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Star Wars: The Clone Wars review
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8/9/2008 6:21 PM
    It’s funny how often you can be surprised. You go into something expecting one thing, and it turns out that it’s something else entirely, something you didn’t expect in the least.
    That’s the case with Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie that I just saw with my son. I went into the movie fully expecting that it was going to be another dull offering with terrible acting and horrible lines – with a few really cool special effects mixed in just to keep the viewer interested.
    The fact of the matter is that, with the exception of the first trilogy, that I’ve had the distinct honour of seeing in the theatre during their first run, I have NOT enjoyed the franchise.
    Some of the comics and novels have been ok, and I have to admit that I didn’t mind the animated series that was on TV (the recent one, not Droids or Ewoks that we had back in the 80’s).
    But still, considering how TERRIBLE the trilogy was, I had extremely low expectations for the new movie.
    Why did I get a premier pass for it then? I don’t know, maybe deep down inside I was hoping that I wasn’t about to be disappointed once again. Maybe I was really hoping that for once Lucas would get it right and make a movie that reminded me of the original trilogy, something that would – for a brief period of time; transport me back to my childhood, to the magic I felt watching Star Wars for the first time on the big screen.
    Fact of the matter is Clone Wars, despite being a computer animated movie, almost managed to pull this off.
    I was totally enthralled by the movie – completely captivated as a matter of fact. Something I wasn’t expecting to happen.
    Ok, as per usual, here’s my disclaimer – I will not reveal any spoilers about the movie other than what you, the reader, will have seen in trailers on the Television, internet, theatre, etc. etc. etc.
    The Clone Wars takes place between episodes 2 and 3. Of course the war is still ongoing and the outer rim worlds are about to play a major role in the future of the Galaxy.
    It turns out that the son of Jabba the Hutt has been kidnapped. Both sides see this as an opportunity to win the Hutt’s assistance by allowing them free travel through shipping lanes controlled by the Gangsters.
    Enter Skywalker and Kenobi, who have been tasked with assisting the Hutt’s so that they can win their trust and help in the war.
    To throw a monkey wrench into the gear works, Yoda has decided that it’s time for Skywalker to take a Padawan, much to Anakin’s dismay.
    Of course, things are never as they seem in the Star Wars universe, and as the movie progresses, that becomes more and more apparent. Plots within plots, betrayals, traps, you know all the things that one would expect from the franchise.
    Without the incredibly corny lines make you groan.
    There you go. That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
    So, the movie wasn’t really what one would call epic in scale, but it did contain a number of massive battles with an incredible amount of destruction, and yes, deaths. The thing is though, even though Clone Troopers died in droves on he big screen, there wasn’t any blood or gore, so it is very kid friendly. My friend was able to take his six year old daughter to see it without any fear of her being frightened.
    You might be asking yourself – is this movie kid friendly? Oh, by all means, yes it is. You can definitely take younger kids to see it without fear of them being scarred for life.
    There was also a great deal of humour to be had, some of it coming from the main characters themselves, but most of it coming from the Trade Federation droids. I won’t spoil any of the pleasure by telling you the lines, you’ll just have to see the movie and discover them all on your own.
    Besides, I’m terrible at quoting lines from movies. Half the time I get them wrong. Sorry, I digress…
    Two female characters are introduced in this movie, one a Jedi in training, Skywalker’s Padawan, named Ahsoka Tano, and the other, a dark side assassin named Asajj Ventress.
    Of course, Ahsoka has a much larger role in the movie compared to Asajj, as one would expect. Who knows what future instalments of the franchise hold for both these characters.
    The computer animation was top notch quality, and the animated characters moved smoothly and despite the fact that they were pixel generations, seemed often more human, more real than the actors in the second trilogy.
    And, of course there were characters that everyone from the second trilogy would expect to see… Yoda, Count Dooku, Mace Windu, Senator Palpatine, Amidala, just to name the ones that I recognized off the top of my head.
    I’m quite certain that there were other characters in the movie that only fanatics of the Franchise would recognize.
    Now, even though the movie was just over an hour and a half, it seemed to me that it was much longer. Now, many people might take this as a bad thing, but it isn’t. It seemed longer because they crammed so many plots into it!
    I was quite surprised when I discovered I’d been sitting there for just over 90 minutes.
    One last thing to note… I was expecting the typical opening sequence, you know, A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away…. Followed by a brief explanation of what has happened, then the view of a star ship just as the action begins.

    This wasn’t the case. So, once again, I was taken completely by surprise.

    Oh, one last thing to mention… it really is quite minor, but I, as well as my friend, noticed it in a big way. Little attention to detail, such as how many of the Clones had different hair colour and styles, something to set them apart from all their genetic brothers, and even some of the ships had personalized murals painted on them. Well, one that I noticed anyhow.
    It’s little things like that which really helped make the movie stand out.
    My faith in the Franchise has been renewed, and I have to say that I’m now looking forward to future instalments as long as they keep up with this kind of quality.
    4 out of 5
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