Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Directed by Dave Filoni
(Warner Home Video)
Directed by Dave Filoni, it’s clear in the beginning from that famous opening crawl that The Clone Wars is aimed at a new generation of fans. The format is the first of many departures from the past six George Lucas helmed films. The film begins by quickly throwing the viewer directly into the thick of the plot with action scenes and a voice over as if one was watching a news reel during World War II. The pace of the film is fast, filled with action, excitement, lighthearted comedy, and tense moments of suspense. With many action scenes backed by gritty electric guitar, pounding bass, and a rock and roll tempo, the film has a style apart from the originals. Indeed, many scenes use exotic North African music to underline the fantastical planets and locales. The animation is very stylized; character’s faces rendered beautifully, though their movements seem wooden at times. Luckily, the film is packed full of all the old favorite characters and tropes that have worked before, while the new additions bring an update to the universe for a new generation.
From the well-known characters Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and a late arriving Amidala, to the introduction of a new main character, Asoka Tanno, the adolescent Jedi apprentice, for whom the new generation of fans is a focal point, fans will not be disappointed by a lack of interesting characters. Another new extremely interesting personality is the asexually ambiguous Ziro the Hutt, the series’ latest addition to the Star Wars rogue’s gallery.
Beyond the adventures of the Jedi and the film’s exciting plot, the setting of The Clone Wars itself; a gritty war torn world filled with all too human soldiers battling against emotionless machines, sucks a viewer in. The clone troopers themselves add a great feel to the film, showing the human costs of war, as well as the life of a soldier during battle. So many of the clone’s lines are reminiscent of war films, evoking the feel of Vietnam as well as old World War II stories. Indeed, many of the clones are named characters in and of themselves, adding a great cast of supporting characters to the universe of the film.
The Clone Wars is a movie produced for younger fans, made in an effort to get them excited about a now ongoing TV series on Cartoon Network. The inclusion of many well-known characters allows access to older fans, but the new animated format makes it very clear from the beginning that The Clone Wars is a new Star Wars chapter for a new age.