"STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS – A GALAXY DIVIDED"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Matt Lanter as ANAKIN SKYWALKER
Ashley Eckstein as AHSOKA TANO
James Arnold Taylor as OBI-WAN KENOBI
Corey Burton as COUNT DOOKU
Richard McGonagle as GENERAL GRIEVOUS
Nika Futterman as ASAJJ VENTRESS
Catherine Taber a PADME AMIDALA
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Dee Bradley Baker as CLONE TROOPERS
Matthew Wood as BATTLE DROIDS
Tom Kane as NARRATOR
Available on DVD March 24
Official Kids WB site
Studio: Warner Bros.
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Between Episodes II and III, the “Star Wars” universe lived through “The Clone Wars.” George Lucas continues his “Star Wars” storylines with this new series. Anakin Skywalker has an apprentice of his own – Ahsoka Tano – and he is fighting alongside Clone Troopers to bring down the Separatists, led by Count Dooku and General Grievous.
WHAT I LIKED
When the feature film launch of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” hit the theaters last summer, I was endlessly frustrated with the critics I know who complained about the movie not living up to the standards of the live-action films. (Of course, these were the same people who complained that the prequels didn’t live up to the original trilogy, so this whining was to be expected.)
I always countered their argument with the defense that this was nothing more than a kids’ show. Were this to have come out when I was eight years old, I would have loved it as much as the films. Case in point, my two young sons – ages five and seven – are big fans of the series, which is broadcast on Cartoon Network.
If the child-like jokes in the show, the presence on prime-time Cartoon Network and kids-friendly web site on the Cartoon Network domain (http://theclonewars.cartoonnetwork.com/) don’t convince people that this is a kids’ show, then maybe they’ll be convinced by the economical packaging of the series on DVD. Taking a page from the Disney line and the SpongeBob discs, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Galaxy Divided” includes just four episodes of the series. Instead of packaging the entire series in one volume, it has been broken up for less expensive retail fees and a shorter run time.
This disc includes the first four episodes of “The Clone Wars.” The first follows Master Yoda on a diplomatic mission that turns into a fight for survival. The following three episodes include the Malevolence arc, in which the Republic fighters are battling General Grievous’s new space weapon, a battleship known as the Malevolence which carries an ultimate weapon that will disable any ship in its path.
Like the theatrical film, I enjoyed these episodes for what they were... a kids’ show. I wasn’t expecting hard-hitting dramatic sci-fi like “Battlestar Galactica.” I was expecting action, and lots of it. These are relatively disposable stories (because pretty much everyone dies in Episode III anyway) that make fun children’s television. They’re not meant to rewrite “Star Wars” history.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
With all my defense of “The Clone Wars” and Lucasfilm’s continued mining of the source material aside, this show isn’t perfect. I actually started recording the series on my DVR when it started last fall. I soon lost interest because it was all flash and little substance. For the die-hard “Star Wars” fans, it’s more from the universe, and that will appease them. However, the series is boxed into a corner because it can’t have anything develop past Episode III.
Sigh... such is the case with all the extended universe stories, I suppose.
Sadly, the only things contained on this disc are the four episodes.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Die-hard “Star Wars” fans and kids who watch Cartoon Network (which is pretty much all of them).