42.5 F
Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeBlogPopcorn Parent Movie ReviewsMovie Tuesday: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

Movie Tuesday: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

Because there aren’t enough toys on your floor, George Lucas has released a brand-new, feature-length, computer-animated Star Wars film. The Clone Wars is essentially Episode 2.5 of the series and, as such, unfolds amid the mind-numbing political science course of Episodes 1 through 3. But fear not—for those who’ve come for the starships and light sabers and cute little droids, The Clone Wars is no worse than, say, playing with your action figures on a spread-out copy of The New York Times.

The Cliffs Notes: The Separatists are the bad guys, with robot soldiers led by Sith Lord Count Dooku (voice of Christopher Lee). The good guys belong to the Galactic Republic, with cloned soldiers commanded by Jedi warriors Obi-wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) and Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter), who will one day become bad guy Darth Vader. Our hero is a young girl named Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein), a Jedi-in-training apprenticed to Anakin, who would rather not babysit. Both teacher and student are rash, impulsive types, and they butt heads and trade quips while on a mission to rescue the infant son of Jabba the Hutt (you heard me) from kidnappers.

Director Dave Filoni and his crew have created a unique visual style for their computer-generated characters; they look as if they’ve been carved out of wood rather than drawn with a pen (or mouse). The overall effect, while distinctive, is a bit arid—there’s little softness to even the softest moments. Unfortunately the dryness extends to some of the script. The tween-age Ahsoka is a charmer—her funky look, wry humor and ‘whatever’ tone of voice should draw in plenty of girls not yet sold on Star Wars. But Henry Gilroy’s screenplay is a call-and-response affair: something sarcastic, something sarcastic back, and so on. You can’t blame Gilroy, though; at some point, George Lucas just stopped caring what comes out of his characters’ mouths.

But the fun of the film isn’t in the chit-chat; it’s in the toys. The film’s action seems perfectly calibrated to the playful minds of it young audience. Battles and chases are relentless, imaginative and, at times, wildly fantastical. One representative scene has Republic forces fighting their way to cliff, then straight up it—walking tanks and robot drones blasting away at each other at 90-degree angles. Because, why not? I could swear I staged the same scenario up the side of my bed when I was six—it was awesome.

The PG rating comes with a little of everything. There is some bodily harm in the picture. When Jabba the Hutt sends bounty hunters to look for his son, only their severed heads return. Clones—who, despite their genetic similarity, have different names and personalities and haircuts) are shot, blown up or relieved of their heads as well. Adult language amounts to a single ‘damn’, though several aliens use the word ‘poodu’, which, as fans of the other movies will remember, translates most delicately as “manure”. Characters occasionally call their enemies ‘scum’, and—though I can’t be sure—I think I heard a dying robot say “Oh my God.” (The metaphysical implications of that will have to wait for another time.) In a seedy cantina, Ziro the Hutt, Jabba’s uncle, is seen enjoying smoke from some kind of water pipe, though he appears unimpaired. In the same scene the camera pans briefly past two bulbous alien heads leaning in for a kiss. (Shudder.)

So Star Wars: The Clone Wars may not be high drama. But if animated summer fun is what you want, then these are the droids you’re looking for.


There was a trailer for the latest installment of the ever-darkening Harry Potter series, featuring a couple of quick-and-scary moments—you may want to distract the young ones. The other previews were for The Express, a civil rights-era football drama; Yes Man, a new Jim Carrey movie for you to forget; and the animated sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.


By Jared Peterson

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Tips From our Sponsors

Stay Connected


Most Read