Star Wars: The Clone Wars / Special Edition : 4 of 5

Although I wasn't completely blow away by The Clone Wars when it was released in the theater, since then I've become a huge fan of the series on Cartoon Network, which made it essential for me to add this DVD to my Star Wars collection! Now that I can see the direction the TV series is taking, it was fun to watch this movie again and consider it as one long episode of the show, and I enjoyed noticing details that I had missed before (such as the awesome World War II style nose art on the troop transport ships and Obi-Wan calling Ventress "Darling"). I had even forgotten that the Twilight, Anakin's ship that appears regularly in the series, was stolen from Tatooine in the film! The commentary track is really fascinating, revealing all kinds of trivia (my favorite fact being that Yularen, who often appears on the show, is actually a character seen in Episode IV!). The bonus disc is fantastic, with materials that really dig into the entire first season of the series, including focus on individual episodes and how they are constructed as mini-movies (with lots of involvement by George Lucas himself). It was great to learn that many designs for ships and settings are taken from ideas that didn't make it into the movies (including awesome Ralph McQuarrie designs), and I loved the discussion about clone personalities and how they take on the aspects of their Jedi trainers. The voice actor segment was better than expected, and I enjoyed the composer's quick analysis of the chords used in Asohka's theme (which made it interesting to follow the score more closely). The deleted scenes included are almost fully rendered (meaning they were cut at the last minute!), and watching Anakin and Ventress battle on the back of a raging Rancor was pretty awesome! The best thing about The Clone Wars series and this film is that there's no doubting this is an authentic Star Wars experience, and this DVD made that completely clear!

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