2003 ~ 2005
Seasons 1 ~ 3
DIRECTOR: Genndy Tartakovsky
May contain spoilers!
Could this be Star Wars at its best?
In many ways, I would say yes. Beginning with a 20 chapter, three minutes each serial on Cartoon Network in 2003/2004 and then concluding with five, 15 minute episodes leading directly to the start of Episode III in 2005, Clone Wars offers a true sense of fun to the franchise.
It is for kids but its lightness of touch, ambition and visual flair appeal to fans of all ages. Here we see a vision of Star Wars, in many ways a franchise built as much around selling toys as it is telling stories, fulfilling the imagination of its child audience.
The characters can do anything, fight hard, fast and jump high, at times even fly. They face off against cool machines, evil and imaginative foes and take us on a tour of a galaxy far, far away to see worlds that we could only imagine, engrossed in a war that is as violent as it is fun to play in.
There is a good sense of humour too, with zippy dialogue, clever visuals and intriguing scenarios. But this also has many themes from John Williams iconic score, dropping us into the Clone Wars right from where Episode II (2002) left off and will take us to Palpatine’s kidnapping which is resolved at the begging of Revenge Of The Sith (2005).
Genndy Tartakovsky animation style is awesome, known for his work on Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory and more recently, Hotel Transylvania 1 (2012) & 2 (2015), he is in my opinion, one of the most imaginative animators working today, able to mix a blend of iconic, stylized cartoons, with a great sense of maturity and humour, a real understanding of the agelessness of good animation.
This sold toys and even I want to play them after watching this. This is how we play with them, short bursts of imagination, then onto something else. Lightsaber duels, clone trooper battles, space battles, underwater battles and that chapter with Mace Windu is nothing short of brilliant!
A real hidden gem almost lost behind the newer much more successful CGI series, The Clone Wars (2008 – 2013), which may expand the universe more narratively, but this is a shorter, more concise work of art, one which should be rediscovered.