Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Child abduction and mass destruction highlight latest Star Wars production

A long time ago (last August), in a galaxy that couldn’t be closer, a film was released that far too few went to see. It was especially disappointing considering this film is the continuation of the most financially successful film franchise in history. As someone who has seen Star Wars: The Clone Wars, let me tell you, you missed out on one of the finest chapters in the Star Wars story.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars posterStar Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated adventure utilizing graphics that are spit out of fancy computing machines. I was highly skeptical of this technology at first. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer my animation to be hand drawn by children in Chinese sweatshops. Luckily, the story was engaging enough to ease my apprehension.

The film takes place sometime between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. All of the characters we have come to recognize from the last batch of Star Wars films are present and accounted for, such as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala, R2-D2, C-3PO, Count Dooku, Yoda and Mace Windu (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson). There is a lot of conflict involving trade route, separatists and lightsaber envy, but the main focus of the film is the abduction of Rotta, the son of Jabba The Hutt. That’s right, someone actually decided to fornicate with Jabba The Hutt. Apparently my Jabba action figure was not anatomically correct.

The task of tracking down Rotta (or “Stinky” as quickly becomes known as) falls upon Anakin Skywalker, and his new apprentice Ahsoka “Snips” Tano, a young female Jedi. Once again, call me old fashioned, but I believe a woman Jedi’s place is the kitchen of the Death Star, baking muffins and cleaning up after Wookies. That being said, the new characters Stinky and Snips quickly grew on this reviewer in the same way a certain Jar-Jar Binks did a decade ago.

As the film goes along, we learn that the forces of evil have kidnapped Stinky, and are trying to frame the heroes for the crime. They hope that Jabba and his fellow Hutts will take out their aggressions on the Jedis. One fine mess is created from this misunderstanding, and it takes a whole lot of droids, lasers and explosions to settle this issue.

For the past 25 years, I was always under the impression that Jabba The Hutt was rotten to the core. In this film we learn that nothing can be further from the truth. He is portrayed as a loving father in the mold of a Danny Tanner of “Full House” fame. Oh sure, he eventually captured and did some sordid things to Han Solo and Princess Leia. However, I feel that he was justified in doing so. I mean Han did owe him money. Maybe instead of buying that expensive Millennium Falcon, Han could have bought a more modest spacecraft and settled his debts. Let that be a lesson to you kids out there. Don’t get in over your head financially, or else you could end up encased in carbonite, while your bikini clad girlfriend ends up chained to some morbidly obese oily dude. Or maybe you’ll just get your stuff re-possessed.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was one of 2008’s most pleasant cinematic surprises. I cannot wait for more of these Star Wars films to be released, like R2-D2 and C-3PO: The College Years, or Darth Vader: The Trial of a Deadbeat Father.

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