"Animated Tales in a Galaxy Far, Far Away"
The STAR WARS franchise goes animated and moves to another studio with THE CLONE WARS, a feature length cartoon that takes place between Episode Two and Three. The movie is designed to jump-start Lucasfilm’s animated CLONE WARS series on TV this September on the Cartoon Network and TNT.
The animated feature opens quickly with a battle between a clone battalion of the Grand Army of the Republic, led by Obi-wan (“Ben”) Kenobi and Annakin Skywalker, and a regiment from the New Droid Army of the Separatists. The battle is not going well for the Republic. In the midst of the battle chaos, Master Yoda sends a female Jedi student named Ahsoka, to be taught by Annakin, who’s none too happy about the assignment. Overcoming his misgivings, Ahsoka helps Annakin destroy the droid army’s shield generator, and the battle is won!
Yoda then orders Annakin, Ben and Ahsoka to help save Jabba the Hutt’s infant son, who has been kidnapped by mysterious forces. The Republic believes that, by saving Jabba’s son, Jabba’s people will let the Republic’s warships travel along the Outer Rim in its war with the Separatists. Little do they know that the kidnapping is a sinister plot by the evil Chancellor Palpatine and his apprentice, Count Dooku. They plan to kill Jabba’s son and make it look like the Annakin and Ben did it. A game of cat and mouse, and plenty of action, ensues.
THE CLONE WARS is a fast-paced, entertaining, beautifully drawn movie with lots of action. Once again, however, the Annakin Skywalker character comes across as too petulant, which is not an attractive character trait. Also, the early battle scenes are a bit repetitious and the movie runs a bit too long.
STAR WARS fans also may be upset that the movie doesn’t talk much about the Force, the pantheistic theology behind the franchise. Even so, the heroic Jedi Knights in the picture seem to be using the Force when they move objects around by a wave of their hands or make impossible leaps and jumps with their bodies. This, of course, is part of many Asian martial arts legends and myths. Christians, however, will be happy that the new movie downplays the pantheistic, relativistic angle from the live-action versions. In fact, C3PO actually makes a reference to the Creator in one line, when he exclaims, “Thank the Maker!”
THE CLONE WARS contains one obscenity and lots of fighting and war violence. Overall, therefore, it warrants a caution for older children.
(PaPa, O, B, L, VV, M) Strong pagan worldview where mystical soldiers have special occult powers to move objects, leap and jump great distances, and sense the presence of other mystical soldiers, including one pantheistic reference to “the will of the Force,” mitigated by some positive moral elements, including one line where a character thanks “the Maker”; one “d” obscenity; plenty of cartoon action violence includes human soldiers battle droid armies, armies of artillery battle one another, laser gun battles, characters fight with STAR WARS light sabers, explosions during battles, etc.; no sex but an effeminate alien male speaks with a lisp; no human nudity, but giant slug creatures have no clothes; no alcohol; no smoking; and, kidnapping, deceit, villains try to frame heroes.
A new animated adventure, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS opens with a battle between a clone battalion of the Republic, led by Obi-wan Kenobi and Annakin Skywalker, and a regiment from the Droid Army of the Separatists. The battle is not going well. In the midst of the chaos, Master Yoda sends a female Jedi student named Ahsoka to be taught by Skywalker, who’s not happy about it. Ahsoka helps Skywalker destroy the droid army’s shield generator, and the battle is won! Yoda then orders Skywalker, Kenobi and Ahsoka to help save Jabba the Hutt’s infant son, who has been kidnapped by mysterious forces. By saving Jabba’s son, the Republic might get free passage along the Outer Rim from Jabba’s people. Little do they know that the kidnapping is a sinister plot by Chancellor Palpatine and his evil apprentice, Count Dooku.
THE CLONE WARS is a fast-paced, entertaining, beautifully drawn movie with lots of action. Once again, Annakin Skywalker’s character comes across as too petulant. Also, the battle scenes stretch on a little long. THE CLONE WARS contains one obscenity and lots of action violence. It warrants a caution for older children.