Australian Council on Children and the Media

Star Wars - The Clone Wars

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 10 due to violence and disturbing scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Star Wars - The Clone Wars
  • a review of Star Wars - The Clone Wars completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 August 2008.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Star Wars - The Clone Wars
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Animated violence
Length 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This animated film fits in the three year period between two earlier Star Wars films: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The start of the film sees Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice of James Arnold Taylor) and Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) battling the droid armies of Separatists, lead by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). The Separatists are gaining control as the clone armies of the Republic dwindle. We learn that Jabba the Hutt’s  (Kevin Michael Richardson) baby son Rotta the Hutt has been kidnapped by a group of renegades and that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin have been given the mission of rescuing Rotta and returning him safely to Jabba. The return of Jabba’s son will win the Republic the Hutt’s favour, which the Republic needs to defeat the Separatists. Before the pair departs, Anakin is given the responsibility of an apprentice, a feisty young girl named Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Drane), who is to go with Anakin and Obi-Wan on their mission to rescue Jabba’s son.
Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka travel to a planet where they believe the renegades are holding little Rotta, but are closely followed by a group of Count Dooku’s henchmen, lead by Dooku’s ruthless Jedi assassin Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman). Ventress is also attempting to rescue and return Jabba’s son in an attempt to gain the Hutt’s favour for the Separatists.

When Count Dooku informs Jabba the Hutt that the Jedi have killed his son, Jabba also sends his own henchmen to hunt them down, thus ensuring a number of epic battles before the film reaches its conclusion.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Intergalactic war; abduction of a baby

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Animated battle scene violence is depicted throughout the film with lots of explosions and destruction. Most of the film’s fight and battle scenes occur between robot droids and cloned humans where droids and clones are injured or destroyed. Blood and gore are not shown, but we do hear some clones crying out when injured. Fights between hero figures are stylised, with lots of leaps, tumbles, somersaults and flips. Examples include: 

  • A baby alien is abducted, held hostage and becomes sick.
  • During a battle scene at the start of the film we see explosions hurling clones through the air in all directions. A clone is decapitated by laser fire and several droids cut in half by light-sabres. Large star-ships fire at each other and explode in space and there are images of explosions occurring inside the ships. Ahsoka places explosives at the base of a shield generator and the generator explodes. A man travels on a flying fox firing two pistols at droids, while Obi-Wan spears a droid through the chest with his light-sabre. Anakin and Ahsoka use their light-sabres to cut a destroyer droid in two, causing it to explode with pieces flying in all directions. We see a large hover tank and a number of droids aiming their weapons at Obi-Wan. A clone warrior is shot in the back and another clone calls for a medic. An alien becomes aggressive and flips over a table in a threatening manner with Obi-Wan grabbing it by the neck.
  • A stretcher bearing the heads of four bounty hunters is presented to Jabba the Hut.
  • While storming a high walled monastery, Ahsoka climbs on the back of a large droid climbing the monastery wall, the droid falls smashing on the ground below, but Ahsoka manages to jump clear in time.
  • A clone hits a droid hard across the face and the droid’s head swivels around. 
  • Ahsoka decapitates a flying insect-like droid.
  • A droid shoots a clone in the chest, the laser beam making a hole in the clone’s torso.
  • There is an extended stylised fight between Ob-Wan and Ventress. Neither is injured and Ventress escapes.
  • Ventress uses ‘the force’ to strangle a man (we see him struggling and trying to breathe against an invisible grip), Ventress releases her power and the man lives.  .
  • During a space battle between a number of droid ships and a ship flown by Anakin Skywalker, Skywalker shoots down a droid ship that goes spinning out of control and then explodes. Skywalker’s ship is hit during the fight and crash-lands, exploding in flames.
  • Count Dooku attacks Anakin with lightning bolts shooting from his fingertips. They engage in a light-sabre duel with Anakin punching Count Dooku in the chest knocking him down.
  • Several droids with electrified staffs attack Ahsoka while she is holding Jabba’s infant son. Ahsoka appears shaken and remarks afterwards that being a Jedi is not easy.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

The animated figures in this film have a wooden appearance, making them less life-like to older children. However, younger children may view the characters as real. In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The robot-like droids vary greatly in appearance. Some are humanoid, while others are more frightening, such as a spider-like creature with a single red glowing eye, or giant flying dragonfly-like creatures with spikes on their backs.
  • Several scenes contain animated images of alien creatures with greatly extended lower jaws from which tusks protrude, and large dark eyes.
  • The Emperor Darth Sidious is a disfigured, scary old man.
  • Images of lizard-like people with tusks protruding from their heads.
  • Assjj Ventress has a sinister, evil, intimidating demeanour, with a pale face, bald head, red stains down the side of her mouth and over-large dark eyes.
  • Jabba the Hutt is a giant greyish slug-like creature with a wide mouth and a deep voice.  

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned images

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned images

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A women, chained to the floor and wearing a tight fitting full body suit, dances to a drum beat while Jabba looks on with interest.
  • Ventress wears a low cut backless top that reveals cleavage.
  • Ahsoka wears a top that reveal her midriff.
  • A woman dances in the background of one scene and we see the silhouette of her breasts and body.    

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Ziro the Hutt smokes a hookah-like pipe with a green glowing glass bowl.
  • People drinking from glasses in a nightclub.    
  • Ahsoka talks about giving baby Rotta a pill to make him better. She gives it to him, saying “You will take this and like it.”

Coarse language

Star Wars: The Clone Wars contains infrequent, very mild coarse language and some mild putdowns, for example:

  • Criminal scum, damn, Smelly lava, Little Stinky, grubby little slug, tin plated traitor.  

In a nutshell

Star Wars - The Clone Wars is an animated science fiction fantasy that targets a younger audience. The film’s plot is very straight forward, making it easy for younger children to comprehend. Older children may be unimpressed with the film’s wooden animation style.

The main messages from this movie are that:

  • experience must be valued.
  • duty to the greater good comes before personal wishes
  • people working together as a team can overcome what individuals cannot

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Heroism: The film’s heroes place their lives a risk for one another and what they believe in.
  • Compassion: Ahsoka show compassion towards Jabba’s son when she cares for him and treats him with medicine.
  • Responsibility: Anakin is made responsible for a young Jedi student and is told that teaching is a privilege and a responsibility.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as Anakin’s arrogant attitude and behaviour.

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