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Do The Critics Have A Bad Feeling About The Cartoon Network’s Tartakovsky-Free STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS?

I am – Hercules!!
I’ve got a bad feeling about “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the new TV series premiering tonight on The Cartoon Network. It’s from the same creative team that brought us August’s “Clone Wars” movie, which garnered 96% negative reviews among “top critics” surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes – and 100% negative reviews from everybody I’ve talked to about it. (The Tomatoes survey would have been 100% negative if not for the notice authored by the Arizona Republic’s Kerry Lengel, who appraised the movie as “surprisingly unterrible.”) The screeners for the series seem to have gone out to far fewer media outlets than did screening passes for the movie, and the few critics who have seen the TV version of “Clone Wars” seem to be kinder to the two episodes airing tonight. Did LucasFilm really choose inferior episodes for the movie – which people had to drive down to a cinema to pay for – or are TV critics just far, far less discriminating than their movie counterparts? Entertainment Weekly says:
Older Star Wars fans loathed The Clone Wars, George Lucas' movie 'toon about prequel-era Obi-Wan and Anakin. At least the TV spin-off is decent — definitely more suspenseful and character-centric than the bombastic pilot flick. Its target audience — kids — will dig it. And middle-aged haters will hate it a little less. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
I'm one of those who thinks that with regards to the "Star Wars" saga, it's all been mostly downhill since "The Empire Strikes Back," except, of course, Carrie Fisher in slave gear for "Return of the Jedi." … There may come a day when reality is perfectly counterfeited by computers, but here in the early 21st century, animators have yet to conquer the human problem: digitally rendered people look creepy. …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… little about "Clone Wars" is involving. … Complexity is fine, but when the plot is Byzantine and the characters lack all depth, the result is either irritation or boredom. The overall blandness means it's hard to care for whomever is blowing stuff up on the screen. The clone armies are led by Jedi such as Anakin Skywalker, who's a bit of a pill and who, as anyone who's seen the "Star Wars" films knows, later turns into Darth Vader. The Jedi themselves are working for Chancellor Palpatine, who is nobody's idea of an enlightened leader. So, it's a robot army versus clones working for a creepy despot. Go, um, team?
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
The computer-animated movie "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" was a dud at the box office (less than $40 million in domestic gross) and was lambasted by critics, but the Cartoon Network series of the same name may fare better. The first two half-hour episodes are less raucous and seemingly more adult than the film. There's more attention to character development; Jabba the Hutt's flamboyant uncle isn't anywhere to be found. …
The Boston Herald says:
… The wise-cracking battle ’droids - the intergalactic Larry, Moe and Curley - are in abundance but appear even more useless and less amusing than in the films. … The stylized animation ranges from impressive in the case of anything mechanical to waxy and lifeless in the case of anything human. Faces appear stiff and expressionless, which might make Hayden Christensen fans feel at home with yet another wooden Anakin. … still doesn’t redeem Lucas’ attempted do-over and the Greedo-shoots-first syndrome, but it’s certainly no “Star Wars Holiday Special.”
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Chances are if you liked "Star Wars," you'll enjoy the TV series. When it comes to extending the franchise and attracting a new generation of "Star Wars" fans, the force is definitely with George Lucas. …
Variety says:
… the half-hour episodes are so jam-packed with action the clunky dialogue flies by less obtrusively, and the irritating characters have less time to annoy. … Of course, technical wizardry has never been a problem for series steward George Lucas. His shortcomings rather have to do with a too-casual acquaintance with the written word, and a penchant for wince-inducing comedy aimed at kids. Those drawbacks persist …
9 p.m. Friday. The Cartoon Network.

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