Monday, January 02, 2006

Star Wars: Clone Wars

If you've already punished yourself by watching Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III, you should give yourself a little treat by watching the two animated Clone Wars DVDs. These DVDs gather together the Cartoon Network animated shorts, and cover events that occur between Episodes II and III.

Clone Wars Volume I consists of 20 episodes, each of which is about three minutes long, and each is jam packed with action covering various battles in the Clone Wars. (So much so that watching all of the episodes back-to-back can be a little overwhelming. Try spacing them out.) The Jedi combat will impress you more than anything in the movies, and you'll find yourself empathizing with the cartoon Anakin more than you ever did the Hayden Christiansen Anakin. And Mace Windu proves himself a total badass by single-handedly defeating an entire droid army, which is worth the price of the DVD alone.

Clone Wars Volume II consists of five episodes, each about 12 minutes long, which allows director Genndy Tartakovsky to create a more involved storyline. Virtually every missing event between Episode II and III is explained--C3P0's gold plating, Dooku training Grievous, the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and even the rasping cough that Grievous inexplicably had in Episode III.

The animation team is also responsible for the Samurai Jack series, and the stylized animation captures the energy and life of the original three Star Wars movies. It's clear that the animators, who were raised on Star Wars, care about preserving the Star Wars mythos and want to get every detail exactly perfect.

(P.S. Know me in real life? Ask to borrow the DVDs!)

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