08.25.2008

Star Wars: Clone Wars… better than expected

Star Wars Clone WarsOkay, I did the unthinkable.  I actually went and saw STAR WARS: CLONE WARS.  My eight and a half year old step-son wanted to see it, and I guess I wasn’t as vehemently opposed as many others were.  There has been a lot of negative press and discussion around this movie.  Last week it was even a topic of discussion over on THE UNIQUE GEEK.  Going into the movie I was curious as to whether it was really that awful, or had just gotten a bad rap thanks to all the Lucas hatred out there.

To be honest, after watching the movie I didn’t think it was really that bad.  I know several reviewers have given it a “D” or “F”, but I don’t think those grades are merited.  I believe those reviews were influenced by many peoples general dissatisfaction with Lucas’ more recent Star Wars efforts.  Was it a fantastic film?  No.  Was it 98 minutes of entertainment that I was willing to pay for?  Yes.  Would I go see it again?  Probably.

I find it interesting that the Cartoon Network “Clone Wars” from 2003 is beloved by many fans.  Yet this incarnation of “Clone Wars” has earned severe indignation from the masses.  I’m not really sure why.  This version of “Clone Wars” actually picks up the previous “Clone Wars” storyline and continues it.  I think that if someone enjoyed the 2003 “Clone Wars” then there is a reasonable chance they will enjoy this version too.  If the dissatisfaction for this movie stems from fans disgust of George Lucas, then that’s not really fair either.  George Lucas did not write or direct this movie.  He’s listed as “Executive Producer”, but that’s it.  IMDB does list him as a writer, but he does not appear in the actual credits of the film (and IMDB is notorious for errors).  I’ve been a big proponent for sometime that the Star Wars universe is now better shepherded in others hands, rather than George’s.  So I definitely think these creators deserve a chance to improve the Star Wars universe.

This movie is clearly targeted at a younger audience than the main Star Wars films (hence the young Padawan and the Hutt baby).  Additionally, it definitely had the feel of a pilot for the upcoming TV series.  However, there were some really great moments.  For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi is totally freakin’ bad ass in combat.  Additionally, Commander Rex (an ARC trooper) is my favorite new Star Wars character.  He’s in command of the 501st legion and he totally rocked!  Even Anakin’s new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, was interesting.  I liked the way she and Anakin interacted.  I’ve already found myself wondering what happens to her down the line after the Jedi purge.

In regard to my step-son, here is an audio clip in which he provides his feedback on the movie and his thoughts on all the negative reviews it’s been getting…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you can’t use the embedded player, than you can find the audio file by clicking here.

Finally, after watching the movie my step-son was so inspired that he got out many of his Star Wars toys  (along with other toys) and we had a Clone Wars skirmish of our own.  Here you can see the Republic army ready for battle (yes, that’s a Cobra Hiss tank substituting for a Republic tank), along with the Separatist army preparing an ambush.

Republic Army

Separatist Ambush

So I would recommend you watch the movie and decide for yourself whether it’s good or not.  Just because Lucas himself has lost his creativity, that doesn’t mean others don’t have worthwhile things to add to the legacy.

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6 Responses to “Star Wars: Clone Wars… better than expected”

  1. Sghoul Says:

    Based on your other reviews when seeing movies with an 8 year old, I will have to pass on all said reviews in the future. I think you really shut down your brain in the absence of other adults ;)

  2. Shag Says:

    Dude – As someone that praised the 2003 version of Clone Wars, I think you really should make up your own mind on this one (rather than letting the media decide for you). In fact, I’ll pay for your ticket to see it if you’re willing. I don’t think you’ll hate it as much as you think.

    Shag

  3. Erika Says:

    My husband took our kids, and he said it wasn’t so bad as to deserve an F. He didn’t like it as much as the Cartoon Network series, but he said it was was OK, and that parts of it were actually good. For the record, I think animated Obi-Wan is kinda hot.

  4. Erika Says:

    P.S.: The audio clip is adorable!

  5. Brit Says:

    I share your opinion that this movie is getting more bad reviews from the “fans” then it should.
    Some people are guilty of making Star Wars precious. I don’t see that as a good thing. It is just a story (or series of stories), and should only be taken at face value. That is not to say I like everything they have done (Obi-Wan’s age from the end of the prequels to the start of the “original trilogy” has really been bothering me lately), it has very visible warts, but it is still mostly good entertainment.
    The one complaint I have with this movie. Is the ending. Well there really isn’t one. I know the series isn’t over, and will run on Cartoon Network in the fall, but there was no real “ending.” You are just left there watching the credits roll, expecting something else to happen. Not so much like a cliffhanger, more like the power just went out with about 5 minutes left in your favorite show.
    I would give the movie a “C.”

  6. Ed Says:

    Eh. As I stated on the listserv, it will be a rental through Netflix…maybe.
    I’m not going to go out of my way to go to the theatre to spend $9 on it. It’s worth the price of Netflix, which, when figured out by all the DVDs I rent from them in a month for only $24, that’s, like, $1 or less for the rental. Well more than the movie is worth.

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