For fans of the “Star Wars” saga, the notion of the Clone Wars has intrigued fans ever since it was first mentioned in 1977. Unfortunately fans had to wait until the Prequel Trilogy almost two decades later to lift the lid on the events of the war that changed the mythical galaxy far, far away.
There have been video games, books, and comics that dealt with some of the events, but since the film series focused on the start and end of the war, many believed that much of what transpired would remain a mystery.
Thankfully, creator George Lucas and a talented team of digital artists has set to the task of filling in the missing pieces in the form of a animated series which is scheduled to debut in the Fall.
The new series gets a cinematic boost with the theatrical release of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, which is a welcome treat to fans of the series. The film opens with the news that the son of gangster Jabba the Hutt has been kidnapped, and Obi Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker are tasked with rescuing the captured infant.
The Separatist forces under the leadership of Count Dooku, have restricted many of the main Hyperspace routes in the galaxy, and the Hutts control key routes that the Republic will need for troop deployments. The Jedi hope by rescuing Jabba’s son, they can secure a treaty with the Jabba which will allow them greater access to Hutt space and will keep the Hutts from supporting Dooku and his minions.
Unfortunately, Anakin and Obi Wan have their hands full leading a squad of Clone Troopers against a massive droid army as they attempt to hold out until reinforcements can arrive. After an impressive battle sequence, help finally arrives as does an unexpected surprise in the form of a young Jedi Padawan named Ahsoka.
Ahsoka informs Anakin that she has been assigned by Yoda to be his Padawan learner, and despite his misgivings, Anakin takes the talented yet young and naïve learner under his care.
Unknown to the Jedi, a larger and more sinister plot is underway and Dooku and his assassin Asaj Ventress are orchestrating a very deadly plan that will leave the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.
The film is a grand adventure and contains much of the ingredients that made the live action series a true juggernaut in cinema history. The film deftly mixes action, adventure, and humor with a story that is entertaining with solid pacing.
Matt Lanter does a satisfactory job of voicing Anakin and the cast does a great job of voicing the CGI recreations of the beloved characters.
The CGI effects are top rate and unlike the last films in the series never overshadow the characters and the story. The sound effects were equally impressive from the distinctive sound of the lightsabers and blasters, to the sound of the war machines, I soon found myself forgetting it was a cartoon, and instead saw only the Star Wars that I have loved since I first saw the original as a small boy.
While some may say that the film is little more than a glorified television Pilot, I prefer to look at it as a very welcome return to the big screen of the greatest Sci Fi series ever made.
4 stars out of 5.