A lot of people were surprised when the first 20 (3 minutes short) episodes of Clone Wars were released on DVD while it was known there was another series of 5 (12 minutes long) episodes about to be screened just before the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith. It's all a matter of marketing of course, The DVD release included this short documentary which focused more on the upcoming episodes than the ones actually featured on this volume, as well as gave clip hungry fans their first glimpse at a shot from the opening sequence from the new movie (and footage and storyboards from the upcoming chapters 20-25). Not to mention the fact that this way, the fans will have to buy two separate Clone Wars DVD's.
George Lucas appears in his usual capacity of 'explainer of everything' by telling the audience what the Clone Wars are all about, where they fit in the movie continuity and how pleased he was with the finished project by Genndy Tartakovsky and crew. The Maker also lets slip he really enjoys Anime, and sees this series as a cross between traditional American animation and Japanese Anime. He omits to tell how he originally only wanted to be each episode about a minute long, which would ostensibly have been a series of animated toy commercials. Luckily Genndy managed to persuade him to make each 'chapter' three times as long as that. Genndy comes on to talk about how excited he is to be working on the final 5 episodes, and how pleased he is to have 12 minutes to spend on each one of them, meaning that there is more time for interesting character moments in between the action. Personally I preferred the shorter episodes showcased on this disc. It was amazing how much stuff they managed to cram into some of the single episodes (Chapter 5 and 6 spring to mind), yet when they spend three entire episodes on the Anakin-Asajj duel (Chapters 17 to 19), the action was interrupted by lots of smoldering looks and closeups. The same thing goes for those 12 minutes.
We get a brief tour of the Cartoon Network offices, which are a complete mess, and notice that Genndy and his associates Bryan Andrews & Paul Rudish use ordinary everyday post-its to create their storyboards. They must go through a lot of yellow squares that way (insert Yellow Brick Road reference here). Rudish, the heir to Rainbow Bright, is especially psyched about working on Star Wars, as he has been dreaming up his own Clone Wars scenario's ever since he was a kid. Funnily enough, there is also an earlier, much shorter featurette on the production of the first 20 chapters amongst the special features, which shows Rudish sporting a big goatee, which had evolved into a full, very pointy beard not unlike the animated Count Dooku by the time "Bridging the Saga" was recorded. Tartakovsky proclaims his love for old fashioned hand drawn animation, although he has to confess about using computer animation on the spaceships. This is a good excuse to wet viewers apatite with a first look at the ARC Trooper's 'Rancor' Gunship from the upcoming Chapter 21. He also expresses the hope to see his work on the big screen as a short subject before Episode III. That never came to pass, though I'm sure a whole lot of Star Wars fans won't watch the prequel trilogy without including the entire Clone Wars series between the second and third episode. Of course they might have to give up the practice when Lucasfilm's own computer animated cartoon hits the screen...
7 out of 10
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