[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B00APGRMRI][/pullquote] 2008 saw the release of a Star Wars spin-off Star Wars: The Clone Wars. An animation based on the popular cartoon show, the action takes place between Episodes II and III. Using a unique animation style with heavily-textured, almost wooden looking characters and replacing most a-list celebrity voices with voice-over actors, George Lucas saw it as perhaps the first of a new trilogy of animated Star Wars adventures.
Jabba the Hutt’s child has been kidnapped by bounty hunters and the Republic and the Jedi are asked to go and rescue the youngling. Obi-Wan and former apprentice Anakin Skywalker are split up, with the latter being accompanied by his new apprentice Ahsoka Tano. They must battle their way through droid-infested cities and jungles to complete their mission and stop Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) from winning over the Hutt’s onto the side of the seperatists.
The plot itself doesn’t sound like the standard space opera epic that we’ve come to expect from even the weakest of the original six Star Wars films and it is this that causes the first problem. We know that none of the main characters are in any threat, because we know they make it to Episode III. Combine that with the TV show-like goal of the protagonists and The Clone Wars can’t really be considered a feature film, but rather an extended episode of the show.
It’s disappointing that George Lucas decided to release Star Wars: The Clone Wars at cinemas, because it is so obviously better suited to TV. It appears that no effort was spent even getting the proper actors to play their characters again, with the exception of Lee as Dooku. The film serves as a reminder to the depths at which Lucas will now delve to make money. It’s a shameless cash-in on the Star Wars name, with zero upside and absolutely no heart.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, should never have been made for general release and is best avoided if you, like many, are a fan of the original series and don’t want your memory of the way they made you feel diminished by yet another poor imitation. When will George Lucas learn that the fans want some effort and belief in storytelling.