Back in the days of the original Star Wars trilogy, the clone wars were an example of the way George Lucas and co used world-building to suggest a much larger and deeper galaxy than what he was able to present on the big screen. It was a throwaway line from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi – “You fought in the clone wars?” – but to kids with overactive imaginations, it made us wonder exactly what went on in that conflict, and who fought against the Jedi, and why. And it would take a while, but Lucas was eventually able to show the world with the Star Wars prequels and the 2008 animated television show Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Titan Comics‘ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Collector’s Edition is designed to take us deeper into the show and the connections it has within the larger Star Wars galaxy, as well as various other “offworld” links. Set into two sections, it presents an overview of the series by providing a season-by-season episode guide, with brief descriptions of and trivia on each episode, and then a look at the creation of the show, including interviews with George Lucas, supervising director Dave Filoni and more. Each section is also full of images taken directly from the show, as well as lots of concept artwork and photos of the physical models they built to see how the characters worked in the 3D world the show was designed in.
The magazine begins with a short overview of the show and how it came about, as a way to explore what happened in the clone wars on a much deeper level, which Lucas had shown beginning and ending in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It then goes through the cast of characters appearing in the show, with the leads Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi padawan of Anakin who has become a popular character in the franchise. It also runs through several other characters, including clone Captain Rex, Yoda, Padme Amidala, Chancellor Palpatine, General Grievous, and Count Dooku, with a short bio and a mention of who voiced the character.
The descriptions of each episode are fairly brief and are left open-ended, not telling you the full story of what happens in each one. When several episodes make up a mini-arc, such as the early season one episodes ‘Rising Malevolence’, ‘Shadow of Malevolence, and ‘Destroy Malevolence’, there is a bit more revealed about the story, with the arc told over several paragraphs. The 2007 movie is covered in the opening introduction, with the story told as a lead-up to the show, although no mention is made of it taking place later in the story.
To be frank, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Collector’s Edition is a disappointment. The bulk of it is taken up by the episode guides, and they are far too thin to be of any substance. They also missed a big opportunity by not including each episode’s chronological place, as while the show is episodic, each show nevertheless is set at a specific time, the order of which can be found online at the official Star Wars website.
The interviews are short, and there is nothing from any of the voice actors or anything like the sound or music. The interviews seem quite old, and only seem to address season five and before, which leaves a lot out to talk about. There’s also nothing mentioned about the legacy of the show and the characters, and the way they’ve gone on to appear in shows such as Star Wars: Rebels and The Mandalorian, with Ahsoka not only just appearing in live-action in the latter but also being an important representative character for girls in a traditionally male-dominated genre and franchise.
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There are positive elements, such as the interview with George Lucas and another with sound and editing legend Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) who directed some of the episodes in a particular arc. And it all looks very good, it just feels like it’s a huge missed opportunity, as it could have been easily fleshed out a lot more. I could have done it myself.
I’d say Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Collector’s Edition is only for hardcore fans, but even those are likely to already have much more information collected from online sources. Perhaps it’s good for someone who hasn’t seen it before, in which it provides decent context for watching the show, but it feels out of date and lacking in deeper information. To paraphrase a saying from a different show in that galaxy far, far away, this is not the way.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Collector’s Edition is out on 29th March from Titan Comics.