DIRECTOR: Dave Filoni
May contain spoilers!
Coming just three years after Episode III (2005), yet set between Episodes II (2002) and III, The Clone Wars (2008) serves a feature length pilot for what would become the successful Cartoon Network series of the same name.
But this would in fact be the second series to bear the name on that particular network, with the superior yet much smaller cartoon micro series lead by Genndy Tartakovsky. This is somewhat more realistic, yet heavily stylised as we follow our heroes from the prequels through the Clone Wars, something which is brushed over in the theatrical trilogy.
The television series would go on to expand not only the titular conflict but the Star Wars universe itself, as this is cannon, unlike many of the books are now, after Disney bought the franchise and has reset a lot of the expanded universe.
But being the pilot that it is, it does suffer from being somewhat televisual, lacking the grand scope of the space opera which inspired it. The plot is episodic and it feels more at home on the small screen, with a plot which feels like a three episode arch, rather than one grand story.
Saying that, this is action packed from the opening frame and never lets up. Fun, exiting and light-hearted, this feels more like the Star Wars that we have come to expect but were denied with the prequels, well, up until Episode III at least. But no-one dies. The villains live to fight another day and our heroes grow in numbers, preparing to fulfil their roles in the then up coming series, one which after six year was cancelled following Disney’s Lucasfilm buy out, Disney not being happy with rival Cartoon Network airing their new franchise.
And this suffers from being the prequel to a prequel. Treading water in a muddy lake as it were. Count Dooku (voiced by the late Christopher Lee) for example, is destined to meet his end three years later in the Star Wars Universe at the hands of Anakin Skywalker at the beginning of Revenge Of The Sith (2005) so there is little tension as to his fate whenever his raises his lightsaber.
But this is not bad and quite enjoyable as a child friendly actioner and offers some much needed light hearted fun for adults too.