Animated Star Wars Trailer Debuts

Fans celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise at Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles over the weekend were treated to a first look at two minutes of footage from the upcoming CG-animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Now everyone can see the trailer online at the newly revamped www.starwars.com.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars will take place between the second and third episodes of the film saga, filling in gaps and revealing events that lead to the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. Fans will learn more about Boba Fett, General Grievous and other characters in the process, but other details of the show are being closely guarded by Lucasfilm.

The animation exhibited in the trailer appears to be a hybrid of the stylized 2D work done by Genndy Tartakovsky and crew on the Cartoon Network Clone Wars microseries and the more photo-realistic animated elements seen in the three prequel films. Supervising director Dave Filoni, who previously worked on Nickelodeon’s wildly successful, anime-inspired series Avatar: The Last Airbender, tells the Los Angeles Times that a main goal with the animation is to avoid the so-called ‘uncanny valley’ effect where digital humans look real but have a vacancy to them.

The series of 22-minute episodes is being produced by Lucasfilm Animation’s facilities in California and Singapore, and is slated to debut sometime in 2009 on a yet-to-be-determined network. Lucas if funding the project himself and will likely sell it to the highest bidder.