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Mr. Beaks Enlists in THE CLONE WARS with Director Dave Filoni!!

Every time I think I'm done with STAR WARS, they pull me back in!!! I wasn't supposed to conduct this interview with Dave Filoni, the director of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (which is the second animated take on this chunk of the STAR WARS saga); basically, I was just sitting outside of one of the press rooms transcribing another interview when WB's Orna Pickens reminded me that AICN had a 1:1 scheduled with Filoni, and that it was to begin in five minutes. Knowing Quint and Capone were off doing interviews of their own, I nervously jumped in to chat with the director, hoping I could hold my own without having seen the Lucasfilm panel eariler in the day. What I failed to consider was that, deep down, this would just be a back-and-forth between two lifelong STAR WARS fans. I can do that in my sleep. Hell, I probably have done that in my sleep. In other words, what started as an off-the-cuff interview essentially turned into, I think, a very worthwhile conversation about the challenges of a) creating within a bookended universe (THE CLONE WARS takes place between ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH), b) differentiating this version from the hyper-stylized "micro-series" dreamt up by Genndy Tartakovsky, and c) finding the light in what is inherently a tale of defeat. I was surprised to find myself fully engaged, and, ultimately, very excited about the direction of the STAR WARS franchise post-prequels. When the publicist came by to break us up after twelve minutes, we were both disappointed; even now, a good, nerdy STAR WARS conversation can go on for hours. In case you're wondering, the 98-minute STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS that's getting released to theaters on August 15th is the kickoff for the animated series, which is currently slated to premiere this fall on the Cartoon Network and TNT. And without further ado, here's Dave Filoni (you might already be a fan of his work on Nickelodeon's AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER).

Beaks: Every now and then, I encounter folks in the press room who've been coming to Comic Con for years as fans, and now they're on the other side of it.

Dave Filoni: It's crazy, huh?

Beaks: And maybe some kind of validation for the fans.

Filoni: Yeah. Hopefully, they'll get here, too.

Beaks: I know this is terribly superficial, but the one thing that gets me every time I see the CLONE WARS trailer is that this is the first STAR WARS movie we'll see without the 20th Century Fox fanfare. (Filoni laughs) I know, I know... it means nothing at all, it's still a Lucasfilm production, but... it still takes some getting used to.

Filoni: (Laughing)It's still Star Wars, but it is something. I remember driving home in my car, and one of the nice things about the soundtracks is that they have that fanfare at the beginning. When the prequels came around, I was so looking forward to hearing those trumpets call out the Fox fanfare. Being a big fan, and knowing that, with Warner Bros., we're not going to have that, I thought really long and hard about what the heck we're going to do to try to bridge that gap. That's part of STAR WARS. The solution came from a surprising source. I think the sound guys - Matthew Wood, David Acord and Juan Peralta - came up with an interesting thing to do at the beginning of the movie. At the very least, it lets you know that it's STAR WARS, but... in a different way. I watched what they did, and it kind of struck me. So I said, "Let's just go for it, and see what happens." It's already different, like you said, with the Warner Bros. logo, but I think this will help tie us in, that this is the Clone War. Have you seen the movie yet?

Beaks: No, I haven't had a chance yet. Everything I've seen has been online. You know, we've been through this chapter once with Tartakovsky's animated series, and now here we are with this. Could you explain how the two will coexist?

Filoni: The way George explained it to me going in was that THE CLONE WARS micro-series was really an experiment to see what kind of audience there was for Star Wars in an animated form. There have been droids and Ewoks, but that was a long time ago. So he brought out THE CLONE WARS micro-series, and it was super action-packed and exciting and really short installments. And it proved that people wanted to see STAR WARS in a lot of different mediums. So when we into doing this, I think that, now that George is done with the prequels, he wanted to reestablish the rules a little bit more, like "Mace Windu can't take out hundreds of battle droids by himself, otherwise the arena on Geonosis would've been a wipeout; [The jedi] would've won, and there be no Clone Wars. Those are exciting installments, but we don't tie directly into them; we tie more directly into the film that preceded us, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, and the one that comes after us, REVENGE OF THE SITH. We take cues from [Tartakovsky's series]. I definitely pay a big homage to them in some of the design look of it. Anakin wears an outfit that was definitely inspired by what we saw in the other CLONE WARS. But there's no direct link-up.

Beaks: It's definitely less stylized. I mean, your film is stylized in its way, but... was there a sense that this was supposed to look like an animated George Lucas film? Did you have freedom to put your spin on it?

Filoni: There was a lot of freedom, especially in the beginning. George said, "Just make it something no one's ever seen before."

Beaks: (Laughing) "Oh, okay."

Filoni: (Laughing) Yeah, I was like, "What is that? I guess I haven't seen it either." In a way, I kind of used the two measuring rods in STAR WARS: I had Genndy's CLONE WARS one end, which was really super action-packed, exaggerated force powers, exaggerated proportions in the ankles and the waist... just awesome. They're the masters of that design sense. And then, on the other end, we've got ILM's super-photorealistic live-action STAR WARS. So I thought, "For this CLONE WARS to be a success, I'm going to have to shoot for somewhere in the middle. I don't want to exaggerate things too much; I want to stay in keeping with the powers that I've seen the Jedi use in the films, but I don't want to be photorealistic because I know there's a live-action TV series on the horizon." So it had to be very different from that. That was probably the biggest reason - besides doing it so quickly on television - to stay away from photorealism. There's another impending STAR WARS television show. We wanted to be unique and different, so I kind of shot in the middle. I took a little dab of things that I liked from working on AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. We had been studying everything from MONONOKE to MACROSS on that show. Those are all things I like, so there's a little dash of those here and there.

Beaks: Those are good references.

Filoni: Yeah. Ashoka has a lot of San from MONONOKE in her, the wolf girl - her movements and quickness.

Beaks: You know, I remember talking to one of the writers from SMALLVILLE, and he told me that when Warner Bros. was developing SUPERMAN RETURNS, they'd often come up with a great story arc for the show only to have it nixed by the studio because it was something that might turn up in the movie. I wonder if you've had any similar experiences on CLONE WARS, where you get this killer idea only to have George or someone else say, "Eh, we might address that in the live-action series."

Filoni: (Smiling) It's interesting you say that. Early on, there were a couple of things that we were not going to go near because they were, like... Lucasfilm is famous for having ideas that are "reserved". "You can't touch this because later on it's going to be developed." There were definitely some areas...

Beaks: Like?

Filoni: ...that I can't tell you about that we couldn't use. But as we've gone on, THE CLONE WARS has a large, expansive area to tell stories - wider than I thought, actually. It's not just all battles. There are many stories to tell.

Beaks: Obviously, one of the few characters that has yet to be touched on in the filling out of the pre-OT universe is Han Solo. I think a lot of the fans are dying to know when or if he's going to get worked into one of these series.

Filoni: Well, I'll tell you my stance on the big, big canon characters. I never presume I'm the person who should be defining anything about them or their past. He's not in this show - I'll say that quite clearly. If George came one day and said we were going to do that, it'd be very daunting because defining that would really be something else. I kind of like characters whose origins are mystified and still a little unclear, so I'm very careful when we use canon characters from the original trilogy. Very careful.

Beaks: But you still have plenty of cool prequel characters to work with. Kit Fisto has turned into a huge fan favorite.

Filoni: Yeah, that's a big thing I have with my friend Giancarlo [Volpe], who's now with THE CLONE WARS: he's a huge Kit Fisto fan, and I'm a big Plo Koon fan. And it drives me nuts that Kit Fisto gets, like, twice the merchandising that Plo Koon does. It's that smile. We did an episode with Plo Koon in THE CLONE WARS and we did an episode with Kit Fisto, and everyone was like "That Kit Fisto episode's awesome!" And I'm like, "Whoa, wait a minute! What about the Plo Koon episode?" You saw today's clip presentation, right?

Beaks: Actually, one of our other guys was in there. We've been having to switch off all day, so it's been a bit of a jumble.

Filoni: That's too bad. We showed a clip of Luminara today, and that was pretty exciting. But you're right. It's fun to work with those guys and say, "Well, how did they talk and how did they act? What were they like? How are the Jedi all different from one another?"

Beaks: But you have a sort of fixed destination with this series' narrative, correct? It's got to bridge right into REVENGE OF THE SITH.

Filoni: I definitely do. And I have a lot of ideas surrounding the end of it, but I haven't really gotten around to discussing that point-blank with George yet. We'll get there one day.

Beaks: Any chance of there being an upbeat ending? I mean, it can only be so upbeat, obviously. But could there be some small sense of triumph?

Filoni: I suppose there's a possibility. I'm keeping it open-ended for now. But it's a war. And one of the things I like about THE CLONE WARS is the impending encroachment of the idea of the Empire; it's slowly taking over despite all the efforts of the Jedi. And the Jedi's effort - even in REVENGE OF THE SITH - that they're going to cling on to and pull this shattered republic out of the debris and keep things the way they were... it's one of their mistakes. They're trying to hold on to something that's already lost. I like that idea, and I like that maybe it gets that dark eventually; I'd like to see how we can do that in an animated series where things don't typically go that far.

Beaks: But it's strange that, whereas we were able to end on such a high-note with RETURN OF THE JEDI over twenty years ago, we've been mired in this sadness and failure for so long. I'm not saying this is a bad thing; it's a part of mythmaking. But it's peculiar that STAR WARS has been so downbeat lately. It does seem to reflect the tenor of the times.

Filoni: It's interesting. Look at THE DARK KNIGHT, and what a huge success it is. It's so dark, but people are going out to it. It's fantastic, and the movie seems to be resonating. But I think you're right: there is room for the good, and I think we have to show that. Part of what we're trying to do is show Anakin as a very good person. George has always talked about that, how Anakin is a very good person. And we have time to show that in this series. What is this guy like as a hero and a good friend? I want to see him as the good person his son is. I always say our Anakin in THE CLONE WARS is going to be a cross between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker: he's got the grease monkey attitude and cockiness like Han, but he's backing it up with a lot of naiveté about the galaxy and his role in it like Luke. I think together, that really spells out who Anakin is. I think it means he's still a good person. I want to see that so that maybe we can have a positive outcome before he hits his low. I always bring this up to my crew: Luke never did anything that was that evil in the movies we've seen him in, but when he gets Darth Vader down and chops his hand off, and the Emperor says, "Strike your father down and take his place at my side"... I believe Luke might do it. And I believe if Luke had done it, he would've turned to the dark side. That's a really powerful thing, and I think Anakin is not that far off from that. It's just that we see the big points leading up to that. (Laughs) He slaughters a camp of Tusken Raiders, so he's got a leg up on Luke already. He's descending farther, but there's still good in him.

And with that, I'm officially hooked for both THE CLONE WARS and the live-action television series, which is apparently still gestating. All too easy. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback
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  • July 30, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    This shit is two hours long?

    by terry1978

    Man, this better be some good storytelling.

  • July 30, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by palewook

  • July 30, 2008, 4:17 p.m. CST

    My thoughts exactly

    by Juan McClane

    2 hours might be too long.

  • July 30, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    That shit above me is the best first post ever.

    by Harry Weinstein


  • July 30, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Proof of shitness...

    by Skraggo

    Two words: "Jabba's son"

  • July 30, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    its funny Beaks goes in totally blind.....


    The guys asks "Have you seen it?" Uhhhhh no..... "But you were in the presentation right?" of our other guys was. <p> Still got the job done though....impressive....most impressive...

  • July 30, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    As much as I like star wars

    by biffy88

    I don't think I can be bothered to sit through a 2 hour fucking cartoon with its sole intention to bring me back to watch a television series. Mr. Lucas, bring us the live action series or nothing at all.

  • July 30, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    They're going to do interesting tie-ins with this too...

    by Bones

    Announced at this year's San Diego Comic Con International...<p> At the "New Books Based on the Clone Wars" panel, Pablo Hidalgo announced that Star Wars' official website would have a weekly webcomic to lead into each episode of the new Cartoon Network television show Star Wars: The Clone Wars.<p> There will be four different artists working on the webcomics--fan favorites Jeff Carlisle, Katie Cook, Grant Gould and Tom Hodges, each bringing their unique styles to the project.<p> More information will be released in the coming weeks leading up to the October debut of the comic and television show.<p> Keep watching for details.<p> ------<p> So that will be kind of cool...

  • July 30, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    running time

    by TurdontheRun

    it isn't 121 minutes, its 98 minutes. FACT!

  • July 30, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Count me in.

    by SeanMiller

    I love hearing that there are still fans out there that don't get off on knocking everything that has to do with Star Wars. Where Luke made all the right decisions when forced to make a choice, Anakin made all the wrong decisions. You could say that he chose poorly.

  • July 30, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Adam Cohen is not gay

    by CODENAME Joker

  • July 30, 2008, 4:44 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Scrap the live action TV series and do Episodes VII - IX with an elderly General Skywalker played by Mark Hamill. OK I know it's never going to happen, but my former 7 year old self can dream right? Not sure about this Clone Wars series. A lot of it looks cool but then 'Jabba's son' keeps popping into my mind. We'll see.

  • July 30, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    this story has been told

    by GrubStreeter

    robots vs clones (excuse me *droids* vs clones)- we get it, and we know how it turns out. And wasn't the whole war orchestrated so that Palpatine could become the Emperor? So what's the point, beyond flashing lights and explosions?

  • July 30, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    This looks cool

    by STLost

    Wasn't there an article or interview with Lucas a long time ago where he talked about how episodes VII-IX would come about? He was saying something like in Episode I - III there was some evil leader that is frozen and is somehow forgotten, only to be 'dethawed' in episode VII-IX. I guess that didn't happen, but would have been cool to see maul, dooku or grievous (or some other baddie) frozen in carbonite, only to be reanimated in episode VII, and an older luke and han and co. have to deal with it

  • July 30, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST


    by MCVamp

    You might have read one of those old STARLOG pieces where they did speculatory articles about future SW movies. Essentially FanFic in the form of a "news" item. I remember one that had Yoda's brother "Adoy" (no shit) de-carbon-freezing some lost Mandalorians to fight the Empire in the big finale or some nonsense. Oh, and GrubStreeter: You know how WWII ended, right? You skip every war movie ever made?

  • July 30, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Episodes VII - IX were mentioned on and off right up until 1999 but Lucas never had a story for them.

  • July 30, 2008, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Any sequels..

    by macheesmo3

    would prolly be about Admiral Thrawn and that whole end of things . It might be best if they skipped ahead to Lukes kids and started with brand new baddies. I'll go see this , I'm a sucker for anything that says Star Wars ont it .

  • July 30, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    raise your hand if you didnt read any of the dude's responses

    by Prossor

    i'm guessing it's something like "we''re taking the series to another level, it will be darker and more serious in there. this is what we always wanted to do. jar jar only has a little bit of screentime"

  • July 30, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    raise your hand if you didnt read any of the dude's responses

    by Prossor

    i'm guessing it's something like "we''re taking the series to another level, it will be darker and more serious in there. this is what we always wanted to do. jar jar only has a little bit of screentime"

  • July 30, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Running Time Amended

    by mrbeaks

    It is 98 minutes. Sorry for the confusion.

  • July 30, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    "George has always talked about that, how Anakin is a very good

    by mr teaspoon

    They should have made time for that in the actual films.

  • July 30, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I don't see how any real fan can be excited post prequels

    by IndustryKiller!

    If you truly love something then seeing it bastardized should hurt you. Simply seeing Star Wars for Star Wars sake, as we did with the prequels, is something I still havent gotten over and seeing these stupid fucking fanboys rationalize and cheer every desecration of what was once the greatest franchise in screen history is just twisting the knife. If you think the fucking Clone Wars animated film (Jabba the Hutts son??!!) is even in the realm of not be contemptable or that anything related to Star Wars that George Lucas has his narcissistic talentless fingers in is going to be watchable then there is a bridge in brooklyn i can get you a fucking steal on.

  • July 30, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST

    What was with that Han Solo question beaks??

    by IndustryKiller!

    Is that just a filler question that you came up with off the cuff or would you actually like to see how the can butcher that character and give him some ridiculous backstory where he randomly crosses paths with every character he'll meet later in his life?

  • July 30, 2008, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    There have been rumors that Han might turn up in the TV series. I've been told time and again that they're utterly bogus, but I figured broaching the subject about a major canon character appearing in either THE CLONE WARS or the live-action show might give us an idea if they're willing to get Han, Leia or Hammerhead involved.<br><br>Not that you really wanted me to answer your question...

  • July 30, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Young Han Solo Chronicles starring Shia LaBeef

    by Darth_Inedible

    The series will explore teenage Han's previously undisclosed adventures with Jar Jar's older step brother Tink Tink Binks.

  • $

  • July 30, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Phantom Menace Ruined Star Wars.

    by Redfive!

    I think if Episode 2 was Episode 1,3 was 2 and 3 was about Darth Vader hunting down the Jedi star wars fandom would be way different.Episode 1 RUINED star wars to the point where lots of people I know did not go see the other 2...DAMN YOU MICHAEL BAY AND JAR JAR BINKS.

  • July 30, 2008, 6:40 p.m. CST

    As a fan...

    by roninredshade

    My personal feeling is, that it's played out. We know what's going to happen and how. This seems a very Trek-like move. I guess the only things that would get back into Star Wars would be Episodes VII, VIII & IX. Nothing less.

  • July 30, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Filoni will save the day

    by dre1966

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Dave on a couple of occasions and he is a very nice guy who has shown he has talent with Avatar. If someone else was running I might be worried but he has me convinced to give it a chance. Advance press on the series has been good so I for one am going to give it a chance.

  • July 30, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Avatar rocks--enough for me

    by dead youngling

  • July 30, 2008, 6:57 p.m. CST

    This movie will flop because its not from 20th century fox

    by Orionsangels

    Star Wars can't be from the WB. So thats so wrong. It must have the 20th century logo before it starts. Does this movie feature the famous star wars opening letter crawl? it'll look silly after the WB logo. This movie cursed itself

  • July 30, 2008, 7:01 p.m. CST


    by Orionsangels

    TPM isn't a good movie, even Lucas admits that in the making of TPM. But what ruined Star Wars wasn't TPM. It was the Internet and cynicism that killed the beast

  • July 30, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    His Avatar Episodes...

    by Lobanhaki

    <br>Include a number of classics, with some of the best of the first season action sequences. The first two episodes, in fact, are his.</br>

  • July 30, 2008, 7:10 p.m. CST

    yeah Orionsangel, it's OUR fault

    by IndustryKiller!

    Let's conveniently disregard the horrible filmmaking, inorganic special effects, porn level writing and acting, and the terrible continuity be damned storyline of all three prequels. It's our sense of taste that ruined Star Wars. Even after you yourself just said Phantom Menace is a bad film it's still OUR fault. yeah that's GOTTA be it. No flaws in that logic. What an apologist fuck.

  • July 30, 2008, 7:40 p.m. CST

    the animated people look funky

    by Rupee88

    I don't know if i'd care about this otherwise, but it does keep me from watching it for sure.

  • July 30, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST


    by pcassou

    Lucas can make a second trilogy, and redeem himself. But he has to stop making all this shit, seriously how mu

  • July 30, 2008, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Fox Fanfare

    by The Funketeer

    This movie could be better than Citizen Kane and I'd still dock it a star for not using the Fox Fanfare. That'd be like opening an Indiana Jones movie without the Paramount mountain fade.

  • July 30, 2008, 8:09 p.m. CST

    I really like

    by Mockingbuddha

    that issue of West Coast Avengers where Iron Man comes out showing off his new armor and everyone's all like, "Sweet dude!" But then Mockingbird comes out to introduce her costume change which was basically taking off her pants so that her costume consisted of a bathing suit with long sleeves, and Will Smith pops out and says, "AAAW! Hale Yeah!" And Iron Man says, "Upstaged again." Hah! Classic!

  • July 30, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST

    I also really like

    by Mockingbuddha

    where Natalie Portman tells James Franco she truly deeply loves him, cause her acting sure wasn't letting me know that. And I was like, "Ooooh, okay, now it makes some sense... wait... did she just jump on that big rhino thing and give Annie a quick kiss before trying to dodge laser fire? Hurm. When the drains finally scab over, the Jedi will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the Padawans and Knights will look up and shout, 'Save us!' and I'll look down and whisper, 'Clones.'"

  • July 30, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST

    When TPM was coming out

    by pigshit

    I was working at KFC and we were given shirts with different characters on them to work in. I was given a Jar Jar one. I used it to wipe my cock for a year until the whole shirt was rock hard, then I threw it out.

  • July 30, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    For someone who "hates" Star Wars, you sure obsess over it, Indu

    by Atticus Finch

    Must be boring being such an elitist prick.

  • July 30, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Real reason we'll never see a photo-realistic Star Wars CGI...

    by qweruiop (ala Beowulf) is because it'll force Lucas to pay royalties to the primary actors (McGregor, Lee, Portman, Jackson, etc) for use of their likeness. The previous TV Clone Wars series and this new movie both use extreme caricatures of the primary actors, which allows Lucas to somewhat keep the characters looking like their movie counterparts, while at the same time keeping him from having to pay the aforementioned actors for their likeness.

  • July 30, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    wow this guy put down the clone wars shorts

    by Rufferto

    I wonder if Lucas told him to say all that? I mean so it wasn't canon because Mace kicked ass in it? Who the hell cares? It's not very professional selling something by putting its predecessor down. And the character designs are awful. That style should only be for 2d. I mean they admit to using Genndy Tartakovsky style don't let him on the project and then say it's not as good? Really? What is this movie rated anyway? I would be surprised at anything more then G.

  • July 30, 2008, 9:34 p.m. CST

    I don't know if it makes a difference

    by Dancingforever

    But I shall try. I saw all the OT Star Wars movies on opening day, grew up with them, loved them, even found a way to like RoTJ as I saw it for what it was. a great movie to watch on LsD. When TPM came out I will never forget walking out of the theatre feeling as if a good friend had died, or at the least changed so radically I no longer could relate to them. I don't hate Lucas, I don't look down on the people who like the PT or even this bizarre incarnation of Star Wars, I just don't care anymore. Star Wars has become more of a brand then a great story. Star Wars is now a corporation that churns out product that has some feeble link to a once great movie series. Animated cartoons, Jabba's son, a teenage Han Solo, Darth Vader reduced to the equivalent of space version of Brandon Walsh, Purple Light Sabres, etc. etc. The essence of what is now missing is the engaging stories and characters that people care about. My only wish is that this series, franchise, corporation or whatever would finally rest in peace and we could all move on. Ah George, what happened to the small art films you promised us...

  • July 30, 2008, 9:44 p.m. CST


    by skydemon

    I have just absolutely no interest in seeing this whatsoever. just none, I could care less. I suppose the last three movies killed Star Wars for me. The only Star Wars for me are the original three, no damn special editions, not even the damn extra special editions. Just the original movies, dated FX and all. All else pretending to be Star Wars is just simply very stinky Ewok fodder.

  • July 30, 2008, 10:03 p.m. CST

    star wars and kids today

    by Zeck

    my 8 year old son is super exited to see this so what the hell! we have all been over marketd to for the last 30 years!

  • July 30, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by Zeck

    i have been coming to this site daly for 7 years and have never posted so there you go!

  • July 30, 2008, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Hey everyone.. shut the hell up

    by Cotton McKnight

    You heard me. Quit your whining and move along. Don't like it? Fine, don't see it. But you all know you will because you love to be enraged with George and you want something else to bitch at him about.

  • July 30, 2008, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Four-Star SFX Review for "Clone Wars"

    by Termigoonie

    From SFX magazine in the U.K.: The 20th Century Fox fanfare is such an integral part of the Star Wars experience that seeing the Warner Brothers shield dissolving into “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” is a rather disconcerting experience. The absence of an opening crawl – to say what it’s been replaced with would be an unfair spoiler – and slightly remixed theme tune do nothing but add to the suspicion that The Clone Wars comes from a very different place to the live-action movies. But make no mistake, as soon as you’re plunged into the heart of a Jedi vs battledroids confrontation on a distant world, this is pure, unadulterated Star Wars. The characters may be heavily stylized CG caricatures of the saga’s heroes and villains, but the essence of George Lucas’s creation remains in a movies that nests at least two of the prequels. Indeed, The Clone Wars’ brand of simplistic, action-heavy storytelling is a fantastic breath of fresh air after the complex political machinations that bogged down much of Episodes I and II. The film’s biggest strength is that it’s clearly been made by fans for fans. It’s easy to picture planning meetings dissolving into sessions of “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” particularly when Anakin leads a vertical assault on a distant temples, clone troopers and giant walkers scaling a massive cliff as Separatist fire rains down on them. The movies packed with sequences that more than hold their own against their live-action equivalents. And while it’s hardly Apocalypse Now, Clone Wars doesn’t sanitise the violence. Some scenes are surprisingly brutal: a battledroid grabbing a trooper by the neck before shooting him point blank is up there with the charred corpses of Luke’s aunt and uncle in the Star Wars pantheon of unpleasantness. This is the Clone Wars as many fans of the original trilogy wanted to see them, much closer to the prequels that existed in our heads than The Phantom Menace turned out to be. As a curtain-raiser to the upcoming Clone Wars TV series – set to continue filling the gaps between Episodes II and III – this is an impressive statement of intent. The CG proves surprisingly effective, with the cast’s cartoony, almost puppet-like appearance perfectly suiting the material. The animation may not possess Pixar levels of complexity – probably impossible when you’ve eventually got to churn out weekly episodes – but with its vibrant colour scheme and simple, get-to-the-point-dialogue, The Clone Wars is straight out of the comic-book school of storytelling. Needless to say, the hardware and spaceships look fantastic – you have to look very hard to see where what you see here defers from the (admittedly just as CG) equivalents in the prequels. Although the mention of protecting shipping lanes through the Outer Rim conjures unpleasant memories of Trade Federation blockades, the plot involving the kidnap of Jabba the Hutt’s son rarely lets the excitement levels dip – in fact, the action’s so relentless that come the final quarter you might find yourself begging for a breather. Slug Jr proves an ingenious McGuffin, both a convincing reason for conflict between the Republic and Count Dooku’s Separatists (both sides want to keep Jabba onside) and a brilliant plot device for exploring the relationship between future Vader Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano, when they have the play nursemaid. The character stuff works as well as it does is a welcome surprise. Cartoon Anakin process to be a much more likeable character than the Hayden Christensen version, suggesting he might become the rogue-ish Han Solo character the prequels lacked, while one glance between Anakin and the secret missus Padme, shared via hologram, conveys more sexual chemistry than any number of musings about the romantic properties of sand. The newbies, too, fare well, with the impetuous Ahsoka mostly avoiding the annoying qualities that are usually the hallmarks of a screen sidekick, and Asajj Ventress displaying plenty of menace and her fair share of skill with a lightsaber. Even the usually faceless clones are given a chance to develop, with their haircuts (some of them hilarious) suggesting they’ve grown individual personalities. Above all The Clone Wars is fun. Sure, a few gags fall flat, but this gets back to the adventure serial roots that first inspired George Lucas all those years ago. The kid in you will love it.

  • July 30, 2008, 10:25 p.m. CST

    and by the way.. i was at a target the other day..

    by Cotton McKnight

    and some of the new toys came were out. This little kid kept saying "where's jar jar?" over and over.

  • July 30, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Doctor Zoidberg needs some gay?

    by skiff

    sorry he needs some fucking gay.

  • July 30, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    I will not

    by Rommel Catuncan

    let this abomeenayshun in mah house. I will not let my chirrun be sposed to it. I will not let mah DVD player be sposed to it. Soo-EEE! Soo-EEE!!!

  • July 30, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Hey Skydemon

    by Termigoonie

    Just curious, if the last three movies "killed" "Star Wars" for you, why are you spending your time posting here and why do you use terms like "Ewok fodder"? I guess, it seems, you COULD care less. A lot less!

  • July 30, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    The key line in that review to me

    by Termigoonie

    "This is the Clone Wars as many fans of the original trilogy wanted to see them, much closer to the prequels that existed in our heads than The Phantom Menace turned out to be."

  • July 30, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST

    i will see it in the theaters

    by Zeck

    i hated the episoid 1 as much as the next guy. but who cares my kid wantes to see it. and it's cool to see any star wars with your kids

  • July 30, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Not impressive, Mr. Beaks. Most definitely NOT impressive.

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Damn. What a lightweight interview. You and I both know what the elephant in the room was: the prequels--all three of them to one degree or another--sucked ass. How do you plan to deal with that sad fact, Dave, considering your film/tv toons are stuck right smack tab in the middle of two of these REALLY TERRIBLE AND DISAPPOINTING films. There are probably ten to twenty questions you COULD have asked this guy if you weren't so busy trying to make him like you. <BR><BR>If you really want some respect as an interviewer, Mr. Beaks, you'll ask some tough questions next time. I swear, between you and Quint, it seems like AICN is sucking off every director/writer who deigns to speak with them. Please free your writerly nuts from the vice-grip they are so obviously trapped in.

  • July 30, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    He did, after all, save his own son from Palpatine's wrath.

  • July 31, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Hey Rufferto

    by Termigoonie

    How is calling the Genndy shorts "just awesome" putting them down, exactly?

  • July 31, 2008, 12:40 a.m. CST

    This is great and everything, but..

    by Harold-Sherbort

    what the fuck is going on with Midnight Meat Train?

  • July 31, 2008, 1 a.m. CST

    You couldn't pay me to see this....

    by exie

    Seriously, even if it were free I wouldn't waste gas to go to the theater to see it. Lucas is a bloated asshole gasbag who has become the Emperor. He's become the thing he used to rail about when he was younger and hooked up with Coppola. I hope this tanks and I hope he never makes another film again. What a waste of talent and great story.

  • July 31, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Star Wars is dead to me.

    by exie

    I won't even go see it in 3D. The last nickel Lucas will ever get from me was for the Lego Star Wars video game that was entirely more enjoyable than any of the prequel movies.

  • July 31, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Why Why Why

    by bk-whopper

    Lucas has more money they God, why does he stay in the game? Why can't he just disappear and become an eccentric hermit like Howard Hughes and leave the industry in the hands of real story tellers like Chris Nolan?

  • July 31, 2008, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Are you going to respond to everyone?

    by Rufferto

    And defend this movie all day and night? Not that you don't sound like such a classy enjoyable gentleman but I can think of more fun things to do then argue with you. Having teeth pulled, maybe. Release that sardonic bile on someone else please. I know you think your clever but I'm not in the mood to jump through hoops.

  • July 31, 2008, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Will you fucking relax IndustryKiller!

    by Orionsangels

    I'm not a fan of TPM. I'm saying the Internet can make or break a film.

  • July 31, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Industry Killer

    by onezeroone

    I share your cynicism and disgust at this blatant milking of the cash cow. It looks like George has his heart set on convincing everyone about how good Anakin is. Beaks made a good point about darkness of the prequel universe, can't avoid it. I'd prefer a brief series about events AFTER RotJ.

  • July 31, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    Maybe he still loves the universe he created and wants to tell more stories.

  • July 31, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Every SW production not directed by Lucas

    by Knugen

    is fine in my book(except the ewok movies and the holiday special - obviously an inspiration to Lucas for the prequels) Whatever that fat fuck is up to now - do not let him near the directors chair. Any day that bastard gets eaten by a Bantha is a good day.

  • July 31, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by chanjumar

    It's the only way. Rather than complain and whine and get angry (but still fork over your cash), JUST DO NOT GO. It's the only thing that will send a message.

  • July 31, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Lucas bashing got old about 6 years ago

    by kwisatzhaderach

  • July 31, 2008, 11:20 a.m. CST

    I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday..

    by Cotton McKnight

    and this woman was talking about how she hates him- he is a sexist, racist, and every other bad name you can think to throw at him. She listens every day, and she hates him so much that she has started taking pills for high blood pressure. <p>That reminds me a lof of you people. For some reason, you are addicted to hating George Lucas. I really don't get it. You will see this movie one way or another, because it's in your nature. You need your "fix".

  • July 31, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    I'm sure I'll see the TV episode someday

    by TheManBehindTheMask

    But no way I'll see it on the big screen because,I don't know... I feel it's not the good medium to watch this.

  • July 31, 2008, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Again...premiering a TV show in theaters is a rip off.

    by knowthyself

    Stop trying to rip people off.

  • July 31, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    HAHAHAHA...thats funny, chanjumar

    by llac12

    Boycott...send a message...hahaHAHA. Somebody should introduce you to the real world, where SW and GL are loved by millions.

  • July 31, 2008, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Yes, the prequals suck...

    by Pvt. Noguchi

    they really do. RotS is a little better than the first two, but its still not even close to a "good" movie. That said, i still get a total hard on anytime i see a lightsaber on screen. I know its silly, but its just fucking awesome to hear that snap-hiss and to watch the blades go. So yeah, it'll probably suck, but its got lightsabers, so i'm there.

  • July 31, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Kidnapped, Jabba the Hutt’s son has been

    by Chief Joseph

    Kidnapped, Jabba the Hutt’s son has been.<br> Care, why should we?

  • July 31, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST

    George Lucas on 'The Clone Wars':

    by Giario

    'Pay up you retarded peasants, or I'll send my daughter to your house to beat the living shit out of you and kick your dog's head off.'

  • July 31, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    "All you bitches are gonna see this anyways."

    by Chief Joseph

    I really doubt it this time; that's just the vibe I get from talking to people. Kids will probably see this, but that's it.<br> If George had just debuted this on TV like it was intended and didn't do this obvious cash-grab theatrical release, I don't think he'd be getting as much "hater" flak.

  • July 31, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    And how 'bout that animation?

    by Nocturnaloner

    How can anyone make an animated movie for theatrical release, with virtually no facial animation? I've seen stop motion tests with action figures that had more character and expression.

  • July 31, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I'm taking my nephew

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    This could be a good one for the little fans, and there's nothing wrong with that.

  • July 31, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    got my tickets.......

    by j2talk

    I've been a Sar Wars fan since 77 and i can proudly say that since ESB I've seen each film opening day.....I'll not miss this one...other than the StarWars Holiday Special, and the Ewoks cartoon, I've enjoyed ALL the StarWars I've seen....Yes I said ALL- even EP 1 and the live action Ewok movies....sit back and Enjoy the ride people...

  • July 31, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    got my tickets.......

    by j2talk

    I've been a Sar Wars fan since 77 and i can proudly say that since ESB I've seen each film opening day.....I'll not miss this one...other than the StarWars Holiday Special, and the Ewoks cartoon, I've enjoyed ALL the StarWars I've seen....Yes I said ALL- even EP 1 and the live action Ewok movies....sit back and Enjoy the ride people...

  • July 31, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    As for Star Wars "canon"...

    by j2talk

    "Canon" for Star Wars has been pretty flexible, going as far back as Splinter of the Minds Eye. Much like Star Trek, Unless you see it on Screen don't it take it as canon.

  • July 31, 2008, 5:45 p.m. CST

    How many of you remember the Omni article?

    by j2talk

    Give me more Star Wars...How many of you remember the Omni article from back in 78-79 that talked about Lucas' Plan for 9 films, I think it was here that Darth Vaders fall in to a volcano was first mentioned and the supposed climax to the series that showed the entire story was being told to a group of children by the droids?

  • July 31, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Well, I still love SW

    by TheLastCleric

    I loved the prequels as much as the originals and despite all the ridiculous anal rubbing and angry fan talk of being back-doored by Lucas, I felt the prequels had a much more interesting story arch and some insanely cool mythological touches that are pretty brilliant upon closer inspection. Most of the hatred spewed at Lucas is so transparent at this point that it’s become little more than white noise. What really amuses me is how people suck off the original Clone Wars series even though it would have been panned had Lucas included such bombast in the prequels. Even funnier is how the prequels get slammed for containing the same flaws found in the originals. I mean, “Laugh it up Fuzzball” and “I’d rather kiss a wookie.” is somehow acceptable dialogue but Vader screams “Noooo!” and it’s the end of the fucking world? And incidentally, if Star Wars is so fucking dead and buried, why do so many of you come into these threads and continue to talk incessant shit? Sith came out three fucking years ago and you’re still feeling the burn? And some of you have the audacity to attack the fans? Truth be told, I don’t give a shit of you like Star Wars or not but Jesus, some of you need to let it go. Lucas doesn’t owe you a fucking thing and if you’re that disinterested with this film/TV series don’t watch it. That said, I think Clone Wars looks pretty damn good so they got my money.

  • July 31, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST


    by Caerdwyn

    Anakin's "decisions" were on rails. They could've run an Amtrak on the path he took through Ep 1, 2 and 3. Nothing felt natural about his journey from slightly self-centered apprentice Jedi to supposedly dark and brooding Vader. It was forced. It was trash. If Clone Wars allows the character a little extra depth and breadth, great, but I'll chalk that entirely up to the others involved in the film, not Lucas. Unless he explicitly stated "make Anakin a little more like a human being instead of a special effect in this, guys, k?"

  • July 31, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Anakin's "decisions" were on rails-B,S

    by j2talk

    BS.....they only seemed like that because you knew they where coming.... people where shocked when he slaughtered the SandPeople.....

  • July 31, 2008, 11:59 p.m. CST

    There's still good in him!!!

    by Diddypop5996

    Nice interview and from the sounds of it...looks like we have something positive finally to look 4ward 2!

  • Aug. 1, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by Diddypop5996

    I couldn't agree more with your outlook on the films...the three of them though admittedly a fan came off more kiddie city time than the vader is going to kick ass for 3 more movies that we certainly did not get. Finally, I have been a fan of star wars my entire 32 years of existence but frankly I'm bored...Message to George I have no problem with you making tons of money but you have a responsibility to the faithful to do things in a way that is cooler than anything star trek. Dturang nailed it...Shame on you.

  • Aug. 1, 2008, 1:50 a.m. CST


    by Whydidntyousee

    This just in: Someone on the internet has an opinion!! Will all of you Lucas bashers please post your home addresses? The media would love to come over your house immediately and get your world altering opinion! The fact that your sad sheltered childhoods have been "raped" is big news and people everywhere need to be informed of this tragedy. The fact that the last three movies didn't give you the boner you wanted is going to be front page news!! Your theory about George Lucas needing more money is so unique and refreshing that scientists are going to need you to advise them as they try and figure out other big mysteries of the universe like why the fuck you keep posting on here if you don't like SW and why for some reason the movies and toys continue to sell even though critical, analytical and cynical minds such as yourselves claim that no one likes SW anymore!! Jeezus. At first, reading this page makes me think no one likes SW anymore but then I realized it's really just 20 or so whiners in their basements that need to vent bc they can't get over their broken dreams of being film makers. Go build your own empire you stupid fucks. Meanwhile the rest of us well adjusted fans will go and have fun for two hours then get on with our lives whether we liked a film or not.