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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > TV on DVD Reviews > Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided

 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

A Galaxy Divided (Warner Bros. Home Video-2009)

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 Everyday Beautiful

Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: April 3, 2009.

Thirty years ago, The Clone Wars was part of a throwaway line in the original Star Wars film, when Obi-Wan Kenobi was explaining to Luke Skywalker how he had known his father.  Simply, when Obi-Wan was telling him that they had fought together, Luke asked, “You fought in the Clone Wars?” 

Well, apparently that made-up-on-the-fly term has haunted Star Wars mastermind George Lucas ever since.  The Clone Wars have since played a role in the fifth and sixth films of the series (The Attack of the Clones and The Revenge of the Sith).  They were turned into an animated full-length theatrical film and became two animated TV series – a 2003 version on FOX (which had dropped the “The,” to become simply Star Wars: Clone Wars) and this current Cartoon Network incarnation.  There have also been three video games (one in 2002, two in 2008), two comic book series and a novel. 

No one ever accused George Lucas of being unable to squeeze every last penny out of a concept. 

Continuing that… umm, thrifty… mindset, the current Star Wars: The Clone Wars series is apparently being rationed out on video.  Only the first four half-hour episodes of the series are available in this package rather than going the more traditional entire-season box set route. 

And three of those four episodes have the word “Malevolence” in the title. 

In fairness, this sampler platter is priced rather cheaply – but still I'd imagine most people interested enough to get this would be willing to pay more to get the whole season. 

The entire series (as well as all those other Clone Wars spin-offs mentioned above) is supposed to look at the three-year period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. 

Therefore, how much you enjoy Star Wars: the Clone Wars – a Galaxy Divided pretty much depends on how interested you are in the minutiae of George Lucas’ galaxy (far, far away…) of imagination.

On the plus side, The Clone Wars series – while far from perfect – is significantly better than The Clone Wars movie.  Unfortunately, like the movie, the animation – in particular the character animation – looks pretty bad.  The ships look cool, as do the robots, but humans and aliens really just don’t work very well.  I said in my review of The Clone Wars movie that the characters look like they were refugees from a 60s Rankin-Bass Claymation holiday special, and that problem sadly hasn’t changed.

As with everything Star Wars since Return of the Jedi, the dialogue is pretty awful.  Their idea of a clever pun is having robot C3PO greet his friend droid R2D2 with a relieved “R2, you’re a sight for short circuits!” 

That being said, The Clone Wars actually works a lot better in half-hour chunks. 

Though it resides in a slightly uncomfortable netherworld – a bit too violent for small children but a bit too juvenile for adults – the four episodes follow the intergalactic war between the good (Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, who hasn’t gone bad as Darth Vader yet) and evil (Count Dooku, Ventress and General Grievous.) 

Each episode portrays a different battle (although episodes two to four are all an different parts of a larger fight arc) and while it is sometimes all a little silly, the action scenes have the kind of immediate thrills the series has always offered.

At the end of the four episodes, you want to see more – so they have to be doing something right.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: April 3, 2009.