The animated "Star Wars" arm, subtitled "The Clone Wars," coming to a galaxy near you on August 15, is the first feature release from George Lucas’s animation studio. And the action-packed and painterly-drawn story fills in the gaps between "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith," with a focus on Anakin Skywalker’s pre-Vader days when he was "the ultimate hero of the clone war and a great Jedi fighter," says director Dave Filoni.
To the delight of us lady types, Lucas’s peeps have added another heroine, called Asoka, who harkens more to the Princess Leia mold than the sappy, romance-focused Queen Amidala—this girl’s a Jedi, in other words, a fighter, not a lover. (Though a bit too prone to back-talk and silly nicknaming to be appreciated by the adult set, she’s no Jar-Jar Binks, so we’ll give her a pass in the name of girl power.) And her run-in with lethal and lovely baddie Asajj Ventress is a girl-fight of artistic proportions not seen since "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Those of us sustaining ourselves with box sets of the first six films can’t help but be pleased that George Lucas has given us this unexpected chaser to our late-May "Indiana Jones" binge. This big-screen version will launch a Cartoon Network series blasting off in fall ’08, sure to fire the flames of the 10-year-old fangirl in all of us.
For those born somewhere around 1970 who were around for the first run and are eager to share the intergalactic magic with their little ones, as Yoda says, "Try not. Do." (The little green wise guy has even more to say in this one, though sadly he’s not seen pulling out his lightsaber in this one alongside Obi-Wan.)
This one will be fine for viewing by the tween set, though it isn’t violence free. The dark side might well make toddlers afraid of the dark well into their teens. The Jedi knights are hard-pressed to defend the Republic against the Separatists and their ever-encroaching clone armies, and that means battles galore and the potential for lopped limbs aplenty.
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