NEW YORK – Under a tight veil of security the newest and coolest editions to the "Star Wars" saga are about to arrive on the Cartoon Network.
"Star Wars: Clone Wars," (search) slated to air next month is the latest highly stylized action 'toon from animation maestro, Genndy Tartakovsky (search), the creative force behind the network's cult hit "Samurai Jack."
"I like to compare it to HBO's 'Band of Brothers' (search) " Tartakovsky said. "A project I really admired that takes a huge story like the European Allied campaign of World War II and presents it in a series of day-in-the-life stories."
The epic micro-series - there's 20 and each one is only about three-minutes long - takes place in between "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and the new movie that's still in production which won't be released until 2005.
Cartoon Network is not providing reviewers with copies of the new show to avoid the chance that Internet pirates would quickly upload it onto the Internet.
But The Post was granted a special preview of the first five episodes of "Clone Wars" yesterday. Most include the same cast of characters that appear in the movies - Jedi knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (search), Anakin Skywalker, Yoda (search) and Mace Windu.
Each episode is almost all battle scenes. In one stand-alone short, a new Jedi named Kit Fisto leads an attack on an undersea city and engages in a funky underwater light-saber battle. Another stand-out episode focused on the efforts of a team of special-ops clone troopers who are shot out of the sky in the heat of battle and survive by working together to achieve their goal.
It's a rare moment in the "Star Wars" mythology in which the story focuses on a group of minor characters.
Each story was written by Tartakovsky and his team. The only restriction Lucas put on the series was that there be no love scenes - an element considered by many critics to be the low point of the movie, "Episode II: Attack of the Clones."
With the exception of Anthony Daniels who plays the morose android C-3PO, "Clone Wars" does not feature the voices of the actors from the films.
Instead Tartakovsky tapped many of the actors who provide similar sounding voices for the vast assortment of "Star Wars" themed video games.