Saturday, 31 March 2012


Obi-Wan Kenobi and Asajj Ventress take on the Maul brothers in the memorable THE CLONE WARS Season Four episode Revenge. Images: LUCASFILM/CARTOON NETWORK.
Finally, finally, after nearly eight months of anxious news and waiting for its loyal UK fan base, the latest fourth season of George Lucas's animated STAR WARS hit series, THE CLONE WARS, makes its well-deserved debut on our shores, on the UK CARTOON NETWORK this week, weekdays from Monday April 2nd at 10am (and repeated at 6pm). With a season sub-title of Battle Lines, this years new and cinematic conflicts between the evil Sith and the heroic Jedi, Separatists and Republic, are more ambitious and exciting than ever, with notable story arcs this bold year being Water War-a mammoth underwater battle three-parter set within the watery home world climes of Classic STAR WARS favourite Admiral Ackbar-which sees our submersed Jedi heroes taking on a lethal shark-like baddie, the Umbara Quadrilogy, where the galaxy engaged Clone Troopers, led by the super-cool Captain Rex, find their loyalties and abilities tested to the very limit by a dangerous Jedi General, on an outer-rim planet literally swamped in darkness and unusual alien creatures, and the Kadavo Slaves arc, where our heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, alongside fearless young Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, have their work cut out for them in freeing a world of captured Zygerian aliens from the heady grip of an evil Queen and her ruthless, weapon wielding slave trader peoples.

It's Calamari versus Quarren in an epic Water War.
Explosive trouble for the Clone Troopers in the Umbara Quadrilogy.
Hapless Gungan hero Jar Jar Binks returns to help Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala in Shadow Warrior.  
A disguised Anakin takes on Count Dooku in Escape from Kadavo.
The nightmare man! The evil Sith Assassin, Darth Maul, returns for the season finale.

All this, plus the return of the fan favourite Sith Lord from the original EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE live-action movie, the devil-like Darth Maul (now voiced by Sam Witwer), mysteriously back from the dead and allying himself with his horned Zabrakian/Dathomir brother, the equally formidable Savage Opress, to avenge himself on old enemy Obi-Wan Kenobi. We also can't forget the return of bald Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress, multiple lightsaber wielding coughster General Grievous, lots of old and new bounty hunters assembled for a lethal action-packed mission to assassinate the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, plus some fun fairytale-esque episodes featuring those lovable and endearing droids who will also be iconic and synonymous to STAR WARS: C-3PO and R2-D2.

Trailers: The Clone Wars - Season 4 - Extended Trailer! - YouTube
Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 4 Preview 2 (WonderCon) - YouTube
The Clone Wars: Season 4 Darth Maul trailer - YouTube

With its ever-raised dramatic stakes, strong characterisations and storytelling (using some of the finest writers, directors and voice talents in the US, headed by talented Supervising Director Dave Filoni), and utilising the best modern animation techniques, its a great shame that LUCASFILM and CARTOON NETWORK are seemingly not really bothered about promoting the show beyond is core audience of dedicated fans, children and families in the US. For a major UK premiere of such an innovative and exciting series, THE CLONE WARS, having already lost SKY MOVIES as its original main broadcaster (who showed seasons one to three but gave up the ghost, presumably due to expense, with season four), deserves much better treatment in this outside territory (the second most successful marketing and merchandising arena for the saga in the world), as well as a major shot in the arm publicity-wise to get UK and European audiences interested beyond those that are already lovingly converted to it. Quality series deserve quality treatment in my book!

Seasons One to Three of THE CONE WARS are now available in a special box set on Blu-ray and DVD. Get it here: Star Wars Clone Wars - Season 1-3 [DVD]: Film & TV

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