While originally I was going to review the Skywalker Saga of Star Wars films, I figured why not review all the theatrically released Star Wars films. This unfortunately means I’m reviewing the 2008 big screen premiere of the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
While this film did help kick-off a well received TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a drawn out storyline that would have been better served in an episodic format. The story centres around Anakin Skywalker as he and Obi-Wan Kenobi serve the Republic as Generals in the Clone Wars. He gains a Padawan learner in Ahsoka Tano and a new mission to rescue Jabba the Hutt’s son, who has been kidnapped. The film even feels like a single episode and a two-parter edited together and after seeing every episode of the show, I believe while it serves as a pilot (not a good pilot), it is far from a story that deserved a theatrical release.
The writing was clunky and felt like a children’s show. Now, I understand that it is but there should have definitely been some differences between this, for all intents and purposes – a movie, and the long form television series. It needed to be more cinematic, and I just never felt that. Some of the quips between Skywalker and Tano felt like forced (pardon the pun) attempts to appeal to a younger audience and the dialogue from the battle droids was a failed attempt to provide comic relief in a film without a focus on R2-D2 and C-3P0. The voice acting might have originally gotten some getting used to but like I said, I’ve seen every episode of The Clone Wars, these characters are iterations I have become used to.
Now to the look of the film. A lot of people were originally very against the stylistic choice the creators went with when making the film, the human characters have very angular faces while the droids and the clone troopers looked more-or-less the same as they appeared in the live-action films. Whether or not the style was down to budget or trying to differentiate the animated series from the films, it can take people very much out of the story. I remember not being a fan of the look and while I still don’t love it, I’ve accepted it (which seems to be a reoccurring thing when it comes to films set in this time period). Compared to the TV series, this was definitely made first as some of the animation felt a bit dated even for 2008.
There is not much to say about this film. It was unnecessary, boring and only served one purpose… to start a TV series. While it did achieve it’s goal and Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a great show, delving in to the stories that occur between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but this is one of my least favourite of those stories and its definitely one you can skip. Watch the show though if you’re a Star Wars fan and haven’t already, it’s worth your time.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Well Below Average