Saturday, August 23, 2008

Star Wars: Clone Wars

The other night I took Will to see Star Wars: Clone Wars, an animated version of the popular franchise. If you're a 4-year-old boy who loves light sabers, laser guns, and stupid droids, it was awesome. If you're an adult who fell in love with Star Wars because above all else it was a great story, it wasn't so great.

The whole premise of the movie was that the bad guys had kidnapped Jabba the Hutt's infant son, and the Jedi, led by Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, have to rescue him to secure safe passage of the outer rim for an advantage during the Clone Wars. But wait — Count Dooku tricks Jabba into thinking it's actually the Jedi who kidnapped Stinky, so the Republic's war plans are doomed!

The whole premise was lame, sort of like a typical episode of Saved By the Bell built around a simple misunderstanding that in real life would be cleared up by smart people in 10 seconds, not 30 minutes. Only this lasted more than 90 minutes, and while Will's Gummi Bears lasted the entire flick, my popcorn was done in 25 minutes and things went downhill from there.

This movie apparently is a lead-in to what is going to be a regular TV series, and we'll probably watch it, because, well, it's still Star Wars. But the stories better get better if they hope to attract anyone over four years old. Unlike 1977, entertainment featuring laser battles and spaceships is a commodity — it's the stories that matter.