RELEASED: September 17th 2010 – April 1st 2011
DISTRIBUTED BY: Cartoon Network
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: George Lucas, Catherine Winder & Dave Filoni
WRITTEN BY: Cameron Litvack, Steven Melching, Eoghan Mahony, Katie Lucas, Craig Van Sickle, Daniel Arkin, Christian Taylor, Matt Michnovetz & Bonnie Mark
DIRECTED BY: Dave Filoni, Kyle Dunlevy, Brian Kalin O’Connell, Giancarlo Volpe, Steward Lee & Duwayne Dunham
MUSIC BY: Kevin Kiner
STARRING: Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, Tom Kane, Matthew Wood, Ian Abercrombie, Ahmed Best, Clancy Brown, Corey Burton, Terrence C. Carson, Jim Cummings, Anthony Daniels, Nika Futterman, Brian George, Barbara Goodson, Anna Graves, Jaime King, Phil LaMarr, James C. Mathis III, Liam Neeson, Angelique Perrin, Kevin Michael Richardson, Meredith Salenger, Kath Soucie, Jason Spisak, Stephen Stanton, Catherine Taber, Tasia Valenza, Sam Witwer, Pernilla August & Seth Green
The Clone Wars continues as George Lucas, Dave Filoni, Catherine Winder and co. delve into the various cultures in the Star Wars universe, such as the Mandalorians, the Witches of Dathomir, and most importantly the Clones themselves. Battles break out on new fronts, such as a power struggle between the users of the dark side, and a search for balance on the planet Mortis; the domain of the ‘Gods’ of the Force.
Continuing the trend set last season, the quality of this show continues to increase. The animation seems to have evolved, for one, with the action becoming more fluid, and the visuals crisper. This leads to some gorgeous shots, with the art team really going all out on making the different planets unique and visually stimulating.
Furthermore, the characters seem more natural as well; less boxy and more, well, animated.
The voice acting remains strong, and the voices of Matt Lanter and the like are really starting to become reconciled with the characters they’re playing. Sure, they don’t always sound exactly like their live-action counterparts, but we’ve arguably spent more time with these voice-actors than we have with the live-action ones.
The stories generally seem to be getting progressively better also. While the fun detours into zombie and kaiju stories were welcome, this season really focuses in on character over spectacle. The spectacle is still there of course; this is a show about a space war after all, but further delving into the thoughts and attitudes of the clones, the villains, the civilians and even the pseudo-deities really helps to continue to flesh out the Star Wars universe.
Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of this is Ahsoka. Finally, all the annoying grievances have been ironed out, and as a character she’s really starting to develop, taking on the lessons the show has tried to teach throughout it’s runtime. She’s starting to become one of the better characters in the show, and seeing her overcome her struggles is now fulfilling as opposed to how it used to be somewhat irritating.
It’s clear that the creators of this show are becoming more comfortable in their abilities. They seem to know they have a better grasp on what they’re doing, and are responding by having a little more fun by bringing in more classic Star Wars characters like Chewbacca and Tarkin. While it does make the universe seem just a touch smaller, seeing how The Clone Wars not only links to the Prequel Trilogy but also the classic films makes everything seem that touch more worthwhile.
The scripts, while still partially geared towards children, are tighter, and the action realistic captures the dark realities of war. Some of the episodes still remain a little slower and less interesting, but that’s what happens when you’re given a series that’s determined to showcase such variety of topics; not everything will be for you, but you’ll almost certainly find something that you’ll love, and the strong ones are a heck of a lot stronger than in previous seasons.
All-in-all, I give Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Secrets Revealed: