Sunday, August 17, 2008

Clone Wars

Star Wars.

Those two words invoke great excitement to me and almost any other male around my age. Seeing Star Wars for the first time as a five year old was an awe inspiring experience. I had never seen _anything_ like it, and it completely blew me away. I still remember the feeling I had when I got home, of wanting nothing more in the world than to see it again...

Much has been written about the five movies that followed, both good and bad. I am not in the group of people that thinks that Lucas should be producing Citizen Kane quality scripts for the prequels. I enjoyed them for what they were, and enjoyed the immensely. Were they perfect? No. Episode II could have been vastly improved with the inclusion of a couple of scenes that made the DVD as deleted scenes, for one. But they were fun, which was the point.

A cartoon network series called "The Clone Wars" was produced between Episode II and III. What made those cool was that they filled in a lot of the gaps between the two movies. General Grievious is not all that interesting in Episode III, but he is awesome in the cartoon. Further, if you saw the clone wars, you understand why Grievious was coughing and injured when we first meet him in Episode III.

But I digress (and provide a suitable disclaimer for my enthusiasm!)

On Friday I took my seven year old son to see the new "Clone Wars" that was released in the theaters. In short, we had a great time.

Lucas has always wanted to produce saturday morning serials in space, and with the clone wars he finally has it. It even begins with the feel of "we join our fearless heros as they fight this epic battle!" with a cheesy announcer over the action. The Clone Wars is to be a TV series this fall on cartoon network, and this movie lays the groundwork for a lot of action adventure. I almost expected a voiceover at the end to say "tune in next week to see our heros fight evil once again!"

The story was simple, but a fun ride. Dooku is the prime villain, but the movie is about small piece of the galactic conflict and the republic having access to space routes controlled by the hutts. There are no earth shattering plot twists, it's simple and straightforward. Exactly what you would expect from a saturday morning serial aimed at kids.

The only uncomfortable moment for me is the character of ziro the hutt, who is clearly a transvestite. Thankfully, my son has no idea but I wasn't exactly amused. The character is terrible top to bottom, and has no place in a star wars universe. Hopefully he is history after this movie.

My son is seven, and he can't wait for the tv series this fall. And that's really the point. Lucas has always wanted to do this, and he finally has his venue. The Clone Wars lets him create what he has always wanted to do, and we get to come along and enjoy the ride. I am grateful that we can enjoy this. Would I go see this in the theater if I didn't have a seven year old? No, but I would definitely buy the dvd.


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