I avoided this for a long time, but recently after hearing it was going to be part of the new set-in-stone canon, and hungry for more Star wars, I set out to watch it as well as the 2003 series.
I’ve just gotten to season 2, and without providing any spoilers, some of the stories were so good, I decided to create this thread.
First of all, an interesting thing is that even though the 2003 series is not part of the new canon, the 2008 series is clearly based on it and a direct continuation of it.
One thing that stands out to me is that the facial expressions in the animation are frequently impressive in their subtlety and range. There are times as I watch it that I am taken off guard by how well a scene was played by expressions alone.
There are a lot of annoyances in the series, I won’t pretend otherwise. Jar Jar occasionally appears, and is as stupid as ever. The battle droids are still stupid (though sometimes genuinely funny). Characters use nicknames for one another that are cringeworthy and furthermore don’t really seem like they fit in a Star Wars context. And I’ve taken to calling Anakin Skywalker “American Skywalker” for the fact that despite his crass immaturity and blatant lack of respect for anyone or anything, everyone not only tolerates him, but celebrates him - honestly I don’t know how he was granted knighthood. He behaves less like a Jedi than any other Jedi onscreen, in any adaptation.
But Obi-Wan is very well represented, clearly based on Ewan MacGregor’s portrayal. Yoda is also done well, and evocative, and Mace Windu gets convincing treatment as well.
The episodes tend to move at a breakneck pace and focus mostly on battles, so this is a war drama primarily. But the main thing that I find worthy of investment and praise is the subplots and the characterizations, each of which feature a surprising degree of craft and thoughtfulness.
There have been several times I liked the stories well enough (particularly the Mandaloran arc in season 2) that I found myself wishing it had found form as a live action film. In other words, while a lot of the series is merely good by children’s animation standards, some of it (a lot of it actually) surpasses the best elements of the PT.
Anyway - for those of you who were avoiding it like I was, maybe give it a try.