Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Clone Wars

Luke: No, my father didn't fight in the Clone Wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter.
Obi-Wan: That's what your uncle told you. He didn't hold with your father's ideals; he felt he should've stayed here and not gotten involved.
Luke: You fought in the Clone Wars?
Obi-Wan: Yes. I was once a Jedi knight, the same as your father.
Luke: I wish I'd known him.
Obi-Wan: He was the best star pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior. I understand that you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a good friend.

Just finished the series. And loved it all.

SPOILERS!

The series as a whole was great. If you did not care (or stronger feelings) for the prequel trilogy, you need to watch the Clone Wars. It might just restore your faith. If you liked (or better) the prequels, chances are you'll love this series. I dismissed it at first. Finally came back around and I'm so so glad I did. This wasn't a show about Anakin and Ahsoka. It wasn't more of the same stuff from Episodes I, II, and III. And it wasn't always for kids. This was a chronicle of many of the battles and diplomacies in and around the Clone Wars- and I mean that in 'The Era of...' or 'The Age of...' sort of way. The good guys weren't always clearly good, and sometimes you really like the bad guys.



Space ship design was top notch. Sound effects were all there. The musical score was spot on. It was all authentically Star Wars.

The cinematography seemed to get more creative throughout the series. It was great to see many of the nods and easter-eggs to the six films through occasional dialog or familiar shots (like Anakin saluting R2 to signal him to shoot out his lightsaber, to Cad Bane trying on Indiana Jone's hat). There was one shot that I suspected they reduced the quality of the effect to more resemble the poorer blue-screen effects of the original series (watch the chase scene in season 5 episode 9- I believe the effects were supposed to look as bad as Episode IV's Death Star Trench scene). It even felt like some of the episodes that prominently featured R2D2 and C3PO belonged right next to the Droids animated series. I'm certain there were tons of references that passed my attention.

One thing that I felt was lacking in all six movies was any example of day to day life. This series gave us several examples of regular life in the Galaxy. I appreciate that small detail.

Ahsoka by Grant Gould
There were many characters introduced in the series. At first, Ahsoka was annoying, then we fell in love with her. She often served as the damsel in distress, but also was quite a powerful Jedi, just as often as the protagonist. She even held her own, boldly confronting General Grevious! In the end she was the only real protagonist (not including C3PO and R2D2, of course). She was good. The goodness in her was greater than being a Jedi would allow. A child in the midst of a brutal war. She grew up the most through the series.

There were several regular clones that the series would follow. It was interesting to get down on their level and see the strong individuality between the clones. Even to portray them weeping when their brothers would be cut down.

The writers also did a fantastic job introducing younger versions of more prominent characters from the original trilogy. Especially Captain Tarkin and how he and Anakin bonded so quickly. That was a nice touch.

And I was already starting to love Ventress more than I did when she was purely bad. How she was screwed over by Dooku and the Sith was some great storytelling. In the telling there was at least one episode of nothing but villain vs villain. These episodes were written by Katie Lucas, interestingly enough! This is a character I'd like to see more of. What happens to her apart from or after the Clone Wars? The end of her tragic story was wonderful and a great parallel to Ahsoka's fate...

Loved the ending. I was so happy she left the council. A little disappointed they shat on Barriss. Glad Ahsoka will probably escape Order 66. She probably didn't realize all of the reasons she denied coming back, but in doing so she separated herself from all the corruption that had been brewing in the Jedi and as we see not too long after, destroyed them. This act, of separating herself from the Council, might have made her the greatest of the Jedi and the only one that was not deceived or clouded by the oncoming storm. Greater than Masters Yoda and Obiwan Kenobi. She has no blood on her hands. She got away. This is another character I'd like to see further developed apart from the Clone Wars.

With Star Wars Episode VII on the horizon, I'm confident with pretty much whatever else we have in store for the Star Wars Saga if The Clone Wars series is any indication of the quality we can expect.

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