By Adam Weeks
OK, so I’ve been off to see the new “Star Wars” flick, “The Clone Wars” – which in reality isn’t so much of a stand alone flick, as it is a few episodes of an upcoming TV series strung together – and the main issue in the end is that it feels like a few episodes of an upcoming TV series strung together….
So basically, this nicely animated film (and the series) focuses on that time between “Attack Of The Clones” & “Revenge Of the Sith”, and the adventures of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), his new Padawan Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), and of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) throughout the long-fabled “Clone Wars” that have been seen in almost every “Star Wars” video game known to man, but never in one of the films – and it appears there was a good reason for that, because apparently the War was boring as all bollocks.
To be fair, I thought the first 20 minutes or so (basically the first episode) was quite well done, it starts off with a farly decent battle between the Republic & the Seperatists, and definitely has that “Star Wars: Battlefront” mixed with a bit of “Gears Of War” vibe going for it, but unfortunately it very quickly moves into the main plot of the film, which is about our band of Jedi returning Jabba The Hutt’s kidnapped son to him, and later on getting involved with Jabba’s Drag Queen uncle Ziro (no shit – at least that’s how I took it), and a lot of other Cutesy toss, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Ewoks of “Return Of The Jedi” started doing the “Chicken Dance” at the end of that flick.
So yeah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this flick – and I’ll tell you what the main reasons are:
1). It’s quite clearly not meant for me, or probably anyone over the age of 12 or so – “Clone Wars” is most definitely a kids film, and for what it’s worth – the kids in the audience were going nuts for it.
2). “Futurama” is having the same issue at the moment with their “DVD to TV” deal – if you’re going to string together a bunch of 22 minute episodes to make a movie, you have to make sure the story is strong enough to sustain it – I was checking my watch for what seemed like an eternity after the first hour had passed – in fact, the only parts of the film that got me smiling even a touch was the Droids – definitely stupid humour, but apparenly I dig stupid humour…
3). The danger in making a flick like this (and the series) – we know that Anakin & Obi-Wan will get out of every situation that they are put in. There’s zero sense of danger or tension throughout the whole thing. The subplot with Jabba’s son probbaly takes up close to half an hour of the movie with Ahsoka complaining that he’s sick and they need to get back to a medical ship before they tr- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz – sorry, dozed off just thinking about it.
4). Ultimately, and this is the sin of it’s creator – “The Clone Wars” never feels like anything but an insane cash grab by George Lucas.
For the positives – I dig the style. Kind of looks like “Corpse Bride” in the way the characters are done, and some of the action sequences did look very nice up on the big screen…. ummmm, that’s about it.
Alright, at the end of it, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film – I’ll defnitely give the series a look when it starts, I get the distinct feeling it will work a lot better as 22 minute seperate chapters, but again – I fully recognize that this is 100% something for the kids – the Fanboys out there can jump up and down and say “but iz teh ‘Star Wars’ !!!111!!!!” – but ultimately, this one is quite clearly for the younger audience, not the fella who digs on the original trilogy.
The 2-Disc Special Edition (and Blu-Ray, I believe?) includes an awesome array of special features – though they’re definitely for die-hard fans only. There’s featurettes on : the vehicles, planes and battles from the upcoming TV show, another on the voiceover actors, six starwars.com featurettes on the film, and a piece on the composer (scoring the film).
In addition, there’s a picture gallery (including production art), four deleted scenes, trailers for the film and the videogame, and a memory game.