. One episode is full-scale war. Another is a mystery. Yet another is a horror story. You see characters interact in ways we haven't seen before and light is shed into unexplored corners of the Star Wars universe (such as biological warfare). There are stand-alone episodes and other episodes that are part of a larger story arc. Lesser known characters such as jedi Plo Koon and Ki-Adi-Mundi are more fully developed and you realize that these characters can do more than silently sit on their rumps on the Jedi Counsel. They're cool! This series truly gives you the feeling that the Clone Wars is a WAR that, like a real war, is costly and harsh. You don't get that full feeling from the movies because they simply don't have the time to dedicate to it like a television show does.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (by the way, why aren't they called the "Droid Wars?" and isn't using "Wars" twice in one title redundant?) is a must-have for any Star Wars fan. I would say that collectively they're better than the movies SW: Episode 1, 2, and 2.5 put together. Over time, you'll almost come to like Anakin's padawan, Ahsoka Tano. And that's really saying something.

1LR Review - 17 out of 20 - It's a Critical Hit!

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