Tuesday, May 11, 2021

What's Next On My List? The Clone Wars

For the month of May, I decided to go with the most obvious choice, starting from May The Fourth (Be With You), I will look at the rest of the Star Wars franchise through TV shows, movies and games I have not yet reviewed. Because of Disney there is plenty more to come, and well, just books and comics alone have already given us an extended universe that is... as big as the universe. So let us see, what is there to talk about?

Before the seven season TV series begun that was aired over a run of ten years, there was a movie that begun the story of the relationship of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and his padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein). Now, this movie on its own is not a big thing, I watched years after the TV series, and thank god that I did. This adventure, AGAIN, took us back to Tatooine. Now, I know for a fact that I would not have enjoyed this as much, right after Episode II Attack of the Clones, when it is supposed to be playing out, because we just had him be on Tatooine to avenge his mother. Seeing it years later made it a very interesting story, seeing someone like Anakin detest the desert, but someone like Ahsoka seeing the beauty of things, her inexperience, her pure heart. Ahsoka's story was beautifully developed in the series, and this is the star of it, but even without this movie (essentially a 3 episode chapter) is not a must watch. It is just the beginning of a wonderful series about the complicated and multilayered characters that live in this universe. I could tell you more about the plot, but I would much rather you went and checked it out for yourself, make your mind up about it. Honestly, the setting of the story was my biggest issue, but the characters delivered, as always.

The Clone Wars [Season 1-7] (2008-2020)

With that I want to move on to the series, because, after all, it's main character was Ahsoka Tano. For a character that did not even make it to live-action until 2020, she is probably the most famous Star Wars Jedi in existence after Yoda. And there is a good reason for it! The whole Clone Wars series was constructed by chapters of 3-4 episodes, which had a middle a beginning and an end, and sometimes characters would come back or cross-over to other chapters. It also included a lot of characters who were already introduced in live-action, or those who later would make it there. The series did suffer from two major issues: 1, it was not aired in order, which is not the fault of the creators, but it did not help its first three seasons; 2, it was originally aimed at more of a young audience, much younger than the hardcore SW fans or those who joined by having the prequel trilogy be the defining SW series of their childhood. However, up to season 3 I think they realized that everyone was watching this, no matter the age, so they decided to up the maturity of the stories. But if one starts to watch it, they might give up before the show gets good, due to the fact that the first two seasons do not have the same depth, it does however lay the ground work for one of the best series ever made in history, so I wish everyone would stick with it. 

There were a couple of chapters that were better than the others, but what this series achieved is quite phenomenal: it expanded and fixed many of the rushed mistakes George Lucas made with the prequel trilogy. I maintain that had he not established a great world to begin with, all these projects would not have been possible, so we can debate casting and dialogue decisions in the prequels, but the story is solid and it was the start of something new for sure. I enjoyed the romantic story and I had no problem believing Anakin's turn to the dark side. Obviously, it would be better to not have to read countless books and wait for several series to fix the mistakes, but thank god that they did, because seeing the famous Clone Wars was truly a gift for the SW fans.
First, the voice actor for Obi-Wan Kenobi, James Arnold Taylor has to be mentioned among the greatest things in this series. We immediately think of Ewan McGregor now, or depending on your age, Alec Guinness when thinking of this iconis character, but making sure that his legacy is held up, this fantastic voice actor delivered some of the best lines uttered by the character. The friendship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, the one we just had to imagine in the movies, was so beautifully presented and in such depth ... I have re-watched and cried over several episodes. Second, of course, the wonderful story of Anakin having to train someone just as hard headed as he is, and learning through her, while jugling a forbidden marriage. Third, the story of Ahsoka, no longer a Jedi, because of the blinded judgement that fell on her from people she trusted. And fourth, most importantly, allow me to give all the awards to voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, for bringing to life the best clone troopers this war has ever seen. The amount of work this voice actor put in is through the rough, and every character he landed his talents to had his own personality, his own characters traits, his own story. These clones were the same, at first look, they were everything but in reality, and that is the most beautiful thing about this series: its humanity. 

So watch it? If you keep in mind that the first two and say half a seasons are more for a younger audience and it just jumps into the depth of the Clone Wars, than trust me, you are in for a threat. The 3-4 episode set ups are basically separate movies with incredible stories. Most important of all, these nameless clones become people in front of your eyes and not only you start to despise both the Jedi and the Sith, but a sense of justice and pain comes with seeing these soldiers die. 

Make sure you check out The Bad Batch, just started this May the Fourth on the Disney+, a story right after that of the Clone Wars. The first episode already held up the quality that we have been shown in series created by Dave Filoni. I am very happy that he is heading up projects now. 

Until the next item on my list!

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