The Art of Genndy Tartakovsky’s STAR WARS: CLONE WARS – LightTrain

May the force be with you my friend, for it is Star Wars day! Here handling the locomotive’s controls is G.H Nowak, your conductor. Ah, The Clone Wars, a CGI action cartoon with fluid battles and captivating tales; it may have began stiff and uninspired but with the seasons came something so much more heartfelt and mesmerizing – huh? “Not that one”? Well which one do you mean? Oh, ok. We’re actually examining the microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars from 2003 which was created by Genndy Tartakovsky of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory. As with Jack and Dexter, Clone Wars aired on Cartoon Network though unlike those two it played during commercial breaks in bite-sized 2-3 minute episodes.

The story is the first of many interpretations of the fictional Clone Wars that take place in between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Since the episodes are rather short in length, a full structured story is meager. The most that Clone Wars has to offer in terms of effect on the saga is Anakin’s steady descent into rage and defiance of the Jedi Council until he eventually snaps in Revenge of the Sith. Otherwise, side events include tons of terrific action and the introduction of Asajj Ventress and General Grievous.

But what brilliant action it is! It’s pretty much like Samurai Jack but with Jedi… and it’s a joy to watch. Most of the episodes are just a Jedi Knight and a platoon of clones infiltrating various planets; Obi-Wan has a continuous battle on Muunilinst, Kit Fisto has a one-episode assault on Mon Calamari, and Mace Windo literally takes a giant shuttle on by hand. Each blow and hit and explosion feels solid and has genuine impact. In short, Clone Wars has some of the most tightly choreographed and well-executed battles in the franchises history, which is quite a feat when they all have ‘Wars’ in the title.

Of course, not everything comes without its flaws, even if they are paltry. The animation is stylized and it mostly works, except for the occasional character design (Palpatine and Shaak Ti for example) that just feel off. Grey DeLisle, whom voices Padme and Asajj, is uninspired and doesn’t fit either character’s voices enough to have been selected.

Again, those are just minor changes I would have tweaked to still a very good series. It is probably leagues better than anything the prequels or sequels did on a artistic level as well as not meandering to its audience with fanservice for cheap enjoyment (I’m looking at you, Rise of Skywalker). Another thing Clone Wars proves is that it can also stand on its own as a piece of science fiction masterwork, not just having its identity be “Star Wars” . If you’re love animation or stylish action in general, I highly recommend watch the show’s first volume on YouTube when your done; you will not regret it.

RATING: 9.5/10 “Go See It!”

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