Many people think that since I used to have a goofy Star Trek picture on my profile, I am one of those 'anti-Star Wars fans. To them, I say bah! In fact, for many reasons I may be a bigger Star Wars fan, (mostly considering how disgusting the Star Trek franchise has been in the last few years… please don't make me hurt you J.J Abrams!).
So due to my high nerd status, you can imagine how eagerly everyone is waiting on my review of Star Wars: Clone Wars.
This is only sort of from Lucas the Hutt, (oh come on people… have you seen how he's let himself go?!).
I say sort of, because he only came up with the idea and did nothing else beyond signing the checks.
This one could also be called Episode two and a half, stuck somewhere between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Mostly it deals with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and his new Padawan Ahsoka Tano, (who is actually kind of cute in a young alien Togruta sorta way).
Originally debuting in the theater, I was eager to see a new Star Wars movie like any self-respecting nerd, (even if it is digitally animated), but I sensed a great disturbance in the force… or actually maybe it was just in the hard chiseled look of the characters. I mean seriously people, why do they seem to look like they were modeled after Mount Rushmore???
If this were 1998, the look of this movie would have been very cutting edge, and show an amazing advancement, but it seems like nobody at Lucasfilm has ever heard of Square Enix! Check out the recent character for Final Fantasy XIII.
Not only does the Clone Wars animation look like blocks of wood, they moved like they had a stick up their ass. I will confess, the Clone Troopers looked very good, as well as the droids and most of the environments, but the harsh rigid look of the characters really took away from any realism the movie and series could have had.
Sadly, this was not my only problem. Why do we have to endure no-name voice actors for most of the characters we are very familiar with??? Maybe I could have accepted one person not being available, but the majority of the characters were read by someone else. The only exceptions were Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku), and Anthony Daniels, (duh). I mean seriously, are Hayden Christensen (Anakin) and Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) that busy these days or was Lucas the Hutt holding out the credits on them??
But wait, there's more…!
Star Wars has certain expectations that are ingrained into your brain from many years of Lucas the Hutts brainwashing of the masses. First and foremost, one name: John Williams. You know the score, (um… pun intended), as soon as you see the Star Wars title, you expect to hear a certain theme song. Denied! Fine, you want to use a different composer, but just give me the freakin' opening credits people! Beyond this glaring faux pas, the rest of the music was actually fairly decent and had a different feel from anything John Williams had done. But I could not forgive them for instantly reminding me this did not feel like Star Wars.
The pain continued to build when I was also denied any type of opening scroll to read. Maybe I don't come to a movie to read, but the opening scroll is another expectation in the Star Wars universe. Instead, we were given a very cheesy narration to explain the status of the galaxy. At this moment, I almost walked out thinking I was in the wrong theater.
And at no point does anyone say, "…I've got a bad feeling about this." Although, they did say it twice in Episode IV, so maybe that will make up for this one.
By now maybe you're thinking there is nothing good about Clone Wars. Well, that's not entirely true. It feels a bit obvious the movie was made more for kids, who I think will really enjoy it. It does have a lot of good solid action scenes, and the story is fairly decent, even if it is a bit simple. Many of the new characters are also very interesting.
Is all that enough to save it? Eh…
On the other un-severed hand... the television series based on the Clone Wars movie is featured on Cartoon Network. Somehow it works better on a smaller screen, (assuming you're like me and aren't rich enough to afford the 60 inch DLP). The stories are 30 minutes (well, after commercials maybe 20 minutes) and each one continues to the next episode. I still feel the same way about the look of the animation, but the stories are actually pretty decent for the most part and add a good amount of action. In later seasons, they've realized maybe their fans are growing up (or already grown up), and started writing for this type of audience. If you're eager for your lightsaber fix, and want to know what happened between Episode 2 and 3, check it out... but try to overlook the block design of the characters please.
In the meantime, let's talk about Square Enix again shall we?
Mmmmmm… *insert digitally enhanced drool here*