Movie Review: Star Wars -- The Clone Wars

Movie doesn't fly with its predecessors


I try not to pick favorites, but I do hold dear an article of junk food: I like Junior Mints. The creamy mint center fit snugly in a hard chocolate shell, eaten in two bites or one, is a treat to liven any occasion. Passing through a candy aisle, I saw a box of Junior fruit crèmes and thought I would take a chance with this new take on an old favorite.

I would not be surprised to learn that the creator of fruity Junior Mints also wrote the screenplay to "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

"The Clone Wars" is an animated take on the period between Episodes II and III of the Star Wars tales. Not surprisingly, the movie is less concerned with Jedi lore and there is an unusually high number of battle scenes.

The favorites from Episode III are there: Chancellor Palpatine, Mace Windu and Padme Amidala.

Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi are in the outer rim, dealing with an uprising, when they are called into a rescue mission.

Jabba the Hut's son -- yes, he has a son -- has been kidnapped, and the Republic is desperate enough for help in restoring order that they are willing to bargain with the gangster.

Matters are further complicated with the appearance of Asoka Tano, an obnoxious young padawan assigned to Anakin. Asoka is obviously going up against Jar Jar Binx for the role of most annoying Star Wars character, and, with her cute nicknames and oh-so-special learning moments, she just might make it.

Asoka is not the only character that jarred the tone of Star Wars.

Obi-wan has become a wisecracking battle commander. Anakin is at his worst, shamelessly making eyes at the less than dignified Senator Amidala.

I found the droids' behavior most distressing. I was not used to hearing much more than "Roger, roger" from the Separatist troops, so the lengthy battle commentaries were unnerving.

I suppose that if shown in a galaxy far, far, away where no one had seen great movies like "The Empire Strikes Back," "The Clone Wars would be acceptable. But it does not fly as an addition to the dignified saga of the Skywalker family. This cute animated feature will be enjoyed by children too young for "Revenge of the Sith," but it put me in the mood for some real Star Wars. Fruity Junior Mints just don't cut it.

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