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Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
Fun first look into the animated CGI series...
This doesn't deserve all the negative attention that it's been getting. Perhaps it isn't the right medium--I believe it will find it's audience on DVD.
The first thing to note is that this was a special three episode story that was edited together for a theatrical release. Most people with negative comments most likely are holding it up to the 6 Episodic Films (or the 3 originals), which it is not. It is not the continuing story of Anakin Skywalker it is the story of a galaxy at war. The show will focus on other characters, even though this stars Anakin, Obi-Wan and some other familiar (and not so familiar) faces. It's an attempt to appeal to some hardcore fans and a new generation, and it fits nicely. It actually compliments and fills some of the voids that were missing from the prequels and recaptures some tones and feelings from the originals.
There are a few things that some may find annoying, but these are mostly blown out of proportion, in my opinion. The stylized animation is great, especially for something originally made for television. The colors are very artistic and visually different from anything I've seen been done in animation before. It's a sneak peek at the show, which I'm looking forward to, and I'm glad to have had the chance to see it on the big screen.
At some points it seems to be aimed at younger children, but then at some points I found myself thinking "this is kinda dark!" (Some of the action sequences were brutal) It's hard to put this in one category, but I'd say it goes towards the kiddie side a bit more.
If you're unsure of this, you may wish to wait for DVD, but you may end up regretting missing it in the theater. It's a fun escape to a universe, and possibly the last chance to see any part of it on the big screen. In short, I rather enjoyed it.
OK, OK. It's bad, but it's awesome!
Listen, sure you've heard how terrible this thing is. And it is. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. Let's stop to remember for just a moment what the late 70's/80's were like. Let's stop and think for a moment what holiday specials are like. Let's put that all together and throw in some Star Wars and I just don't see how this could have been better.
Of course, I don't see how it could be any worse.
But that said, let's talk about the downs. Yeah, lotta Wookies. Most people complain about the amount of Wookie pudu you have to wade through. But there's a lot to be said for kinda understanding what's going on through body language and primal growls. The first ten minutes or so has no dialog apart from growls and grunts between the Wookie family, in preparation for the Wookie Life Day (a celebration not unlike Christmas--well very unlike, but comparable--universal peace blah, blah, blah). Then we have the musical guests (Dihanne Carrol and Jefferson Starship) and the awfully long and campy Cirque du Solielesque holo-movie. They date the movie terribly and are probably the most unwatchable bits in the movie. We also have Bea Arthur singing in the cantina. Which is oddly enjoyable to me. Harvey Korman and Art Carney make a few notable appearances, that aren't really THAT bad. The highlight is obviously the first appearance of Boba Fett in a nice animation starring your favorite Star Wars cast members. And to top it all off Carrie Fisher and Mark Hammill appear in this magical dimension with a bunch of robed Wookies after not being able to attend. And Fisher sings a song to the Star Wars theme.
All in all it's full of bad jokes, bad editing, and just plain bad acting. But I find it all deliciously bad. It's a guilty pleasure, and no Holiday Season for me is complete without watching this special. It shows a glimpse into the Wookie homeworld before it was retooled to become Endor (Ewoks replaced the Wookie which was originally intended to be the inhabitants of the forest during the final battle in Return of the Jedi).
Let's face it, Holiday Specials in general are pretty bad, and this isn't any different. But it's still enjoyable, and any true fan of Star Wars will revel in it's awfulness.