Saturday, August 16, 2008

Clone Wars

If you loved The Ewok Adventures Caravan of Courage and the Battle of Endor or the Star Wars animated series (Ewoks and Droids), well then you would pretty much like anything. And if you managed to sit through the Star Wars Holiday Special, then that will pretty much explain those psychiatric bills. And if you have never heard of the Star Wars Holiday Special (which made Wookies look like cuter Ewoks!) it is because of the greatest information suppression strategy by George Lucas ever and you should thank him for it.

It was on that basis that I took the entire family to see The Clone Wars animated Star Wars movie. Of course, this was the more sophisticated cousin of the Clone Wars series that was released prior to Episode III but with the indulgence of a new dimension to Jabba the Hut as a loving father of a son who squirmed his way around with Ewok-like cuteness. Suffice it to say, expectations were so low it would be hard not to exceed them.

And exceed them marginally this movie did. Indeed, I would go as far to say that on some levels the movie exceeded elements of the prequel trilogy. For instance, the acting was much better, the directing made sense, and there was far more consistent and continual carnage and less foreboding character development than Episodes I-III. The plot, of course, was ridiculous but not by Star Wars standards. I never bought the premise that Jabba the Hut would have or care about a family. I also don't know what became of his son in later movies but feel confident that the Jedi helped save someone who ultimately came up to no good.

On the level of a good movie to take kids to see, The Clone Wars is worth the ticket price. And I am sure they haven't finished milking that avenue yet. It even gives Anakin a padawan learner who somehow is gone by Episode III and so we can look forward to a tragic end in a future movie. So on the metric 'how many bad Star Wars movies do there have to be before you don't see another one,' this one keeps that count constant. LucasFilm has more reputation capital in the bank left to blow yet. Now that is foreboding.