Picture Source: http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35500000/Clone-Wars-2003-Clone-Troopers-star-wars-clone-wars-micro-series-2003-35573521-720-406.jpg [Accessed: 06/12/2015]
This weekend Star Wars fever hit like a tidal wave of Ewok and Wookie fur and I had to act on it. I’ve watched the original trilogy a million times and I’ve watched the prequel trilogy a couple of thousand times. After careful deliberation, I settled on the 2003 ‘The Clone Wars’ TV series from Cartoon Network and I was shocked. The Clone Wars are freaking awesome. I mean not only do they contain some of the best stories in Star Wars Universe but also some of the best storytelling in cartoons I have ever seen. I challenge anyone to go through the entire series and find nothing that they like. It’s varied, well written and looks beautiful, so what can we learn from it?
Picture Source: http://justpic.info/images1/f23b/clonewars.jpg [Accessed: 06/12/2015]
The show has an incredibly strong visual aesthetic, everything is angular with block colours that keep things simple while also keeping an air of elegance. The animators find new and interesting ways to create effective fight sequences (especially in the final fight between Ventress and Skywalker) that can be humorous or allude to much deeper aspects of character without the use of clunky dialogue. This constant visual consideration makes the show feel fresh and fun with every scene. The animators are constantly pushing to find new ways to recreate the same sequences we have seen a million times in the Star Wars Universe. For example, instead of seeing lightsabre battles we have watched time and time again in the films, we get Yoda riding a Kybuck into battle, displaying a completely different form of combat. This is an important consideration in any type of writing to avoid repetition or breakdown of the suspension of disbelief.
Picture Source: http://www.kaminolegion.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/CloneWithChainguns.jpg [Accessed: 06/12/2015]
The show also knows how to use silence. Silence may be the most effective tool in a creator’s arsenal as it makes the reader or viewer focus on everything else. The first sequence in the series with a team of ARC troopers is a great demonstration of this. The troops do not speak a word and instead only through their actions and movements do they manage to each give off unique personalities while giving the viewer the same if not more information than they would have through dialogue. It’s a masterclass in storyboarding and narrative design that any creator can learn a lot from.
Picture Source: http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35500000/Padm-Amidala-star-wars-clone-wars-micro-series-2003-35573762-850-480.jpg [Accessed: 06/12/2015]
Go watch The Clone Wars, it’s free to view the entire series on YouTube, and take note of everything that works about it. The writers worked over time and managed to win a large haul of awards for the series, including several Emmys. It’s especially important to note all the information the writers are able to communicate in the visuals alone as it is this ability that can make the difference between a good and a great writer!
…that’s this week’s Grr(aphic) Mondays! Check back on Wednesday for another BearSleuth Opinion Piece.