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Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) [Blu-ray] by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B001PO53IO
Date: 15 December 2009 List Price $59.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / SF Revu - Star Wars: The Clone Wars - S.1, V.1 / Show Official Info /

When Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided (TV Series Season 1, Vol. 1) hit the market on March 24, 2009, it consisted of the first four episodes of the series. Fine as an appetizer, it gave hints of the main course to come. With the release of Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) [Blu-ray] on November 3, 2009, the main course has finally arrived.

Created by George Lucas

Series Cast (Voices):
Tom Kane... Narrator
Dee Bradley Baker... Clone Troopers
Matt Lanter... Anakin Skywalker
Matthew Wood... Battle Droids
Ashley Eckstein... Ahsoka Tano
James Arnold Taylor... Obi-Wan Kenobi
Corey Burton... Count Dooku
Ian Abercrombie... Chancellor Palpatine
Terrence 'T.C.' Carson... Mace Windu
Catherine Taber... Padmé Amidala
Anthony Daniels... C-3PO

The best part of watching a movie or TV series on Blu-ray is that you no longer have to deal with distractions and annoyances such as network and channel logo bugs blocking part of the image and degraded signals from your satellite or cable provider. Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) [Blu-ray] is the perfect remedy for this.

In Episode 1: "Ambush", Master Yoda must deal with Asajj Ventress, referred to as Count Dooku's apprentice, though we all know that's not possible since Dooku is himself the apprentice of Darth Sidious.

Featuring General Grievous and his super warship, the Malevolence, Episodes 2 through 4: "Rising Malevolence", "Shadow of Malevolence", and "Destroy Malevolence" are a three-part story arc and one of my favorite stories in Season 1.

Episodes 6 and 7: "Downfall of a Droid" and "Duel of the Droids" are a two-part story about Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano losing R2D2 and having to make up a rescue plan on the fly in order to recover him.

I quite enjoyed Episode 5: "Rookies", a standalone story about how a bunch of new Clone Troopers get their first taste of real combat.

Viceroy Nute Gunray makes a return visit and is at the heart of all the problems in Episodes 8 through 10: "Bombad Jedi", "Cloak of Darkness", and "The Lair of General Grievous", another three-part story.

Episodes 11 and 12: "Dooku Captured" and "The Gungan General" are a two-part story, beginning with the capture of Count Dooku by a pirate gang led by Hondo Ohnaka, his subsequent capture of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and their rescue by a small force of Clone Troopers led by General Jar Jar Binks.

After Anakin Skywalker is injured while rescuing Jedi General Aayla Secura in Episodes 13 and 14: "Jedi Crash" and "Defenders of Peace", Ahsoka Tano crash lands the crippled ship (how like her master) on the neutral planet of Maridun. Matters only get worse when obese Nemoidian General Lok Durd lands with an army of battle droids and plans on testing a nasty new weapon on the planet. I quite enjoyed this story, recognizing the distinctive voice of George Takei as Nemoidian General Lok Durd.

Episode 15: "Trespass" is a standalone story where Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and a detachment of the 501st investigate the massacre at a Republic outpost on Orto Plutonia, all the while dealing with the fiercely independent Talz, native to this moon and the supremely arrogant Chairman Chi Cho, leader of the Pantorans who claim Orto Plutonia as their own.

In Episode 16: "The Hidden Enemy", another standalone story, we see that some Clone Troopers resent the fact that they are the expendable soldiers of the Republic, no doubt due to the bad genetic material acquired from Bounty Hunter Jango Fett.

Episodes 17 and 18: "Blue Shadow Virus" and "Mystery of a Thousand Moons" are a two-part story about Dr. Nuvo Vindi, the evil scientist who has re-created the dreaded Blue Shadow Virus and enhanced its methods of infection.

Jedi Master Mace Windu is the focus of Episode 19 through 21: "Storm Over Ryloth", "Innocents of Ryloth", and "Liberty on Ryloth", a three-part story about how the Republic has to ally themselves with the local resistance fighters to recapture Ryloth from the Separatists.

In Episode 22: "Hostage Crisis", Bounty Hunter Cad Bane and his band of vicious mercenaries seize the Senate Building in order to exchange the hostages held inside for the freedom of crime lord Ziro the Hutt. I very much enjoyed this as Anakin Skywalker had to use his wits instead of his light saber to free Padme Amidala and the other hostages

The "Show Reel For Crew" on Disc 2 was very cool and was one of my favorite bonus features.

On Disc 3, the special bonus feature that I liked was the "Original Version of the Battle over Ryloth". While the animation is rough in spots, it's really nice to see the electronic version of storyboards for the scene as it was originally envisaged.

My understanding is that the Enhanced Jedi Temple Archives Mode (the Featurettes on each episode) are a Blu-ray exclusive feature. While some of them were more interesting than the others, I had two favorites. In Episode 11: "Dooku Captured", the sound of the flying saucer-shaped pirate ships was created using a theremin, a unique musical instrument used in almost all science fiction movies of the 1950s, providing an ethereal otherworldly sound to the scenes. If you have ever met George Takei or have heard him interviewed, you will instantly recognize his distinctive voice and speech patterns. In Episode 14: "Defenders of Peace", the account of casting him as the Nemoidian General Lok Durd was absolutely hilarious, right down to Dave Filoni's impression of him.

What I really loved about this exclusive paperback sized set was the fact that the case holds one Blu-ray disc in the front, two Blu-ray discs in the back, and a gorgeous 64-page production journal filled with original color and black & white sketches and artist notes that make it quite unique as a collectible.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One (TV Series) [Blu-ray] is a must have for the serious Star Wars collector, as well as anyone looking to begin their own collection.

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