Star Wars Spin-Off Goes CGI
NEW YORK (AP) – The “Star Wars” universe, already substantially rendered by computer generated imagery, is giving in all the way to animation.
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” an animated film, will open in theaters Aug. 15 and be followed by a TV series of the same name, to air on the Cartoon Network and TNT this fall.
“I felt there were a lot more ‘Star Wars’ stories left to tell,” said “Star Wars” creator George Lucas in a statement. “I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the animation forward.”
Produced by Lucasfilm Animation, both the film and TV show will be distributed through Time Warner Inc. (TWX), which owns TNT, the Cartoon Network and the film’s distributor, Warner Bros.
I’m not a Star Wars fan at all. I’m interested in seeing this because I want to compare its CGI to Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet.
From what I can make out from the few shots of the human characters, they’re going for more of a cartoony style. Almost like Nelvana‘s original style of cel animation but with CGI. (Ironically, Nelvana worked on the cartoon segment of the awful Star Wars Holiday Special.)
From Nelvana’s groundbreaking classic, A Cosmic Christmas
Clone Wars: Nelvana influence is obvious!
That would have been difficult for Anderson to pull off with New Captain Scarlet because the original marionettes were realistic and wouldn’t have translated well to caricatured CGI.
And yet, Lucasfilm is doing this to Luke Skywalker:
And look at Samuel L. Jackson!
I guess they can do that because the entire production is stylized, whereas Gerry Anderson attempted to mimic realism.
In addition to the trailer, there is a very interesting feature that takes us behind the scenes of the production.
Finally, see this one about the videogame The Force. I had no idea so much computing power went into games. The three programs they mention are incredible and what I’d expect NASA to be using!
Update: I just found this Los Angeles Times article about the movie and series and found this bit of irony in their coverage:
There already was a 2-D animated series called “Clone Wars” that centered on the conflict between the Jedis of the Republic and separatist groups and their battle droids, but this new film and series will be later in the continuity and have a dramatically different look that melds photo-realistic battle sequences (think of an enhanced, top-flight video game) and stylized characters that sometimes resemble marionettes.