Monday, 1 September 2008

Star Wars: the Clone Wars

The Clone wars is the newest production from Lucasfilm, a company known for beating dead horses. And they don't disappoint with this animated feature. Set between the second and the third film, this one tells the story of Anakins and Obi-Wans fight to save a little Hutt child together with Anakins new apprentice, the fiesty Ahsoka Tano.
Featuring already known characters in a different filmstyle is dangerous enough on its own, and the voice actors trying to sound like Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen manage to make the experience completely unreal. While the animation on its own is very good (though the characters look more like puppets than animated characters) the strange similarities and differences in the animated characters as opposed to their actors takes some time to get used to.

The biggest problem with this film isn't its voice actors or animation, it is its story. This film is a film made for children, through and through. There is no context, no conflict and no psychology. Set between the second and the third film, this film could have given us a strong storyline further describing Anakins path to the dark side, especially considering his trip back to Tatooine, or at least a bit more about the war. As it is it introduces a completely new character that has no impact on the story or the world (or Anakin for that matter) and tells us how the Jedi secured the flight routes through Hutt territory, which apparently gives them a big advantage and might even win the war for the Republic (have you ever heard about this before?).
Riddled with plot holes, the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka develops hugely in what is shown as only a few days, with Ahsoka learning Anakin's character and actions by heart after their first fight, to such a degree that she can predict his moves and thoughts.
The war parts are also disappointing with extremely old tactics and with the whole droid army as comic relief. With all their faults, slow reactions and general stupidity (a droid not understanding coordinates?) you end up wondering why the clone army is loosing. Even when taking their low numbers into consideration, the enemy's uncanny ability to get themselves and others killed should give a low-numbered smart army the upper hand.

The story and the idea is on its own not a bad one, but it is badly executed. If the point of the film is to recruit new, young Star Wars fans, why put it in-between two films with a story line that requires some knowledge of the Star Wars universe to follow, but if the film is for the old fans, why make such a disconnected story that doesn't develop the world or the characters we know? I also question if the Clone wars are the right place for a children's story. Is watching one and a half hour with non-stop violence and war okay for children as long as we make the ones killed comical and stupid, and remove the blood?

1 comment:

  1. I will never see this movie. George Lucas is so far up his own ass that he can't see to make a decent movie any more.