“Clone Wars” Breaks Bounds, Not Box Office

Matt Busekroos

On Aug. 15, Warner Brothers Pictures released “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to theaters; a continuation of the Clone Wars briefly set up in the final two installments of the George Lucas prequels. The Clone Wars has been a topic of discussion among fans since the original “Star Wars” was released over thirty years ago. In “Star Wars,” the Clone Wars are first referenced when Obi-Wan Kenobi mentions to Luke Skywalker that he was once a Jedi Knight and Luke’s father was “the best star pilot in the galaxy and a cunning warrior.”
The storyline of the Clone Wars gives the opportunity to tell a different story: one separate from the Skywalker clan, and more on the Republic that was turned into an Empire, leading to a civil war. George Lucas recognized the limitless potential in focusing a film on a galactic war due to the intricacies and complex nature of the subject.
Since “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is animated, (and the first of its kind in the franchise), George Lucas wanted to utilize the new format. There is a sense of freedom when using computer technology because it allows those involved with production to take the film to new heights as opposed to a live-action picture, which is a more limiting format. There is more flexibility with animation because there is no need to go back to find costumes or props, or call back the actors if there is a need to re-shoot a scene. With animation, everything is there at all times.
George Lucas has always intended on using CG-animation when developing the project. The distinct animation is intricate in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars;” however, it does not have the elegance or transcendent beauty that has consumed some of Pixar’s most recent projects such as “Wall-E” and “Ratatouille.” The environment created for the film is distinct and differentiates itself from other animated films, but, as it turns out, most prefer the productions created at Pixar to feed their hunger for animated pictures. Fans of “Star Wars” turned out in droves when the live-action sequels and prequels were released; yet, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” has only grossed $33,037,851 at the box office according to Box Office Mojo.
George Lucas describes the animation and look of the film best: “All of the characters and environments look almost like they’re painted.we also drew some influences from manga and anime.” The appeal of that animation resonates with some fans because they appreciate the layered textures and design of the characters.
The presentation of the film is stylized in a manner that is reminiscent of a video game; however, this presents the situation that as a member of the audience, you yourself are in the film, fighting for freedom for the galaxy.