Four big kids playing with their pencils in Lucas' universe
One reason why Cartoon Network's Clone Wars micro series captured the spirit of the Star Wars Prequels so well is because the second Star Wars trilogy is essentially a big cartoon. Every single scene features at least some digital enhancement, and the actors are totally outnumbered by cgi characters like Watto, Jar Jar and all the other Gungans and of course every single clone trooper. Another reason is because the show's creators, Genny Tartakovsky, Paul Rudish, Bryan Andrews and Darrick Backman (the real life Daakman Barrek from Chapter 20) are all first generation Star Wars fans and have based all of their ideas on stuff from the original trilogy. This is especially evident in Obi-Wan Kenobi's dialog, most of which seems to be lines from the original Star Wars. No wonder many people prefer the Clone Wars over the actual prequels.
This documentary short a cozy little 10 minute get-together with the four men mentioned above, reminiscing over and looking a back at how the last 5 episodes of the Clone Wars micro series (Chapter 21-25) led into the final film, Revenge of the Sith, and referred back to the earlier ones (all of them are mentioned except for The Phantom Menace). In effect, this documentary covers the same ground as the earlier one on Clone Wars Volume I, entitled 'Bridging the saga', except that one had George Lucas in it and was clearly made to wet people's appetite for the upcoming movie as well as the last 5 episodes (the first 20 being presented on Volume I). 'Connecting the dots', on the other hand, doesn't have to plug anything (except perhaps the Revenge of the Sith DVD, which any Star Wars fan would have bought anyway without any extra incentive) and as such feels a lot more relaxed. So what if it's just a 'filler' on a DVD? This is the sort of thing they should have had on the previous DVD: taking a look back at the making of the first 20 episodes instead of looking forward to the next batch.
Bryan Andrews seems to have followed Paul Rudish' lead and started to grown his own Jedi beard and Genndy Tartakovsky reveals how excited he was about drawing Wookiees (he even named one after himself: Tarkov, and another after his son: Jacobba). The foursome really lets loose on the audio commentary accompanying the episodes, with Rudish especially proving himself to be a wealth of references and in-jokes. This is a great improvement on the two (!) boring and less than informative commentaries Genndy did by his lonesome on the earlier disc. As for the episodes themselves, the characters have been redesigned to reassemble their Episode III counterparts, and as such have lost a lot of their stylized edginess (gone is Anakin's triangular Vader chin). Obi-Wan, Mace and Dooku also look less cartoony and slightly more realistic than they did before. This second series (or third as IMDb would categorize it) also features our only look at the Jedi Knighthood ceremony and the significance of those crazy Padawan braids.
Special mention must be made of editor Michael Fallavollita, who did a fabulous job mirroring shots from the cartoon with footage from the movies, as Tartakovsky explains that story telling in the Star Wars universe is all about mirrors, according to George. I'm also still amazed at how much more relaxed the censors have become in this century. Not only is there is non-stop violence in almost every episode (something they could never do in the 1986 Droids series), but in episode 22, Anakin is seen eating bugs and worm's for breakfast. In close up no less (something the cartoon version of Beetlejuice wasn't even allowed to do in 1989). Of course we knew all along that Anni wasn't a very good role model, but that was just ridiculous.
8 out of 10
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