**½/**** Image A Sound B Extras C-
by Walter Chaw Something tickled the back of my brain as I was watching Genndy Tartakovsky's "Star Wars: Clone Wars", a series comprising twenty vignettes clocking in at roughly three-minutes apiece (save the last, which runs close to eight minutes) meant to bridge George Lucas's Episode II and Episode III: I realized that even though the action rises and falls twenty-three times, that no characters are developed beyond a sketch and a pose, and that the show is essentially the connective tissue between programs on the Cartoon Network, "Star Wars: Clone Wars" is every bit as good as--and sometimes better than--Lucas's current trilogy. (Lucas himself recently admitted that his prequels are approximately 40% substance and 60% filler. I think he was being generous--the first two films combined with the first half of the third film have enough substance for maybe one passable 90-minute feature.) But with most of the sport taken out of pounding on mad King George for twenty-some years now (starting with Ewoks and letting Lando live and ending with midichlorians and the Jedi turning out to be pantywaists and hypocritical assholes), all that's really left to say is that Tartakovsky's "Star Wars: Clone Wars" is what it is. And what is that, exactly? Twenty three-minute vignettes from the creator of "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack" that, set in the new Star Wars universe, come off a lot like a "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack" hybrid.