Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume Two
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The Emmy Award-winning animated series continues with Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two, available for the first time on DVD. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, this series captures George Lucas' vision in a dynamic animated style that is a visual delight for all ages. As seen on Cartoon Network, Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two concludes the epic adventures that bridge the story between Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Witness firsthand the trials of Anakin Skywalker and the secret ceremony in which he becomes a Jedi Knight. Then, follow the Jedi as they attempt to repel a surprise attack by General Grievous, on the galactic capital, Coruscant. Clone Wars Volume Two is filled with exciting galactic battles that lead directly to the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.
Volume 2 of the stylish animated "microseries" Star Wars: Clone Wars picks up where volume 1 left off, with General Grievous threatening a group of Jedi. The war between the Republic and the Separatists continues to rage, and due to desperate need, Anakin Skywalker is bestowed the title of Jedi Knight, though he must undergo one final rite of passage by traveling to the frozen planet of Nelvan. The action is at its fiercest when the Separatists launch an overwhelming assault on Coruscant, and Masters Windu and Yoda get to show their stuff to defend the city. However, it's just a diversion from the main goal: Grievious's attempt to kidnap Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. In the series' most dramatic moment, Shaak Ti and other Jedi try to fend off the droid's attack. Clone Wars Volume 2 aired on the Cartoon Network in March 2005, and it's a bit more substantial than volume 1, taking place in five 12-minute chapters (nos. 21-25) rather than 3-minute chapters. And while volume 1 was mostly flat-out action, the developments in volume 2 lead directly to the opening of Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. And you even get small tidbits such as C-3PO (again voiced by Anthony Daniels) unveiling his new gold look, Padme sporting a cinnamon-bun hairdo, and the reason why General Grievous has difficulty breathing. Let casual fans content themselves with the feature films; Clone Wars remains essential viewing for the Star Wars aficionado. (Rated Y7 for cartoon action and violence) --David Horiuchi
In both a commentary track and a featurette, Genndy Tartakovsky and his creative team discuss the making of Clone Wars and how it ties into Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. If you're not a fan of the Lego Star Wars, you might become one after you watch the amusing "Revenge of the Brick" trailer. There's also the same Xbox demo of Battlefront II that was on the Sith DVD, and the Dolby 5.1 sound is an improvement over volume 1's 2.0 Surround. --David Horiuchi
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The action is clean, stylish, and awe-inspiring, as anyone who's seen Tartakovsky's other famous work, Samurai Jack, would guess. As an aspiring animator, this series had a huge influence on me personally, but I digress. The DVD has enough bonus features to keep you entertained a bit longer than the show's runtime, but as a die-hard fan of this show, it seems to not be enough.
Can't recommend this show enough. While emotionally shallow in contrast to the films and 2008 THE Clone Wars, this series is thrilling enough to keep you entertained no matter your age.
A major change this volume presents is that we now have five episodes only but twelve minute length (which actually makes the same 60 minutes volume one had). The new series focus on the previous events to the very beginning of Episode III (Lucas asked them to do the actual crawl of the episode III), which means that if you watched the film and wondered how did Grievous kidnap Palpatine, that you can find here. Being this the case, you can imagine how limited Genndy's team was this time, they had to work now based on what Lucas wanted them to show different from volume one in which they were able to explore other aspects of the star wars universe during the clone wars period.
After the end of volume one in which we got to see a sneak peek of what Grievous would be, the character became very popular, these new episodes have him as the major villain (you will sadly see that the Grievous from Episode II is nothing but a mere shadow of a pretty cool character shown in these series). Many important events take place here: we see Grievous kill some Jedi masters, Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight, you get to see more of the brother like relation between Anakin and Obi-Wan, (my personal favorite) the trial of Anakin in a remote planet where (as Luke does later) he has a vision of what he is to become later, and of course the invasion of Coruscant by the separatist forces led by General Grievous.
A documentary called "Connecting the dots" is included which basically explains a little how the main story points for this volume came out. New video game trailers and demos are included as well as the final trailer for episode III. A short film called "Revenge of the brick" was added as well, presenting an alternate story with Lego ships and characters. The series are presented dubbed in both English and Spanish and subtitled in English. Close caption where available.
Volume 2 is much better than Volume 1, but that is not to say that both volumes are not good. I enjoyed seeing the discussion over whether or not Anakin should become a Jedi and I also appreciated the fact that we finally saw the ceremony in which a Jedi was knighted, though it did not reveal much about the trials.
The animation isn't exactly of a style that I care for. It reminded me a great deal of the old Samurai Jack cartoons that used to be on TV. But that's another discussion. The story of Volume 2 is tight and action packed and you won't be disappointed by what takes place between Episodes II and III. I was presently surprised by this cartoon and its worth any fan's time and money.
No Clone Wars history would be complete without this series. It introduces Dirge, and Asaja Ventress. We see Anakin become a Knight. We witness his growing dark side. Now these were shorts, so the dialogue is brief and the character development is limited, BUT it does exist. AND this series has the Jedi using the Force with real POWER! The fight scenes with droids are incredible. Every other Star Wars adaptation has watered down the Force Skills brought to bear in this show. Probably why I love it.
It's incredible though! I love the american animation style used in it along with great stories.