Making the Grades
For Star Wars fans who've mourned the conclusion of George Lucas' sextet of galactic space adventures, the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is sure to relieve some of the misery. The computer-generated adventure, animated in a style influenced by such diverse art forms as Japanese anime and marionettes, takes place during the Clone Wars, a period only briefly explored during the previous stories.
With battles raging across the Empire, the Republic's forces find their resources stretched to the limit. In the midst of this turmoil, Jabba the Hutt (voice by Kevin Michael Richardson) appeals to the Jedi Knights to come to his aid. Renegade forces have kidnapped the crime lord's son and Jabba is eager for his safe return. Realizing the need to ensure safe passage for their ships through the Outer Rim Territories, which is under the Hutt's control, Yoda (voice by Tom Kane) agrees to send Anakin to scout out and scale the fortress where they believe the young captive is being held.
But, Anakin isn't going alone. The impetuous and often arrogant Jedi has been assigned to take on a Padawan apprentice, Ahsoka Tano (voice by Ashley Eckstein). Clearly a gifted and devoted student, Ahsoka is eager to prove she is a capable pupil despite her tender years. Yet when it comes to recovering the little Hutt, the twosome clash over how to infiltrate the captor's lair, which is guarded by Asajj Ventress (voice by Nika Futterman) and her twin lightsabers. Meanwhile Count Dooku (voice by Christopher Lee) and the Separatist army try to sabotage their rescue mission.
Playing out on the large screen like a visually enhanced video game, the film is packed with rapid-fire assaults, fiery explosions and the relentless dissemination of ammunition from both forces. The decapitation of one character and perilous situations for others also plague these intergalactic warriors. Unfortunately the females in the film are left to fight their enemies without any semblance of body armor. Clothed in a midriff-baring band of cloth and tiny shorts, Ahsoka must take on the battle droids without the benefit of protective wear. The Republic's senator Padm0xE9 Amidala (voice by Catherine Taber) and the evil assassin Asajj Ventress also strip down to body-hugging gear to fight their opponents.
Costuming discrepancies aside however, the script offers nearly 100 minutes of fast-paced warfare, new characters, including Jabba's uncle Ziro the Hutt (voiced by Corey Burton), and a reunion with old favorites like Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice by James Arnold Taylor) and Mace Windu (voice by Samuel L. Jackson).
While Anakin's dark ending is no longer a mystery, The Clone Wars confirms that for diehard fans, the galaxy is still full of unexplored worlds and unknown inhabitants waiting to have their stories told.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Star Wars- The Clone Wars.
How does Anakin feel about being given a Padawan? What impact does this new assignment have on him? How do you feel about being a teacher or mentor to others?
In a press packet, George Lucas says the idea of doing an animated version of Star Wars allowed the filmmakers to “tell other stories, show other Jedi, introduce new characters and even tell stories about the clones themselves.” What do you think about this decision? Does the animation enhance or distract from the live-action film franchise?
For games and activities aimed at the young Star Wars fan, check out the official website at StarWars.com.