This animated movie fits in the three-year period between two earlier Star Wars movies – Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The start of the movie sees Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice of James Arnold Taylor) and Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) battling the droid armies of separatists, lead by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). The separatists are gaining control as the clone armies of the Republic dwindle. We learn that Jabba the Hutt’s (Kevin Michael Richardson) baby son Rotta the Hutt has been kidnapped by a group of renegades. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin have been given the mission of rescuing Rotta and returning him safely to Jabba.
The return of Jabba’s son will win the Republic Jabba the Hutt’s favour. The Republic needs this to defeat the separatists. Before he and Obi-Wan go, Anakin is given the responsibility of an apprentice, a feisty young girl named Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Drane). She is to go with them on their mission to rescue Jabba’s son.
Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka travel to a planet where they believe the renegades are holding little Rotta. They are closely followed by a group of Count Dooku’s henchmen, lead by Dooku’s ruthless Jedi assassin Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman). Ventress is also attempting to rescue and return Jabba’s son in an attempt to gain Jabba’s favour for the separatists.
When Count Dooku informs Jabba the Hutt that the Jedi have killed his son, Jabba also sends his own henchmen to hunt them down. This ensures several epic battles before the movie ends.
Intergalactic war; abduction of a baby
Animated battle scene violence is shown throughout the movie, and there are lots of explosions and destruction. Most of the movie’s fight and battle scenes occur between robot droids and cloned humans where droids and clones are injured or destroyed. Blood and gore aren’t shown, but we do hear some clones crying out when injured. Fights between hero figures are stylised, with lots of leaps, tumbles, somersaults and flips. For example:
- A baby alien is abducted, held hostage and gets sick.
- During a battle scene at the start of the movie, we see explosions that hurl clones through the air in all directions. A clone is decapitated by laser fire, and several droids are cut in half by light-sabres. Large star ships fire at each other and explode in space, and there are images of explosions occurring inside the ships. Ahsoka places explosives at the base of a shield generator and the generator explodes. A man travels on a flying fox firing two pistols at droids, while Obi-Wan spears a droid through the chest with his light-sabre. Anakin and Ahsoka use their light-sabres to cut a destroyer droid in two, causing it to explode with pieces flying in all directions. We see a large hover tank and several droids aiming their weapons at Obi-Wan. A clone warrior is shot in the back and another clone calls for a medic. An alien becomes aggressive and flips over a table in a threatening manner with Obi-Wan grabbing it by the neck.
- A stretcher bearing the heads of four bounty hunters is presented to Jabba the Hut.
- While storming a high-walled monastery, Ahsoka climbs on the back of a large droid climbing the monastery wall, the droid falls smashing on the ground below, but Ahsoka manages to jump clear in time.
- A clone hits a droid hard across the face, and the droid’s head swivels around.
- Ahsoka decapitates a flying insect-like droid.
- A droid shoots a clone in the chest, the laser beam making a hole in the clone’s torso.
- There is an extended stylised fight between Obi-Wan and Ventress. Neither is injured and Ventress escapes.
- Ventress uses ‘the force’ to strangle a man (we see him struggling and trying to breathe against an invisible grip). She releases her power and the man lives.
- During a space battle between several droid ships and a ship flown by Anakin Skywalker, Skywalker shoots down a droid ship that goes spinning out of control and then explodes. Skywalker’s ship is hit during the fight and crash-lands, exploding in flames.
- Count Dooku attacks Anakin with lightning bolts shooting from his fingertips. They engage in a light-sabre duel with Anakin punching Count Dooku in the chest and knocking him down.
- Several droids with electrified staffs attack Ahsoka while she is holding Jabba’s infant son. Ahsoka appears shaken and remarks afterwards that being a Jedi is not easy.
Content that might disturb children
The animated figures in this movie have a wooden appearance, making them less life-like to older children. But younger children might view the characters as real. In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight. For example:
- The robot-like droids vary greatly in appearance. Some are humanoid, while others are more frightening. For example, there is a spider-like creature with a single red glowing eye, and giant flying dragonfly-like creatures with spikes on their backs.
- Several scenes contain animated images of alien creatures with greatly extended lower jaws from which tusks protrude, and large dark eyes.
- The Emperor Darth Sidious is a disfigured, scary old man.
- The movie contains images of lizard-like people with tusks protruding from their heads.
- Ventress has a sinister, evil, intimidating demeanour, with a pale face, bald head, red stains down the side of her mouth and over-large dark eyes.
- Jabba the Hutt is a giant greyish slug-like creature with a wide mouth and a deep voice.
Younger children in this age group could be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned images.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is some use of substances in this movie. For example:
- Ziro the Hutt smokes a hookah-like pipe with a green glowing glass bowl.
- People drink from glasses in a nightclub.
- Ahsoka talks about giving baby Rotta a pill to make him better. She gives it to him, saying, ‘You will take this and like it’.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example:
- A woman is chained to the floor and wearing a tight-fitting full body suit. She dances to a drum beat while Jabba looks on with interest.
- Ventress wears a low-cut backless top that reveals cleavage.
- Ahsoka wears a top that shows her midriff.
- A woman dances in the background of one scene. We see the silhouette of her breasts and body.
None of concern
This movie contains infrequent, very mild coarse language and some mild put-downs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated science fiction fantasy that targets a younger audience. The movie’s plot is very straightforward, making it easy for younger children to understand. Older children might be unimpressed with the movie’s wooden animation style.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- Experience must be valued.
- Duty to the greater good comes before personal wishes.
- People working together as a team can overcome what people working by themselves can’t.
You might wish to discuss these issues and the following values with your children:
- Heroism: the movie’s heroes risk their lives for one another and what they believe in.
- Compassion: Ahsoka shows compassion towards Jabba’s son when she cares for him and treats him with medicine.
- Responsibility: Anakin is made responsible for a young Jedi student and is told that teaching is a privilege and a responsibility.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues, such as Anakin’s arrogant attitude and behaviour.