Monday, March 3, 2014

Opinion: Reflecting on 'The Clone Wars' Movie

By: Dominic Jones

As we race towards March 7th and the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars it seems fitting to look back on where we started.  We were first introduced to the series on August 15th, 2008 when Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit the silver screen.  While the series would go on to receive much acclaim, including two Daytime Emmys, the film was not met with anywhere near the same amount of enthusiasm.  But did it get what it deserved?  I believe that the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film is one of the most under appreciated and under rated pieces of Star Wars lore.  Not only for starting us off an incredible journey spanning six seasons that would leave an incredible mark on the legacy of Star Wars as a whole, but also as an expansion of the galaxy far, far away in and of itself.

"You fought in the Clone Wars?"  That one line from A New Hope back in 1977 left many fans wondering of the "clone wars" might have been.  While the prequels gave us a glimpse of it, the series and film gave us a wider understanding of what the war truly was.  The 2008 film opens with thousands of Battledroids marching down a city street and firing on thousands of clone troopers, as the Jedi leap in to save the day.  But that's not all.  For the first time we really understood what the war was like.  In the prequels we mostly saw landslide victories for the republic or battle scenes only used as establishing shots.  The film made us understand the cost of the war as clones were killed after less than a second of screen time and introduced the idea that clones are more than just canon fodder as others called for medics to aid their wounded brothers.  It also gave us an on the ground feel, juxtaposing the silence of inside of gunship to the absolutely chaos of the war happening outside in mere seconds.  

The prequels introduced to us the idea that the Jedi were sacrificing their morals by fighting in the war.  The Clone Wars film expanded on that, showing the Jedi go even further than just shedding their peace keeper titles in favor of military titles, by having the Jedi make a deal with the Hutts.  Star Wars fans don't need reminding that the Hutts are some of the most vile, disgusting creatures in the galaxy, who engage in some of the worst activities possible (slave trade, smuggling, drug dealing, etc.).  Having the Jedi negotiate with the Hutts, let alone make a deal with them, demonstrates just how far the Jedi have fallen.  While this may seem bad, it gets worse.  Remember who is orchestrating all of this, Chancellor Palpatine, a.k.a Darth Sidious.  When Sidious attempts to turn the public against the Jedi in Episode III, the fact that the Jedi worked with the Hutts will not help their reputation, making it easier for Palpatine to sell the purge to the public and install his empire.

Keeping with the Hutts, the film (and later the series) took on the challenge of expanding on the Hutts, and in doing so introduced us to Ziro the Hutt.  Prior to the films release, the only Hutt fans were truly familiar with was Jabba and Star Wars fans have tendency to make all of one species the same (all Biths are musicians, all Neimoidians are greedy, etc.), so naturally when a new Hutt was introduced the fact that he was purple and sounded like Truman Capote was quite jarring for many fans.  However, given the recent popularity of villains such as Loki (The Avengers) and Moriarty (Sherlock), Ziro was in many ways ahead of his time, with his voice, dismissal of the tough guy act, and ability to find being evil fun.  The shock eventually wore off and there was even a minor backlash when Ziro was killed off in Season 3.  The film was willing to take a risk an introduce Ziro, opening up a wider word of Hutts, who all don't have to be exactly like Jabba.

And finally we come to Ahsoka.  Ahsoka was one of the main points that was criticized about the film, and completely unfairly.  Ahsoka was criticized as being "annoying" by some who seem to miss the point that she's suppose to be!  Much like Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, The Clone Wars film is the beginning of the journey for Ahsoka.  Luke's journey would not have felt so grand and complete had we not seem him whining about not being able to "go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"  The same goes for Ahsoka.  Ahsoka's decision to leave the Jedi Order at the end of Season 5 would not have felt so heart breaking, yet so right had we not watched her grow up over 5 years.  From the annoying brat in the film to the young woman who was strong enough to turn her back on everything she knew.   The Clone Wars series was, in many ways, Ahsoka's story and the film set her off on that story that ultimately culminated in The Wrong Jedi.

While The Clone Wars movie may not be everyone's favourite Star Wars chapter, it does not deserve the reputation it currently has.  I encourage everyone to revisit the film once you have watched the final episodes this weekend.  The film is a great addition to the Star Wars legacy and is adds a deeper layer to not only the The Clone Wars series but the saga as a whole.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25 


Anonymous said...

Unknown said...

joemario13 said...

Unknown said...

kenkraly2004 said...

Post a Comment

This site is not endorsed by Lucasfilm Ltd. or Disney and is intended for entertainment and information purposes only. The official Star Wars site can be found at Star Wars, the Star Wars logo, all names and pictures of Star Wars characters, vehicles and any other Star Wars related items are registered trademarks and/or copyrights of Lucasfilm Ltd., or their respective trademark and copyright holders. All original content of this site, both graphical and textual, is the intellectual property of The Star Wars Underworld - unless otherwise indicated.
Site template © 2011 Supported by PsPrint Emeryville and