Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Matt Lanter
Ian Abercrombie
Anthony Daniels.
Directors
Dave Filoni.
Screenwriters
Henry Gilroy
Steven Melching
Scott Murphy.
Running Time
TBC minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Keeper Of Lost Causes, The
3 Star Empire Rating
If I Stay
2 Star Empire Rating
Let's Be Cops
3 Star Empire Rating
Obvious Child
4 Star Empire Rating
Million Dollar Arm
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Episode 2.5 - and Jar Jar Binks doesn’t feature at all!


submit to reddit


Plot
The son of Jabba The Hutt has been kidnapped, so the Jedi Council dispatches Anakin Skywalker (Lanter) and his feisty new apprentice to save the child and win the Hutts’ support.


Review
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Browse more images »

Brad Bird famously promised to punch anyone who refers to animation as a genre - it’s just a technique. It’s with a similar, if rather less belligerent, ethos that Lucasfilm brings us The Clone Wars. Animation, they argue, is just a new way of continuing the story that began in 1977. Whether or not you agree is up to you, but regardless of the nomenclature used, this latest offering is a very different experience to that of Episodes past.

The spiritual (and chronological) successor to Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated series, this computer-generated tale boasts similarly stylised visuals and over-the-top action. The hyperreal outlook takes some getting used to, but once you’ve made the transition, the beauty of Filoni’s brave new world becomes apparent. The cast of caricatures bear an intricate, textured aspect like that of hand-painted models, each familiar face lovingly exaggerated to fit the new mould.

There’s little reference to the larger saga here, focusing instead on the action, which unfolds through a series of slick skirmishes and colossal set-pieces. The stand-out is a giddy, vertical firefight on the craggy side of a plunging rock face - an arresting sequence that dares to try something genuinely fresh and inventive.    

Traditional lightsaber duels are here as well, of course, thanks to the welcome return of Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress, whose sinister looks and dual ’sabers are as crowd-pleasing here as in Tartakovsky’s cartoon.

Ahsoka Tano is the main addition to the roster: a precocious youngling who serves as Anakin’s unwanted padawan. Probably the most worrisome aspect of the film for fans, this sassy, smart-mouthed Jedi-in-training is actually surprisingly affable, striking up a snappy rapport with Anakin, who casts aside his usual pouty petulance. In fact, there’s a lightening of tone all round, allowing some tremendous fun with battle droids (who have finally found their natural habitat) and the introduction of Zero The Hutt - a drawling, cross-dressing pimp of a character and the closest Star Wars has to an intergalactic Huggy Bear.

If this doesn’t sound quite like the Star Wars you remember, that’s because in many ways it’s not. The absence of the Fox fanfare (substituted by Warner Bros.’ theme) is followed with no opening crawl, and the main title feels awkward without John Williams’ iconic score – replaced by a proficient but less grand offering from Kevin Kiner. All of this detracts from the film’s cinematic impact. Indeed, serving as an elongated introduction to the new Clone Wars series (destined for British TVs next year), this feels more like great television writ large than a movie in its own right.

The biggest grumble for fans will be that Clone Wars skews towards a younger audience than the live-action films. Despite the occasional hint of darkness (Ahsoka’s omission from Episode III bodes ill), this is a more frivolous affair than we’re accustomed to. However, Lucas has oft said that while the fans have grown up, Star Wars never has, and in many ways The Clone Wars accomplishes exactly what he set out to do 30 years ago: take people out of themselves to a galaxy far, far away. It may not be what the (now older) fans are hoping for, but this is entirely in keeping with Lucas’ original vision - whether you like it or not.


Verdict
An enjoyable escapade and a great introduction to the forthcoming series - just not the seventh Star Wars film fans were hoping for.


Reviewed by James Dyer

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Empire Star Rating

Things like this just ruin it ! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by elimonator at 14:25, 05 May 2010 | Report This Post


Star Wars Episode VII: A New Low

Only Lucas can make a movie 90mins long & still make it drag on ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by S1lent B0b at 20:59, 28 September 2009 | Report This Post


its not a film...its a feature long tv pilot blown up onto the big screen...and not a good one

this is a feature lenght pilot for the cartoon network tv series it is not a film and that is proved by its weak plot and bad script and yet again with modern star wars films its the music and action where the entertainment is. this is not a film its a pilot and not a good one maybe lucas should leave his old stuff alone and come up with a modern day hero which in 20 years time can make a crappy animation cash-in out of ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by THE DALTONATOR at 10:30, 25 January 2009 | Report This Post


Why only 3 stars?

I don't understand why the Empire review only gives this 3 stars when there's not a single negative comment in the entire review! I totally agree with the review, but it seems like they're still sore from the criticism they got over their original ratings for the prequels. Don't be ashamed Empire, the Clone Wars deserves 4 stars! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cunningmunki at 12:40, 11 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Jabba had a son? When was this?

Hated the Starship Troopers voiceover rip-off. Why do you need it when you got the greatest Irvine-the-Explainer scroll ever in the history of cinema!   And the Yoda talk seemed far too Yoda-ish in it's execution. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by elzupasmonkey at 01:03, 02 November 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Jabba had a son? When was this?

I'm enjoying the series. Anakin's actings better than the films. Hope they can do the same with the live action tv show. I was worried it might go down a Star Trek route where there's a moral to the story or some shit every week. Hope it don't turn into some kind of O.C type shit either with teeny characters ... More

Posted by kargon at 16:48, 31 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Jabba had a son? When was this?

I really really liked this. I thought the action was great and it felt really star wars like. I'm also enjoying the TV series. I pretty much echo Tech and Rhubarb that its nice to go back to the universe and just have some plain entertaining fun. The only annoying bit for me was Zero the hutt but his part was small and limited. 3.5/5 - Great entertainment. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shool at 15:59, 31 October 2008 | Report This Post


Jabba had a son? When was this?

Terrible plot (Jabba son gets kidnapped?), Average CGI (Looks like a playstation 3 game), and rather wooden acting (I'm looking at you Obi Wan). The only redeeming factor was seeing the clones in action. other than that it just felt like a big joke. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MovieWatcher45 at 13:00, 13 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: SKY GUY

My favourite bit was when Jabba pushed a custard pie into Dooku's face. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 12:50, 04 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: SKY GUY

Remember when Palpatine was like, "grrr I would have got away with it had it not been for those pesky kids!" ... More

Posted by tarantinofan at 14:12, 03 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

First off, the graphics are really great. Poor Count Dooku and Palpatine through. It looks like someone went a little over board on them. Thank you to the writers for inputting Anakin with a little more personality than just being moody all the time. It was far better than the clone wars cartoon which aired between the second and thrid film. ... More

Posted by white mage at 11:32, 03 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars - Clone Wars

L: Tech_Noir Maybe it's because my expectations were really low but I enjoyed this. Better than ntom Menaceme cool action. It was genuinely nice to go back to the Star Wars universe (deserts of Tatooine, etc.) after three years. Hell I may even get the DVD (if the extra features are good) and watch with younger relatives during Christmas holidays or something. ote]   Pretty much agree with that Tech. ... More

Posted by Rhubarb at 17:28, 02 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars - Clone Wars

Maybe it's because my expectations were really low but I enjoyed this. Better than ntom Menaceme cool action.   It was genuinely nice to go back to the Star Wars universe (deserts of Tatooine, etc.) after three years. Hell I may even get the DVD (if the extra features are good) and watch with younger relatives during Christmas holidays or something. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tech_Noir at 15:00, 02 September 2008 | Report This Post


Star Wars - Clone Wars

My 7 year old lad thought it was good. That said, I found it tedious and I am a SW fan.Lack of plot and in particular lack of any character development really undermined this. The animation is not going to be to everyone's taste but the dialogue is pants and (I did not think it really possible with animation but the acting is somehow wooden). The voiceover start is so quick you struggle to know what is going on at first but given the limited plot you soon catch up. Just a noise fest. Yes it is ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clonewars at 20:27, 01 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: A dead cow.

I liked it. my kids loved it. I loved the Batlle on top of the cliff face.. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ukacidman at 11:04, 01 September 2008 | Report This Post


RE: As the Clone Wars finished...

L: Wilbert L: Cruisecontroller L: danbo1138 all this ''hater'' shit''its a kids film bollocks'' is utter tosh.i love many a kiddies film(incredibles for starters is in my top 10) but that does not excuse bad scripts,wooden acting,terrible casting etc... Drawn better my acting and others can this be done?ore expressive maybe. Made of wood computer drawings cannot be. Yoda From. etting boring, this is. sp; ... More

Posted by Cruisecontroller at 22:42, 31 August 2008 | Report This Post


Plot

It didn't even try to be a movie. It was content in being an overlong animated TV cartoon. Come to think of it, I would enjoy KOTOR's cutscenes put together than this movie. The fact that it was targeted for kids doesn't excuse the simplified plot. Shrek was 10 times more enjoyable than this, if they can pull it off, why can't the Star Wars franchise do the same? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mawriz at 09:01, 31 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

he hell was Bib Fortuna? Given that he was in Episode 1, surely he should have been by Jabba's side in Episode 2.5? ... More

Posted by Darth Goonie at 21:10, 30 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Based on how much my little lad enjoyed it 5/5. Based on how much I enjoyed it 2.5/5. The vertical battle was fun but my god that Asoka was annoying. It was amazing how much I missed the Williams score. I appreciate much more now how his music lifted the films.   BTW is it wrong I noticed that it looked like Padme had a camel toe? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vader100 at 16:16, 30 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars www.hecklerspray.com/movie-review-star-wars-the-clone-w ars/200815840.php [b]Say what you want about the [i]Star Wars[/i] prequels, it's still an u/b] So it's a feeling of impending cinematic doom when this new prequel/middne Wars[/i] as it replaces the text crawl with a voiceover narration that feehe Hutt[/b]'s son being kidnapped, with the Jedis being sent on a rescue miss Skywalker[/b] and his new Padawan [b]Ahsoka Tano[/b]. Ahsoka is destin... More

Posted by Scabby at 13:57, 29 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

L: Scabby I just remembered that I forgot to mention in my review how annoying Tano was when she kept calling R2-D2 "D-Twoooey". She's the new Jar Jar. he was extremely irritating, definitely on a par with Jar Jar & Jake Lloyd's awful "yippee" & "oops" repertoire. The nicknames everyone kept giving eachother throughout the film were really annoying too, don't they know that Star Wars is very serious business??!! ... More

Posted by Miso_Jace at 20:41, 28 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I just remembered that I forgot to mention in my review how annoying Tano was when she kept calling R2-D2 "D-Twoooey". She's the new Jar Jar. ... More

Posted by Scabby at 20:38, 28 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

L: Scabby L: Miso_Jace I was wondering whose idea 'Capote the Hutt' was I admit, it was rather jarring. found him funny in a Shark Attack 3 kinda way. aha, yeah, funny in a 'wait, am I really seeing this?' kind of way. Once I started calling him Capote the Hutt instead of Zero he became much more amusing. ... More

Posted by Miso_Jace at 20:34, 28 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

L: Miso_Jace I was wondering whose idea 'Capote the Hutt' was I admit, it was rather jarring. found him funny in a Shark Attack 3 kinda way. ... More

Posted by Scabby at 20:30, 28 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I was wondering whose idea 'Capote the Hutt' was I admit, it was rather jarring. ... More

Posted by Miso_Jace at 20:24, 28 August 2008 | Report This Post


More user comments

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)