Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi/Aide #1/Aide #3 (voice)
Mat Lucas as Anakin Skywalker (voice)
Corey Burton as San Hill/Count Dooku/Warrior #2 (voice)
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO (voice)
John Di Maggio as General Grievous/Padawan (voice)
Nick Jameson as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (voice)
Tom Kane as Yoda (voice)
Daran Norris as Durge/Aide #2/Henchman/Warrior #3/Ki-Adi-Mundi/Master Barrek (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson as K’Kruhk/Human Male Jedi Master (voice)
André Sogliuzzo as ARC Captain/Battle Droid/Clone Trooper/ARC Trooper/Captain Typho (voice)
Cree Summer as Luminara Unduli (voice)
Tatyana Yassukovich as Barriss Offee (voice)
Jerome Beidler as Young Anakin
Grey DeLisle as Asajj Ventress/Padmé Amidala/Shaak-Ti (voice)

Special Features:
Chapters 1-20 of the animated series

Exclusive featurette: “Bridging the Saga: From Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith,” including new interviews with George Lucas, Genny Tartakovsky, and the Clone Wars production crew; also featuring a glimpse of Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two

Behind the scenes featurette

Director commentary

Hyperspace commentary

Two galleries of concept art, storyboards, sketches & more!

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith teaser trailer

Episode III video game trailer

An Xbox playable game level of Star Wars Republic Commando

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound
THX Digitally Mastered
Running Time: 69 Minutes

Synopsis:
Star Wars: Clone Wars originally aired on the Cartoon Network from 2003-2004. It consisted of 20 short episodes. The following text is from the DVD cover:

“The saga continues with the Emmy-winning “Star Wars: Clone Wars,” available for the first time ever on DVD. This animated micro-series, directed by Genny Tartakovsky, captures George Lucas’ vision in a dynamic animated style that is a visual delight for all ages.

“Star Wars: Clone Wars” Volume One reveals the epic adventures that bridge the story arc between Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Follow the valiant Jedi Knights and the brave soldiers of the Republic’s clone army as they battle against the droid forces of the Separatists, led by the evil Sith Lord, Count Dooku. Witness the battles that made galactic heroes out of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and along the way get a first look at the new menace from Episode III, General Grievous.

This is a must-have for any Star Wars DVD collection.”

The Movie:
If you’ve already seen the Clone Wars episodes on the Cartoon Network, then you know how cool it is and what a required addition it is to your collection. If not, let me enlighten you.

First off, the animation is superb. The stylized design of the characters is amazing. It captures the unique characteristics of the movie characters while creating all new aliens and beings that fit perfectly within that galaxy far, far away. The same goes for the ships, environments, and creatures. In fact, the animation is able to do things that the live action films would have a hard time pulling off. The Jedi are shown doing amazing things well beyond their established powers, but they still look incredibly cool. The animation captures a real sense of speed, power, and the Force in the battles.

Clone Wars also expands on the world of Star Wars in its story, too. You see how Anakin gets his Episode III scar. You visit the world where the Jedi get the crystals used in their lightsabers. You see the world of Mon Calamari where Admiral Ackbar is from. You see the Clone Troopers in action, Yoda in action, and all the background Jedi like Kit Fisto in starring roles. But most notable is the debut of General Grievous, a new villain from Revenge of the Sith. The character has an impressive introduction and shows he’s more than a match for the Jedi. Ironically, Grievous is voiced by John Di Maggio, the voice of Bender from Futurama. It’s also worth noting that Anthony Daniels returns to voice C-3PO.

The only down side of the original series was that it was simply too short. Each episode was less than 5 minutes long. Fans barely got a taste of the action before it was over with. But with this DVD release, that is no longer a problem. You can watch all the episodes continuously for 69 minutes. It’s like a feature length animated Star Wars.

If you’re a fan of Star Wars or someone disappointed with the prequels, then I think Clone Wars is required viewing for you. If it doesn’t excite you and take you back to a galaxy far, far away, then nothing will.

The Extras:
The following are the highlights of the bonus features:

“Bridging the Saga: From Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith” – This featurette gives a sneak preview of both Revenge of the Sith and Clone Wars – Volume Two. George Lucas, Genndy Tartakovsky, and the Clone Wars production crew are all interviewed and there are also new clips of the opening space battle from Episode III as well as shots of Grievous in action in Clone Wars – Volume Two. They discuss how they were given the task of making this series be a direct lead into the final prequel. This featurette ended up being the highlight of the bonus features.

Behind the scenes featurette – This 3 minute documentary shows the development of Clone Wars – Volume One. They show the character designs, the animation, and discuss how the story was developed.

Director and Hyperspace commentary – Two commentaries are provided. Unfortunately, they are both by Genndy Tartakovsky, so they are a little redundant. It doesn’t help matters that in much of the commentary he just reiterates what is happening on the screen. Despite this Genndy does discuss the development of the series, the character designs, and other aspects of the making of the series. Of particular interest is the final episode where he discusses how they were handed the task of introducing General Grievous.

Galleries – The art and poster galleries are interesting. Some of the early character concept sketches are fairly different from the final versions from the show (most notably Durge).

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith teaser trailer – As far as I know, this is the only place you can find the first Revenge of the Sith teaser on DVD. Star Wars fans will want to take note.

Episode III video game trailer – This game trailer is actually pretty cool. It gives you a sneak peek of Anakin battling Count Dooku and Anakin raiding the Jedi Temple. There are also shots of the final battle wit Obi-Wan, too.

The Bottom Line:
This is a required addition to the DVD collections of animation fans and Star Wars fans alike. It’s fun for both children and adults an well worth checking out.

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