Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie is out on DVD, and if you've been a skeptic about this new animated version, it might just win you over. The movie itself looks lovely and sharp, and is probably best watched in bed with cocoa anyway. And there are some great special features which give you a sense of how rich and thought-out the animated universe is. Click through for a gallery of concept art, and some deleted scenes.
And here's a run-down of the special features on the second disc:
- Clone Wars: The Untold Stories. A look ahead at some of the episodes of the TV series, including a bunch that haven't aired yet. Some of them look absolutely fantastic, like the one about the young Jedi knight, Jadar, who feels tempted to start taking the easy path, and winds up being drawn to the Dark Side, in his battle with General Grievous.
And then there's the not-so-promising episode "Jedi Bombad," where Jar-Jar Binks gets mistaken for a Jedi and has wacky slapstick hijinks with C-3PO. The little glimpses of space battles and stuff may actually get you more pumped up for this show. And the featurette promises that amidst the action-adventure episodes, we'll actually get "mystery" and "romance."
- The Voices Of The Clone Wars. A look at the voice actors who bring Anakin, Kenobi, Ahsoka and all the assorted other characters to life. This is actually the most fun feature on the disc, because it shows how much the people working on the show really enjoy it. Showing a side-by-side splitscreen of the voice actors with their animated characters might have been a mistake, though: the voice actors look way more lively than their CG counterparts.
- A New Score. An interview/featurette about Kevin Kiner, about doing the music for the series. Honestly could not watch more than a minute of this.
- Gallery Of Concept And Production Art. This was another major highlight, especially for Thang Le's incredible matte paintings of Tattooine and various other worlds. There's tons of incredible concept art in this gallery, but here are a few of my faves.
- Webisodes. These aren't actually "webisodes" in the usual sense. They're featurettes about the making of the Clone Wars movie, which originally appeared at StarWars.com. (At least, some of them look familiar.) As with the voice actor featurette, you can really see how much fun people had making this thing, and how much thought they put into it.
- Deleted scenes. Including some pretty great battle scenes, and a better look at the showdown between Anakin, Ahsoka and Ventress in the Rancor Pit. Here they are, already on YouTube.