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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One (review)

If you were a Star Wars completist dork like me as a kid — I had to have all the action figures, including all the cantina characters I didn’t even remember being in the film and all the characters in their different costumes, like Leia in her Bespin getup — then you’ll probably want to get your paws on this DVD, too. I mean, it’s got that lightsaber *wohnn* sound all over the place, and man, that still gives me chills. And you know those Clone Wars we’ve been hearing about since Luke whined that he’d been planning to go into Toshi Station for some power converters? Here they are, in all their stuff-blowin’-up-real-good glory. Cartoon Network dropped a collection of 19 three-minute and one five-minute chapters into their programming in Fall 2003 and Spring 2004, and here they’ve been combined into one short film that fills the void between Episode II, Attack of the Clones, and Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda… the whole prequel gang is here (with some decent voice imitations of the all-star movie cast), courtesy of the simple but superstylish graphic design of acclaimed animation director Genndy Tartakovsky (of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory fame). There’s way more action than character, and it’s surprisingly gross and funny in spots (a muscly bad-guy monster explodes!)… except, well, this is aimed at adolescent boys, so perhaps “gross and funny” isn’t so surprising after all. We get our first glimpse of the new Episode III villain, General Grievous, and okay, it’s not exactly that first appearance by Boba Fett in the Star Wars Holiday Special, but still. And oh yeah, more than one character gets to say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” It’s all pretty much strictly for fanboys and -girls, but so what? The extras are almost as geekily drool-inducing as the feature: an Xbox playable game level of Star Wars: Republic Commando, an interview with George Lucas in which he talks about how this animated series connects with Revenge of the Sith, the Episode III teaser trailer, and a lot more.

MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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tv on dvd

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