Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Review - The Clone Wars

I'm still not sure I followed the plot of Star Wars Episodes II & III. I'm sure I didn't follow the plot of Star Wars: Clone Wars, the animated series set in the years between the two films.

That, I am sure, is because the original format - 20 short animations - translated onto DVD gives the impression that it should form some kind of consistent whole, which it didn't, at least not on first viewing. (The Volume 2 DVD, being five longer animations, is less disjointed.)

The Volume 1 DVD is essentially 20 individual battles between the Jedi Knights under Chancellor Palpatine, and Count Dooku's Confederacy forces, acted out in glorious anime-style. (There was a story arc too, but I found it more satisfying to enjoy the battles - like Mace Windu single-handedly wiping out a small army of droids, where the anime influence is most obvious.)

There is a little more plot development in Volume 2; with more of Anakin's story, including his becoming a Jedi knight, and the introduction of General Grievous and his asthmatic wheeze. There are also a couple of lines from the original trilogy that sneak into the dialogue ("What an incredible smell you've discovered.") and various other snippets which serve to link the various movies.

So, is it any good? Well, yes it is, actually. The Clone Wars have been part of Star Wars mythology since 1977, when Old Ben is remeniscing to Luke Skywalker, and it's good to finally see them in a bit more detail. The plot is pretty thin to say the least, but the action more than makes up for it. It is less disappointing than the prequel trilogy, overall. The animation style may not be what some Star Wars fans expected (hey, it's no Ewoks!) but that's probably a good thing. Besides, who doesn't love the stylised Yoda?

Oh, and next year we should get more: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in glorious CGI.


Elliot said...

Oddly enough I just purchased volume 1 of Clone Wars yesterday. I rented them last year. This was part of my reaction:

"I'd heard that the animated Clone Wars, made by the magnificient Genndy Tartakovsky, was far, far better than all three Star Wars prequels combined, and now that I've watched the first volume, I must say: Yes. Yes. I suggest all of George Lucas' resources be given to Tartakovsky to do with as he sees fit. Lucas will whine and complain, but he's had several second chances. Mr. Tartakovsky will just coolly reply: "Looks like there's no money for you, crazy round man!"

The crazy round man bit is a reference to the fact that Tartakovsky is one of the guys behind Samurai Jack, which you should also check out.

Elliot said...

Plus it's got some great humour. "I bet they send a thousand Jedi!" "There's two." And Yoda making the Senator's bodyguard talk like him, and so forth.