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Moriarty Sees An Early Screening Of THE CLONE WARS Vol. 2!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

It’s moments like this that remind me why I live in Los Angeles.

Saturday afternoon, the Egyptian Theater played host to the second half of a two-part tribute to the work of Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of shows like DEXTER’S LABORATORY, POWERPUFF GIRLS, and SAMURAI JACK. Lately, he’s been under the geek microscope because he’s been playing in someone else’s sandbox. George Lucas’s, to be precise. Out of all the ancillary spin-offs in the STAR WARS universe so far, Cartoon Network’s CLONE WARS series is probably the single best received, and for good reason. It’s an action show, pure and simple, convering the period of STAR WARS mythology that has most intrigued fans since that first cryptic mention back in 1977.

When the first batch of episodes aired last year, fan reaction was strong. When the biggest complaint people have is “too short,” you know you’ve done something right. The last episode from that batch ended with General Grievous laying down a severe-beating on a whole group of Jedi. Just as Ki-Adi Mundi and Grievous were about to clash, the scene cut back to Coruscant where Yoda stood staring at the gathering storm outside.

This time around, more time was allotted for each episode. 12 minutes is a lot more storytelling time than it sounds like, especially when you’re dealing with something that’s paced this relentlessly. There are five new episodes that will air starting tonight, and there’s a not a wasted second in the hour of total running time. General Grievous just keeps getting cooler and cooler in these new episodes, and we learn a bit more about his fetish for collecting the lightsabers of Jedi he has killed. We also see him dueling with his master, Count Dooku, in the sort of aside that there’s no room for in the actual films. It fleshes out the corners of the STAR WARS universe just that little bit more, and it gives us more of some fun characters that may just flash by in the actual movie.

More importantly, though, we get a lot of new material here about Anakin’s final few steps toward the Dark Side before his actual fall. There’s one particular moment during Anakin’s final trial where he has a vision of the future that is genuinely unsettling, probably the emotional high point of the series. We get to see the actual transition from Padawan to Jedi for Anakin, and this is one of those things I can’t believe they did here instead of in the movies: Anakin gets made.

The most important storyline handled here, at least as far as the feature films are concerned, is the plot to abduct Chancellor Palpatine and the attack on Coruscant. These are the events that lead us directly into EPISODE III. As Genndy said, “We got to animate the opening crawl.” I’m just glad there’s not a lot of time left between now and May 19th, because a tease like this might be too hard to handle otherwise. That last trailer was already so good that I’m tempted to try and disguise myself as Kevin Smith so I can sneak into that mid-April friends and family screening at Skywalker Ranch. People have mistaken me for him before. Maybe that and a well-timed Jedi Mind Trick might just do the trick... but I digress.

Genndy Tartakovsky and his creative team are obviously big STAR WARS fans, and they seem to have been able to indulge every geek impulse they’ve ever had as fans. There’s nothing cooler than watching Jedi fighting at full-strength, using all of their powers. Yoda and Mace Windu get to lay waste to whole legions of droids, and there’s a great scene of Yoda actually fighting spaceships before they can land. As badass as the Jedi are, we also get to see the Clone Troopers at their best, and they’re impressive. All of this is brought to vivid life through the designs of Paul Rudish and the story work by Bryan Andrews, Mark Andrews, and Tartakovsky himself. Everything, from the backgrounds to the score to the sound effects... it’s all STAR WARS, instantly recognizable.

Oh, yeah. There are Wookies. Did I mention the Wookies? ‘Cause there are. Wookies, I mean.

Right now, as we count down to the end of the saga, it’s great to get something extra, and when it’s executed with this much skill, it’s a nice reminder of exactly what made me fall in love with STAR WARS in the first place.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • March 21, 2005, 6:46 p.m. CST

    The Clone Wars rock and all, but...

    by Uncle_Les you said, Mori, I wish they'd handle some of this shit in the movies. Peace Out.

  • March 21, 2005, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Sounds good. These 'toons are really exceptional. I hope Lucas a

    by Doom II

    Maybe pick up after Jedi, or go way back into the Sith Wars etc...Has anyone seen the old Droids cartoons lately? The animation is REALLY good. It's a shame that show had no balls (Stormtroopers without guns???Thanks Reagan!)

  • March 21, 2005, 7:09 p.m. CST

    One day, George Lucas is going to that big Jedi base in the sky.

    by Sith Lord Sauron

    Then and only then will we see a live-action Clone Wars on the big screen. Sad, but true.

  • March 21, 2005, 7:10 p.m. CST

    "Impressive. Most Impressive"

    by George Newman


  • March 21, 2005, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Why not a LOTR animated series?

    by Fugazi32

    About a group of Dundedain rangers who protect Middle Earth from evil during the 3rd age...

  • March 21, 2005, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Aw man! still too short. I was so into it. You forget it's a car

    by Orionsangels

  • March 21, 2005, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Maybe they should have held off on releasing the Clone Wars Seas

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Instead, maybe they should have waited until Season 2 finished airing, so the two seasons could be edited together into a feature-length movie DVD.

  • March 21, 2005, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Clone Wars Vol. 1 Online

    by surfalaska

    Does anyone know if and where I can watch Vol. 1 online?

  • March 21, 2005, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Download Clkone Wars 21 & 22 Here

    by GasPain

    You will need to install aBittorrent client in order to download these episodes. Get Episode 21 here Get Episode 22 here

  • March 21, 2005, 7:18 p.m. CST

    It rocked

    by Lorien

    And it shows that ALL the Jedi are getting lazy and aggressive.

  • March 21, 2005, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Qui-Gon had the Biggest, Silliest nose ever

    by George Newman

    That dream was awesome/weird. Why did Yoda see that? It was obviously about the trial that Anakin would skip in his achievement of Jedi Knight, but it was still a little ambiguous

  • March 21, 2005, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks Reagan?

    by Silver Shamrock

    The Left has the reputation for all the tofu gun laws and regulations, look into it. Republicans are the party of the NRA, Yee Haw!

  • March 21, 2005, 7:37 p.m. CST

    that was quintessential star wars! bonerific!

    by atomheartbrother

    catching a buzz after work and watching that shit- what a great monday. even my lawyer (star wars fan but not retarded like me) was soundly gobsmacked by the lyrical beauty and magnificent violence. the clone troops letting grievous "get away"... threepio interupting anakin and padme in a clinch ala han and leia in empire... the literal knighting of anakin skywalker... truly classic stuff that really has me jonzing for the next installments as fast as i can watch them on tivo... all building to a ludicrus clone wars dvd/tv marathon surround sound buzzathon saturday... damn- it's all good.

  • March 21, 2005, 7:48 p.m. CST

    I liked Qui-Gon's big deformed head and nose. It was charming

    by Orionsangels

  • March 21, 2005, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Yoda dreamed of one possible future

    by Orionsangels

    It's what could have been had Anakin gone down the right path.

  • March 21, 2005, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Why are you downloading Vol1? Just buy it tomorrow on DVD

    by Orionsangels

  • March 21, 2005, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Powerpuff Girls...

    by PoxyVonSinister

    ... was created by Craig McCracken, not Tartakovsky.

  • March 21, 2005, 8:18 p.m. CST


    by screenplaywriter

    However I have one complaint: 1. C-3PO held down the story. The knighting scene seemed to be forced, but I kow his gold plating scene was essential to explain why he looks like he does in "EPISODE III" and "IV." The rest was exactly what a "STAR WARS" film should have. 1. The struggles of a forbidden love was done well. 2. Anakin actually didn't deliver his lines so wooden or so forced. Neither did any of the other characters. 3. The remaining Council members got to talk! AMAZING! 4. The opening sequence was awesome as hell! Seeing Grievous crawl and run up a ceiling, chopping up clonetroopers, and taking names was awesome as well! 5. The flashback of Qui Gon and Anakin reminded me of "ESB" where Yoda made Luke seek out his fear, only to find what he really feared was himself. 6. The knighting scene was pretty good, but I think if they would've added another 5 minutes I think they could've done it like the ending scene of "A NEW HOPE." I think I would've been a little more satisfied with that ending. You could've had Palpatine, Padme, the Jedi Council and Order, the Padawans, members of the Senate, Jar Jar, the droids, just everyone you could think of looking in awe at Anakin's victory. It would've been more grand and regal. But oh two cents.

  • March 21, 2005, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Y'know Mori, you could probably pass for Kevin Smith.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I say get that beard neatly trimmed, buy a hockey jersey, and go for it.

  • March 21, 2005, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Good story but God the animation sucks

    by I Dunno

    Maybe it's just a matter of taste but to me the artwork looks goofy as hell.

  • March 21, 2005, 9:53 p.m. CST

    C3PO is awesome. He acts just like the wacky C3PO for the Droids

    by Orionsangels

  • March 21, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bi

    by Tall_Boy

    Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent?Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? Where's the bit torrent? (I live in Canada, we don't get it till May, goddamnit!)

  • March 21, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    That was great!

    by kintar0

    Fuckin' A.

  • March 22, 2005, 1:33 a.m. CST

    animation quality

    by LickMyBeets

    It would have been nice if they put some real effort into the animation.Star Wars just begs to be exploited in an anime fashion.George could start a whole new division and hire some overseas talent....they work for cheap too!

  • March 22, 2005, 1:33 a.m. CST

    screenplaywriter -

    by hktelemacher

    You'd think the knighting ceremony would be low key like that, not a public spectacle. Mori's "Anakin getting made" analogy was dead on, and like the Freemasons - the Jedi probably don't want their rituals out in the open, no matter how public they otherwise are. AND - was it Dagobah that Yoda saw in his vision? Is going into the tree/cave standard practice for the Jedi trials? Looks like a pretty big deal that Anakin never had to confront that. Glad the series is able to take some time to elaborate on things to peripheral to the movies.

  • Just A Reminder

  • March 22, 2005, 9:03 a.m. CST


    by Kentucky Colonel

    Berate the fact that this wasn't mentioned earlier yesterday and have your post removed. Communist!

  • March 22, 2005, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Wait a second...

    by Philaspenser

    I thought the new book "Labyrinth of Evil" chronicled the events leading directly into Episode III. Now they're saying this new batch of Clone Wars cartoons does that. Which is it?

  • March 22, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Grammar Sith

    by Banky the Hack

    Consarn it! WookieE! Two Es!

  • March 22, 2005, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Phantom Menace Directors Cut?

    by Trevor Goodchild

    Does anyone else recall a photo of Ewan/Obi Wan dueling with Maul in the desert. Presumably when Maul attacks on Tattoine. This was during the build up to the films release back in May 99. It was in one of the Sunday Supplements, perhaps the Guardian. Anyway it looked like a still from the film and it's only recently that I remembered it. As we all now know it never happened so what the hell was it? Was there a fight edited out? Anyone more clued up on SW than I know?

  • March 22, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Trevor Godchild, that pic was a promo only pic taken by Annie Liebowitz for her Phantom Menace Vanity Fair portfolio. There was never any such scene in the script.

  • March 22, 2005, 6:35 p.m. CST

    I thought Obi-wan set the 'forgo the trials" precedent...

    by Liquid_Daze

    I inferred from the end of Menace that Obi-wan passed the trials "in-the-field" by defeating a Sith Lord in combat, rescuing a queen and what'not... I figured there'd a centuries-long list of special circumstances that allowed padawans to forgo the trials. That's just pit-nicking, however; I always enjoys these Clone Wars things.

  • March 22, 2005, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Tonight's was good.

    by screenplaywriter

    It was good because of 3 main reasons: 1. The witty banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin was great. Now, I see why Obi-Wan grieves so much when he sees his beloved friend and "brother" falls to the Darkside. At first he is reluctant and shaken with the whole training Anakin, but now he sees that by Anakin's feats and abilities he is truly the Chosen One. 2. The different looks at the war on both sides of the battlefield. 3. The little argument between Mace Windu and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. 4. The action-packed beginning, middle, and end. 5. The glimpse of the next episode where the Separatists are leading their seige of Coruscant. Man oh man how I love "CLONE WARS!"

  • March 22, 2005, 8:16 p.m. CST

    I mean 5 lol

    by screenplaywriter


  • March 22, 2005, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Hey Trevor!

    by HarryKnuckles

    Do you mean this image:

  • March 22, 2005, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Genndy didn't create Powerpuff Girls

    by Pagz

    Just wanted to make note that Craig McCracken created the Powerpuff Girls. Dexter and Jack are Genndy's.

  • March 23, 2005, 12:49 a.m. CST

    "I thought Obi-wan set the 'forgo the trials" precedent"

    by Voice O. Reason

    I thought that as well.