Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I have a real problem George Lucas and his new animated film ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ that I will take up with you all later on in this little article. Also after seeing this movie, which has been soundly lambasted by the critics of America, I thought it wasn’t nearly as bad as they painted it out be.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away somewhere in between ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ heroic Republic generals and Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lattner) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) are in a fight to the death, along with their army of clones, against the relentless and innumerable mechanical droids of the sinister General Grievous who is per usual is trying to take over some solar system or another. What our two heroes are in desperate need of is some reinforcements, but Jedi Knight Central has their own issues they are dealing with at the moment.

Seems that somebody has kidnapped the infant son of notorious intergalactic thug Jabba The Hut (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Chancellor Palpatine (Ian Abercrombie) needs the Jedi, led of course by the backwards speaking Yoda (Tom Kane) and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson – who’s not about to let a check slip through his fingers), to redirect their efforts to get the child back to Jabba which will allow the Republic to use the thugs trade routes in their battles against the evil Separatist, with whom the force is dark within.

Complicating matters, Anakin in particular, is that Yoda has saddled the Jedi with a young Padawan in Ashoka who he is being forced to train. Though extremely resistant at first, Anakin is taken by the girl’s impetuousness and her tendency towards disobedience which apparently reminds him much of his own self. Further complicating matters is the fact that the dark forces of Count Duku (Christopher Lee – also in check

cashing mode) are behind the kidnapping of the baby Hut, and Duku has his darkest knight Ventress (Nika Futterman) running this operation to trick Jabba into doing their bidding. Eventually Anakin is going to have to make it back to Tatooine, where he hasn’t the fondest memories, to set things right with Jabba, along with the help of a certain Senator Amidala (Catherine Taber) who seems to have an uncommon interest in the Jedi Knights well being.

As far as being a piece of entertainment ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ was certainly more than adequate. It told its story as if it were on rails going down hill as the film had more action, shooting, droid destroying and cartoonish mayhem to fill up a ton of Saturday mornings. The animation style, is… well… different to say the least and is certainly nothing that is going to make Square of Final Fantasy fame lose any sleep at night since the characters are almost puppet like in their disposition. The voice acting isn’t so bad, it’s just that the characters really aren’t given much worthwhile to say as the dialog, situations, plot and theme are all a bit juvenile. But when you remember where this came from and where it’s heading to, the overall simplistic and low grade feel of the production is completely understandable since this eventually become a weekly Saturday Morning type serial.

And thus we have my problem with this movie and the nerve of George Lucas to release this thing to theaters and force his loyal and die hard fans (which I’m not) to shell out money for a ticket to this film. Though ‘The Clone Wars’ was certainly functional entertainment it was nowhere near cinema worthy in scope, style or substance and realistically is something that belongs on television. But George and his crew of accountants know that if they release this to theaters first, the diehard fans will bring in a good thirty or so million to go see it, and while it’s not the hundreds of millions that a ‘Revenge of the Sith’, which is a movie for everybody and not just for the die-hards, it’s still nothing to sneeze at. This is akin to the next animated ‘Batman’ feature going to theaters, which very well could happen now, instead of going Direct to DVD like it’s supposed to go, like this was supposed to go. The diehards are still going to buy this when it gets released on DVD, which I suspect will be timed to coincide with the start of the Television show, but they were unnecessarily soaked for another 5-10 dollars apiece for the right to see this in theaters, which in my opinion is nothing more than simple greed.

Why couldn’t Lucas Arts just do their fans a favor and just release this to DVD. People are certainly going to buy it and Lucas Arts is still going rake in more cash than Scrooge McDuck on his best day. I know it’s a business and all, but if anybody deserves some love it’s a diehard ‘Star Wars’ fan don’t you think? After paying for action figures, costumes, light sabers, individual DVD’s, boxed set DVD’s, Special Edition DVD’s, Letterboxed DVD’s (another issue), and hotel rooms for conventions, is it really necessary to make them pay twice to see this? Which you know they are going to do?

I hope I don’t break my ankle jumping off this soapbox but that is so very uncool to me. As a person who absolutely no money, I just gotta wonder how much money does one man need?

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