Star Wars: The Clone Wars showcases itself as a big marketing project offering a cinematic pilot for the upcoming TV series and video game tie-in of one of the most famous sci-fi franchise in film history.
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As an escapist entertainment primarily aimed for the Star Wars fans, this computer-animated movie (with a story happening in between Episodes 1 and 2) explores some new corners of the Star Wars universe. For this theatrical motion picture episode, Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi, along with the new character Ahsoka Tano, are on the spotlight.
The Clone Wars doesn’t have the grandiose narrative structure of the six live-action releases. What it mainly features is the utilizing of the new medium for it: animation meant for TV release. It explores another day in the lives of the Jedi knights and the politics of the Republic. Indeed, there is no attempt for a high end plotting or any major cinematic fancy, just an extended TV episode-like story with some essential elements to sustain the boundaries of the Star Wars canon.
As a film offer, there could be two forces opposite this animated venture. First, the die-hard fans who always get the high energy and nostalgia for the Star Wars intergalactic battles, alien landscapes, and Jedi knights. These are the ones who are up for just about any visually busy action sequences that are kinetic enough to keep their eyes glued to the screen. These viewers enjoy seeing their favorite “Star Wars” characters for another escapist treat. Second, the frustrated viewers who feel that George Lucas and company have fallen to the dark side of the force by degenerating the Star Wars saga into a direct-to-DVD shrug, then forcefully projected for big screen consumption. These are the ones who expect much more than a mechanical attempt to milk them with a stiff, flimsy, and generic Star Wars flick. These people would want something more than filling in some mediocre prequel blanks that could have been better left empty. Some would see it having a less than engaging storyline with paint-by-number combat sequences.
The CG animation style of this movie promotes a slick, detailed look. The animated reality takes advantage of the action stunts not possible (or practical) with live-action. However, there are parts that still have mechanical quality, rendering some of the characters’ movements quite clunky.
Overall, The Clone Wars is not that terrible by any means, yet it lacks that grand sense of cinematic adventure the six films have considerably offered. As a legend that has already gone to the top, there is that empty space that needs to be filled up by a certain sense of amazement. Nevertheless, its solid followers prove its undying potential. Until now, the entire Star Wars catalogue is still growing with fans from all generations.
This CGI Star Wars movie/TV series pilot is clearly a brand extension capitalized with a mildly entertaining approximation of what the cinematic saga embodies. As a kid-friendly epic with a videogame watchability, it is also interesting to note how DVD collections, merchandising goods, and various kinds of collectibles are still raking big money in so many ways. And even though it is flawed and is only a partially functional cinema endeavor being a mere marketing film effort as it is, it still has that charm of being a Star Wars creation.
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