Star Wars: The Clone WarsDirected by: Dave Filoni Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG
Plot: Set in the time period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this story finds Anakin Skywalker (Lanter) saddled with a padawan named Ahsoka Tano (Eckstein). Together they must rescue Jabba the Hutt's son in a hope to negotiate safe passage, but Count Dooku (Lee) is there to stop them. This film will lead into a new TV series in the Fall.
Who’s It For? Kids. I know, I was hoping it would capture some of the Star Wars magic for adults as well, but it doesn't. Young girls will appreciate Ahsoka (Snips). Cartoon Network did a much better job of storytelling with "Clone Wars" back in 2004. Rent that instead.
Expectations: On one hand I thought, what's the point? On the other hand I thought, I love Star Wars.
Actors: Anakin Skywalker voiced by Matt Lanter: This is a different Anakin than from the films. He seems almost social, willing to guide the padawan. The fact that he would even allow a kid to call him "Skyguy" makes me feel like I drank too much butterbeer ... oh wait, wrong franchise. It is odd to change his character dynamics, but it seems George Lucas is hellbent on making Anakin the most popular of the Skywalkers. Score: 4
Ahsoka Tano voiced by Ashley Eckstein: Skyguy, R2ie, Stinky. These are just some of the affectionate names Ahsoka (or Snips as Anakin likes to say) gives to things. The banter between the two is attempting to capture some Han Solo, Princess Leia spunk, but there was never a time when they said anything amusing. Snips rarely follows directions and her hunches are almost always right, it's annoying. If she's the center of the TV show, I'm out. Score: 1
Rest of Cast: Mace Windu and Yoda are given nothing to do. Obi-Wan always shows up late, but gets the best lightsaber battle with Asajj Ventress, a new Sith. Count Dooku and Anakin fight again for no real reason. But this all pales in comparisons with how awful Rotta the Huttlet and Zero the Hutt are in this film. I have no idea why Zero speaks like Truman Capote, but it's horrendous. Score: 2
Talking: At one point the line, "This smells like Count Dooku to me," is said. The problem is, I don't believe the director or screenwriter understand the double meaning. That's how absent-minded the dialogue is in this film. The only plot that is interesting to learn is how Jabba the Hutt began an alliance with the Galatic Republic. Score: 2
Sights & Sounds: They changed up the opening theme song, originally perfected by John Williams. Actually, the entire score feels out of place, but the animation was good. It's my only non-complaint (I don't like the idea of calling it a compliment with a film this bad). The best scene in the film is the battle up the wall to try and get Rotta the Huttlet. Score: 6
OVERALL They have billed Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the untold story. If only the untelling of the told could now be done. There are now five all-time awful characters in the Star Wars films. Number five is Ahsoka Tano, number four is any Neimoidian (had to look up what they were called), number three is Jar-Jar Binks, number two is Rotta the Huttlet, and now Zero the Hutt is the worst thing to hit a galaxy far far away. The Ewoks don't even make it in the Top 5, a truly impressive feat. If George Lucas can't stop Star Wars, at least he could entertain us. Give us a story about the seldom seen Mace Windu, a bounty hunter, a young Chewbacca or continue the world after Return of the Jedi. Just stop beating us this horrendous time period, led by Anakin Skywalker, and now his plucky little sidekick Snips ... OK, now that I got that out of my system, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is clearly for the younger crowd, and it might make for a nice afternoon with your girl or boy. I realize the purpose of this film is to launch the TV series, but really, the only joy is from the occasional laughs from jawas, R2 and lightsabers, all of which have had better moments than the ones captured in this film. Score: 3 out of 10