Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Movie
What is it ? : It's the pilot for the Clone Wars animated series.
The story covers a plot by Count Dooku to implicate the Jedi in kidnapping Jabba the Hutt's son, and gain control of the Hutt's hyperspace routes in the Outer Rim of the Galaxy.
It introduces Ahsoka Tano as Anakins new apprentice, and has the two of them framed for kidnapping Jabba's son, when in fact they're rescuing him. They then have to safely take the kid back to Jabba while avoiding Jabba's henchmen and the forces of Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress.
High Points : The battle at the beginning is absolutely excellent, and I really enjoyed it. There actually seemed to be some tactics to it, rather than the usual two large armies march towards each other shooting, that is normal for Star Wars.
While I'm not a fan of the animation style and character design, the animation is good enough, and it's clear who everyone is (I still hate Obi-Wan's egyptian beard though).
The voice acting is decent, and the characterisation and dialogue is good (although Anakin seemed more sarcastic than Obi-Wan, which seemed a little off to me).
The story was a little obvious, but moved along at a good pace, and I enjoyed it well enough even if the hour and half running time seemed to drag a little.
Low Points : The show is targeted towards children, something I've never been a fan of (I was 6 when A New Hope came out, and enjoyed it far more than the child targeted Cat from Outer Space or other stuff like that), but it doesn't seem too bad. Ahsoka is obviously the child character that kids are supposed to connect with, but it's not too badly done (or at least so far), and while she is a bit of a know it all, I think they do show she's got a lot to learn.
So what do you really think ? : I enjoyed it well enough. Although I can see why I've not watched it up till now (it's targeted at kids, and I don't like it's visual style), they're not killers, and I think there's enough I like to keep me going. Hopefully I'll see the elements I enjoyed grow in future episodes, and they'll move away from the elements that annoyed me.
Final Words : While watching it, I made some notes, some were things I might want to create stats for in the coming days, other were things I noticed. So I'm going to cover my notes here.
Beheading Deaths: In the first moments of the episode you see a Clone Trooper get his head shot off (or at least his helmet goes flying), and you see numerous other Clone Troopers die throughout the episode. I really liked that, it showed that the war was dangerous and that while the heroes might be indestructible, people around them aren't, nice touch.
Lousy Generals: The Jedi continue to be terrible, terrible generals, they ignore experienced Clone Troopers, they wander off during battle, they have problems making plans beyond what 2 or 3 people will do. It's great to see the danger the Republic faces because they made the silly choice of making civilians into the commanders of their army.
Deal with Jabba: Obi-Wan is sent to make a deal with Jabba to rescue his son, it made me wonder if it is in some way influential in Obi-Wan's choice to hide on Tatooine? If Jabba owes him some small favour, or he at least knows Jabba well enough to predict him, then maybe helped him choose Tatooine (or maybe not).
Climbing ATTE's: During the episode, you see AT-TE's climbing a sheer cliff face, something I couldn't imagine an AT-AT being capable of. Made me wonder if AT-AT's are therefore the walker equivalent of the Tie Fighter, a cheaper discount version of those used during the Clone Wars.
Ahsoka murders unarmed Droid: When about the leave the planet, Ahsoka discovers a translator droid has been lying to her, so after defeating the Battle Droids along with it, she cuts it's head off. The droid is unarmed, and doesn't have any reinforcements, and she is moments away from leaving the planet in a starship, but she kills it never the less. Which just shows that Jedi don't care about droids as people at all, or possibly that young Ahsoka has a darker side which kind of makes sense for Anakins padawan.
Doctor Droid: While heading to Tatooine on a stolen ship, Ahsoka takes the child hutt to the ships sickbay, and activates it's holographic doctor (apparently called Doctor Droid), it's a Star Wars hologram (not a Star Trek one), so can only offer advice (and get the sickbay to dispense medicine), but it was really cool to see anyway.
Wipe out Hutt Clan: The first re-writing of the Star Wars Expanded Universe I've noticed, Dooku tells Jabba that the Jedi plan to kill Jabba and wipe out the Hutt Clan, making it seem that Jabba is leader of the Hutt Clan, whereas in the expanded universe, while Jabba is a major Gangster, he's not a player on the galactic level. The power they seem to be giving Jabba here is a change in the character (why would someone who apparently controls access to the entire galactic outer rim, and deny access to it to the Entire Republic and Separatist Fleets be meeting a small time smuggler like Han Solo, to get him to repay his debt. It would be like Vader being out enforcing speeding tickets on Coruscant). Just a note that the galaxy is changing.
Magna Guards in Fighters: Dooku sends some Magna Guards after Anakin in Belbullab starfighters, just like Grevious uses, which made a lot of sense to me. Liked that detail.
R2 Turret: Anakin gets R2-D2 to control the turrets on their ship, and shoot down the Magna Guards in their fighters, the first time that I've seen a non-combat droid shoot guns. Not sure I like it, R2-D2 and C-3P0 always felt like they shouldn't take part in combat directly.
Senator of the Galactic Congress: Amidala introduces herself towards the end, as "A Senator of the Galactic Congress", which seemed a little wrong, surely shes a member of the Galactic Senate, or a Senator of the Galactic Republic, not sure what the Galactic Congress is? Is it another name for the Senate, is it a separate group she's also a member of? Just seemed slightly wrong to me.
Score : 7.5/10
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