Thursday, October 15, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Director: Dave Filoni
Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 98 min.
Score: 6 out of 10

I have to admit that I rented The Clone Wars fully expecting a turd of monolithic proportions. After reading some of the reviews that surfaced when the movie was originally released last summer I had wondered if I should rent it at all.

... but, come on! It's a Star Wars movie... how bad could it possibly be? Definitely not any worse than The Phantom Menace was, that's for sure.

I can't lie. I was pleasantly surprised and I am willing to go so far as to say that this movie was at least on the same level as Phantom Menace if not a touch better. It was corny in parts and there were a lot more outward attempts at humor than really fits into this kind of movie. But, as I said, it's another Star Wars movie for pete's sake!!! It's another thread in the vast universe that George Lucas gave the rest of the world 30+ years ago. The way it was reviewed you'd think that people were expecting something huge... something akin to the original... and that's just not possible.

The thing is... I get it now... that fact of the matter is that there is no recapturing the magic that occurred when the original Star Wars hit the theaters back in 1977. Sure, I still get that swelling feeling of joy in the pit of my chest every time I see the opening title...
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...
but, there is no going back. Frankly, when I watch it now I realize that the original Star Wars was no better than any of the other films in the series. I'll probably be crucified for saying that, but in my humble opinion, it's an undeniable truth that these were never conceived to be A-list movies. Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars and everything about it... I lived and breathed the saga for most of my childhood... and my adulthood. Star Wars holds an appeal that crosses generations simply because it has become an iconic part of not just popular culture, but our very social fabric. The Clone Wars just serves to fill in the story just that much more... and it does it in a reasonably adequate way.

So... if you're not a Star Wars fan don't bother. However, if you are a fan do yourself a favor and give it a look and leave your expectations at the door. I think you'll be surprised at how much you actually end up enjoying it.

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