Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Note: Not to be confused with the Clone Wars show, which is widely considered to be great.
"Gear up for a movie based on a vague reference to something Mark Hamill said in 1977!"— Honest Trailers
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 CGI space opera film directed by Dave Filoni and written by Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching and Scott Murphy. It was produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film acts as a lead-in to the TV series of the same name. The film premiered on August 10, 2008, at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, followed by a wide release in Australia on August 14 and in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom the next day.
In 22 BBY, as more and more star systems get swept into the Clone Wars, the valiant Jedi knights struggle to maintain order. Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano embark on a mission that brings them face-to-face with the notorious crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Plotting against them are the evil Count Dooku and his apprentice, Asajj Ventress, who will stop at nothing to ensure that the two Jedi fail. Meanwhile, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi lead the Galactic Republic's clone army against the Confederacy of Independent Systems' droid forces.
- A Clone Wars film was a good idea on paper, but this film is actually edited from what was supposed to be four episodes of The Clone Wars animated series ("The New Padawan", "Castle of Deception," "Castle of Doom" and "Castle of Salvation"). George Lucas himself even said it was "almost an afterthought".
- Very weak plot that seems more appropriate for a family film than a serious space opera, despite having a surprisingly high body count.
- To really drive the point home, the story is about rescuing Jabba the Hut's son. You know, the hideous, womanizing, disgusting alien that later enslaved and tried to execute Anakin's children?
- It doesn't leave enough time for the plot and character establishment that it needs that were only properly achieved in the other films.
- Some unintentionally creepy moments, such as the scene where Anakin and Ahsoka silently smile at each other for an inordinate amount of time aboard a gunship.
- The lightsaber duels are pretty dull, especially when compared to the fast-paced action of the Prequel Trilogy.
- Lousy attempts at humor, most of which come off very forced and childish. Particularly from Rotta the Huttlet.
- Repetitive battle scenes that lack tension unlike the ones from the show and other movies. Not to mention the aforementioned already bland lightsaber duels (see BQ# 6 for more details).
- Mediocre animation that hasn't aged well (which was also a problem that plagued the show's first season).
- Many of the facial expressions are stiff, the lighting is poor, and the backgrounds more often than not look uninspired and dull.
- Ahsoka was an annoying and unlikeable character in this film (though she's far more likable in the series, and it does make her character development in said show much more impressive). But there's still the problem that this movie has her acting immature and arrogant for the most part. For example, her meeting Captain Rex was one of the movie's better moments at first due to how intertwined the two were later revealed to be (in the series that came out following the film). But the second she brings up that her status as a Jedi should make her outrank him, who's been training his entire life while she just arrived there, it causes her smug behavior to completely ruin the scene.
- On the subject of the characters, Anakin (while a drastic improvement over his prequel persona) is portrayed as a stoic who keeps to himself and never opens up to others about the complications of his own life. For example, when he arrives on his home planet for the first time since the death of his mother with Ahsoka, he refuses to open up to her and be emotionally vulnerable for once, which would provide good character growth.
- This film would've been much better received if it was either a made-for-TV Movie or if it originally showed the original four episodes on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, rather than a theatrical movie.
- The soundtrack is pretty good.
- Great voice acting, with Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Matthew Wood (Battle Droids) even reprising their roles from the movies.
- Matt Lanter also does a great job as Anakin Skywalker.
- James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Tom Kane (Yoda) also reprise their roles from the 2003 Clone Wars microseries, as in the series.
- The Battle of Christophsis and the assault on the Teth monastery are the best parts of this movie.
- It introduced fan-favorites Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex.
- "Outnumbered? Wait, One, two-"
- Similar to Back at the Barnyard, the TV show it spawned is far better than the movie.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars received mostly unfavorable reviews from critics and viewers upon its release, with reviewers panning the writing, animation, tone, dialogue, and the decision to release the pilot episodes as a feature-length film. It holds an 18% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 169 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Mechanical animation and a less-than-stellar script make The Clone Wars a pale shadow of George Lucas' once great franchise.". This constituted the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating of any Star Wars film.
Metacritic scores the film a 35/100 indicating "generally unfavorable reviews", while IMDB scores a film a 5.9/10 rating.
The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award in the category "Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel", but lost to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, also from Lucasfilm.
- This was the first Star Wars film not to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, the only Star Wars film to be distributed by Warner Bros. (the only film in the franchise to be distributed by a company that is not a subsidiary of Disney) and the last Star Wars film to be released before the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012.
- This film was both a critical and commercial failure, and is the lowest grossing Star Wars film to date, though the preceding show, which debuted two months later on Cartoon Network, was a rating success and is widely considered one of the best Star Wars shows to date.
- This was the shortest Star Wars film, at only 98 minutes (1 hour and 38 minutes) long instead of the usual 2 hours.
- It is also the only theatrical Star Wars film to be animated rather than live-action.
- Lucas himself said he was inspired to make the movie while reviewing footage from the show.