Movies: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Posted: August 16, 2008 in Movies
Tags: , ,

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

That phrase shows up at the beginning of Star Wars: The Clone Wars like every other Star Wars movie ever made. But once we get rolling past that, it may surprise you about all the differences. (NOTE: All actors listed lend their voices to the characters, and, in some cases, their appearance as well.)

It is the middle of the Clone Wars. Count Dooku (Christopher Lee, Lord of the Rings trilogy), the ex-Jedi and head of the Confederacy is slowly gaining planets for his side in his fight against the Republic. Part of his plot is to steal Jabba the Hutt’s son. Jabba is the leader of the Hutt clan (imagine a really fat worm with the attitude of the Mafia) and thus controls space lanes in the Outer Rim. Chancellor Palpatine (Ian Abercrombie) finds out, and orders revered Jedi Masters Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson, if you don’t know a film, then that’s scary) and Yoda (Tom Kane) to send Jedis Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and his new apprentice Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Drane) to find the Huttlet and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) to negotiate a treaty with Jabba. When Anakin and Ahsoka, who have a little trouble getting along as Master and Padawan at first, arrive at the planet Teth, they discover that Count Dooku and his “apprentice” (it’s never directly stated but assumed) Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) are behind the kidnapping. Anakin and Ahsoka plan a way to get the little Huttlet back.

One of the biggest concerns I had coming into this film was whether or not the voice actors were close enough to the original actors in the live-action series. Here’s my scorecard:

Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor vs. James Arnold Taylor): A; Anakin (Hayden Christensen vs. Matt Lanter): C+; Yoda (Frank Oz vs. Tom Kane): A-; Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson vs. Samuel L. Jackson): A+; Count Dooku (Christopher Lee vs. Christopher Lee): A+

The second concern I had was the animation. Besides a ghastly thin-looking Obi-Wan, the animation was rather good. 

Now for the entirety of good parts. I absolutely loved the stupid droids. I’ve read reviews that hated the stupid droids, but it’s part of Star Wars that the droids are dumb. All they are is brainless robots that walk around killing clones. Clone Wars also had a very good plot that leads into the TV show. The whole thing with Anakin having a Padawan is a very good thing because we’ll see a very different Anakin. He has to be less independent than he is in the live-action series. (SPOILER: At the end of the TV series, we know that Ahsoka is either going to die or move somewhere else, because Ahsoka is not in Episode III). But we could consider Ahsoka a more light-hearted Anakin. She is a little reckless, but enjoys everything about it. She even tries to question Anakin about his past, something viewers wouldn’t understand unless they’ve seen Episode II.

I did think the dialogue was a bit forced. There were some smart lines, mostly following Ewan McGregor’s smart portrayal, spoken by Obi-Wan, but Anakin seemed much different than in the movies. He seemed “lighter”, so to speak. Hayden Christensen’s dark portrayal is nowhere to be seen, and it kind of strayed from the whole idea of a Star Wars movie. There was no scrolling story at the beginning, just Yoda introducing the film with action in the background. That kinda disappointed me. The representation of Obi-Wan and the voice of Anakin were also bummers as I have mentioned earlier.

This film is not the best film this summer, not even the best animated film. That goes to Wall-E. But we did see the direction that the TV series, which begins airing in October this year, is going to go. It looks like a promising series, especially with original creator George Lucas co-writing the series. The film, however, gets a…

Grade: B

  1. Fortress Guy says:

    You crack me up by grading the original actors versus their voicing of their own characters! Ha. But it is true, a good actor may not be a good voice actor.

    You are right, it is not the film of the century by any means. It should have been three episodes instead. The series is better.

    Here is my take on the whole first season (with pics) if you are interested:

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