I'll be honest, I'm one of the late comers to the Clone Wars cartoon show. The movie that came out right before the series really didn't catch my interest. The biggest turn off was seeing Genndy Tartakovsky's art style done in 3D. It just seemed really weird to me. The first Clone Wars cartoon series that was released was actually quite good. It took the Star Wars formula and made a fun, although short series of cartoons. So when I heard they'd be revisiting this time line again, I wasn't exactly leaping for joy.
But after going and re-watching both Season 1 and 2, I can honestly say that this is a series that should and can be enjoyed by all Star Wars fans, new and old. From the youngest of tykes who's just discovering Star Wars for the first time, to the jaded assholes who somehow think Star Wars belongs to them and Lucas ruined their movies with the prequel trilogy, they'll find something to love. Even if you're not a huge Star Wars fan in general and only display a passing fancy of the series, you'll find something to latch on to.
The show usually presents itself in 2 to 3 episode story arcs, as well as a few one-offs. And while it's always fun to see characters like Obi-wan or Anakin and his apprentice Asoka get their screen time, which usually involves Anakin either destroying his ship, or getting into light saber duels, the really gripping episodes tend to focus on the Clone Troopers themselves.
The stand out episode among the fans is Episode 5 called "Rookies". It centers around an outpost that's guarded by a bunch of "Shinies", the slang term for green troopers who've gone through basic training but have no actual combat experience. During a "meteor storm" the base gets overrun by Commando Droids under the command of General Grevious, who also gets some good face time in the series. The Shinies all adopt nicknames for each other, which reflect their personalities, such as Fives (because his Clone Trooper number is 27-5555), Heavy (who's completely miserable on the planet and wants to be on the front lines) and Echo (who follows all codes and regulations). They Shinies are soon joined by 2 reoccuring character, Clone Commander Cody, and Commander Rex. While I won't spoil what happens in the episode completely, I will say that this one solidified my emotional attachment to the clone troopers much more than I thought it would.
And while The Clone Wars usually focuses on the war between the Republic and Separatists armies, with the Jedi leading one side, and Count Dooku leading the other, the cast of lesser characters really shines. Along with the clones, the battle droids stand out as among the most amusing characters in the series. If there is more than one of them on screen (and there usually is) you can expect some whitty banter between them. It gets better when its one droid plus an angrier than usual General Grevious on screen. As mentioned above, Grevious gets some serious face time in the series. And while he's usually in command of some massive battleship or armada, he does bust out the double and sometimes quadruple lightsabers for some action. If there's one thing the show does well, it shows just how much this guy hates the Jedi.
And oh the Jedi, how many of them there are. Chances are, if you saw a Jedi knight in the Attack of the Clones movie and wondered "Hey, who's that guy?", they'll have an episode dedicated to them in this series. Whether it's the mask wearing Master Plokoon, or the graceful Ayla Sakura, they're all here and they all have some pretty cool rolls to play. And wherever there are Jedi, the Sith are sure to be found as well. While Darth Sidious makes a few appearances here and there, the Sith are mostly represented by Count Dooku, and his apprentice Assaj Ventress. The two really show off how cold and ruthless, as well as two- faced the Sith can be, but are still fun to watch when they are on screen.
But while I can continue to throw praise onto this show, and tell you how good the writing is, and how dark the series can get at times, and how cool the characters are, I also must caution you, young Jedi. For there also lurks an evil within this show's silver lining, I speak of none other than Jar-Jar Bink, who makes more than a few unwanted appearances in the series. And while he only shows up in a few episodes, any time he's on screen, you really do want to strangle the guy, or push him out an airlock.
That being said however, The Clone Wars is an excellent cartoon that really deserves to be watched by anybody and everybody. With so much garbage clogging up television today like the butter in a large man's artery, it's good to see a cartoon that's smart, funny, deep, and accessible. Are there a few dull episodes? Sure, but what series doesn't have those? But are they enough to diminish your enjoyment? I say "Nay". I've enjoyed my time rewatching Seasons 1 and 2, and can't wait for Season 3 and I hope many of you will hop on and join me.