Wars: The Clone Wars” is George
Lucas finally getting to do a “Star Wars” movie, with all the
special effects he wants, without having to mess with the human element at
all. Just make the whole thing animated, with
computer-generated images, and use the humans for voiceovers only.
Well, it kinda looks and feels like a “Star Wars” movie, but the
human element was always one of the endearing qualities of the whole series,
and it’s distinctly missing. True fans will still enjoy
the plot development of a young Anakin
Skywalker having to take on an apprentice, and try to teach her
patience, no less, but the Jedi
Knights, like their literary forebears, the Musketeers,
are still just one betrayal away from oblivion. There may
be some kind of political message imbedded here about how no one group,
however powerful or well-intentioned, can really police the whole galaxy.
Either they will collectively turn to the Dark Side, or be worn out and
used up from the noble but doomed effort. Allegory, anyone?
“Traitor” is also a morality tale
for 21st-century America , but is much less subtle. Don
Cheadle plays an African who very much sounds like an African
American. Therefore he can go many places without
drawing attention to himself, places where terrorist cells can go underground,
in the dark alleyways of cities like Marseilles , and Toronto , plotting to
wreak havoc with an infidel America too caught up in its patriotic hubris to
even perceive its own arrogance. Cheadle appears to be
walking both sides of the fence, some sort of double agent in a high-stakes
game of deception, espionage, and sabotage. The problem is
that nobody survives such treachery unscathed. Least of all
the innocent victims.
A sobering, harrowing, but chillingly realistic parable of our times.