Death Sentences: CLONE WARS Review
Yeah I know what you’re thinking: “This film’s been out nearly 2 weeks and Death is only just getting around to reviewing it? What sorta Star Wars fan is he? Slack and piss-weak that’s what kind!”
To which I would respond: “Bugger off. I have a life, ok?! And I only just managed to squeeze it into my hectic weekend schedule as it was. Being a Lord of Evil takes up a lot of my spare time, dig? So back off, nerd!” Or something to that effect.
Anyway, so onto CLONE WARS. You know, I’d read a lot of negative crap about this film before I saw it. And a lot of that negative crap was emanating from the keyboards of long disgruntled ‘Star Wars fans’ who think that they know more about what Star Wars should be about than George Lucas. You know the kind of nerd I mean: the fat, ginger, lardy type who wouldn’t know a creative impulse if it flew up and bit him in his Cinema-Scope sized arse. The sorta nerd that has to draw breath and stop for a break on his trip between the couch and his refrigerator. The sorta nerd that gets banned from Skywalker Ranch because he posted online pre-release Star Wars scripts and then makes out like he’s some kinda victim of George Lucas’s bullying. The bitter, twisted, envious nerd who deep down wishes they were George but never will be so in order to compensate waste their days bullshitting to their online mates about how GL raped their childhood. Yeah that kinda nerd.
Well I got news for you, nerd: You were wrong about Clone Wars. Clone Wars rocks. Clone Wars is a fun, enjoyable adventure that continues to expand the Star Wars universe and lay the groundwork for what will no doubt be some very cool TV.
Make no mistake: Clone Wars feels different to the other 6 Star Wars movies. Is that bad? No. In fact I think its a positive.
The 6 live action Star Wars movies form the centre-piece of the Star Wars Universe. They are the central story around which all other Star Wars stories revolve. Clone Wars is a TV show. The Clone Wars movie is effectively the pilot or introduction to that show. It is in essence an ‘appendix’ to the other 6 Star Wars movies. It should feel somewhat different. And it does, the main reason being the fact that it’s animated. The musical score is also somewhat removed from the Saga, being more contemporary in style with only echoes of Williams’ score weaved throughout.
The visual style of the animation is one of the things that I enjoyed most about Clone Wars and is one of the things that will divide opinion. George Lucas stated fairly early on in Clone Wars development that he didn’t want the human characters to look like their live-action counterparts. He thought that if they looked too life-like, audiences would become distracted as they subconsciously compared them to the likes of Hayden Christensen or Ewan MacGregor. George quoted the works of Gerry Anderson as being the biggest influence on the visual style of Clone Wars. And it is hard to deny that the human characters bare a striking resemblance to Virgil Tracy or Captain Scarlett. Personally, I really dig it. But I know there are those who won’t. That doesn’t make me right, (actually it does.) it’s really just an aesthetic thing which you either dig or hate.
The central story of Clone Wars revolves around the abduction of Jabba the Hutt’s son and how that will ultimately effect who gains control of shipping routes in the Outer Rim. On the surface, that may sound pretty dull, but make no mistake, this film is utterly action packed. The opening 30 minutes is effectively one big battle which introduces us to one of the hundreds of battles being waged across the galaxy. This then acts as a stepping-off point for many other set piece battle scenes which litter the rest of the film.
In a strange move, which seems to run contrary to established canon, Anakin Skywalker is given a Padawan to train. The character of Asoka is ok and likable. But doesn’t really bring anything hugely new to the concept of the Clone Wars. The central character remains Skywalker and it will be interesting to see what becomes of the character of Asoka given the ultimate fate of Anakin.
If you’ve not seen Clone Wars yet, then I don’t wish to give to much of the story away. I think it is important to remember that this is an introductory episode in an ongoing series. There isn’t really an ending to it. The film just kinda stops. But that’s ok. To me Star Wars films have always had a Comic Book feeling to them and so I’m a little more forgiving of the fact that Clone Wars just comes to a halt with the emphasis on there being many more stories to come.
From an animation perspective, Clone Wars feels really fresh. And I think this is due to the fact that Western Animation hasn’t really done much in this Sci-Fi action area. When I think of animated movies I recall the likes of Shrek, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc. I like that here we have an animated film that is in many ways emulating what a live action film would do, if that live action film had say $300 mill as a budget.
So anyway, go see Clone Wars because its cool and fun. That’s it. If you think this is gonna be something other that that then piss off and watch Cloverfield again or some other pretentious piece of crap that tries to ‘redefine the genre’.
Remember: Its all Star Wars. Its all good.