Monday, 18 August 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I'm a guy in my late twenties. I wasn't even born when Star Wars came out, but of course it casts a shadow pretty much over my whole life, what I think, how I respond to popular culture - everything - it all comes down to the hum of a lightsaber, seeing the Millennium Falcon (aside: Best. Spaceship. Ever) jump into hyperspace, and watching a small green man lift an X-Wing through the Force.

OK, so the prequels didn't quite live up to the original films' brilliance - it was probably unreasonable for me to expect them to - but they were something, and they had their moments of greatness too. When Star Wars: The Clone Wars was announced I was a bit sceptical; I'd quite liked the animated Clone Wars shorts, they were fun, they were alright - but it wasn't serious Star Wars. The Clone Wars film was supposed to be somewhere in-between though, filling the gap between Episodes II and III, kick-starting a computer-animated TV series... I mean, is it a Star Wars film, or is it a 100 minute trailer for a show?

The answer, to borrow from another famous sci-fi franchise, is it's Star Wars, Jim, but not as we know it...

From the tweaked opening music and fast-paced scene-setting replacing the opening text crawl through to the "nothing more Star Wars" dialogue-free closing shots The Clone Wars is hugely enjoyable - if you take it on its terms and for what it is. Highly stylised versions of the prequel trilogy's characters, beautifully animated backdrops, a story that doesn't focus on politics and trade federations (although there are quite a few mentions of shipping routes): it's a cool, fast-paced antidote to some of the tedium in the prequels.

It's not without flaws unfortunately: it's a little episodic in places, the music isn't bad but it's just not the same as having John Williams at the helm, but these are minor complaints next to the inclusion of Jabba the Hutt's uncle, Ziro the Hutt...

It's also true that the animation is a little under-developed on some of the characters, and that some of the sparring between Anakin and his padawan seems bizarre (having been raised as part of the Jedi Order, would a young girl really start out so cocky when she's first apprenticed to a renowned warrior?), but all in all this is a fun film that definitely doesn't detract from previous films in the Star Wars franchise. It's not Episode II.5, but it works well as an introduction to The Clone Wars TV show and is definitely enjoyable for both kids and adults alike.

And it also really makes me want to start research on making lightsabers a reality...

4 comments:

Lypsis said...

Great post, I feel absolutely the same about it. It's STAR WARS but.. it's not.. the same you know.

GREETZ from germany!

mattiecore said...

Man, I'm just really glad it wasn't a huge bust...

Amanda said...

That was a good write up on the movie. I watched it all but didn't really get caught up in Star Wars fever.

I finally finally got my list of 101 things. Except, its a shared one with my husband. I couldn't list more than 73 items :(. So, we made it into a shared list.

zero_zero_one said...

@Amanda: so when do you start? :)