Star Wars: The Clone Wars



CGI Star Wars saga is dull, despite action.
  • Review Date: August 11, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some discussion of "the privilege of teaching." The kidnapping of a crime lord's son figures prominently in the plot. Several references to "gangsters" and "scum." Another character is referred to as an "assassin." An alien infant is exposed to some peril. Some burp-and-belch humor.

Violence & scariness

Constant -- albeit bloodless -- animated science-fiction action, including lightsaber duels and small-arms and artillery fire of energy beams. Much of the violence is perpetrated against robots, but some isn't, including several soldiers in high-tech armor taking fire and falling in battle, with phrases like "Get a medic"" and "Man down!" used to imply the severity of the circumstances. A solider in battle armor is shot through the heart with an energy beam. Some hand-to-hand fighting. Spaceships, clearly staffed by human characters, explode.

Sexy stuff

Alien dancing girls perform in tight clothing; some longing glances.


Minimal use of "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In an outer-space nightclub, several non-humans drink what are presumably intoxicants; a huge, slug-like alien smokes from a hookah.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this CGI film is much tamer than the most recent live-action Star Wars movies, but it's still full of non-stop animated action, including weapon use (lightsabers, blasters, etc.) and several urban warfare sequences. The sci-fi settings, computer animation, and bloodless battles somewhat lessen the overall effect, but the level of intensity is high and constant. The plot also involves an alien infant being kidnapped; even though he won't look as cute or vulnerable to audiences as a human baby (he's basically a giant tadpole), younger children may worry about a child -- no matter what their shape or species -- in peril.

What's the story?

In STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS -- which is set between the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith -- Jedi knights Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) are once again plunged into the thick of things, helping Republic troops seize a planet back from the robot army led by separatist Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). In the middle of the fray, viewers learn that Anakin's been assigned a new student by Master Yoda (Tom Kane) -- plucky young Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), whose skills are matched only by her impetuousness. When word comes that intergalactic gangster Jabba the Hutt's son has been kidnapped, Anakin and Ahsoka are dispatched to rescue the infant, partially in hopes that a placated Jabba will give free passage to Republic ships as they try to stop the separatists. But the separatists have their own agenda, and Dooku's assassin Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) is on the hunt for Anakin and his new student.

Is it any good?


Star Wars: The Clone Wars is aimed at kids, but the film's biggest flaw -- the constant repetition of lines, themes, concepts, and information in the script -- suggests that the people who made it don't have a terribly high opinion of their target audience. The movie's computer animation also sometimes looks shabby and shoddy compared to other computer-animated films -- hair is stiff and unyielding, and skin textures look mottled and flat. The character of Ahsoka feels fairly generic -- she's plucky and spirited, sassy and yet eager to learn from her elders -- and is clearly being set up as a new lead character for future animated tales set in the Star Wars universe.

The film unfortunately has more in common with the heavy, clumsy paces of the "new" Star Wars trilogy than the more graceful, spirited ones of the three original films from the '70s and '80s. There are plots and conspiracies and stratagems, usually over-explained by characters appearing in a holographic communication with our heroes and villains; watching The Clone Wars feels like listening in to several tedious phone conversations, interrupted by fight scenes. Yes, the action is non-stop, but as The Clone Wars takes place between two movies viewers already know the outcome of, it's hard to shake the fact that the entire film feels like money-making filler, an attempt to wring more story -- and money -- out of a long-established franchise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about different kinds of movie violence. Does the fact this film is animated make its depiction of war and combat more acceptable to viewers? Does the sci-fi angle make the consequences of the fights and conflicts seem less realistic? Families can also discuss how this film compares to the original 1970s live-action saga that many parents grew up with, as well as the more recent trilogy. Why do you think George Lucas decided to make another Star Wars movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 15, 2008
DVD release date:November 10, 2008
Cast:Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Matt Lanter
Director:Dave Filoni
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Robots, Space and aliens
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.

This review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old April 10, 2010

star wars

on the good side it will tell kids to never give up on somthing that thay want to do. but on the bad side thay say stuped and smoke and jabba tells the people who did not find his git thar heads cut off wich thay show. and my sister saw it when she was 5 but she dos not care abuut all the action only ahsoka.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byOldBob13 March 12, 2010

Not the best animated movie ever, but it stays true to its Star Wars roots.

I thought this animated Star Wars movie was pretty good overall. The animation was great, but the story was rather poor. Still, it's age appropriate and fun enough.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Adult Written byDUDES!!! October 2, 2011

Pretty Dull,

OK movie but may bore some younger fans of the show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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