First, the disambiguation: This is not Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Clone Wars the 2003 animated series, nor Star Wars: The Clone Wars the 2008 movie. *Phew* This is the CGI series in the same universe as the 2008 movie. (Nice job on the names guys…)
This series’ lackluster, introductory theatre release would have made a better three part episode than it did a movie. None-the-less the CGI quality is high, especially in terms of the vehicles and action. The designs are for all practical purposes coming straight out of Skywalker Ranch with the full support of its archives and army of designers.
I will set the scene with the Fortress one sentence synopsis: While the war against the separatists droid army rages the Jedi and their clone trooper allies wrestle with politics and danger across the galaxy while Anakin continues to hide his “romance” with Padme and learns to deal with a spunky apprentice of his own. That one was not even hard. Maybe it is reflective of how much did not happen this season.
It is a big Star Wars universe and this show does not focus too long on any one character. There was an early and welcome Yoda episode. It was a little slow but had some great action scenes with the diminutive Muppet. While Mace Windu’s episode was not the best, there was some interesting episodes with 2nd tier Jedi.
The “primary” focus characters are Obi Wan, Anakin, and his new spunky apprentice Ahsoka. Obi Wan episodes are generally good. You know what to expect from that character and he delivers like a true Jedi. Ahsoka is easy to relate to as she is young, impatient and sometimes unsure; but she kicks butt and looks good doing it.
Anakin is not so fun to watch. He is often on the edge of:
- Losing his temper.
- Being disrespectful to his master.
- Unnecessarily risking the lives of those around him.
- All of the above.
Also, if you thought the chemistry between Anakin and Padme was excruciating in the live action films, be assured that they have replicated it here dutifully.
The art direction is stylized in a good way. They did not try to duplicate the live action actors. The modified outfits and armor pieces work well to enhance the characters (and probably hide troublesome spots on the CGI model). The facial features were also enhanced and are interesting.
The voice acting is well done. Only Anthony Daniels returns to reprise his role as C3PO, but the other actors capture the spirit of the characters, even Hayden Christensen’s sometimes whiny Anakin.
The action is solid. It is great to see Jedi kicking butt like you know they can. However regarding that we took issue with a couple things. First, many men get killed just about all the time, clone and non-clone alike. The bad guys only seem to lose some brainless robots.
Secondly, humanoid enemies never seem to die, they escape or are imprisoned. So there is definitely a lack of comeuppance issue regarding the bad guys. Is is uneven and a little frustrating especially since they humanize and individualize the clone troopers extensively.
They built up “some” story arc the entire season, but it was unclear and in the end went nowhere. The last episode does not even relate to it and introduces a new cool bad guy. He seems interesting and should be entertaining next season, but what a lame way to end this one with a out-of-nowhere low note.
Still this show is entertaining, mature and worth watching.