Category: Clone Wars

Clone Wars Commentary

Dathomir and The Sith Witches

Well, we knew Asajj Ventress had Sith tendencies, but her appearance and obvious value to the leader of the Dathomir matriarchy is obvious .

Dutchess of Mandalore

Oh beautiful damsel in distress, but not! Echoes of Leia in this love interest for Obi Wan. Such a shame she and her Mandalorian peace must fall to Pre Vizla, obvious pre-visual jet-pack asset for any live action Mandalorian armor.

Mandalore itself, an enclosed city of glass is a good test for Aldaranian architecture.

Clone Wars Season II

Joel then went on to show how the art style of Clone Wars influences details and subtle as even the snow or the water. Passing through some videos, he describes the process of creating the flamethrowers that will be used in season two. Revealing the process he used, he actually created models for each frame of the flame itself, then sped the animation up quickly – and this process gives the fire a definite ‘Clone Wars’ effect, making it stylish and artistic to match the show. “It’s been a great learning experience,” he goes on to say, “Since I came over to animation from ILM (Industral Light and Magic) I was trying to break myself away from the photo-realistic style I have always gone for.” By opting for a stylistic choice and approach, the production team achieves an economical solution far less taxing that expensive computer physics simulation ordinarily employed for such effects.


The Clone Wars “Movie”

What do we call this thing, Episode 2.5? The movie looks like candy. Pretty buildings, pretty skin, pretty explosions.  But wow, this was a stellar disappointment.  I would have thought with the incredible pre-visuals we saw in the Making Of documentaries of Episode II that an animated cartoon would have the richness of place that we saw – even though the mechanics and models were a bit sticky.

But this plasti-scene monstrosity bears little resemblance to the other movies or to anything from behind the scenes. Basically it just hurts!  There is little story here, other than to introduce Anakin’s snippy padawan.  I guess it is normal for the Jedi to take adolescent girls wearing tube-tops into battle? 

The only way this makes any sense is to see the entire enterprise as a pre-visualization work for a future live-action series and future movies.  Spending pre-vis money now, and milking the public’s dependable desire to see a Star Wars film to pay for it, means saving a lot of money on live television production.

Co-ordinated at the Presidio, new music, sound and digital assets are being racked up right and left for future use. Jabba’s Palace – check! Christophsis, check!  Bith Band Check! Much plenty storm troopers and driods blowing to smithereens! By now the Lucas Library must have a thousand explosions for every day of the year plus a few special ones set aside for Life Day.

The “movie” that is Clone Wars is really a made for TV-looking thing that could simply pull a lot of dollars out of movie-goer pockets while actually, quietly assembling more assets for use in any Star Wars game, video, television show or movies 7, 8 and 9.  I know, I know. They say that will never happen, but we had all given up on ever seeing the prequels, and George always changes his tune to suit his current efforts, so I think they will still happen … long, long from now.

And what of the style of animation then? The humans and main character aliens have been stylized in an anime direction, but the general aliens seem to be very close to “real” – as if they have purposely pushed the humans away from LiveAction appearance.  The same could be said for textures on buildings and machines. The wire-frame lines seem honest to the movies but they are purposely painted to look cartoony and not “real.”

So the tacky lip-sync, plastic hair and over-sized Yoda head are there to put you off of the real objective: pre-production for something much more realistic indeed! Stay tuned.