Gone a bit Dark Side…. Ahsoka turns in new Clone Wars series 3 (5).

Star Wars: Clone Wars is the story of the Jedi led Clone army (later to be turned into the Imperials) and the technological industrial complex (no really) led by clanking cyborg reptilian Jedi Hunter General Grievous and Sith Lord Count Dooku. The latest (third in the CGI series and fifth overall) seems to be offering a long awaited character twist for Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano (see base of post).

Genndy Tartovsky’s (Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack) take on the Clone Wars was a kick-ass, near-dialogueless set to between Clone Troopers and Droid armies with incredibly effective battle sequences thrown in. Genndy’s genius is his simple design work, allowing for cinematic sequences to be created by concentrating on movement, pacing and composition in every sequence. Its telling that the visually far more superior CGI series that arrived later is notably less exciting or interesting but it has its plus side – mainly that I was hooked by the 25 episodes of Genndy’s time on the project.

But the hooks are three fold. George Lucas skipped out the part we wanted to see in the films – namely the Clone Wars themselves as Episode II sees the beginning of the conflict and then dropped Skywalker and Obi Wan into the final days of the war at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith so it offers up the battles themselves. The second is the development of the design work – as these new series are continuing to push the boundaries of TV animation. But the third is the question as to why Anakin Skywalker, the central character fell to the Dark Side. The new series follows him as a Knight and has introduced a character notably absent in Revenge of the Sith. Ahsoka Tano; Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. Anybody confused by Anakin Skywalker’s plummet into the Dark Side in the course of Revenge are watching this situation closely. And series 3 of the CGI series seems to be offering up the answer….

We’re just going to have to see what happens when it arrives on UK shores. But the development of design and detail are very welcome.

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