CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Boldly Goes Animated With Potent Story, Mediocre Animation, Anemic Acting
CHICAGO – “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which is the inaugural animated “Star Wars” project from Lucasfilm Animation and “Star Wars” architect George Lucas, feels and looks every bit as introductory as a foundational attempt could be.
In many ways, the film again typifies what every “Star Wars” film always does. We’re again treated to yet another compelling storyline. Despite public perception that Lucas declared three years ago that the decades-long “Star Wars” saga has come to an end, Lucas now clarifies.
Lucas merely says the Skywalker family plotline has runs its course.
Upon its completion, he now has a plethora of new stories to impart – and much more money to rake in – about the beloved galaxy so far, far away. In the “Star Wars” storyline, the three-year clone wars took place between “Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.
|Read Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
View our full, high-resolution “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” image gallery.
Story aside, though, we’re again deluged with atrociously melodramatic acting (this time solely in the form of voice work). What’s most interesting is that the cheesy acting, which is legendary in the “Star Wars” saga, actually for the first time has found a better home.
The animated format actually manages to dial down the dreadful acting and makes it more tolerable than the live-action, human format.
In terms of the quality of its animation, which is clearly front and center in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the film flirts in a middle ground between amateur and truly elite design work. The quality of the work neither completely underwhelms nor blazes a new path for the future of animation.
The animation ultimately pales in comparison to the world’s best movie animator – Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios – and much more closely resembles modern-day video games. You needn’t put this animation under a microscope to see the awkwardly square designs where decidedly smoother and rounder imagery should appear.
Heroic Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) confronts a foe from the past in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.
Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) engages in battle with an enemy in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
Image credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.