Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 11:21 UK

Press views: The Clone Wars

The Clone Wars premiere
The animation was premiered in Los Angeles
Critics have been delivering their verdicts on Star Wars: The Clone Wars which premiered in LA on Sunday.

The latest offering from George Lucas is an animated version of the cult sci-fi series.

Set between Episodes II and III - Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith - the movie follows Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle evil Count Dooku and his army.


Situated chronologically between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Clone Wars serves as the maiden voyage for Lucasfilm Animation, but despite the exclusively CGI rendering, this anticipated new episode is at best a reasonable facsimile.

Frankly, given the newer instalments' increasing reliance on CGI effects, the transition from live action to animation isn't really all that dramatic and that's part of the problem with the latest adventure.


One could say that excluding them from the big screen Star Wars saga was the equivalent of writing the history of the United States and leaving out the Civil War.

The omission, however, left Lucas and his cohorts with the opportunity to invent a virtually endless array of battles, which is what Clone Wars mostly consists of: a little exposition, an invasion; some more exposition, a light sabre fight; a bit more blah-blah, a spaceship dog fight; and on and on.


The spiritual (and chronological) successor to Genndy Tartakovsky's animated series, this computer-generated tale boasts similarly stylised visuals and over-the-top action.

The hyper-real outlook takes some getting used to, but once you've made the transition, the beauty of Filoni's brave new world becomes apparent.


The characters may be heavily stylised CGI caricatures of the saga's heroes and villains, but the essence of George Lucas's creation remains in a movie that bests at least two of the prequels.

Indeed, The Clone Wars' brand of simplistic, action-heavy storytelling is a fantastic breath of fresh air after the complex political machinations that bogged down much of Episodes I and II.


The main characters resemble thunderbird puppets and have marionette-like movements that you would not expect from a modern day CGI movie.

The animation overall is uninspiring and this is an absolute pity given the potential for a movie set in the Star Wars universe.

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