‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Blu-ray Review
‘The Clone Wars’ is one of the biggest wars in Star Wars history. The mere mention of ‘The Clone Wars’ in the original Star Wars films had me very excited that one day George Lucas would share this story with us. Nearly 30 years later after the original trilogy, the war would begin in ‘Star Wars: Attack of the Clones’ and end with ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’. There wasn’t a full explanation on the events in-between both films. The original television series on Cartoon Network ran from 2003 to 2005, with a total of 25 chapters to the story. ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ film continues the story from the previous Cartoon Network series and will lead right into the events of ‘Revenge of the Sith’.
George Lucas made an excellent decision to flesh out the story over 100+ animated CG episodes. This feature film would be used as the launching pad for the new CG animated series on the Cartoon Network. The decision was made to release the pilot feature film in the theaters. ‘The Clone Wars’ didn’t do as well with a total worldwide gross of $67 million dollars. While this was considered a disappointment at the box office, I would consider it medley successful for a pilot that could have been split up as episodes on Cartoon Network.
As the war wages on between the The Republic and the Separatists’, there is a race to get supplies to the Outer Rim. On the crystalline planet of Christophsis, another war wages between the Republic’s limited clone army and the Retail Clan forces. The Republic is losing the war and also soldiers. With the help from Anakin and Obi-Wan, The Republic is starting to gain some ground on the Separatists’ forces with a few key victories.
The Hutts’ become a very instrumental part of the story when Jabba’s baby son Rotta is kidnapped. The deal is that whoever can return Jabba’s son to him, he will allow them to pass so they can transport the needed supplies and weapons. The key to victory lies at gaining passage to the other side. Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) tries to negotiate with the Hutt’s and by some time for them.
Yoda (Tom Kane) sends young Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) to help as Anakin’s new Padawan. Anakin (Matt Lanter) and his new Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) set out on a mission to find Jabba’s son. Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) tricks Jabba into believing that The Republic is responsible for Rotta’s disappearance. Dooku would send his own minion, Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman), to falsify evidence leading to the Jedi’s double dealing. Dooku’s plan has been put into place and can The Republic prove their innocence to the Hutts’.
The acting is pretty good in this film as some of the prequel trilogy actors were brought in to do voice work. Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles.
The story is where the film falters a bit as Jabba the Hutt turns into the central focus with the kidnapping of his son. While there has been uproar about this story, I found it to be mildly entertaining. I have watched several episodes of the television show on Cartoon Network with my son before viewing the feature film. ‘The Clone Wars’ is like any new television series, it takes several episodes to get things moving.
The print is presented in 1080p/VC-1 with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Due to the film being an all digital transfer, the animation looks superb. The colors are rather bright and vibrant. The image is clean throughout and the addition of excellent details is a nice touch with close up scenes. The look of the characters and the style that is being used may turn off a few ‘Star Wars’ fans. It almost makes the characters look like miniatures.
The Audio is presented in a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 EX mix. I found the audio to be rather impressive for a film that was originally intended for network television. The film takes advantage of the rears with all kinds of sound effects from the fighting on the battlefield with light sabers, ships flying overhead, lasers, and rifles blasting away. The rears did get a good amount of usage than I expected. Dialogue comes through the center channel very clean and crisp.
The Blu-ray version offers a nice set of special features in both high and standard definition. Both ‘A Creative Conversation Video Commentary’ and ‘The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories’ are the two best features on the disc. I enjoyed ‘The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories’ as this features delves into the background of the planets, vehicles, and battles with the perfect setup for Season One.
- A Creative Conversation Video Commentary
- The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories [HD]
- The Voices of the Clone Wars [HD]
- A New Score [HD]
- Gallery of Concept and Production Art [HD]
- Webisodes [HD]
- Deleted Scenes
- Take The Hologram Memory Challenge [HD]
- Trailers [SD/HD]
- Digital Copy
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ is a rather enjoyable film that kicks off one of the biggest wars in the ‘Star Wars’ universe into high gear. The story is where the film lacks a little bit and I would have expected something greater to kick start this new series. The Blu-ray version offers a nice set of special features in both high and standard definition. Picture and audio quality are top notch for a film that was to be originally on network television.