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Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a film that was released in 2008 as the first animated feature from Lucasfilm Ltd. and served as the launch of the television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
As the Clone Wars sweep through the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano plunge into a dangerous mission to rescue the kidnapped son of crime lord Jabba the Hutt. The renegade Count Dooku is determined to make sure that they fail, and with his deadly assassin Asajj Ventress in pursuit, this is a mission with grave consequences. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda lead the massive clone army in a valiant effort to defeat the droid army and resist the forces of the dark side.
- "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
- ―Star Wars: The Clone Wars
On Christophsis, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi hold off against oncoming waves of the Droid Army. Under command of Whorm Loathsome, they strike swiftly, but even their heavy artillery is destroyed by Anakin, Rex and the jet troopers. General Loathsom orders a retreat, sending the little remaining AAT and B1 Battle Droid into retreat, at first sight of the republic's heavy cannons.
As the future looks bright, a shuttle lands holding a messenger for Yoda, and Obi-Wan's new Padawan. A Togruta youngling steps out, introducing herself as Anakin's Padawan. Although he is reluctant and focused on it, Obi-Wan states the problem, no transmission. Ahsoka Tano, the new Padawan, suggests that they relay a signal to the Jedi council. They do, but the signal is interrupted by an incoming space battle that interferes with their signal's relay stop. The separatists march back, this time covered by a shield. Rex, Obi Wan and the troopers fall back to protect the cannons, which are useless against the shield, while Anakin and Ahsoka try to get rid of the shield. Under protection of a crate, the Jedi pair hid until the shield crosses over them, after the droids, tanks and alliance droids pass across them, Ahsoka impatiently lifts up the crate. They run into a Droideka, but once it tries to chase them, they slice it into bits. The two eventually reach the shield, but run into a minefield of centennial Retail Droids. Obi-Wan is caught up by the opposing General. He surrenders, but puts up a table for a discussion of the surrender terms. Anakin is flanked against a wall while Ahsoka sets the charges on the shield. She pulls the wall down, Anakin being where the holed space in the wall lands. The droids are destroyed, and Ahsoka pushed the ignition. Meanwhile, Whorm realizes that Obi-Wan is stalling, before he can execute him though, the shield drops and Obi-Wan gains control of the situation. The battle is the Republic's and Yoda lands in a cruiser, offloading new troops. He informs them of Jabba the Hutt's son being kidnapped, and taken to Teth. The Jedi land, and climb the wall of a B'ommar Monk monastery, while in the middle of a ferocious battle. The destroy countless B1s, B2 Super Battle Droid, Dwarf Spider Droids, and Droidekas with the AT-TE fire. After a time of secure feeling, they are attacked, and the Jedi are separated from their dwindling troops. Asajj Ventress breaks through their defenses, finding out where the Jedi are. The Jedi had previously found the Huttlet, Rotta, and was resting when he escaped them.
- Padmé Amidala
- Onaconda Farr
- Kit Fisto (Appears in flashback(s))
- Gold Six (First mentioned)
- Grievous (Appears in flashback(s))
- Nute Gunray (Appears in flashback(s))
- Jabba the Hutt
- Qui-Gon Jinn (Indirect mention only)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Plo Koon
- Kharrus (First appearance)
- KRONOS-327 (First appearance)
- Whorm Loathsom (First appearance)
- R2-KT (First appearance)
- Ridge (First appearance)
- Rotta (First appearance)
- Anakin Skywalker
- Shmi Skywalker (Indirect mention only)
- Wat Tambor (Appears in flashback(s))
- Ahsoka Tano
- Luminara Unduli
- Unidentified ARF Trooper Lieutenant (Teth) (First appearance)
- Unidentified ARF Trooper (Teth) (First appearance)
- Asajj Ventress
- Mace Windu
- Wullf Yularen
- Ziro the Hutt
- The Clone Wars
- Unidentified Battle (Plo Koon) (Appears in Newsreel)
It was announced in the fall of 2007 that the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars series would be released in theaters on August 15, 2008, prior to its television launch in October. Following its premiere, it was released on DVD and Blu-Ray November 11 of that year, grossing $68.28 million worldwide.
While the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film was generally well-received by its target audience―children and young teens―it earned mostly negative reviews from critics. Many of those dissatisfied criticized it for its poor animation, wooden action, and unrealistic dialogue. It received immensely low ratings from both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, 18% and 35% respectively.
The Clone Wars was also chastised for failing to live up to expectations fans held for the Expanded Universe and Star Wars in general, more resembling a Saturday morning cartoon. Variety magazine reviewed that the film "isn't the Star Wars we've always known and at least sometimes loved." The Chicago Sun-Times said "the characters have hair that looks molded from Play-Doh, bodies that seem arthritic, and moving lips on half-frozen faces -- all signs that shortcuts were taken in the animation work." Entertainment Weekly's reviewer went so far as to say "George Lucas is turning into an enemy of fun," giving the movie an F rating.
However, the film did receive some positive feedback. The Arizona Republic's review appreciated it in part of the lack of hype surrounding its release, adding "if you're willing to regress to the mental age of 12 for a couple of hours, it's an amusing ride." The New York Times also shared this sentiment, calling The Clone Wars "not one of the most painful movies of the year." And the review of Baltimore Sun read: "young audiences will lap it up like ice cream, and its good humor and faith in the Force will put adults in a Saturday-morning frame of mind even at midnight showings."