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Star Wars: The Clone Wars to Hit Small and Big Screens

Star Wars: The Clone Wars makes its theatrical debut as an all-new, computer-generated feature film in August 2008, followed by a television series in the fall.

The new adventures in a galaxy far, far away apparently take place between the second and third Star Wars prequel films, similar to the Clone War series of the same name that ran between 2003 and 2005. Returning characters include Anakin Skywalker ? who later becomes Darth Vader ? along with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padme Amidala. New heroes also join to battle familiar villains from the Star Wars prequels, such as Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and General Grievous.

"I felt there were a lot more Star Wars stories left to tell," said George Lucas, Star Wars creator and executive producer of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward."

Combining a signature animation style with all computer-generated graphicsStar Wars: The Clone Wars opens in North American theaters on Friday, Aug. 15. The brand new television series then premieres in the fall on Cartoon Network, kicking off regular airings on TNT. The television episodes each amount to a 30-minute "mini-movie," and will showcase action-packed battles along with new revelations about the Star Wars universe.

Lucasfilm Ltd., Warner Bros. Pictures and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. announced their partnership yesterday to produce and distribute the new film and television series.

"Warner Bros. and Turner are uniquely positioned to deliver on the enormous potential of The Clone Wars because together they offer a world-class opportunity: the theatrical and home-video distribution of Warner Bros. and the broad reach of the Turner Networks," said Micheline Chau, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lucasfilm Ltd. "This terrific combination hits the key demographic groups, ranging from kids to adults, that make up the Star Warsaudience."

Lucasfilm Animation has already produced more than 30 all-new episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and continues to work on new episodes.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars marks the latest expansion for the Star Wars universe following the 30th anniversary celebrations for the original film in 2007. Last year saw rollouts of related videogames and events such as the launching of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber with space shuttle Discovery.

Jeremy Hsu
Jeremy Hsu
Jeremy has written for publications such as Popular Science, Scientific American Mind and Reader's Digest Asia. He obtained his masters degree in science journalism from New York University, and completed his undergraduate education in the history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania.