Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season One Box Set
The “Clone Wars” goes back to the original Star Wars film when Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that he was once a Jedi knight the same as your father and that they fought together in the Clone Wars. Since that moment fans have been obsessed with what the clone wars were. This new TV series takes place immediately after the events of Star Wars-Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The series follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker and introduces us to some new characters such as Ahsoka Tano a girl Jedi knight as well as characters we already know.]]>
The thrilling 3-D CGI animated series The Clone Wars serves as impressive proof that George Lucas's Star Wars universe could translate to a weekly television series that wouldn't lose the scope, imagination, or sense of adventure of the features. Like the 2008 feature film of the same name, the 22 episodes that compose the series' debut season (2008-2009) cover the action between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Here Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and the latter's Padawan, 14-year-old Ahsoka Tano (who takes some getting used to), along with a complex cast of supporting characters from the Galactic Republic (including R2-D2 and C-3PO, again voiced by Anthony Daniels), battle the Separatists, which count members of the Sith and other adherents to the Dark Side of the Force among its ranks. The action is plentiful and the scripts rich with the quasi-mystical and eminently quotable dialogue on which the Star Wars saga has earned its legendary status; one can imagine only the most stringent purist or CGI detractor finding fault with the first season of The Clone Wars.
The handsomely packaged four-disc set for season 1 includes a wealth of extras for those wishing to dig even deeper into the Clone Wars experience. Chief among the pleasant surprises is the widescreen aspect ratio for each episode, which gives greater depth and exposure to every single frame. Seven episodes are listed as Director's Cuts, which translates as an extra minute or two of action or dialogue--not earth-shattering, but they certainly enhance the enjoyment of each episode. Short featurettes, ranging between 5 and 7 minutes, accompany each episode and discuss production notes, character design, and other detail; these are expanded versions of the commentaries by supervising director Dave Filoni that were featured on StarWars.com, with additional contributions by series writer Henry Gilroy and sound designer David Acord, as well as new comments by Filoni. And there's a 64-page book of artwork from the series, including storyboards, concept design, and matte paintings, built into the body of the packaging itself. For the Easter Egg-inclined, a surprise awaits on each disc, including trailers for season 2 and animatics. --Paul Gaita
22 Episodic Featurettes that go behind-the-scenes with Supervising Director Dave Filoni and crew about the making-of each episode
64-page production journal that includes early sketches, artist notes, and concept art from each episode from Season One
Sneak peek of season 2
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The Clone Wars must have inspired some kind of wonder ever since Mark Hamill mentioned it in a brief line in the first original movie. Even though it's briefly shown in the prequel films and a cool little cartoon made in 2003, there is still a lot to explore.
Following the 2008 CGI Clone Wars movie, this show features the same funky blocky characters and semi-artistic rendering, but it seems to be of higher quality. Lighting effects, animation movements, lip movements, and action scenes overall seem much improved from the pilot film. More importantly, with multiple story lines to follow, the series offers better stories with deeper issues and stronger characters (characters ranging from the main heroes Anakin, Yoda, Obi-Wan, etc to the lesser known characters like Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, etc). The show has loads of great action scenes and high-quality effects. There are adventures on many different worlds (once again, some well-known like Naboo, Coruscant, etc to lesser-known ones like Iego), each offering imaginative design and impressive imagery. Production design (sets, props, costumes, vehicles, weapons, etc) matches the Star Wars universe and fits in perfectly; fans should be able to recognize a huge number of familiar elements, mixed in with cool new stuff. Music is not bad. All together, it's an awesome show that fits nicely in the franchise.
This disc set features perfect PQ; I could not find any faults with it whatsoever. It's very sharp and clean, with excellent color and contrast. It is presented in an aspect ratio that is wider than the original broadcast version, providing more of the image to be seen. Sound quality is acceptable (Dolby Digital 5.1), but as a lossy soundtrack, it's not as clean as it could have been, and lacks impact (despite the show's cool sound design). This set includes some cool extras (featurettes, a database feature, trailers, etc). It comes in a large, thick, rather nice digibook-type package with some cool production art inside.
The extras are plentiful. So far I've only had time to watch the first disc but every episode has a six-to-ten minute featurette specifically geared to that episode. I prefer that to the generic featurettes and EPK materials usually included with TV series discs. In addition, many of the episodes include additional materials. But best of all, all of these episodes are in widescreen format, 2.35:1! Even wider than the original Cartoon Network HD showings in 1.78:1. This really helps the cinematic qualities of the show shine through.
As to the show itself, it's never looked better. LFL has created some of the best transfers ever for this set. The episodes themselves are mostly entertaining and get better as the season progresses. Early on I found myself a bit annoyed with the Ahsoka character but I could imagine that children would find her interesting. The production staff seems to have been trying to walk a very thin line between the tone of the SW films and the new "kiddie" audience this show was bound to attract. They went down a few dead ends but by the end of the season it felt like they had found their way. I look forward to all that season two promises.
When I first played it I was not completely engulfed into it (like a Star Wars movie), but once I got adjusted to the animation and the storyline picked up I was hooked. It is as action Packed as the Star Wars films. And although it might not have exactly the same actors who played in the movies voicing their character, the voice over actors are great and almost sound like the actor who originally played each part. The only time I really noticed it was when Count Dooku emerged. You can tell that this is not Christopher Lee voicing the character. Not that it does not sound like Christopher Lee, it is just that the voice over actor is actually better at playing this part than Lee. The plot line of most episodes are well written and will please most Star Wars fans (Even those who call themselves Trekkers).
The case this set comes in is as unique as the show itself. It is not a standard plastic case with a leaflet or two thrown inside. It is a Book that has two sturdy holders on each hardback book cover to hold your dvds in place. As a bonus it includes a 66 page book in the center featuring concept drawings of the show and other items of interest used in the development of this show. Overall 4.5 stars for the show, 5 stars for packaging, and 5 stars for the extras.
Overall this set is well worth the price and makes an excellent show to watch. Can't wait to get the second season.