I’ve enjoyed watching the first couple episodes of The Clone Wars, the new Star Wars animated TV series. It shares some of the frenetic, too-much-to-get-done-here editing style that contributed to the last two movie’s unwatchableness, but that works better in a 22 minute animated confection than it did in a sit-down theater show. The writers are making an effort to create substantive action vignettes, and while they aren’t always succeeding, they aren’t always failing. The second episode features a Jedi general and his clone warriors trapped without hope in a escape pod, floating in the wreckage ring of their former warship, waiting to die from oxegyn loss or the approaching survivor-hunting-droids, a scenario of nearly Tom Corbett-worthy space suspense.
It’s very much a George Lucas project, steeped in the details of his relentlessy geeky imagination, set in some inter-period betwixt the Episodes I and II and the more familiar empire versus rebellion themes of the earlir movies. So the political motivations of the combat aren’t familiar at all. There is some fun at arriving as a fan into some new Star Warsian era without much supporting explanation. Presumably if you watched the recent theatrical release animated movie, a lot of the details would be clearer, but I can’t imagine sitting through a steady 2 hours of this material. And it would also presumably help if I remembered more of what happened in Episode 1, or anything from Episode 2. But I don’t.
On the whole, this isn’t greatness, but after the last couple movies, it feels like Star Wars is back a little bit.