Follow us on

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

November 9th, 2014

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a digitally animated TV series that took place inbetween Episode II and Episode III. It lasted five seasons before being canceled. It was than revived by Netflix roughly 30 seconds later. (There were many episodes completed or nearly completed at the time the show was canceled.) These 13 episodes are being released on DVD or Blu-ray this week. Are they worth checking out for fans of the show? Or was there a reason the show was canceled before these could be shown?

The Show

I'm not going to go over each episode individually, because that would involve too many spoilers. While there are 13 episodes on this two-disc Blu-ray, there are really only five stories being told. This includes one single-episode story, but it also includes one four-part story. Obviously I can't discuss part two of a four-part story without spoiling the first part, so I will just talk about the setups for each story.

  • The Unknown: Four Parts
    This story begins with the Republic trying to take over a massive space station from the Separatists. During the battle, one of the Clone troopers, Tup, begins to act weird. He has trouble focusing and begins repeating, "A good soldier follows orders." before killing one of the Jedi generals. There have been a few rogue storm troopers, but this is different, because he seemed like he wasn't able to control himself. Both the Republic and the Separatists want to find out exactly what happened.
    After watching the first episode, my initial response was, "They're only 11-minute episodes?" Nope. They are full 30-minute episodes, or 22 minutes without commercials. However, the episode was so well-written and so immediately engaging that I didn't realize more than 20 minutes had gone by. This is even more impressive, since this plot deals with one of the big reveals in Episode III. It's Order 66. But even though I knew the answer to the mystery they were trying to uncover, it was still written in a way to draw in the viewer. That's not an easy task.
  • An Old Friend: Three Parts
    Padme Amidala travels to planet Scipio in order to secure a loan to pay for the war effort. The negotiator for the banking clans is Clovis, an ex-flame and former Separatist. Needless to say, Amidala is not happy he's the one negotiating. However, when Clovis is able to speak to Amidala in private, he reveals a bigger problem. There's no money left in the bank. The five heads of the bank have concealed this information, because if the bank falls, it could cause the galactic economy to collapse. However, he needs Amidala's help to prove this.
    This story isn't as good as the first one was. There's a love triangle of sorts between Amidala, Clovis, and Anakin Skywalker, which doesn't work. Additionally, the banking mystery isn't as strong here as the Order 66 mystery was.
  • The Disappeared: Two Parts
    The planet of Bardotta is in crisis. Several of the Dagoyan Masters have disappeared. Not only are these masters respected elders in their society, they have a strong connection to the force. Queen Julia requests help from the Galactic Senate, but will only grant audience to one person, Jar Jar Binks. Mace Windu travels with him, to make sure he doesn't screw up. When they arrive, Queen Julia says a prophecy is coming true and if something isn't done, a great darkness will swallow the Galaxy.
    This is a step up from the previous storyarc with a better mystery and strong action. Jar Jar Binks wasn't even annoying in this story.
  • The Lost One
    A distress signal is received and a rescue mission is sent off. Well, it's not a rescue mission per say, because the ship belonged to a Jedi Master, Sifo-Dyas, who was killed a decade ago. The only thing they find is his lightsaber. In the second movie, Obi-Wan discovered Sifo-Dyas was the one who ordered the creation of the clone army. How he was able to do this without the Jedi Council finding out was always a mystery and now they have a new piece of the puzzle. However, there are forces conspiring to make sure they never learn the truth.
    There's a good mystery here and great action climax as well. It does suffer from the same problems the first storyarc has, namely, we know what the answer to the mystery is. Still, it is very engaging.
  • Voices: Three Parts
    One could argue that The Lost One is the first part of a four-part story, but I think it works just as well as an individual episode. While Yoda is meditating, he hears the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. (At first I thought it was just a really good impression, but it actually is Liam Neeson doing the voice.) This is impossible, as he is dead and not even the most powerful Jedi can speak beyond death. He is worried that perhaps the stress of war is getting to be too much for him. He must seek answers, even if it means disobeying the Jedi Council and going out on a dangerous journey all alone.
    This is another excellent storyarc on this Blu-ray. Granted, fans of the franchise will know more than the characters do, but that's a common issue for all prequels and it is certainly been an issue on this Blu-ray. But as long as you are willing to accept that fact and are interested in the force you will certainly love this story.

The Extras

Extras begin with The Clone Wars Declassifed, which is a 16-minute look at the creation of the TV series. There is also a 90-minute long story reel for The Crystal Crisis on Utapau, which would have been a four-part story arc had it been completed.

The technical presentation is excellent, as long as you take some important facts into consideration. The Clone Wars is a TV series, not a theatrical release and the level of details is not on par with the average theatrical release. That said, given the source material, the video is damn near perfect. The colors pop and the blacks are deep. There are no hints at compression issues or digital anomalies. The audio is nearly as good. The 5.1 surround sound track is as active as most TV shows, including directional and dynamic effects.

The Blu-ray costs $33, which is $8 or 32% more than the DVD. That's on par with other TV on DVD releases.

The Verdict

Of the four or five stories on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions, only one, An Old Friend isn't excellent. It is still good, but I think it is the weakest of the stories on this set. That's a fantastic hit to miss ratio. If you like the show in particular or Star Wars in general, then this set is worth checking out. Add in the extras on the DVD or Blu-ray and it is absolutely worth picking up.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Star Wars, Liam Neeson, Ahmed Best, Tom Kane, Matt Lanter, Catherine Taber, James Arnold Taylor, Terrence "T.C." Carson, Robin Atkin Downes