Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I was in the mood for Star Wars this weekend. Once in a while it strikes me.

The only thing Star Wars-ish on Xbox Live (besides The Force Unleashed) is the animated movie Clone Wars. I knew only that this film had been universally panned at the box office. But I figured what the hell, right?

And the thing is I kind of LIKED it!

Now, to begin with, I want to clarify that I do not think that the new movies are necessarily bad movies. They might not have been the movies that everyone wanted to see, but that doesn’t in and of itself make them bad films. Yes, I know, people out there are going to make fun of me for this statement, but I stand by it. I reserve this kind of explanation for films like Spider-man 3, X-3 and Matrix Revolutions among others.

See, even if you didn’t like the new movies, George Lucas’ symbolism is a lot more well thought out and subtle than maybe you realized. Have you considered that Anakin’s subversion to the Dark Side is sort of synonymous with the subversion of the Republic into the Empire?

Or that Anakin’s execution of children in the Jedi temple isn’t just a heinous act, but in fact a symbolic turning away of his own innocence and childhood? That he’s metaphorically killing himself here? Stuff like that is in there and I think Lucas deserves a lot more credit than he gets.

I’m just dismayed to hear that that guy just sort of gave up on that primetime television series he was trying to get off the ground! He just sort of seemed defeated or something. I mean, give the man some credit for Pete’s sake!

Anyway, Clone Wars. Essentially, this hour and a half animated film is one constant stream of Star Wars battles and action sequences.

So what the hell was everyone complaining about!? I mean, if people don’t like how the story unfolded in the new movies why pan a film that’s purely Star Wars action? It seemed, to me, as though Clone Wars is actually the COOL part of the new Star Wars movies. Cloned Stormtroopers facing off against droid armies with Jedi generals leading the charge. I mean what’s not to dig about that, anyway?

If I do have a serious complaint about the new movies/Clone Wars, it’d be this. All of the threads that connect the new and old films seem very arbitrary and unnecessary to me. I liked the idea that C-3P0 and R2-D2 seem to play such a significant role in the Star Wars universe, but the concept that Obi-Wan doesn’t recognize R2 as Anakin or Padame’s droid just doesn’t work for me.

I don’t like that there’s some Senator named Senator Antilles (Wedge’s last name). I think the idea that the Empire’s foot soldiers are all clones of Jango/Boba Fett is a little much and I think cameos by Chewbacca and Jabba (Clone Wars) feel forced.

It all seems kind of arbitrary to me, right up to some alien dude on Tantooine saying ‘Ai walli wanga!’ or whatever that noise is. The problems is, that alien speak in that scene seems to imply that ‘Ai Walli Wanga’ has a totally different meaning than what it seems to mean when some alien says it in the original movie.

So these are references to the old movies that are throwaways; not really well thought out connections. Okay, maybe the Jango/Boba Fett thing isn’t a throwaway. There’s something in there about fathers, sons and clones that’s all very revelaing of the Star Wars saga and the way kids have a tendency to become their parents. But other than that it just never felt right to me.

Despite this complaint, seeing Jabba in Clone Wars is kind of cool. And the whole movie does give Anakin and Obi-Wan a more heroic, fun story to follow along with.

So can’t we just let this guy make a fun movie and enjoy it anymore?