Star Wars: The Clone Wars

DVD Reviews | Nov 18th, 2008

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Starring: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker
Written By: Henry Gilroy, Steve Melching and Scott Murphy
Directed By: Dave Filoni
Studio: Warner Brothers/Lucasfilm
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Forget the last three Star Wars movies blotches, The Clone Wars is questionably the best movie in the franchise since Ewoks celebrated with a festive dance at the end of Return of the Jedi. There are no Ewoks in this one though, thankfully. And no Jar Jar either.

From start to finish, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is visually stunning. The animators seem to have taken a cue from the style of the recent TMNT animated movie. Characters are stylized in very creative ways all the while maintaining their recognizable looks. Obi Wan, for example, has a long face and an Abe Lincoln beard but you can instantly recognize that it is in fact Obi Wan. Count Dooku has a similarly stylized face but his thick body and wrinkled face provide his distinguished look. The animation style works even better when it comes to battle droids and the creatures of the Star Wars universe.

The Clone Wars falls somewhere between episode 3 and 2003’s Clone Wars TV series, presumably around the same time. I was a big fan of the original Clone Wars and was living off of my expectations of that series. Although the Clone Wars movie didn’t have the massive cast of characters and as much all-out action as the n03 series, I was very pleased to see a story that revolved around one of my favorite SW characters, Jabba the Hutt. I was kind of expecting the story to disappoint and lean more towards a younger audience with the introduction of Ahsoka Tano, but I was again pleasantly surprised by a story that contained some interesting plot twists and a few not so kid friendly moments (i.e. severed bounty hunter heads on a stretcher). The characters were very true to their movie counterparts with the exception of Anakin being a little less whiny and I won’t complain about that.

If I had to point out the few things that I disliked about the movie, it would be nothing more than a few gripes that I would be nitpicking about. I thought that at time Ahsoka was a little annoying. Some of her dialogue with Anakin made it seem like the two of them were brother and sister and were bickering over things. I was also expecting more of Asajj Ventress and maybe a possible cameo by General Grievous but the Obi Wan/Ventress fight was fleeting and Grievous must have been getting some smoker treatments or something.

The two-disc Special Edition is freakin’ loaded with special features and some very good ones if I may say so myself. A lot of the features deal with the Clone Wars series that follows this movie. There is a feature that previews the upcoming series, a feature on the voiceover actors, a feature on scoring the new series, deleted scenes and making-of featurettes just to name a few.

If you are fan of the Star Wars universe, then you most likely saw Star Wars: The Clone Wars in theatres and already own the DVD (I hope you got the special edition. If not, shame on you!). If you are a casual fan and not sure about the quality of a Star Wars movie that appeared under the radar, then I would like to inform you kind sir or madame, The Clone Wars is right up there with the top tier Star Wars stuff. It has a feel to it that reminds me a lot of the earlier movies, but with the new characters. If that hasn’t sold you, then check it out for the animation alone. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is definitely like nothing else in the Star Wars U.

Disc One
Commentary by Director Dave Filoni, Producer Catherine Windber, Writer Henry Gilroy and Editor Jason W. A. Tucker
Languages and Subtitles

Disc 2
The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories-Preview stories, vehicles, planets and battles of Season One of Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series.
The Voices of the Clone Wars-Voiceover actors and animated characters in split-screen performances
A New Score-Composer Kevin Kiner establishing a new musical identity for the series
Gallery of Concept and Production Art
Webisodes-6 making-of featurettes
Deleted Scenes

Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen (16×9 2.4:1)

English, French, Spanish

Favorites: The battle for the monastery, the Anakin/Dooku battle, anything with Yoda in it.
Rating: PG
Running Time: 98 minutes
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