Star Wars: Clone Wars, Volume 2
February 16, 2006
Volume Two of this popular cartoon consists of the concluding chapters in the events that happen between Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2004) that originally aired on the Cartoon Network. Genndy Tartakovsky and his team maintain the same fast pace and steady flow of exciting action sequences.
The Jedi Council convenes to figure out how they can stop General Grievous and debate making Anakin a Jedi with Obi-Wan Kenobi pushing for this to happen. Meanwhile, Anakin continues his gradual slide towards the dark side of the Force and his clandestine romance with Princess Padme. The Separatists continue their reign of terror on the planets all over the galaxy and are stretching the Jedi forces to their breaking point.
Tartakovsky does a nice job of cutting back and forth between two storylines: Anakin and Obi-Wan liberating a planet from the Separatists control and the invasion Coruscant and the kidnapping of Senator Palpatine. He is able to dovetail their respective narrative arcs rather nicely, setting the stage for Episode III.
Of note to Star Wars fans, we are finally privy to the ritual for which apprentice Jedi become Knights and see See-Threepio unveil the gold-plated look he was known for in the original trilogy.
The space battles are still some of the most exciting, dynamically staged sequences in the series. Tartakovsky continues with the lean narrative that made the first volume so enjoyable to watch. Needless subplots are trimmed so that we only see what is essential to the bigger picture.
The animation style is an economy of design and yet surprisingly effective. The dense visuals and set design of the movies has been pared down to the essentials, although, the space battles are very busy with a lot going on but never chaotic enough so that you can’t follow what is happening.
“Connecting the Dots” takes a look at what Tartakovsky and his crew set to accomplish this time around. He really wanted to capture the feel of the live-action movies. He admits that the first volume was more of a collection of commercials while volume two is a more coherent, concrete story, much like a movie. Essentially, he wanted to make volume two an extension of Episode 3.
There are still galleries for sketches and storyboards of characters and sequences. Also included is a gallery of posters and miscellaneous artwork.
“Revenge of the Brick” is a Star Wars story told entirely in Lego and CGI that is very clever and cool looking.
Finally, there is an audio commentary by director Genndy Tartakovsky and writers Bryan Andrews, Paul Rudish and Darrick Bachman. They talk about the look of the series and how they adhered to George Lucas’ notes. They were in a bit of a time crunch because they had to have it done and aired by the time Episode III debuted in theatres. They briefly take us through the animation process for a fairly informative track despite numerous lulls.