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What can I say? The prequels were hit-or-miss and the pilot movie was
I basically tuned in by accident, in the middle of an episode, but gave it a shot anyway. It has sort of a Saturday morning vibe, but that's exactly what propelled the original movies and cartoons back in the '80s. It's good vs. evil, colorful characters, fast-paced action and cornball humor.
It looks like the writers and crew are having fun with this series. I've read that they took inspiration from the Thunderbirds, and it shows. Give it a chance if you're in for some of that old-school Star Wars fun.
As a SW fan, I was more than a little skeptical about this new animated
Star Wars project. Mostly because of the poor movie-length prequel that
I saw in the theaters, but also(admittedly) because of some prejudice
about how good can a Star Wars project that is animated and is going to
be aired on Cartoon Network be.
Thankfully, I was proved wrong. This series grew on me ever since the first episode. In fact, by the end of Season 1 I became a huge fan. The last couple of S1 episodes were pretty amazing. There is a LOT of character development, especially Anakin and Ashoka's relationship (Ashoka BTW grew to be a pretty awesome character, compared to the annoying Ashoka from the movie) and Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship. The action scenes are great, and the scenery from the large amount of new SW worlds is nothing short of breathtaking. Actually, to my mind, some of the plot-lines were good enough, if not better, to be used in the Prequel Trilogy live-action movies. On the bad side, of course most of the actors from the prequels did not reprise their roles (although Matt Landler and James Arnold Taylor do a very good job of staying faithful to Christensen's and McGregor's portrayal of Anakin and Kenobi). Also, the animation seems a little stiff, especially considering the character's faces.
All in all, if you are a Star Wars fan, this is a MUST-SEE. If not, you may not be as interested, but still try and give a shot to this wonderful new series.
I really enjoyed watching the first season of this show. Initially, I
had low expectations for it when it first aired here in Canada (because
of the movie).
I was pleased to see that it had a stable story line and everything any Star Wars related story should have. Sith, Jedi, aliens, droids, GOOD dialog (great relief), characters you could relate to.
It was not really like the originals, of course, and the aura of something different can anger people. But I think this series had a different approach. This series is welcomed by fans with open arms because it had the unique ability to entertain those who have loved SW since 1977, and those who are new fans to the story.
I look forward to seeing this series go through its course, and I look forward to seeing the SW galaxy expand.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After hearing some of the reviews/ comments about the movie (which i
have not seen) i was not looking forward to this at all.....
However i really enjoyed the first two episodes of the TV show. The action is dynamic, the characters seem well thought out (i was particularly pleased to see the return of the more eccentric Yoda we know and love from ESB in the first episode) and some of the set pieces are really good...although the battle droids are even more annoying than before (if that were possible)..
In short, far from the disaster I was anticipating and a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Being a great fan of George Lucas's epic space opera series, it's been
a great experience to watch the entire saga (yes, including the
often-problematic but substantially rich prequel trilogy),
understanding how it all comes to be and learning more of the universe
that he, the creator has invested for the last 30 years. However, when
it comes to the Expanded Universe, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic as
its big brothers though there are lots of action-packed and
character-driven stories to be found in between. In this case, The
Clone Wars (not to be confused with Genndy Tartakovsky's brilliant 2D
Clone Wars microseries) chronicles not only the major war itself but
rather the journey of all the characters, both minor and major which
Lucas hasn't had time to develop in the movies.
When it comes to the recent abomination that is the Clone Wars animated series (it's basically three pilot episodes combined into one), there's a greater fear that George has once again mangled with things he shouldn't have thought of: many fans will believe that it would set a bad impression on the upcoming TV series in terms of how awful and upsetting the movie has been during its run at multiplexes (of course, I haven't watched it but I have the impression that it'll be just as notorious as the Holiday Special). So, now that the new series, under the steady hands of Avatar director Dave Filoni, has made its TV debut a few days ago: what's my verdict for the first two episodes? Surprisingly, despite some minor quibbles, they turn out to be much better and more polished than expected, thanks to good (if not spectacular) storytelling and light-hearted (sometimes serious) tone of the show.
Animation wise, the characters are inspired by the models from Thunderbirds, so there's no doubt they look like stiff puppets without strings. However, there are some compliments to be made from the animators at Singapore to make them slightly more believable in terms of facial expressions (maybe not as realistic as Pixar's but hey, it's just a TV show and for me, it's already pretty darned impressive), further enhanced by brilliant voice acting, oddly ou-of-place but beautifully orchestrated soundtrack (a good thing since I've been extremely tired of synthesized music these days) and the usual Star Wars-esquire sound effects. Perhaps one of the show's most astonishing features is characterization: here, we dwell deeper into the actual heart of characters (which I admit is missing in the prequels): for example, each clone trooper has distinct thoughts and personalities which make them much more as individuals as reflected by the Jedi Masters, rather than just mere tools. It's a touching quality that will eventually place an emotional weight on the movie series, especially Revenge of the Sith. Best of all, some of the elements from the much beloved classic trilogy are implemented in this series, probably to attract purists who have longed to recapture their magic moments, even if it may not entirely succeed in certain levels.
Like every show on television, The Clone Wars is not without its flaws: part of the initial concepts of the TV series can be a little childish, considering that it is specially made for kids and the Battle Droids can get a little bit irritating, especially in the first episode where they are mostly portrayed as dim-witted cannon fodders: a major complaint amongst older viewers and stuff. But then again, if you can pass over that feeling of throwing yourself out of the window after hearing 'Roger, roger' for a hundredth time, you will surely enjoy what George and Filoni deliver for the next, um, hundred episodes!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Being that this show is on Netflix, I've motored through it and am now
almost done with season 5. Though I have a season to get through still,
I feel like I can give it a legit review.
For those who are wondering what the show is about, it documents the time period between Episode 2 and Episode 3. I didn't really like any of the prequels, but I decided to take a chance on this series. I'm glad I did because it tied together a lot of loose ends and things I had wondered about. It's also 10 x better than any of the prequel movies, I kid you not.
A lot of this series is about Clones fighting Droids as well as Obi Wan Kenobi vs. General Grievous and Dooku, BUT it extends to much beyond that. It gives us an inside look at the inner workings of the Jedi Council, it shows us a TON about Darth Sidious and Count Dooku (which actually make them interesting), and it shows us a bunch about Anakin that we never knew. Come to find out Dooku had several sith apprentices, Anakin had a padawan, Darth Maul was still alive (wtf!), and there's a lot more to the clones than meets the eye. We also actually see Senator Amidala have a poignant and important role in the republic (more than just being a love interest like in the films). Just a warning, if you watch this show, you might actually hate the prequels even MORE because of the lack of detail and depth in comparison to this cartoon.
THE ANIMATION: The first couple of episodes, I wasn't sold on it. It does look a BIT cheesy, but once you get used to it, you'll like it. They are able to do so much more with the series being animated and you'll come to appreciate that. Also, some may be concerned that its a kids show? Sure it is kid friendly, but it also shows plenty of violence and even some beheadings? (it does cheat away from them). You'll be plenty satisfied with the content unless you're some kind of weirdo.
THE ACTION: Great level of action in the series. Plenty of blaster fights and most importantly lightsaber duels. The lightsaber duels are impressive and frequent in this series. You'll see The Chancellor square off with Darth Maul, Anakin fight Dooku, Obi Wan fight Grievious, etc.
THE ACTING: It's animated so you have to go off of voices. The voice acting is excellent! Every voice is imitated to a TEE. From Mace Windu to Chancellor Palpatine, the voicing is on point. If you didn't know better, you'd think Obi Wan was still played by Ewan McGregor! THE PLOT: The TV series can do what the movies can NOT; go into greater detail. If you are into Star Wars like I am, you'll find this series to be a nerdgasm of info. The series also shows you a ton of alien races and details their "cultures." It's pretty interesting because you see a lot of these aliens come up in the movies.
The one thing that bothers me about the show is that it can linger on a particular subject for too long. I just finished watching a 4 episode run about four droids and an alien who steal a device from the Seperatists. It was pretty damn boring and I regret watching all of it. Just keep in mind that every season there are probably 3 or 4 throw away episodes that just SUCK. Feel free to skim the plots online instead of watching those episodes. For that reason, I have to dock two points. Otherwise it's a darn good show! Watch it! If only to tide you over until the new Star Wars movie comes out!
4.06 billion. Try to visualize the number, try hard. That's the amount
Disney bought Lucasfilm for in 2012. That' should give you an idea not
just of what all Star Wars-related products past are worth, but all
those still to come (and let's not forget the not-insignificant
property that is Indiana Jones). That number is also a testament to how
unshakable the filmgoing public's belief has remained in George Lucas'
galaxy far, far away.
Build it (with a big fat Star Wars logo on it) and we will come. We're largely forgiven for being this loyal and enthusiastic back in 1999, when the prequels began screening around the world, and decreasingly so as years went by. George Lucas the writer finally caught up with George Lucas the visionary, and for every answer given to questions none of us had really asked (who built C3PO? What was Boba Fett's childhood like?), new questions were raised, or rather serious inconsistencies.
It is a very welcome and unexpected surprise that the best part of the 21st century Star Wars revival has been not the films, but Lucasfilms two partnerships with Cartoon Network. Gennedy Tartakovsky's superbly playful and silly Clone Wars traditional animation miniseries gave the prequel time line a much-needed boost, but the heart and soul of these characters was to be found in this show.
Kicking off with a very average feature-length episode (still no blemish on the dismal first 2 prequels), the series took a season to find its footing, experimenting with more infantile episodes and darker material (an early episode revealing General Grievous' lair is an early highlight and makes promises much of the later seasons truly deliver on).
Further bridging the gap between episodes II and III, the Clone Wars converts Tartakovsky's drawings to 3D with surprising success. The result is unique, and often quite stunning to look at. The characterizations start off a bit wooden and improve throughout, really blossoming when it comes to new characters, especially the villainous Asaj Ventress, bounty hunter Cad Bane and pirate Hondo. What worked in the films works even better here - especially Ian Abercrombie's Emperor Palpatine (often a dead ringer for McDiamrid) - and what didn't is significantly improved, sometimes in a jarring way. One could argue that Anakin Skywalker is a completely different person here than in the films, and all the better for it. And most of all, the show was free to explore story-lines and characters too remote for the films, and is often at its best in these instances: a fun 4-episode arc around droids is a case in point.
The greatest strength of the show, however, is its sense of wonder and pacing. Each episode begins "in media res", much like the original trilogy, with urgency and excitement, and rarely lets you catch your breath. Rather than let itself be handicapped by all the inconsistencies in the prequels, it forged ahead into exciting new territory.
If you still have a little spark of Star Wars loyalty left in you, this could be exactly what you need to feel vindicated.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having recently watched the sixth and final season of this show, I feel
moved to say something in its honor. Like many other people, I grew up
on the original Star Wars film trilogy. Long story short, when this
show debuted in 2008, my expectations had been tempered by a decade's
worth of Star Wars content that had been more often than not
disappointing, failing to recapture the magic of the early films. I
never doubted the potential of the saga to produce great, deeply
inspiring and affecting stories, but I needed a reason to believe that
some of that potential would once again show up on screen.
For whatever my personal opinion is worth, The Clone Wars represents Star Wars film/television finally finding its footing again, and truly moving forward for the first time in decades. Which is to say that it's a very good show, and more than that, in its best moments it reaches into the well of magic and comes up with something worthy of the name "Star Wars."
The two most important individual accomplishments of The Clone Wars relate to its ostensible to lead characters, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. It's Anakin who experiences his own redemption via this show, shedding the poor casting and dreadful dialog of the live action films to finally, finally emerge as a mature, truly tragic character who makes sense as the future Darth Vader. Here, he is a believable military leader who inspires loyalty in those under his command, an idealist who indulges in spontaneity unusual for a Jedi, and a man who for all his bravado and seeming invincibility, harbors deep fears and emotional attachments.
A big part of the development of Anakin is in his relationship with his apprentice, Ahsoka. When she first appeared in the 2008 film that served as this series' effective pilot episode, it was clear that she was aimed at the demographic of younger (and particularly female) viewers. Whether she would be able to stand on her own as an interesting character remained to be seen. Well, now that the dust has settled, I will say without reservation that she is the best thing to happen to Star Wars on screen since Return of the Jedi, and as Anakin's redemption as a character mirrors that of the saga as a whole, so Ahsoka's representation of new inspiration mirrors the new inspiration that this series is to the overall saga.
Ahsoka's character development over the course of The Clone Wars is terrific, and in particular, her relationship with Anakin works wonders for both of them. In Ahsoka, Anakin finally has a female foil with who he shares genuine on screen chemistry. In short, they have a believable relationship (sorry, Padme Amidala). Ahsoka is the true heir to the mantle of Princess Leia, as an awesome space-girl character. She also allows Anakin to be seen as a responsible mentor-figure, which humanizes him in the right sort of way. Throw in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and you have a fantastically engaging trio of Jedi.
Beyond the primary characters, one of the best things about The Clone Wars is that the lens finally has time to focus on the many supporting characters populating the storyscape, from the other Jedi to the clone troopers to bounty hunters and beyond. And not just characters, but places, cultures and ideas are given screen-time that was never available them in the live-action films. One of the best examples is that of the Mandalorian culture (re: the source of Boba Fett's armor), long a part of Star Wars Expanded Universe mythology, but never seen in detail on screen until this series.
Of course, Star Wars has always reveled in inspiring visual design, and The Clone Wars contributes plenty of imaginative spaceships, aliens and environments. Suffice it to say, the Star Wars merchandising machine subsisted quite healthily off of this show. But I am not complaining.
From a technical standpoint, though, it is a relief that the writing on this show is as solid as it is. The dialog is smart and frequently witty. The plots and stories are usually streamlined, which has always been the case with Star Wars at its best, but there are some surprisingly mature themes present. A very thoughtful show, overall. Things do get surprisingly dark as the series progresses, and while there are occasional missteps, overall it is a wonderful storytelling achievement.
Do I have any gripes with this show? Well, for one, I do not buy or respect the reappearance of ***LAME SPOILER*** the assumed-dead Episode I character Darth Maul. But such quibbles are just that, in the grand scheme of things. Thankfully, this series gets far more right than it gets wrong.
The Clone Wars' predecessor, the 2003-2005 Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars "microseries," the one with the highly stylized 2D animation and mostly dialog-free action sequences, may very well have saved the soul of Star Wars. It was snappy, economical and contained no obstructions to its eye-candy aesthetic. It was short, but unimpeachably likable for a change in a way that the prequel films weren't. If that is the case, then this show -- "THE Clone Wars" -- can be said to have rebooted the heart of the saga with its emphasis on serialized story arcs, well written characters and an affecting emotional core. It gets deep, and it has something (many things, really) deeply worthwhile to say.
This is where Star Wars once again at least approaches its past greatness. This is where it begins to finally realize the potential that was always there. This is where we have a reason to believe again. For that, it has my respect and my love.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILER ALERT! "Trouble? I know nothing of this trouble! Look forward
to our meeting soon I do." Yoda Yes there will be plenty of spoilers in
this review, but if you're familiar with even the basic tenets of this
remarkable TV series read on, because I am going to be completely
honest and very candid in my remarks. Fortunately my being candid will
work out in the positive because I absolutely love this TV series to
Let me start off by saying I am absolutely a Star Wars NUT! I love practically anything and everything related to Star Wars, it's a fun, funny, fast paced, and clean universe that George Lucas assisted in creating. I grew up on Star Wars. (I was born in the early 90's) and my childhood memories are filled with watching the original trilogy in with all the special effects and reenacting lightsaber duels and battles from all 6 of the movies. Basically i can't get enough Star Wars.
Now, onto the premise. It's the Clone Wars, and it's a tumultuous time for the Star Wars Galaxy. It's the Republic vs the Confederation and the Jedi code and Jedi tenets are being pushed to the breaking point while an insidious Palpatine commandeers and rules both sides of the conflict in the limelight and in the shadows with his sith apprenrice, Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus leading the confederation. Obi Wan Kenobi is now on the Jedi High Council and Anakin Skywalker has taken an apprentice, a Tugruta named Ahsoka Tano.
As is to be expected we see a lot of Obi Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka. In fact it could be argued that to a large degree The Clone Wars is in a way Ahsoka's series. This makes sense because Anakin and Obi-Wan's stories have already been covered and explored in depth through the other movies and novels published. We also see some recurring appearances of famous jedi such as Mace Windu, Yoda, Kit Fisto, and we even get to see that scumbag General Grievous who is really a butthurt buffoon who took a jedi withdrawal way too personally for my taste and is now one of the Galaxy's most notorious jedi killers, makes a lot of sense doesn't it? NOT! I like how the episodes are short and sweet and generally straight to the point. The recaps show some cool stuff and the graphics are amazing with a great soundtrack to back up what is already an amazing show. 2 of my complaints about the show, (and what stopped it from getting a perfect 10) are the narration voice is way over the top and at times highly annoying, and i was really disappointed with the ending. I felt so bad for Ahsoka and the arrogance of members of the Jedi Council, specifically Plo Koon and Mace Windu completely floored me. HOW COULD THEY BE SO STUPID? Ugh it rattles me to see such arrogance. Not to mention such a sad ending was kind of depressing in my books but hey i guess they had to do what they had to do.
Don't be fooled however, this is a FANTASTIC TV series! Seriously if i could only come up with 2 things wrong with this series and everything else is right then that is INCREDIBLE! I loved particularly how the first episode is all about Yoda and the clones (you can't go wrong starting with Yoda). The lightsaber duels and lightsaber action is just amazing you can tell that the creators and makers of this show put a lot of time and effort into the combat sequences. I loved in particular how there were very few episodes that didn't have at least some lightsaber action. After all, that's what the majority of people go to see at a Star Wars movie right? The big awesome lightsaber fight at the end? Yeah me too.
I also want to point out that I'm turning 24 here in a couple of months and yet I was never more emotionally invested or responsive to a TV series than i was to The Clone Wars. For some reason the fight between Count Dooku and the nightsisters is one of my favorite duels, the camera shot where they zoom in on a kneeling Dooku and him igniting his lightsaber is just epic in my opinion. Dooku truly was a gifted duelist, one of the best in my opinion for his day and age, and i wonder what it would have been like to see him in his prime instead of him being an old man at 70+ years old. Another favorite instance of mine is when Grievous absolutely gets his butt handed to him by the Gungans. Take that you arrogant cyborg! I almost literally jumped for joy out of my chair when i saw this scene. What made it all the more awesome is that there were no lightsabers on the Gungans army side, they just had electrical grenades of some sort and electric spears. Oh man that fight was so satisfying. Seeing Darth Maul come back and his brother Savage Oppress was an awesome addition to what was already an awesome TV show. The duel between Sidious, Maul and Oppress sent chills down my spine when i saw just how epic of a duelist Sidious was. I didn't even know Sidious knew Jar Kai! The duel between Obi Wan and Maul and Oppress in the cave where Obi Wan duel wields lightsabers and just picks apart Maul and Oppress had me speechless as i watched in shock at how epic of a duelist Obi Wan was as well.
The great thing about Star Wars is it's clean. No garbage to worry about. Check this series out! It is awesome!
This is easily the best animated television show out there. Unlike the
cartoon micro-series from 2003-2005, this 3D series focuses less on
bridging the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith
and instead delves deep into the events, mysteries and consequences of
the actual war. It forges its own destiny rather than acting as a mere
bridge series. The poorly written feature film was a rather sloppy
introduction, but it was nothing more than a failed attempt to
establish more continuity between the show and Episode II.
Though I still cling to my belief that the prequels are underrated films, here's a few reasons why this show is better. First off, it is far more faithful to the spirit of the original trilogy - less of that political stuff and more of a fun sense of adventure. Though at times it may seem a little too lighthearted (it's kind of directed towards the younger audiences) it rarely ceases to be incredibly engaging, and it does become more serious as the seasons progress and starts to feature more high-stakes action. Perfectly accessible to any generation of Star Wars fans.
Next there's the characterization. This time the characters actually have some genuine emotion, their dialogue feels so much less forced, and their development over the course of the series is surprisingly good. There's also more focus on the clones themselves and some diversity among them in terms of personality, and most of the characters are solidly voice-acted. And yes, it does have the disadvantage of including Jar-Jar Binks in a few episodes, but that thankfully doesn't drown the entire show.
The story structure, of course, is incredible. I'd go so far as to call it the best Star Wars storytelling since the first Knights of the Old Republic game (which remains my favorite story arc in the entire Star Wars universe). Far more compelling than that of the prequels. As it is with the other elements of the show, it improves each season.
All in all, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an astonishing show. Nothing on Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or Dexter, but it's up there most definitely. The minor hiccups like the inclusion of Jar-Jar and a bit of iffy dialogue here and there are insignificant next to the sheer spectacle of it.
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