Star Wars Vintage: Clone Wars 2D Micro Series – Volume 1

Oh Disney+, you wonderful, beautiful beast you. Treating us to a whole array of Star Wars: Legends content.

Back in the 2000’s when this series first aired I really annoyed my parents, taking over the TV to record these onto VHS, in five minute bursts. But I didn’t care, it was wonderful new Star Wars content and I was living for it.

Now, I’m not going to lie, back then and up until now I’ve had issues with the series, the short runtime being one, probably because I just wanted more content and five minutes a piece wasn’t enough for me at the time. The character design was another issue for me, I really didn’t like how they looked, especially Anakin. I had some other issues, but I’ll go into those later in the post as I write about the series itself as I watch it through (Durge). Hopefully this rewatch (the first time since the 2000’s) will alleviate some of those issues.

Here I go…

… and that was painful. I went in hoping to get hit with some nostalgia feels and see what it is that fans rave about, and unfortunately I wasn’t and I didn’t. I spent most of the time feeling bored, the hour and three minutes runtime dragged so much, I had to check how much there was left on a couple of occasions.

Anakin was worse than I remembered, the whole teen angst that we got in ‘Attack of the Clones’ has been dialled up to eleven, the voice sounds more like a fourteen year old than a twenty year old. The petulant attitude makes ‘Attack of the Clones’ Anakin look like a model student. I’m really pleased that they took Anakin in a different direction for ‘The Clone Wars’ 3D series, I think I would have really struggled with it if they had kept this version of Anakin.

The introduction of the Bounty Hunter, Durge, with his army of IG Droids on Speeder Bikes with lances, that can take out an AT-TE by stabbing it, I’m not the only one that thinks that’s ridiculous? Right? Durge just keeps making me cringe as he fights Obi-Wan, gets slices in half only to return (ok, I get the Darth Maul parallel here) and return as a giant monster made up of worms. And now they’re bringing him into the Doctor Aphra comics… *sigh*.

Thankfully, Obi-Wan is a saving grace for the series, his Battle Armour looks amazing, and with James Arnold Taylor voicing him he’s almost perfect, with the exception of the dialogue with Anakin, it’s like they took the condescending tone from ‘Attack of the Clones’ and dialled it up to eleven (just like Anakin). I wouldn’t complain but if this had been done across the board as a stylistic choice I’d get it, but the rest of the characters don’t get this kind of treatment.

It’s not all bad, there are a couple of episodes that I do enjoy, the Kit Fisto episode where he leads the Clones and Mon Calamari forces against the Separatists and the Quarren is enjoyable and an obvious precursors to the ‘Water War’ arc from the fourth season of Filoni and Lucas’ ‘Clone Wars’ series.

Mace Windu vs. The Whole Droid Army on Dantooine is a fun episode, watching Windu lay waste to the Droids is incredibly enjoyable. The animators absolutely nail Samuel L. Jackson’s style as Windu very casually deflects blaster bolts and the slick way he takes the drink from the young spectator and returns to the fray is pure Jackson.

Of course, how could I forget the final episode of the season, where fans got their first encounter with General Grievous. The Droid General has never been so terrifying as he is here, taking on a group of Jedi, including Shaak Ti and Ki-Adi Mundi (and Sha’a Gi who looks just like Shaggy from Scooby Doo but with a Padawan braid). Grievous here makes his cinematic and 3D counterpart look like a whiny baby as he battles a whole group of Jedi, killing Sha’a Gi and another before the rest escape.

Whilst I still am not a fan, I’m pleased that I gave this series another chance, for a while this was the only on screen Clone Wars content as we waited for ‘Revenge of the Sith’, and whilst a considerable amount of it was cast aside by the books and comics (more so in Season 2), it was new Star Wars content, which is always exciting.

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