Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-Television) “Ambush”
Here is What You Need To Know:
Old George has promised/threatened us with a hundred episodes or more of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as he continues dragging of the Star Wars name through the muck. Having not yet seen the Star Wars: The Clone Wars “movie” that was recently released in theaters I was not sure as to what I should expect. Reviews at HDFEST and elsewhere have often been brutal, so I was bracing for the worst. Deal is, that as a television series, The Clone Wars barely manages to limp across the finish line. Now mind you, The Clone Wars isn’t horrible, it’s just not very good. If I can tolerate it, I will review every episode, letting you know which episodes are worth the time and which ones you can skip. Remember fans, geeks, dorks, wanna be Jedi’s and Sith Lords, there is absolutely no freakin’ law anywhere that says you have to keep watching what Alzheimer stricken George’s brain is churning out here. You can walk away from the television and not set that Tivo. I know that it is hard to believe, but its true.
The first episode, “Ambush” (how appropriate) takes us step by step with Master Yoda who is accompanied by a handful of clone troopers as they try to prove to the King of Toydaria that his planet should join the Jedi’s against Count Dooku. Dooku’s henchmen, or in this case, henchwomen Asajj Ventress is on hand with a battalion of droids. The episode is mostly an excuse to have Yoda jump around and carve stuff up, somewhat mindlessly, but it will keep you watching. The first thing you will notice is that the animation is pretty good, with one massive exception…the facial animation. No joking there are much better examples of good facial animations right here at HDFEST in the animation section. This is a mystery to me. A complete mystery. So for “Ambush” the story is weak and mostly an excuse for one battle sequence after another, with a little Jedi philosophy straight from Japan, tossed in to make one believe there is more substance than there really happens to be. Or in other words, the typical tricks from the Lucasfilm bag of wonder.
What Was Cool:
Some of the battle sequences are fun to watch.
Even with the wooden facial animations, The Clone Wars looks good in HD.
What Was Stupid:
The wooden facial animations are a real downer. I mean a real downer. I have no clue what all those folks at Lucasfilm were thinking. Oh wait a second, I think I do. The Clone Wars is absolutely designed to do one thing and one thing only-market to kids. Some of my friends here at HDFEST swore to me that this was the case but I was skeptical, not any more. Lucasfilm knows that, due to their overall decline in quality, they are losing their aging fan base and know that it is time to get some “new blood.”
The Film’s Real Genius or Geniuses:
The guy that convinced everyone that the facial animation was good enough, as that guy should run for President. Why not, there is a 99.9% he or she is smarter than some of the recent offerings we’ve had for OUR “Republic.”
Use of Science C+
Portrayal of Women B
Style/Sex Appeal B (The HD is sexy, but in that paper bag over the head, just don’t look at her/his face kind of sexy. Great body, but oh the face.)
Enjoyability Grade C (I hope future episodes will fair better.)
Home Theater/HD Factor B
Gut Check (Level of Studio Executive Guts) B (Why a “B” you ask? It takes guts to give the thumbs up to facial animation this weak, especially when the Star Wars name has been tagged on it.)
Overall Innovation C
Overall Grade C- (I have my fingers crossed that The Clone Wars will improve.)
A Little Fact About Cherie:
Recent email question-“Cherie did you have a Star Wars lunch box as a kid? Answer-“Why of course, I did my little part to help make Lucasfilm the fat, bloated dinosaur that it is today. Am I proud of it-you betcha.”