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Star Wars: Clone Wars (V1)
DVD disk
03.15.2005 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Star Wars: Clone Wars (V1) order
Director:
Genndy Tartakovsky

Actors:
Mat Lucas as Anakin Skywalker
James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Grey DeLisle as Asajj Ventress/Padmť Amidala

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

From the Cartoon Network, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS Volume 1 is a set of twenty 3-minute long animated vignettes telling the actual story of the Clone Wars which began in STAR WARS: EPISODE II and which will end in STAR WARS: EPISODE III. It fits into the continuity of the Star Wars universe and fills in the gap between the two movies.

IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?

Itís strange how as a fan of animation and a fan of Star Wars, I was never really moved to watch these when I caught them on the tube. What isnít strange or surprising however is that I was once again dead wrong. I really got a kick out of this thing! For starters, it dispenses of the more philosophical aspects of Star Wars which I really love but which wouldnít really translate that well to the cartoon medium and since itís a set of really short vignettes telling the story of a massive intergalactic war, it ends up overflowing with kick-ass Jedi action from top to bottom. Besides introducing a ton of new characters, all of the main players from Episodes I and II are also featured which made it that much more entertain. As a DVD release, itís even better since the episodes blend into one another seamlessly leaving the viewer with a straight hour of action.

The animation style will also attract many of the younger viewers without turning away old coots like me. Itís quite remindful of Animť but the classic 2D look, stylized for the occasion gives it a really cool, futuristic look and the familiar characters retained their main features. The voice talent was also dead-on and many fans of the Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic video game series and other Star Wars games will recognize many of the names. Another really cool aspect of the series is the awesome set of sound effects that were used. The sounds of the movies are duplicated and made to sound just as cool as they did on the big screen. Thereís also a great use of absolute silence during some pauses in the Jedi fights were the action comes to a dead halt, pauses and then stars again like wildfire. One thing that doesnít stop though is the enjoyment youíll get while watching this. I highly recommend it.

THE EXTRAS

Two Full-Length Audio Commentary Tracks by Director Genndy Tartakovsky: I must admit this made me feel kind of stupid. There are two commentary tracks listed in the features but both sounded exactly the same to me so if anyone knows what the deal is, shoot me off an email or something. To come back to the track itself, itís pretty entertaining and Tartakovsky explains a lot of the little links between this series and the movies which is a lot of fun in a nerdy kind of way. It also helps that itís only about an hour long too!

Bridging the Saga: From Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith (7 mins): This is a short featurette in which no less than George Lucas himself shows up to explain just how this fits into the Star Wars universe. The filmmakers also deliver some info about the conception of the series. Say what you will about Lucas, he may come off as a control freak once in a while but at least he takes care to manage every aspect of his franchise. He gets most of the credit for it but also all of the flack.

Behind the Scenes: Featurette (4 mins): This is a small featurette about the making of the actual cartoon. It explains how computer animation and hand animation merge together in what I reckon would be the art form of the 21st century.

Behind the Scenes: Photo Galleries: Two galleries can be found, one of which is a set of rough drawings and the other a set of posters and artwork.

Episode III Teaser Trailer: Need I say more?

FINAL DIAGNOSIS

This DVD was a blast and for the mere $20 you can get it for, itís highly worth it. Naturally, Star Wars geeks like myself will get a lot more out of it than people who donít really freak out over seeing exactly what Mace Windu can do but nevertheless, the great look itself is worth it. Make sure you get your hands on this little nugget of entertainment!

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