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DVD Review

DVD cover

Star Wars
The Clone Wars
The Complete Season Three


Starring (voice): Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, Tom Kane and Corey Burton
Warner Home Video
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Available 17 October 2011

Many franchises spawn a number of other media outings and most of these are usually rubbish. One that didn’t turn out to be the case was the animated show of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, now up to its fourth season and still going strong.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Three (2010 - 2011) DVD box set consists of all twenty-two of that season's episodes. The whole season is spread across four discs, with the extras appearing on the fifth disc, the season originally had the overall title of ‘Secrets Revealed’. Each disc has audio options for either an English, German or Spanish track with subtitles in the same languages. The pin sharp picture is in letterbox format.

Partially the success of the show is down to its distinctive CGI animation styling, which places it apart from its most immediate competition, but mostly because of its multi episode stories, which take place between the second and third films.

It’s odd but by expanding the show's vision to include characters which aren’t just the ones central to the films, the show successfully expands and fleshes out the Star Wars universe. That is not to say that there isn’t a good slice of Obi-Wan and Anakin kicking clone butt, the show is generally very action orientated. We also see Padme trying to make peace with the separatists (she is a diplomat, after all). There is a particularly poignant moment when Darth Sidious, fearing that Ventress is becoming too powerful, orders Count Dooku to see to Ventress's death, which allows the show to expand on her back story and link her into the force witches.

For the development of the series, the most important story arc involves Obi-Wan and Anakin meeting a father who is strong with the force. His children represent both sides of the force, the daughter the light side, the son the dark. Through the son Anakin is given visions of himself as Vader, although these are later erased by the father, who confirms that Anakin is the chosen one. Balance is brought back to the force with the death of the father... Sound familiar?

Along the way through these episodes we also get to meet Jabba the Hutt, Greedo and Chewbacca makes his first appearance. We traverse new and old planets as the show fills in the gaps between the two films. The only real problem the show has is the central importance of Anakin’s Padawan, Ahsoka, who doesn’t even get a mention by the third film.

Disc four is where all the extras are hanging out. We start with Creating Kamino (12 min, 45 sec), you quickly realise that each of the features covers one of the major story arcs. So we get to see how they had access to preproduction art that wasn’t used in the film to expand on the few rooms which we originally saw. There are discussions about design choices made to make the show fit technologically between the two films, with contributions from the main players. The remaining features - Hutts and the Underworld (14 min, 58 sec), Witches and Monsters (15 min, 27 sec), Chewbacca Returns (18 min, 08 sec) and Secrets of Mortis (2 min, 19 sec) - all follow a similar format.

If you haven’t caught up with this series, it’s great, entertaining, action packed and the very best thing is that it’s made by the same people who made the films.


Charles Packer

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