When it became apparent that George Lucas wasnt going to exhaustively cover the infamous Clone Wars in the Star Wars movies (we see them begin in Attack Of The Clones and end in Revenge Of The Sith), it was the signal for many fanboys to lob their Gamorrean Guard action figures out of their Admiral Ackbar-emblazoned prams. But they should have rejoiced, for it allowed Lucas to commission animation god Genndy Tartakovsky to direct the wonderful Clone Wars micro-series, which features various important battles between the Republics Jedi-led clone troopers and the Separatists Sith-commanded droids, while young Anakin Skywalker edges ever closer to the dark side
With Tartakovsky the genius behind Samurai Jack, with which this shares a distinctive anime style forced to work in three-minute segments, Clone Wars boils down Star Wars to its purest essence: namely, whirligig action, minimal Lucasian dialogue and a sweeping majesty. In just 20 bite-sized chunks, we take in more planets, more vehicles, Jedi (amphibian fave Kit Fisto gets his own episode!), weapons, creatures, saber fights and space battles than you can shake a bent Wookiee at. As a curtain-raiser for Revenge Of The Sith, its mouthwatering one story arc sees a pissed-off Anakin wield a red lightsaber, which should set any Star Wars fans spine a-tingling.
Accessible and funkily inventive, this is the perfect solution for those misguided souls who think that the prequels have so far been somehow lacking.
Extras: Given that the main feature is just one hour long, the extras need to compensate and they do, with two commentaries from Tartakovsky (one which, until now, could be found only on Hyperspace, the pay-per-view portion of starwars.com; and which is refreshingly different from the normal commentary).
Although Tartakovsky strays often into Roy Walker territory, theres some good stuff here as he talks about the ideas behind the new planets, characters and designs, the perils of animating space battles on 50-feet-long backdrops, and his passion for a good lightsaber fight. However, the pick of the bunch is the making of, which features Lucas himself, a fascinating peek at the production process and some shots from Revenges opening space battle that will make disillusioned fanboys pick up their plastic green action figures again.