Monday, August 11, 2008

I know it's The Clone Wars, but is it Star Wars?

Vonna and I caught a preview screening of The Clone Wars tonight. Before going in, I mentioned how weird it was to have a new Star Wars film opening in less than a week and to not be overcome with anticipation. I guess in part it's due to the fact that it's an animated feature, and that it's NOT really developing story elements that will prove to be critical in the history of the saga (as it merely fills in more tales of the Clone Wars that take place between Episodes II and III). That said, my expectations were appropriately set going in to enjoy it - unless it was truly awful.

So is it Star Wars? Well, it is and it isn't. The story, characters, and elements all make it Star Wars. What made it unlike Star Wars for me was the music. It sounds very much like a TV show score, and even when quoting the brilliant John Williams, it doesn't sound quite right. Kind of like when you buy a bargain CD and realize too late you didn't get the songs by the original artist, but by the New Main Street Singers. I'll give the composer credit for one sequence where he incorporates the most memorable Star Wars cue, it actually works. But that's one instance.

Surprisingly, I found myself liking Ahsoka, Anakin's Jedi Padawan. She's the centerpiece to the story, and most interesting in that we know she's not around (at least that we ever see) in Episode III. She's one of the few characters for whom we don't know what the future holds.

If you've seen the trailer, you know what our heroes mission is, and while some people groaned at that (and will likely groan when they see it in the finished film), I actually took to the little guy they set out to protect.

I can't say it measures up to the live action films, which wouldn't be a reasonable expectation. I did enjoy it more than the traditionally animated Clone Wars series that aired between the theatrical releases of Episodes II and III. I don't know that we'll rush out to see it again on the big screen (to be fair - Indiana Jones is the only flick we've seen more than once this summer), however I am more excited about the follow on animated series that will debut this fall.

The saga continues...

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