Star Wars – The Clone Wars: A Galaxy Divided was released on DVD this past week, and I’ve got a review here. It consists of the first 4 episodes of the series, which follows after the events of the theatrical release (also on DVD as well as Blu-ray).
Unlike the theatrical release, this is only available as a DVD at this time. As mentioned, it consists of the first four episodes of the series:Ambush, where Yoda and Ventress compete for a planet deciding which side to choose; and the three episodes of the Malevolence cycle: Rising Malevolence, Shadow Of Malevolence, and Destroy Malevolence, where Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka and Plo Koon deal with General Grievous’ new ship with a new ion cannon capable of disabling whole fleets of ships and works suspiciously like the Death Star cannon.
The DVD itself comes in a standard plastic case with an identical cardboard slipcover. Images of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda contrast against Grievous and Ventress with some lightsabers drawn. The back features a few frames from the episodes. The DVD is screen printed with a an image of Grievous and Yoda with sabers drawn, and a clone trooper over Yoda’s shoulder.
The DVD features similar images on static menus. No special features are listed, although audio and subtitles are offered in English, French (Canadian), Spanish and Portuguese. As expected, the actual video of the episodes is crystal clear as is the audio, with all tracks being in Dolby Digital 5.1.
In the actual episodes, one thing they seem to have sought out is not necessarily to focus just on the main characters, but actually to see that the clone troopers, although they all share the same face, are all different. Several are given nicknames, and have different “features” – one is a good strategist, another a weapons expert, etc. Whether is is by genetic control, training, or free will is not discussed. But it adds an extra dimension to the clones that are otherwise thought of as expendable.
The interactions between Obi-Wan and Anankin, as mirrored by Anakin and his padawan Ahsoka, are interesting. She’s as much of a challenge for Anakin as he was for Obi-Wan. The other Jedi Masters seem to look on in amusement at this, but at the same time train them. Plo Koon is featured in the Malevolence episodes – other Jedi Masters appear in later episodes.
The Clone Wars in general has proven to be an enjoyable extension of the story between Episodes II and III, and seems to hold my interest more than the previous traditional animated attempt (confusingly also called The Clone Wars). Even my eight year old daughter eagerly awaits each episode (which the first season just ended last week). We’ll both be eagerly awaiting a second season – and more DVDs from this season – although I wish they would have waited and released all the episodes in one package with some extras.