Strong with this one, the Force is not. Yet another addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe (a.k.a. the consumer pipeline to George Lucas’ wallet), the computer animated film is not essential viewing unless you’re a hardcore fan. However, even loyal followers of the epic space saga will struggle to embrace what feels like an extended afterschool special without commercials. That’s because Star Wars: The Clone Wars is essentially a feature-length advertisement for the new TV series on Cartoon Network.
The film’s greatest strength is its action, which takes full advantage of swinging camera angles and captures a good sense of fantasy battle chaos. But beyond those parts, the movie languishes because the limp plot is devoid of any real drama or significance. It doesn’t help that the character models are nothing spectacular and exhibit stiff movement during walking and stoic expressions during talking. And after way too many uncharacteristic (and pathetic) jabs at humor, it becomes clear that this is aimed at kids. Adults might like The Clone Wars, but only on home video once they’re equipped with mute and fast-forward options.