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  Publicity Stills of
"Star Wars: The Clone Wars"
(Courtesy of Warner Bros)

Genre: Animation
Director: Dave Filoni
Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker, Nika Futterman, Ian Abercrombie, Corey Burton, Catherine Taber, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels, Christopher Lee
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://starwars.com/

Opening Day: 28 August 2008


Favorite characters, including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, are on the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, along with brand new heroes like Anakin’s padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villains – led by Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous – are poised to rule the galaxy. Stakes are high, and the fate of the Star Wars universe rests in the hands of the daring Jedi Knights. Their exploits lead to action-packed battles and astonishing new revelations.

Movie Review:

Dear Mr Lucas,

It has been 3 years since "Revenge of the Sith" closed the chapter of the much anticipated sci-fi saga of all-time and as a faithful "Star Wars" fan since the age of six, I look very much forward to catch "Clone Wars" on the big screen, the first animated "Star Wars" movie to be shown as a theatrical release and I appreciate your effort for that.

Even though I’m a minor vocal among a vast netizens community, I like to express my sincere disappointments with "Star Wars: The Clone Wars". I understand from online interviews that you had a burning desire to tell the stories that spanned after "Attack of the Clones" and before "Revenge of the Sith". You claimed there are much more adventures, characters and humour left to explore which is why "Clone Wars" is just an introduction prior to a 22-animated episodes to be shown on TV later in the year.

Any ardent "Star Wars" fan will know how the various characters meet their fate later on. Anakin Skywalker of course will turn to the dark side and so on and so forth. Most of us in fact are yearning towards Ahsoka Tano, the teenage padawan under the tutelage of Anakin and the much touted new villain called Asajj Ventress, Dooku’s trusted assassin. However, these two characters are largely left unexplored despite the movie clocking in at 98 minutes too long perhaps the only character that stood out from the rest is Clone Commander Rex, the commander of the 501st Clone Trooper Legion to save this animation from sinking entirely to the underwater city of Otoh Gunga. Behind the Clone helmet, the guy is a cool cucumber.

Truly what’s frustrating is none other than the excruciating pencil-thin plot which involves nothing else except saving the son of Jabba the Hutt. Obviously, you haven’t learnt your lesson of Jar Jar Binks. I do seriously hope this having 'cute' characters (besides the bearable Ewoks) in "Star Wars" universe are not turning into a trend. Juvenile humour, you must not go.

Another puzzling fact is the obvious video-game look which is utterly unacceptable in this context. Lucasfilm and its renowned affiliates, LucasArts and ILM are among the greatest technological companies in the world and the 'paintbrush' effect applied here and the 'wooden puppet' movement and zombie-like facial expressions of the characters is simply appalling. The best in animation technology should be applied to the world of "Star Wars" even though you forsake the usage of photo-realism; at least the style and design can be a lot better than what’s presented on the big screen.

I must say I’m personally terrible at numbers and I’m not a qualified biz wiz but I’m sure with a budget of only one million dollars to fund a single television episode of the new animation series, Lucasfilm can easily recoup their investment and technological 'research' in attempting the animation series given the huge licensing fees the franchises are. There will always be vulnerable fans like me who will fork out thousands of dollars annually to succumb ourselves to the force aka the "Star Wars" toys and merchandises. There will always be a ready crowd to embrace "Star Wars" properties. If you are planning to release all planned 100 episodes, please, I urge Mr Lucas to rethink your company’s strategy.

Still, I got to give credit to your production team behind "Clone Wars". I went geeked out when all the clone troopers show off all their ammunition powers in their all-out assault vehicles but these awe-aspiring scenes are few and far and the ongoing battles just numbed the movie experience after a short while. I’m sure "Clone Wars" must have benefited from your creative inputs even though you are never listed here as a screenwriter, I rather Mr Lucas lessen your 'Jedi' mind tricks over your scriptwriters and director next time. Give them a free rein to do the job. Never mind the disappearance of the familiar Fox’s logo or John Williams’ pounding score (although Kevin Kiner did a decent job rehashing some of the tunes), fans liked me just wants to see a more memorable effort coming out from Lucasfilm and not just a mere disguised toy commercial or TV effort. Lastly, I’m proud to see the work of our local animators finally make its way to the big screen.

Before I end this letter, I pray that the "Star Wars" franchise and property won’t end up as the following quote from Darth Vader in "Star Wars Episode IV": 'This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion'.

Yours sincerely,
Linus Tee
A faithful "Star Wars" fan boy since the age of six.

(p.s. except for a cute Lucas Animation’s logo there’s no additional footage after the credits rolled)

Movie Rating:

(Not satisfying enough to please old fans and not innovative enough to win over new ones)


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