I imagine that this will be an outlying and unpopular opinion given some of the other reaction of The Clone Wars, but I’m just going to be honest and say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not in some type of apologist or guilty fashion, but I really considered it to be well worth the time and money. Of course, you simply can’t go in and expect something of the caliber and emotional weight as Empire. But by simply accepting the fact that this film is purposefully light on story and high on serialized pulp, you too can go in and eventually finding yourself admitting that Clone Wars is actually a heck of a lot of fun.
Given that the Rotten Tomatoe meter is hovering around 20%, I should probably clarify exactly why I feel that way. In comparison, when I was a younger kid I watched a lot of superhero cartoons on Saturday mornings and read a lot of Marvel comics. There were deep storylines to be had, charecters well developed, and tons of references sprinkled about that rewarded the loyal. However, I didn’t care about that. I just wanted to see the X-Men or Iron Man fight somebody. And I wanted it to look really awesome. Everything else was just filler. Putting yourself into that paticular frame of mind, as immature and juvenile as it may be to you, will help you realize that Clone Wars does a very good job at what it sets out to be. I realized this as soon as the movie was over at my screening. My paticular theater was full of a lot of younger boys, most of whom were around five to ten years old. When they were getting up to leave, most of them were shouting things like “wow”, or “awesome”. And really, that’s all the review that this film should be getting, because their opinions are realistically the only ones that matter in this context.
That’s not to say that Clone Wars is specifically for those five to ten year old boys. My wife (who I’ve turned into a casual fan) has mentioned to me numerous times since we saw it together that she really liked it. And I can tell when she’s only trying to humor me, this wasn’t one of those times. And to be honest, this loyal fan of more than twenty years who continually cites Empire Strikes Back as the greatest film crafted by the hand of mortal man loved it as well. If nothing else, its a fulfilled longtime promise of others besides Lucas being able to play in the sandbox in mediums other than the Wild West of the established Expanded Universe books. Lots of different things are attempted in this new non-George pursuit. Some of these fall short, but most provide a refreshing way to look at what otherwise could be contextuallized in a ‘been there, done that’ sort of way.
It’s more than excusable if you’d like to wait until you can watch basically the same thing for free on a weekly basis in just a months time. But if you’ve only been looking forward to that with a “meh” attitude, be forewarned. You may find yourself wishing you’d given yourself the treat of seeing the refreshing next generation of Star Wars in a theater environment when you had the chance.