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The adventures continue in Season Three of "Star Wars - The Clone Wars"

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Star Wars - The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three

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Like its 2009 and 2010 predecessors, Lucasfilm and Warner Home Video’s 2011 "Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Three" set contains – in four DVD or three Blu-ray discs – 22 episodes of the series created by George Lucas, produced by Cary Silver and supervised by Dave Filoni.

Featuring the voices of Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, and Dee Bradley Baker, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" was an anthology series which aired on the Cartoon Network cable channel from 2008 to 2013. A sixth season was already in production when Lucasfilm, now owned by the Walt Disney Company, canceled the series. In its place, Disney/Lucasfilm are producing "Star Wars: Rebels," an animated anthology set in the murky period between the Prequel Trilogy and the Classic "Star Wars" Trilogy. "Star Wars: Rebels" will use the same 3D animation style of "The Clone Wars." It is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2014 on the Disney Channel, then move to the Disney XD channel for its regular run.

Format: "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" is a 3D computer animated series told in an anthology format. Each 22-minute episode is essentially a stand-alone story set during the Clone Wars, although often two or three chapters are thematically linked to form story arcs.

For example, the bounty hunter Cad Bane from Seasons One and Two is back in a two episode arc (Evil Plans, Hunt for Ziro) which concludes the Ziro the Hutt storyline covered in both the "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" feature film and the first season cliffhanger Hostage Crisis.

Likewise, a two-episode arc (Corruption, The Academy) takes viewers back to Mandalore after the events depicted in Season Two’s Death Watch trilogy. Once again we see Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (James Arnold Taylor) old friend, Duchess Satine, as she attempts to deal with the corruption resulting from her decision to keep Mandalore neutral in the war between the Republic and the Separatist movement.

Other outstanding story arcs officially add the Nightsisters, the prominent Expanded Universe witches of the planet Dathomir, take Anakin (Lanter), Obi-Wan and Ahsoka (Eckstein) to a Force-influenced world called Mortis and – in a fan-pleasing season finale – bring back one of the most popular characters from the Classic Trilogy: Chewbacca the Wookiee.

My Take: I sometimes wish Lucas and Filoni had chosen a more linear approach to the story telling rather than showing "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" in the timeline-hopping anthology format. But once viewers get used to the format, they can tell that big arcs often are chronological within the context of the whole saga and that one-shot stories (such as the Ahsoka Tano-centered Padawan Lost) are little sideway jaunts that take viewers away from the Anakin/Obi-Wan narrative and allow them to learn about other Jedi, including the less-than-disciplined Quinlan Vos, who is edgier and more impulsive than Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Though the series airs on kid-friendly Cartoon Network, it is rated TV-PG for good reason. Unlike other action-themed cartoons, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" features many episodes in which clone troopers and even Jedi Knights are injured or even die.

On Animation: For first-time viewers, the Thunderbirds-inspired animation does take some getting used to. It's rendered in three-dimensional computer graphics and done in a slightly exaggerated style reminiscent of both the 2003-2005 "Clone Wars" series and anime.

Episode List (Blu-ray Version)

Disc 1:

Clone Cadets
Written by Cameron Litvak
Directed by Dave Filoni

ARC Troopers
Written by Cameron Litvak
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy

Supply Lines
Written by Steven Melching, Eoghan Malhony
Directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell

Sphere of Influence
Written by Katie Lucas, Steven Melching
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy

Corruption
Written by Cameron Litvak
Directed by Giancarlo Volpe

The Academy
Written by Katie Lucas, Steven Melching
Directed by Giancarlo Volpe

Assasin
Written by Katie Lucas
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy

Disc 2

Evil Plans
Written by Steve Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
Directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell

Hunt for Ziro
Written by Steve Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
Directed by Steward Lee

Heroes on Both Sides
Written by Daniel Arkin
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy

Pursuit of Peace
Written by Daniel Arkin
Directed by Duwayne Dunham

Nightsisters
Written by Katie Lucas
Directed by Giancarlo Volpe

Monster
Written by Katie Lucas
Directed by Kyle Dunlevy

Witches of the Mist
Written by Katie Lucas
Directed by Giancarlo Volpe

Disc 3

Overlords
Written by Christian Taylor
Directed by Steward Lee

Altar of Mortis
Written by Christian Taylor
Directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell

Ghosts of Mortis
Written by Christian Taylor
Directed by Steward Lee

The Citadel
Written by Matt Michnovetz
Directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell

Citadel Rescue
Written by Matt Michnovetz
Directed by Steward Lee

Padawan Lost
Written by Bonnie Mark
Directed by Dave Filoni

Wookiee Hunt
Written by Bonnie Mark
Directed by Dave Filoni

Blu-ray Specs:

Format: AC-3, Animated, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen

Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Dubbed: French, Spanish

Region: All Regions

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Number of discs: 3

Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Studio: Lucasfilm

Release Date: October 18, 2011

Run Time: 100 minutes

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