A seemingly long time ago, in a land far, far away, George Lucas could do no wrong. His "Star Wars""Star Wars" films were nearly universally hailed, each achieving unprecedented commercial success. But what about his latest effort, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars"?
We have a bad feeling about this, if critics across the Internet are to be believed.
"Has it come to this? Has the magical impact of George Lucas' original vision of 'Star Wars' been reduced to the level of Saturday morning animation?" critic and longtime "Star Wars" fan Roger Ebert asked. "[It's] a deadening film that cuts corners on its animation and slumbers through a plot that (a) makes us feel like we've seen it all before, and (b) makes us wish we hadn't."
"We saw this in a theater full of kids, and there wasn't a single moment that caused spontaneous cheering," echoed Chris Farnsworth of E! "It's kind of sad that this generation only gets a retread."
The animated film, which serves as a setup for an upcoming series of adventures on the Cartoon Network and takes place between Episodes IIEpisodes II and IIIIII of the prequel trilogy, currently scores a 35 on Metacritic.com, only slightly better than such recent fare as "10,000 B.C.""10,000 B.C." (34), "Jumper""Jumper" (35) and "The Happening""The Happening" (34).
Elsewhere, the flick rates at just 18 percent Fresh on review-aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com, meaning a little less than one out of every five critics rated it favorably. By comparison, the previous low in the series was "The Phantom Menace,""The Phantom Menace," which scored a 64 percent Fresh rating — and that film featured Jar Jar Binks.
But you thought "The Clone Wars""The Clone Wars" smelled bad on the outside? Wait until you get into the nitty-gritty, many commentators wrote. The biggest offender to fans' sensibilities, it seems, doubles as the newest character in the "Star Wars" universe, Jabba the Hutt's ambiguously gay uncle, Ziro.
"Ziro the Hutt is perhaps the most bizarre character ever created in the series' history (yes, including Jar Jar): a Jabba-shaped slug who wears face paint and feathers, the creature speaks English rather than Huttese except that he (she?) somehow has the accent of Truman Capote by way of Eric Cartman [of 'South Park']," Todd Gilchrist of IGN.com wrote. "I found it impossible to concentrate on much of anything she (he?) was saying except to imagine that all of this would one day make for a great book (entitled 'In Cold Hutt,' naturally)."
"A character of such immense sh-- — offensively bad," Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles echoed of the purple conspirator. "The character was so bad, so incredibly awful — that it was a slap to the face. ... It is many times worse than I'm actually describing. This character was actually too much for me."
Not faring much better is Ahsoka, Anakin Skywalker's new Padawan learner, whose already confusing entrance into the canon is made worse by how annoying she is, many wrote.
"After meeting Ahsoka ... we really understand why he killed all the younglings. I'd have done it with my bare hands. She calls him Skyguy, which is amazingly annoying, and he calls her Snips," Devin Faraci wrote on CHUD.com. "Of course the Anakin/Ahsoka relationship is made impossibly awkward by the fact that she's half-naked and 12 and that they're always in close quarters. I don't need the Force to see this fan fiction coming."
In the end, the final verdict on possibly the last "Star Wars" theatrical film ever may actually come from one of its few positive reviews.
"If you're willing to regress to the mental age of 12 for a couple of hours," Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic wrote, "it's an amusing ride."
Check out everything we've got on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.