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*Official* TCW televised series Reviews Thread (highlighted spoilers)

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Garth Maul, Jul 11, 2008.

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  1. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    From AICN:

    For the ongoing TCA tour, The Cartoon Network screened for the first time an episode of ?Clone Wars,? the Genndy Tartakovsky-free CGI-animated version coming to the Cartoon Network this autumn.

    Some reactions:

    The Live Feed

    TCA -- Taking a cue from Comic-Con, Cartoon Network took the unusual step of screening a full episode of its upcoming CG-animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" for critics during its TCA session. The event was billed as the debut screening of the show.

    For what seemed like the first time all week, the majority of critics were focused on a network's presentation instead of their computers.

    The episode was firmly impressive. "Clone Wars" is likely the most photo-realistic animated TV series ever produced. The surround-sound detail was striking. The series is shot in high definition and it shows ? images have that rich Renaissance painting quality familiar to HD fans.

    "I wanted it to look like a painting," said supervising director Dave Filoni. "I got involved in textures and hand-painted styles on every character. I wanted this hands-on quality with a texture artist literally painting every character right down to the eyeball. I wanted a human touch on everything.?

    The result is a show that doesn?t look entirely unlike the "Star Wars" prequels. The oft-derided cartoon CG glaze of the recent films took the franchise a few steps into the animated universe. While the ?Clone Wars? series takes television animation a few steps closer to theatrical quality. So the distance in realism between the movies and the animated series is closer than you?d expect.

    SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    More details after the jump...

    "Clone Wars" opens with a brief, percussion-tinged variation on John Williams' "Stars Wars" theme. The episode featured Yoda leading a group of Clone Troopers on a mission, and falling into a trap. The episode leaned too heavily on the silly, threat-free battle droids that didn?t really work in the prequels. Yet the episode was effective. During one scene, Yoda uses the Force to control an enemy super battle droid to take out a group of attackers. "That?s a lot of smoke for a surrender," notes a distant observer.

    The season includes 22 half-hour episodes that will premiere this fall, and will feature brief story arcs taking place across the Star Wars universe. Filoni said that despite viewers already knowing the past and future story of the Clone Wars, there?s still plenty of material to work with.

    "Because you?re going to the right and left of the plot and characters, some that you?ve never seen before, you can keep stretching it and see things George Lucas and I would like to see," he said. "Anytime we go anywhere near Anakin or Obi Wan we?re paying close attention to make sure everything links up."

    The Clone Troopers (eventual Storm Troopers) will be shown to have more individual personalities than in the films, he added.

    ?It?s a nice dose of Star Wars every week,? he said. ?No more waiting three years between each episode.?


    LA Times

    TCA: ?Star Wars: The Clone Wars? series first look
    12:08 PM PT, Jul 11 2008

    'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
    Clone_wars

    This post comes to you at great risk.

    The formidable Gen. Grievous issued a warning to reporters assembled Friday morning for a screening of an episode of ?Star Wars: The Clone Wars,? beheading and blasting away several battle droids before the show. Leaks or spoilers would not be tolerated.

    Here?s what we can say. It just might be better than all the live-action prequels put together. (I consulted with the critics around me -- it?s not an overstatement.) The CG-animated series also bests the traditionally animated mini-episodes (of the same title) that preceded it in terms of visuals alone.
    'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
  2. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Another review:

    Deseret News

    Oh my gosh! "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" rocks!
    Scott D. Pierce
    DeseretNews.com blogger | July 11, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.

    OK, folks, I've been more than a bit negative about the whole "Star Wars" franchise since the teddy bears . . . um, Ewoks saved the galaxy. And don't even get me started on the three prequel movies.

    But the Cartoon Network just showed TV critics gathered here in Beverly Hills, Calif., a full episode of the new CGI series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and, holy cow, it was great!

    It looked amazing, and the story of Yoda and the clones taking on a contingent of nasty robots was good.

    Did I mention how great it looked and how much fun it was?

    "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" debuts on Cartoon Network in September.

    Are you looking forward to it, or are you burned out on the whole "Star Wars" phenomenon?



    And another:

    Tim Goodman SF Gate

    Geek alert: Cartoon Network just showed full ep of "Clone Wars"

    Could be a first for the TCA - nobody usually dares show a full episode to the room, mostly because we'd be bored by it or perhaps laugh in the wrong spots or walk out. But Cartoon Network took an informal poll and went ahead with it anyway. You know the legendary secrecy of George Lucas so this episode, which will air after the summer movie comes out in August, was a big leap of faith. Interestingly enough, most of the critics stayed in the room. Some were filing other stories, of course, but they sat through the ear-rattling, chair-shaking surround sound (there are two large screens in the ballroom and two pretty big flat screens.

    "It's so great that you guys saw an episode so I can finally talk about this. It's really a relief" said David Filoni, supervising director of "Star Wars: Clone Wars" and an all-around nice guy. You could tell that he finally got to explain things to people who had actually seen the work (rather than the mini-preview on the web site or stills). I'm not sure how many sci-fi fans are in the room but the TCA has certainly has its small wing of what many of us politely call "genre specific" writers, and they seemed caught in some orgasmic storm, so I guess that's a good sign. There will be 22 episodes in this first season and one would hope that doesn't kill people.

    As for the quality and entertainment value of it - sure, very high. It looks great (shot in HD). It's action-packed. I'm not sure your average adult is going to be watching this regularly, but I know my 5-year-old is going to flip for it. He certainly doesn't care that I got to see Elvis Costello yesterday, but he's going to be awefully upset that he didn't come down in time to see this.

    By the way, you have to give Filoni a lot of credit for taking some questions from critics who understandably don't quite get why "Star Wars" still has this lasting appeal (reasons too plenty to list, but I was equally surprised until I found out that kids 4+ are still watching the original movies over and over again and 30 plus years on new generations get geeked out on it).

    In fairness to us, most of the questions are straightforward and interesting, like most sessions. I think Filoni's genuine likability helped a lot. He's earnest and nice and informative. Congrats to Cartoon Network for pulling off something NBC could never do without walking the room. And if you've got young kids or you're just a geek yourself, you can see the "Star Wars: Clone Wars" feature next month. Cartoon Network has set no firm date for the weekly series to debut just yet - sometime in the fall.
  3. SaberJedi2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2007
    star 4
    Wow...and I thoroughly enjoyed the prequels, all of them. Glad to hear some good reviews on Star Wars for a change.
  4. VladTheImpaler Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2000
    star 4
    I actually applauded while reading this--gosh, I'm such a dork.

    That is great--absolutely fantastic. I am so much more excited about this series now.

    For one, it's confirmation that not every episode will feature Anakin/Obi-Wan/Ahsoka. For two, it's confirmation that it's actually a good show. For three, it's good to hear some love for this beautiful animation. For nerdy nerds like ourselves, it's easy to get caught up in how funky Dooku looks, or how stiff Obi-Wan's beard is...but this animation is seriously MILES ahead of anything else I have ever seen on TV. Good to hear some regular TV critic type folk recognize this.

    My only complaint is the prequel bashing. They were GOOD, darn it! :(
  5. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well, I agree with you 100%. But what can I say? Some people just didn't appreciate them.

    I only skimmed through most of the posts here, to avoid spoilers, but I do think the series is something to really look forward to. [face_dancing]
  6. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    IGN preview

    July 11, 2008 - In what was easily the biggest surprise at the Television Critics Association press tour so far this year, a fully completed episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was premiered today for the first-ever screening (outside of Lucasfilm or Cartoon Network that is) of the upcoming animated series.

    So how is it? Our first reaction is that this is an accomplished piece of work that will entertain many Star Wars fans, though there are a couple of notable trouble spots that will probably be a bigger issue for some than others.

    Let's get the major complaint out of the way: The annoying voice the Battle Droid army uses with each other (first heard in The Phantom Menace) hasn't gotten any less annoying, and in the episode we saw they actually they have quite a bit more dialogue than we've ever heard them have before. Let's just say that one can only hear "Roger roger" so many times. There's several moments of humor involving the droids that falls very flat with an adult audience, though it's likely kids will enjoy that aspect - And let's not forget this show airs on Cartoon Network and not during Adult Swim. But it's definitely a part of the show that may be hard to stomach for some older viewers, particularly because the slapstick involving them only increases the perception of the droids as far less than credible threats. It just seems like they're bumbling fools here rather than the faceless, dangerous automations they could be portrayed as.

    Some fans may also bristle at the old style news reel type intro that opens each episode, complete with a bombastic voice describing events of the Clone Wars ? think about the similar use of this type of retro newsreel footage in Starship Troopers. Personally, I was fine with it and feel it's clearly another nod to the serial era that was a major inspiration to George Lucas when he first conceived of Star Wars.

    While Anakin and Obi-Wan will be featured prominently in the series, they won't be in every episode ? and in fact, they weren't in the one we saw today. The episode shown starred none other than the ever-popular Yoda, as the diminutive Jedi Master goes on a mission to make a new ally for the Republic with the residents of a planet also being courted by Count Dooku's Separatists. Dooku is represented in person by his apprentice, Asajj Ventress, who has plans that she believes will insure that it is she who leaves the planet as the successful one and not Yoda.

    There are a lot of really nice touches on the show ? Yoda is joined on his mission by a very small troop of Clone Troopers, and these guys really feel like army grunts who have been in the trenches for awhile now. One notable scene has them bunkering down for the night and Yoda speaking to the troops in a personal matter that really opens up the portrayal of Clone/Stormtoopers and who these guys are under the helmet. It also gives a legitimate touch of additional poignancy to the events of Revenge of the Sith, given what will eventually occur with the clones and the Jedi.


    The action in the show is very exciting and there are plenty of cool and clever "Yeah!" moments when Yoda cuts loose with his lightsaber. Many fans will also geek out over a badass weapon one of the Clone Troopers uses in the midst of battle. As for the designs, in a Q&A with the press following the screening, supervising producer Dave Filoni said he purposely added a sense of stylization to the human characters ? giving harder lines to the faces than real people have, along with distinct angles ? and while only a handful of humans are in the episode we saw, this decision seems a wise one and avoids the spooky/off-kilter feeling CGI often gives to would be "photo realistic" humans. And the sound design is phenomenal ? if you have surround sound, The Clone Wars will give your speakers more of a workout than perhaps any other show on TV right now.

    The
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    To be fair- they didn't get really annoying until ROTS made their voices higher-pitched. Their voices are pretty deep in TPM compared to ROTS, and they're not as annoying there.
  8. zombie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Well at least the series seems to be an improvement over the film.
  9. JediMasterJessica Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 3
    Wait....Something Star Wars actually got good reviews?
  10. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Apparently it's allowed to do so approx every 10 years.
  11. _Sublime_Skywalker_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2004
    star 4
    Wow this made my day. It said it starts with a precussion Star Wars theme. Note the absence of the 'iconic scroll'

    I'm just as suprised as all of you for SW actually getting a good review for a change. But, I'm also so very relieved.
  12. zombie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    30 years.

    :D

    Also, these are mostly internet fanboy sites, which actually have been pretty kind--or at least kinder--compared to the major media. I think the biggest thing we will see when it comes to the feature--since television doesn't get the same attention to reviews/critiques--is those who give the film terrible reviews based on the regular standards of films, and those that throw standards aside on the basis of "its a kids film for eight year old" and thus give it okay reviews.
  13. battlewars Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2005
    star 4
    I think it would be hard for these shows to be as bad as the prequels.

    The prequels raised the bar.
  14. _Sublime_Skywalker_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2004
    star 4
    The show kinda got lucky, too. Movies have a higher standard, a certain quality they need to have. Shows can be as simple as having Tila Tequilla say she's looking for a man or a woman to be with and each time UNEXPECTADLY doesn't stay with the person.

    Keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  15. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Not too sure about that - ROTS has a great rating on Rotten Tomatoes, or at least it did for the first 6 months it was out. It's more likely to be the internet fanboy sites that are sick of the Clone Wars, and will complain about Lucas "raping their childhoods".

    The fact that people are openly stating their dislike about certain aspects of the prequels, and still giving this early screening a good review, impresses me. In fact, the fact that anything associated with the PT is getting this good reviews is astonishing.

    That being said, I agree the expectations are much lower.
  16. zombie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Thats true, but its really stuff like New York Times and such that gave the prequels 1/5 and such, while most internet movie sites were actually more optimistic than people remember. But I guess you're right in that ROTS did pretty good, critically. But I still say wait until there's some actual real media commenting on this instead of comingsoon.com, because those sites all said the same thing about TPM on May 9th, 1999.
  17. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    They did? I never noticed!
  18. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    The SE's got good critical reviews (who shot first fan complaints aside ;) ).
  19. VladTheImpaler Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2000
    star 4
    Yep--they definitely did. I liked the battledroid voices way better in TPM, but they were also harder to understand. I understand why they would change voices if they were going to give the droids more dialogue... but I still prefer TPM.

    Does anyone else think it's absolutely insane that Filoni and his crew have been working this long on the show and nobody has even seen an episode until just now? Poor guy!
  20. RevantheJediMaster Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2005
    star 4
    This is very good news. Just as my hopes were being lowered these reviews come out and raise them again. I know it is only one episode, but the tv series now seems more promising.
  21. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Looks good. Its nice to see an early buzz developing for The Clone Wars. :D
  22. Veloz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2004
    star 6
  23. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    Yeah, it's such a relief to hear good things about SW. Maybe the haters took a week off. I can't wait to see the stories with some of the lesser characters which we've been told about (like Kit Fisto).
  24. Darth_Zoo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 4
    WHOA. I'm glad to see reviews for the pilot so positive! This will be great buzz for the movie and show and hopefully the quality of the movie is very high as well and gets this sort of publicity.
  25. Darkseid-Lives Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2008
    star 1
    As a life-long GL fan, this summer has been something of a vindication of my fan-love, easily the best reviews GL has gotten in ages. First "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and now TCW series. Just goes to show the man's still "got it where it counts"!
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