|Star Wars: The Clone Wars|
20th Century Fox Animation
October 24, 2002
22 years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- "The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has."
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2002 animated feature film directed by Carlos Saldanha and executive produced by George Lucas. The plot focuses on a struggle between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems—as the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi lead the Republic Army in the greatest battles of the epic Clone Wars, and stop the Separatists from reassembling an ancient Sith weapon of mass annihilation.
It takes place near the end of and shortly after Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, beginning with the First Battle of Geonosis. The Clone Wars served as an introduction to the animated series of the same name that premiered on Cartoon Network on November 7, 2003. Lucas was inspired to make the movie while reviewing footage from the show and described the film as "almost an afterthought." The film was released October 24, 2002.Upon release, The Clone Wars received mostly positive reviews and was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, losing to Spirited Away. Though critical reception was negative, the film was a box office success, and grossed $68.3 million worldwide against an $8.5 million budget, and earned $14.6 million dollars during its opening weekend.
Following the near end of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Luminara Unduli lead a strike force of Jedi to weaken Separatist defenses and rescue Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Padmé Amidala. As Anakin, Obi Wan, and Padme are rescued, an army of Clone troopers arrive and battle the Separatist droid armies as Windu takes part in taking out key Separatist ships. Later on in the story Anakin and Obi Wan organize an evacuation of a Republic outpost on Rhen Var, leading the escape only minutes before the Separatist Army captures the planet.
One month later, the Republic detects unusual activity on Raxus Prime, and sends a strike force led by Anakin and Obi-Wan to investigate. On arrival, they find Separatist forces at an excavation site. They send for reinforcements to take the planet. The Republic captures Raxus Prime, but during the battle, Anakin is captured by Sith Lord Count Dooku and his bounty hunter Cydon Prax.
Anakin is sent to Alaris Prime, the Kashyyyk moon, to be executed. Anakin and the other prisoners are doomed to be killed by the Force Harvester, an ancient Sith weapon that drains the Force from all living things within its range. Anakin is able to escape his cell and uses a speeder to escape the Force Harvester's range. Anakin, with help from a female smuggler named Bera, infiltrates a Separatist communications outpost to contact the Republic for help. Then Anakin, Bera and the local Wookiee population hold off the Separatist forces until Republic reinforcements arrive. Republic forces, led by Obi-Wan, arrive on the moon. Anakin and Obi-Wan then lead a counterattack against the Separatists and successfully liberate Alaris Prime.
Anakin returns to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and informs Jedi Master Yoda and Windu of the Harvester. Windu then tells Anakin and Obi-Wan of the Dark Reaper, an ancient Sith weapon built during the Great Sith War that was so powerful that none could withstand it. It required large amounts of energy to operate, which the Harvester could provide. Windu then mentions that the Reaper was destroyed by a fallen Jedi Knight named Ulic Qel-Droma, and the remains of the Sith weapon were scattered by the Jedi across the galaxy. To learn more about the Dark Reaper, Anakin and Obi-Wan lead Republic forces to Rhen Var, Qel-Droma's final resting place, to retake the planet from the Separatists. After a long battle, Anakin is led to an ancient tomb, where he meets Qel-Droma as a force ghost, who agrees to teach Anakin how to defeat the Dark Reaper and reveal the location of the Sith Weapon. Qel-Droma at the same time warns Anakin that this knowledge and power could lead him on path to the Dark Side. With the Dark Reaper located on the ancient Sith-world Thule, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Windu lead Republic forces to Thule to prevent the Sith weapon from being rebuilt.
Before the Republic can invade Thule, Anakin leads a strike force on the planet's moon to take out the planetary shield generator. Once on Thule, Obi-Wan and Windu lead Republic forces in eliminating Separtist defenses guarding the planet capital Kessiak, where the Sith Temple that holds the Dark Reaper is located. As the defenses fall Republic forces enter Kessiak. While the Jedi and Republic forces battle the Separatists in Kessiak, Anakin enters the Sith Temple to destroy the Dark Reaper. Inside the temple, Anakin kills Cydon Prax and confronts the Dark Reaper, now operational. With guidance from Qel-Droma, Anakin is able to destroy the Dark Reaper and claim victory for the Republic on Thule. Obi-Wan acknowledges Anakin's growing power, but warns him to not let it consume him. As Republic forces are leaving Thule after the battle, Windu believes that the battle turned the tide of the war, but Yoda reminds him the war is far from over.
- Mat Lucas as Anakin Skywalker
- Jonathan Love as Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Aisha Tyler as Bera Kazan
- Tom Kane as Yoda
- Roger Jackson as Clone troopers
- André Sogliuzzo as Cydon Prax
- Christopher Lee as Count Dooku
- Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu
- Charles Dennis as Ulic Qel-Droma
- Lori Trittel as Luminara Unduli
- Grey DeLisle as Padme Amidala
- Frank Welker as Wookiees
The Clone Wars was billed as "the first full-length animated feature using the 3-D animated process", and it was intended to be developed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman's Fox Animation Studios. The film used different actors for the motion caption of the main characters based on their particular size and body shape, as well as another set of actors for the facial movements. The characters and environments in Ice Age were modeled and animated using WaveFront's Maya animation software. Rendering was completed using CGI Studio, an in-house ray tracing program being developed since Blue Sky's formation in 1987 and previously used for Wedge's 1998 short film, Bunny. While Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, released three months before Ice Age, became the first computer-animated film to make use of ray tracing technology, The Clone Wars would have received the distinction had it been released at the time Blue Sky began work on the movie.
John Powell and Harry Gregson-Williams composed and produced the music for the film, and John Williams contributed a new theme, which was released on October 24, 2002 by Varèse Sarabande. Powell and Gregson-Williams interpolated Williams' new theme into his score, as well as incorporating music by Williams from previous Star Wars films, including the Star Wars main title, and several motifs and cues from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.