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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Very little room for shading in the Star Wars universe. Characters are either all good or all evil, with the exception of Annakin Skywalker, whose anger and violence turn him into Darth Vader. Multiculturalism to the max, as the Galactic Republic (and the Jedi Order) are here composed of practically every race and alien species. Every culture seems to be respected.
Violence & Scariness
It's "cartoon violence" sure, but it goes on for loooong stretches; robots, war machines, spacecraft, and even some people are spectacularly destroyed by light saber, blaster fire, bombs, concussion blasts, impalement, bashing, beheading, etc. No blood shown, even when the victims are human clones (encased in battle armor).
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Products & Purchases
Hard to escape the marketing division of the Force, and this DVD was but one of an Imperial legion of LucasFilm toys. Some books and (especially) video games were direct spinoffs from Clone Wars and the DVDs carry promo featurettes and gameplay levels.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that these volumes of cartoons are not the same as the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars computer-generated animated feature, released to theaters (though they certainly cover the same territory). There is much action-violence -- pretty much nonstop in Vol. 1 -- mostly under battleground conditions, committed against spaceships, aliens, robot troops, monsters, etc. No (human) blood shown, but death and dismemberment get pretty intense. Young Jedi hero Annakin shows off his bravado by eating live insects (a don't-try-this-at-home moment as far as a lot of parents will be concerned). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Star Wars: Clone Wars is animated with simplistic, clean-line art (it avoids looking like cheaply Xeroxed Saturday-morning stuff of yesteryear). It seems to have been made for viewers who thought the Star Wars series didn't deliver enough on the "wars" part of the title. The first set of adventures is practically nonstop combat and explosions. Boom! Whoosh! Whew! Titanic battles unfold between high-tech armies and space pilots, while good and evil knights duel one-on-one with light-sabers. Many of these setpieces are spectacular in concept and scope -- but pretty deadening in large doses.
The voiceover actors (nearly none of whom carried over from the movies) speak so infrequently you wonder if they were being paid by the word. Not until Vol. 2 do we get some actual dialog and relatively meaningful dramatic plotlines, with hints of ill-fated Annakin Skywalker's emotional turmoil as he ascends prematurely to the rank of Jedi, gives in to fits of violence and vengeance, and hides his taboo romance with Princess Padme Amidala. Viewers unfamiliar with the Star Wars universe (unlikely they'll even be watching) may be hopelessly confused about the reason for the wars, the clones, etc. But the young and the hardcore LucasFans will enjoy cameo appearances by many of the non-human creatures who flickered through the past features. Yes, there are wookiees. No, there is no Jar-Jar Binks.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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