Star Wars: The Clone Wars may have a familiar name, but it barely resembles the mythology George Lucas borrowed for the original trilogy, and it’s an embarrassment even after the mediocre prequels.
Producer and sometimes director Lucas has said Star Wars is meant for children. But the original Star Wars debuted thirty years ago, meaning the dwindling fan base for this science fiction series is all well into adulthood. This CGI animated episode is a clear indication that the people at Lucasfilm, especially the founder, are out of touch with their audience and the fans who continue to pay their bills.
Clone Wars is still firmly targeted at children, even past the cartoon versions of the characters. Though the blocky, jerky animation is more like a child playing with Star Wars action figures than a feature film.
The story is intended to bridge the gap between Episodes II and III, while introducing a new series that premieres on the Cartoon Network in the fall. That might explain why it plays like a 90-minute episode from a boring kids TV show. But it doesn’t excuse the low quality being on par with a direct-to-DVD sequel Disney might put out for Pocahontas 3.
Even after six Star Wars features, Lucas and his new director Dave Filoni weren’t able to find someone who could write believable dialogue. Untested screenwriter Henry Gilroy‘s script is worse than fan fiction.
However, it might be the delivery of the sound-a-like voice actors they hired to imitate Hayden Christensen or Ewan McGregor. I couldn’t tell if I was cringing at the awful dialogue emanating from the out-of-sync cartoon mouths or the smarmy, sing-song delivery Obi-Wan seems to have adopted. Anakin even says, “Skywalker out” at one point. Ryan Seacrest, is that you doing a bad voice over?
Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are defending the galaxy from the legions of robot clones advancing on their cities. The wise Master Yoda decides this would be a perfect time to give Anakin a padawan, or an annoying apprentice for those not up on the lingo. The best time to train a brand new female warrior is right in the middle of a war apparently, and the best teachers are the ones who don’t have a grasp on their own skills yet. Anakin (aka the young Darth Vader, or “Sky Guy” as she calls him) and Jedi-in-training Ahsoka (who he randomly calls “Snips” for some reason) are tasked with rescuing the son of Jabba the Hut. I don’t care what age he’s supposed to be, Darth Vader should not be babysitting.
The infant Hutt is quickly nicknamed Stinky and the universe is introduced to the new Jar Jar Binks. He spits, sputters, and cries just when you’ve found a way to ignore him and focus on the lightsabers.
But little Stinky isn’t the worst character. Jabba’s uncle, Zero the Hutt, is a gay stereotype applied to the slothlike alien race. Strangely patterned after Truman Capote at Lucas’s request, Zero speaks English (not Hutt-ese) with a lisp, says words like “fabulous,” and is colored/dressed like a flamboyant version of the famous Return of the Jedi villain. I can’t be certain if that was the intent, but he’s easily the most annoying character in Star Wars history. However, if you do accidentally see this movie, watch for the platoon of stormtroopers shooting and missing his gigantic frame as he makes a sluggish escape.
The hardcore fans may try to pretend this is a worthy addition to the saga. But Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” I recommend you do not see this movie.
1.5 out of 5.