Second Union

Second Union

REWIND: Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) – Television Review

Hello, and welcome back to my ongoing series of Star Wars reviews! Didn’t think I’d be covering this one, did ya? Think again.

Kit Fisto prepares for battle in the underwater planet of Mon Calamari.

The best thing to come out of the prequels was without a doubt this television series. Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, the man behind series such as Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, this show takes place during the Clone Wars era of the Star Wars universe. It spans from the beginning of the war to the point where Revenge of the Sith begins.

One of the best aspects of this show is the way it handles the characters of the Prequel universe. If you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith, and you had problems with not knowing enough about the characters, please please please give this show a chance. So much happens in it that is important to the Star Wars timeline, and that’s why I’m reviewing it. I’m watching and reviewing all of these different Star Wars films and shows to give me and you a full, chronological experience for the timeline. Let’s talk about some of the aspects that come into play in later films.

Regenerating villain Durge is most certainly a formidable foe.

You can watch Attack of the Clones and go straight to Revenge of the Sith. There really isn’t any problem with that. But, if you do want some filler, along with a lot more insight as to what happens in the gap between films, watch Clone Wars. There’s a lot that goes on in this series that carries over into Episode III. For example: if you want to know why General Grievous coughs so much in Episode III, you can find out by watching Clone Wars. If you want more insight into how Anakin became a Jedi Knight and the ritual performed when becoming a Knight, watch this show. If you watched the 2008 Clone Wars computer-animated show, you’ll learn more about one of its most popular characters, Asajj Ventress, by watching this series. There’s a lot more to be said, but I just can’t explain it all. I would rather you experience this for yourself. Even if you just want some smaller-scale Star Wars adventures, give this a try.

I do have a couple problems with this show, and one is the voice acting for Anakin. I get that the character is supposed to sound like a whiny little Padawan, but instead, he just comes off sounding like a teenage Donald Trump. Another thing I didn’t like was the sound editing. Since this isn’t available on Blu-Ray, the “definitive” way to watch this is on DVD, and the sound is a bit messy. Overall, those are really my only issues with this series. There are two volumes of this series on DVD, and you can watch both of them in one sitting, each being only about an hour long. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Luminaria Unduli and her apprentice Barriss Offee.

The show is non-stop action. While that doesn’t work in a lot of other series, it works here because the animation is very fluid. It looks real, and remember: this is pretty much all hand-drawn, which adds to the realism.

The action also has humor littered throughout, and that works in a lot of the scenarios. In one instance, Padmé Amidala is trying to shoot down invisible droids and throws her coat out to get their attention. When she only manages to shoot one before they disappear again, she sends an unknowing C-3PO out to “retrieve” the coat, which catches the droids’ eye. It’s those types of moments that make up the series, and it’s a nice breather from the mostly serious movies.

The show also showcases what the Jedi were like in their prime. Because we rarely see the Jedi (aside from Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, and Mace Windu) in action in the Prequels, I really like how the show handles the other sidelined Jedi. It gives much more life to the legendary warriors such as Kit Fisto, Luminaria Unduli, Saesee Tinn, Shaak Ti, and Ki-Adi-Mundi. Awesome indeed. Another great aspect is the way it handles Anakin’s transition to the Dark Side.

In one epic duel between Asajj and Anakin, the latter overpowers the former, culminating in one helluva fight. Anakin gives in to his anger and brutally slams his lightsaber on top of Asajj’s until the cliff gives way and she falls. Since the Tusken Raider slaughtering scene in Attack of the Clones was cut short to get the PG rating, there really wasn’t anything huge that foreshadowed his turn to the Dark Side. This was a perfect way to transition over to his angrier Knight self in Revenge of the Sith.

Overall, I heavily enjoyed this show. You can watch both volumes in about two hours, and while there is a couple voice acting and sound editing issues, the rest of the series is perfect. I’m going to give Star Wars: Clone Wars an A.

Star Wars: Clone Wars stars James Arnold Taylor, Mat Lucas, Nick Jameson, André Sogliuzzo, Corey Burton, Grey DeLisle, T.C. Carson, Tom Kane, Richard McGonagle, John DiMaggio. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.

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