Sunday, August 24, 2008

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS - in which George Lucas creates, against all odds, a character even more annoying than Jar Jar Binks

When I was a kid I was so obsessed with Star Wars that I used to write fan-mail to George Lucas to make Parts I to III of the saga. I've since learned that some things are better left to the imagination.

The movie plays as one long battle peopled with sanctimonious Jedi, anonymous robots and the odd banal evil-doer. Anakin Skywalker is actually less wooden now that Hayden Christiansen is out of the picture and he's just a 2-D animation, but most of the key characters suffer from being voice-impersonations. Obe-wan Kenobi is a case in point. You've got a Yank impersonating a Scot doing a bad impersonation of a Brit with a very particular accent. And god knows what sort of cor blimey guv'nor accent Captain Rex has been given. Accents aside, the dialogue is your typical clunky George Lucas fare made worse by vocabulary aimed firmly at the pre-teen market. This is encapsulated in the deeply annoying new character, Ahsoka Tano, a young female Padowan straight from the Valley, who calls Anakin "Sky guy" and needs a good slapping.

Buried underneath all the battle scenes and annoying dialogue is a plot that is pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, even though we're meant to really care about the outcome. Both the Republic and the Separatists are fighting for the allegiance of Jabba the Hut. Palpatine and Dooku try to frame the Jedi for the kidnapping of Jabba's baby (I know, I know). The Jedi have to rescue the baby and present him alive and well to his dad. That's it.

Holding up this animated movie against the original trilogy is unfair. Lucas isn't claiming this film to be the heir of the original trilogy. We all know that this is a shameless cash-in, advertising a forthcoming kids TV series. It's aimed at a new generation reared on The Bear in the Big Blue House, rather than a generation of tired old fanboys whose dreams of quality films depicting an expanded universe were shattered some years ago.

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS is on release in Argentina, Australia, Germany, Peru, Sweden, Colombia, Finland, Norway, Panama, Turkey, the UK, the US, Venezuela, Japan, Belgium, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Japan. It opens later in August in France, Portugal and Singapore, Brazil, Iceland and Spain. It opens in September in South Korea, Italy and Poland. It opens in October in Slovakia, Russia and Greece.

1 comment:

  1. Just to clarify a minor detail, Scotland is part of Great Britain so therefore when you refer to Ewan McGregor as a 'Scot doing a bad impersonation of a Brit' means the same thing. Anyway I thought he did a good job myself, and I'm English!