This is about the film, for the other media see The Clone Wars (Disambiguation)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 CGI animated science fiction film that follows the continuing adventures within the Star Wars universe. It is set between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The film premiered on August 10, 2008 at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre and was released in theaters on August 14, 2008 across Australia, and August 15 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom by Warner Bros.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the seventh Star Wars feature to be released in theaters in North America (the eighth in Europe as Caravan of Courage received a cinematic release there in 1984) and is the first animated theatrical film for the franchise, and the first to be distributed by Warner Bros. instead of 20th Century Fox. It is the first theatrical Star Wars film to be directed by someone other than George Lucas since Return of the Jedi's Richard Marquand. It is also the only theatrical Star Wars film not scored by John Williams; Kevin Kiner composed brand new music instead, while Williams recycled the original music. .
The film begins with a narrator explaining the state of the Clone Wars instead of an opening crawl like its predecessors. The Separatists control the majority of the hyperlanes, leaving Republic forces stranded in different parts of the Outer Rim. Jabba the Hutt's son Rotta is kidnapped as part of a plan to make the Hutts join the Separatists.
Soon after the final victory for the Republic on Christophsis, Yoda arrives and brings the Jedi up to date on the situation concerning Jabba's son. The Republic needs Jabba on their side to ensure unfettered travel through Jabba's trade routes. Anakin and Ahsoka are tasked with retrieving the child, while Obi-Wan flies to Tatooine to assure Jabba that Rotta will be retrieved.
On the planet Teth, Anakin, Ahsoka and their clones assault a monastery that sits atop a high stone pillar. They find Rotta, but discover that he is ill, requiring them to get him help immediately. But they have been caught in a trap by Count Dooku, who hopes to frame the Jedi for Rotta's disappearance (and possible death), thereby ending any chance of the Republic striking a deal with Jabba. He has sent his assassin, Asajj Ventress, to secure fake evidence of the Jedi's supposed double dealing, then to recapture the young Hutt and return it to Jabba, putting the crime lord in the Separatists' debt.
Anakin and Ahsoka manage to escape the trap along with R2-D2 and hijack a derelict transport which they use to travel to Tatooine. Obi-Wan, alerted by Anakin, arrives just in time to relieve the clone forces and engages Ventress in a lightsaber duel where he manages to defeat her, though Ventress flees in the face of capture. On board the derelict ship, Ahsoka manages to cure Rotta by the use of medical supplies on board.
In the meantime, Senator Padmé Amidala learns of Anakin's mission and fears for his safety. She decides to contact Jabba's uncle, Ziro, who lives in a shady part of Coruscant. The Hutt refuses to cooperate, apparently believing that it is the Jedi who are responsible for the situation. Padmé, however, soon discovers that Ziro has actually conspired with Dooku to engineer the downfall of his nephew in order to seize power over the Hutt clans. Padmé is discovered and detained, but a chance call by C-3PO enables her to summon help, and Ziro is arrested.
Upon their arrival on Tatooine, Anakin and Ahsoka are attacked and shot down. Faced with a long trek across desert sands and relentless opponents, Anakin devises a ruse: he confronts Dooku while carrying a decoy Rotta, leaving Ahsoka and R2-D2 to take the real Rotta to Jabba's palace. While Anakin fights Dooku, Ahsoka is ambushed by three Magnaguards. As Anakin and Dooku fight, Dooku activates a mini holo-image projector, showing Ahsoka fighting the Magnaguards. Dooku then explains that the Magnaguards are to kill Rotta, and bring Ahsoka to Jabba for punishment for Rotta's murder. Believing that Ahsoka's life is in danger, Anakin abandons the fight to help her.
|Matt Lanter||Anakin Skywalker|
|Ashley Eckstein||Ahsoka Tano|
|James Arnold Taylor|| Obi-Wan Kenobi|
|Tom Kane|| Yoda|
|Christopher Lee||Count Dooku|
|Dee Bradley Baker|| Captain Rex|
|Samuel L. Jackson||Mace Windu|
|Nika Futterman|| Asajj Ventress|
|Ian Abercrombie||Palpatine/ Darth Sidious|
|Catherine Taber||Padmé Amidala|
|Corey Burton|| Whorm Loathsom|
Ziro the Hutt
|David Acord||Rotta the Huttlet|
|Kevin Michael Richardson||Jabba the Hutt|
|Matthew Wood|| Battle droids|
Star Wars: The Clone Wars was designed to serve as both a stand-alone story and a lead-in to the weekly animated TV series of the same name.> George Lucas had the idea for a film after viewing some of the completed footage of the early episodes on the big screen. Those first few episodes, originally planned for release on television, were then weaved together to form the theatrical release. The story of the kidnapped Hutt was inspired by the Sonny Chiba samurai film titled "Shogun’s Shadow".
Warner Bros. had tracked the series' development from the beginning, and Lucas decided on a theatrical launch after viewing early footage, and deciding, "This is so beautiful, why don't we just go and use the crew and make a feature?" Lucas described the film was "almost an afterthought." Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing, said of the decision, "Sometimes George works in strange ways."Quenqua, Douglas. Producer Catherine Winder said the sudden decision added to an already large challenge of establishing a show "of this sophistication and complexity," but she felt it was a good way to start the series, and she felt budgetary constraints forced the production team to think outside the box in a positive way.
Lucasfilm Ltd. and Lucasfilm Animation used Autodesk software to animate both the film and the series, and the Maya 3D modeling program to create highly detailed worlds, characters and creatures. The film's animation style was designed to pay homage to the stylized looks of both Japanese anime and manga, and the supermarionation of the British 1960s series Thunderbirds. At a Cartoon Network-hosted discussion, Lucas said he did not want the Clone Wars film or television series to look like such movies as Beowulf because he wanted a stylized look rather than a realistic one, and he did not want it to look like the popular Pixar movies such as the The Incredibles because he wanted the film and characters to have its own unique style. Lucas also decided to create the animated film and series from a live-action perspective, which Winder said set it apart from other CGI films because it "meant using long camera shots, aggressive lighting techniques, and relying on editing instead of storyboards." Animators also reviewed designs from the original 2003 Clone Wars series when creating the animation style for the film and the new series.
The film's music was composed by Kevin Kiner. Some actors from the live-action films, including Anthony Daniels, Matthew Wood, Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, returned to voice their respective characters.
The film was almost universally panned by film critics. Entertainment Weekly listed Star Wars: The Clone Wars as one of the five worst films of 2008, with EW critic Owen Gleiberman saying:
- "It's hard to tell the droids from the Jedi drones in this robotic animated dud, in which the George Lucas empire strikes back—at the audience. What wears you out is Lucas' immersion in a Star Wars cosmology that has grown so obsessive-compulsively cluttered yet trivial that it's no longer escapism; it's something you want to escape from."
- ―Owen Gleiberman, EW.com
The Clone Wars earned only a 19% "fresh" approval rating among 142 reviews compiled at the Rotten Tomatoes site, as well as 8% among 24 "Top Critics." This constituted by far the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating of any Star Wars film; the previous six theatrical films ranged from 63% to 97%, and even the made-for-television Ewok movies and the much-derided The Star Wars Holiday Special garnered higher ratings, although their averages encompassed far fewer reviews. At Metacritic, the movie scored 35% based on 30 reviews, earning it the status "generally negative."
"Ain't It Cool News", a movie review site, posted two reviews of the film during the week before its release, but pulled them down due to an embargo placed on those attending the screening its writers attended. The same reviews were reposted on the site the day of the film's release. The retraction prompted some readers to allege a conspiracy by LucasFilm to keep negative press out of circulation until the release of the film, but although the review by site creator Harry Knowles was negative, Drew "Moriarty" McWeeny said that his review was positive and that no such conspiracy existed.
Several critics compared The Clone Wars to a Saturday morning cartoon and described it as little more than a plug for the upcoming animated series of the same name. Linda Barnard, of the Toronto Star, said the movie "pretty much drives a stake into the heart of every loyal fan of the movies. And now [George Lucas is] out to stick it to those too young to know about Jar Jar Binks." Film.com writer Eric D. Snider wrote, "Remember how people talked about the Star Wars prequels like they were the worst movies ever made, when really, come on, they weren't THAT bad? The Clone Wars actually IS that bad." Variety magazine reviewer Todd McCarthy said, "This isn't the Star Wars we've always known and at least sometimes loved." Joe Neumiar, of the New York Daily News, wrote, "If this were a true Star Wars film, right about now somebody would say, "...I've got a bad feeling about this." In his review for Entertainment Weekly, critic Owen Gleiberman gave the movie an F grade and wrote, "George Lucas is turning into the enemy of fun." Carrie Rickey, of The Philadelphia Inquirer, said, "The best that can be said about the movie is that it's harmless and mostly charmless. The Clone Wars is to Star Wars what karaoke is to pop music."
Many criticized the animation as cheap, wooden, non-engaging, and out-of-date. Some reviewers drew negative comparisons to 1960s marionette-based shows Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5, although George Lucas previously said the animation style was a deliberate homage to such shows. Tom Long of The Detroit News said the animation "is downright weak compared to what's generally seen on screens these days" and said the characters are so stiff they look like they were "carved by Pinocchio's father." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, said "the characters have hair that looks molded from Play-Doh, bodies that seem arthritic, and moving lips on half-frozen faces -- all signs that shortcuts were taken in the animation work." McCarthy said "the movements, both of the characters and the compositions, look mechanical, and the mostly familiar characters have all the facial expressiveness of Easter Island statues." But some of the same reviewers who criticized the animation acknowledged some positive elements about it; McCarthy said it allowed for "somewhat more dramatic compositions and color schemes," and Carrie Rickey, of The Philadelphia Inquirer, said the scenery and backgrounds were "vivid and alive", although she said the characters "move as you would imagine the statues at a waxworks might."
Reviewers also criticized the dialogue, which Ebert said was limited to "simplistic declamations" and Claudia Puig of USA Today described as "stilted and overblown, a problem also in some of the live-action incarnations." Many critics also agreed that the battle scenes were repetitive and lacked tension; McCarthy described the action sequences as "a little exposition, an invasion; some more exposition, a lightsaber fight; a bit more blah-blah, a spaceship dogfight, and on and on." Linda Stasi, of the New York Post, also described the lack of character development in the film, writing that whereas the original Star Wars movies dedicated time to allowing viewers to get to know the characters, "Director Dave Filoni is so concentrated on the action that we're never given the chance to care who lives and who is blown into spare parts." Jason Anderson, of the Toronto Globe and Mail, wrote that although The Clone Wars is intended for younger audiences, "parents may be perturbed by the film's relentless violence." Ebert also found protagonist Ahsoka Tano cliched and "annoying," and Michael Rechtshaffen, of The Hollywood Reporter, said the attempts of humoring amid the bickering between Tano and Anakin Skywalker are "strained". Puig, however, said she enjoyed the character and that "her repartee with Anakin enlivens things."
Box office performanceEdit
As of December 21, 2008, The Clone Wars has earned $65,590,031 worldwide, including $35,161,554 in domestic box office grosses and $30,428,477 in foreign grosses. It was the third-highest earning film of the weekend, behind the action comedy film Tropic Thunder and The Dark Knight, which earned $25.8 million and $16.3 million, respectively. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, said the box office performance met expectations because two-thirds of the audience were families and the budget for the film was $8.5 million, frugal considering it was a CGI film, and because the movie was meant to introduce the animated series. Fellman said, "It was targeted to a specific audience for specific reasons. We accomplished that mission, and it will continue in another medium." When The Clone Wars dropped to $5.6 million in the second week, ContactMusic.com described it as "the first bona fide Star Wars flop."
Star Wars: The Clone Wars merchandise was first released on July 26, 2008. Hasbro released several 3 3/4-inch Clone Wars action figures, an electronic clone trooper helmet, a customizable lightsaber, and an electronic All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE). Toys "R" Us mounted digital clocks in all 585 of its stores that counted down to the release of the Clone Wars toys, and more than 225 of the stores opened at midnight for the debut of the Star Wars products. Two of the Toys "R" Us flagship outlets in Mission Bay, San Diego, California and Times Square in Manhattan, New York City held costume and trivia contests on July 26 and gave away limited-edition Star Wars toys with every purchase. A section of the Toys "R" Us website was also dedicated to The Clone Wars.
Due to the Lucas's sudden decision to make a Clone Wars film after viewing footage of the television show, Lucas Licensing did not have time to enter into agreements with previous Star Wars marketing partners like Pepsi, Burger King and Kellogg's, with which the Lucasfilm licensing company had a 10-year marketing plan for the other films; when questioned by The New York Times for a Star Wars merchandising in July 2006, a Pepsi spokesperson was unaware a new Star Wars film was even being released. Target and KB Toys also devoted shelf space for Clone Wars toys, but did not hold midnight releases or pursue the branding opportunities Toys "R" Us did. The McDonald's fast food restaurant chain held its first ever Happy Meal promotion for a Star Wars movie starting on August 15. For four weeks, 18 exclusive toys came in specially designed Happy Meal boxes.
DK Publishing and Penguin Group released books, activities and other merchandise that will tie in with the film. Clone Wars: The Visual Guide, to be published by DK, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, to be published by Puffin in the UK and Grosset & Dunlap in the U.S. The publishers also released storybook, picture books and an activity book. At the American International Toy Fair, Lego announced a product line for the film and the TV series, to be released in July 2008 in the United States and August 2008 in the United Kingdom. The LucasArts video game developer adapted the movie into Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Jedi Alliance for the Nintendo DS and Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels for Wii. A reviewer from PocketGamer.co.uk said his expectations for Jedi Alliance were low due to poor Clone Wars movie reviews, but he found the game "a varied and well-paced experience."
Dark Horse Comics published a six-issue digest-sized comic book mini-series. Randy Stradley, vice president of publishing for Dark Horse, said the sudden decision to release the Clone Wars film required the company to temporarily delay plans for two other Star Wars comic book series, Dark Times and Rebellion. The Clone Wars comics did not receive the promotional campaign it otherwise would have due to the abruptness of the theatrical and comic book releases. Topps, the trading cards company, released a series of 90 Clone Wars cards on July 26, which also included foil cards, motion cards, animation cel cards and rare sketch cards by top Star Wars artists and Lucasfilm animators.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on August 12, 2008. The disc begins with the main theme by John Williams, followed by more than 30 separate music cues composed by Kevin Kiner. Kiner is known for his work on such television series as Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: Enterprise, Superboy and CSI: Miami. The soundtrack uses many instruments never heard before in a Star Wars score, including synthesizers, electric guitars, erhus, duduks, ouds and taikos.
A Star Wars: The Clone Wars open wheel car for the IndyCar Series was unveiled at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International. The #26 car, which also included Blockbuster Inc. decals and was driven by Andretti Green Racing driver Marco Andretti, ran August 24 on the Infineon Raceway in the Sonoma Mountains in California; Andretti said, "I'm hoping that my upcoming battle at Infineon will be as exciting as anything in a Star Wars movie so I can win it for both Blockbuster and Lucasfilm." The car finished 14th at Infineon, which Andretti attributed to a slow pit stop early in the race; he added, "I just don't think it was a very good performance for us today." The Clone Wars car was the second collaboration between Lucasfilm, Blockbuster and Andretti Green Racing, which premiered an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull car in the Indianapolis 500 in May 2008.
A Star Wars: The Clone Wars MP3 player was released in August 2008. The player includes one gigabyte of memory, which holds 200 songs or 20 hours of music and comes with three interchangeable faceplates: a green one with Yoda and a lightsaber on it, a silver one with Captain Rex and a Galactic Empire logo on it, and one with two Clone troopers on Coruscant. One review claimed it improved upon a Darth Vader MP3 player released in July 2008, which featured only 512 megabytes of memory and a dated visual display. A Star Wars iPod iSpeaker (a speaker/dock for iPods, iPhones and MP3 players) also released; the speaker includes an image of Captain Rex and three other Clone Troopers.
The film's 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States and on December 8, 2008 in the UK . The film will be released as a single-disc DVD, two-disc Special Edition DVD, and Blu-ray. The standard-definition versions include the film in widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX sound, and with feature-length audio commentary.
- Official site at StarWars.com
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Wookieepedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Original Motion Picture Soundtrack official site
- English language trailer
- Entertainment Weekly Review
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