|Star Wars: Clone Wars|
|Based on||Star Wars by George Lucas|
|Developed by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Directed by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Theme music composer||John Williams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||25 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Brian A. Miller|
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||November 7, 2003 –|
March 25, 2005
Star Wars: Clone Wars is an American animated television micro-series set in the Star Wars universe and developed and drawn by Genndy Tartakovsky. Produced, released and set between the Star Wars prequel trilogy films Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, it is amongst the first of many works to explore the conflict known as the Clone Wars. The show follows the actions of various prequel trilogy characters, notably Jedi and clone troopers, in their war against the droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith.
The series aired on Cartoon Network for three seasons consisting of 25 episodes altogether from 2003 to 2005, and was the first Star Wars television series since Ewoks (1985–1986). The first two seasons of Clone Wars, released on DVD as "Volume One", were produced in episodes ranging from two to three minutes, while the third season consisted of five 12-minute episodes comprising "Volume Two". Since its release, the series has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program for both volumes. Its success led to it being spun off as the half-hour CGI series The Clone Wars.
The series begins shortly after Attack of the Clones, as the failing Galactic Republic and the Jedi are under siege from the Separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith. As the war rages, more and more planets slip from Republic control.
The main storyline of Volume One features the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi leading an assault on the planet Muunilinst, home of the Intergalactic Banking Clan, benefactors of the Separatists wishing to break away from the Republic. His apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, is personally appointed to lead the space forces by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Meanwhile, Separatist leader Count Dooku takes in the Force-sensitive Asajj Ventress as his Sith apprentice and sends her to eliminate Anakin. Anakin diverts his attention in the middle of the space battle to pursue Ventress to Yavin 4, where he manages to defeat her in a lightsaber duel by drawing on his anger.
Surrounding this storyline are various battles focusing on other Jedi and their wartime exploits: Master Mace Windu faces a droid army unarmed on Dantooine, Master Yoda travels to the ice world Ilum to save two imperiled Jedi, the amphibious Kit Fisto leads an aquatic regiment of clone troopers on the waterworld Mon Calamari, and a team of Jedi encounter the dreaded General Grievous on Hypori.
In Volume Two, Obi-Wan sends his team of ARC troopers to Hypori to rescue the Jedi from Grievous. The Republic is desperate, and after much consideration, the Jedi Council decides to promote Anakin to the rank of Jedi Knight. The series then jumps ahead to nearly the end of the war, when Anakin has become a more powerful Jedi. He aids Obi-Wan in capturing a fortress, saves Saesee Tiin in space battle, and rescues Jedi from crab droids.
Anakin and Obi-Wan are assigned to search for Grievous on the planet Nelvaan, but instead end up liberating a group of Nelvaanians who had been enslaved and mutated by the Separatist Techno Union. While rescuing the Nelvaan warriors, Anakin sees a cryptic vision of his eventual transformation into Darth Vader. Meanwhile, Grievous leads an assault on Coruscant and, despite the best efforts of Yoda, Windu, Shaak Ti, and others, kidnaps Palpatine for his master, Dooku. Anakin and Obi-Wan then set out to rescue the Chancellor over Coruscant, leading directly into the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.
Several attempts were made to maintain continuity with the overall saga, most notably bridging Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Anakin appears with his new lightsaber (as it appears in Episode III) after his first was destroyed in the previous film. In "Chapter 21", C-3PO makes his first appearance in gold plating and Anakin is knighted; he sends his Padawan braid to Padmé, who stores it with the necklace he gave her in The Phantom Menace.[a] In "Chapter 22", Anakin appears with the facial scar he has in Revenge of the Sith, and it is implied that Anakin and Padmé may conceive the Skywalker twins on Naboo.
The series is notable for introducing Revenge of the Sith villain General Grievous (in "Chapter 20"), although some of his personality traits had yet to be finalized. According to Tartakovsky, George Lucas initially pitched Grievous to him and his crew as "this ruthless, totally capable Jedi killer," but later developed him into "one of those old B-serial villains who does something bad ... twirls his mustache and then he runs off." The character was given a cough in Revenge of the Sith, intended to emphasize his organic nature as well as the flaws of having cyborg prosthetics. His depiction in Clone Wars lacked a cough until the concluding episode, in which Mace Windu Force-crushes the chestplate housing Grievous's internal organs; this was intended to create continuity with the film and was mentioned in its novelization. However, in the CGI The Clone Wars series (2008–2014, 2020), Grievous is depicted as having this cough all along.
Volume Two shares aspects of its storyline with the novel Labyrinth of Evil, which was created at the same time. In the series, Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate a possible base for Grievous on Nelvaan prior to returning to Coruscant, but in the novel, they pursue Count Dooku on Tythe; Dooku briefly pauses at Nelvaan when escaping to Coruscant. According to The New Essential Chronology, the events on Nelvaan occurred before those on Tythe, with the final scene of Obi-Wan and Anakin getting the message from Mace on the cruiser taking place afterwards.
Clone Wars served as a pilot for the half-hour CGI The Clone Wars.[b] The character designer for the latter series attempted to translate aspects of the character designs from the 2D series to 3D. Clone trooper Alpha from the older series was considered for the newer series, but Lucas thought too many characters had names beginning with the letter A, leading to the creation of Captain Rex. It was originally reported that the 2008 series would not supersede the continuity of the 2003 series, but following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, in 2014, it was announced that the CGI The Clone Wars would officially be considered canon, while most other spin-off works would not.[c]
The series was produced and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack, and employs a similar animation style to the latter. According to Tartakovsky, the series was developed in two weeks and created by a small crew.
Tartakovsky stated that he purposely animated C-3PO with moveable expressive eyes to pay homage to his animated appearances in The Star Wars Holiday Special and Droids. Additionally, the planet Nelvaan's name was a nod to Nelvana, the production company that produced all previous Star Wars animated series. In "Chapter 21", a Dulok appears, a species introduced in Ewoks. According to art director Paul Rudish, the Banking Clan planet of Muunilinst was designed to look like a U.S. dollar bill.
The series originally ran on Cartoon Network. In addition to being shown on television, the episodes were released online simultaneously on the Star Wars and Cartoon Network websites. It was heavily advertised by the channel, and was originally shown immediately before their popular Friday-night programming block, 'Fridays'.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||November 7, 2003||November 20, 2003|
|2||10||March 26, 2004||April 8, 2004|
|3||5||March 22, 2005||March 26, 2005|
The first season consisted of 10 episodes, lasting three minutes each. Along with the second season, it was released on DVD as Volume One.
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"Chapter 1"||November 7, 2003||101|
|Following the battle of Geonosis from Attack of the Clones, the Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. Obi-Wan Kenobi is given the task of leading the assault on Muunilinst while Anakin Skywalker gets command over the space forces. Anakin bids farewell to his secret wife, Senator Padmé Amidala.|
|2||2||"Chapter 2"||November 10, 2003||102|
|Obi-Wan's ARC troopers are shot down over the capital of Muunilinst as the assault on the Intergalactic Banking Clan's planet begins.|
|3||3||"Chapter 3"||November 11, 2003||103|
|Pinned down by droid enemy fire, the ARC troopers must make use of their specialist training to reach their target.|
|4||4||"Chapter 4"||November 12, 2003||104|
|With the battle of Muunilinst raging in space as well as on land, San Hill orders Durge and his IG-lancer droids to defend the city.|
|5||5||"Chapter 5"||November 13, 2003||105|
|On Mon Calamari, Kit Fisto and his Scuba Troopers defends the Calamari council against Manta Droid sub fighters army of the Quarren Isolation league. Mon Calamari Knights riding giant Keelkanas provide the Republic forces with back up.|
|6||6||"Chapter 6"||November 14, 2003||106|
|Count Dooku arrives on Rattatak to witness the gladiator fights at the "Cauldron". Asajj Ventress beats every opponent in the arena and claims to be a Sith.|
|7||7||"Chapter 7"||November 17, 2003||107|
|Dooku submits Asajj Ventress to a test with a lightsaber before sending her on her way to find and eliminate Anakin Skywalker.|
|8||8||"Chapter 8"||November 18, 2003||108|
|General Kenobi and his troopers mount up on speeder bikes to take on Durge and the droid forces from the Intergalactic Banking Clan.|
|9||9||"Chapter 9"||November 19, 2003||109|
|General Kenobi and the ARC Troopers capture the Banking Clan's headquarters but Durge remains in pursuit, displaying almost unstoppable regenerative powers.|
|10||10||"Chapter 10"||November 20, 2003||110|
|Anakin proves himself to be the best star fighter in the galaxy battling Geonosian fighters above Muunilinst.|
The second season consisted of 10 episodes, lasting three minutes each. Along with the first season, it was released on DVD as Volume One.
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|11||1||"Chapter 11"||March 26, 2004||201|
|Anakin chases a mysterious rogue pilot (Asajj Ventress) piloting a Geonosian fanblade starfighter and against his master's orders, pursues her into hyperspace.|
|12||2||"Chapter 12"||March 29, 2004||202|
|Young Paxi Sylo looks on as Mace Windu battles Separatist droids backed up by enormous seismic tanks on Dantooine.|
|13||3||"Chapter 13"||March 30, 2004||203|
|Having lost his lightsaber, Master Windu must take on a battalion of Super Battle Droids hand to hand.|
|14||4||"Chapter 14"||March 31, 2004||204|
|The sacred Jedi Temple on Ilum is attacked by Chameleon droids just as Luminara Unduli's padawan, Barriss Offee is completing her training.|
|15||5||"Chapter 15"||April 1, 2004||205|
|Master Yoda, traveling aboard Senator Amidala's ship, persuades Captain Typho to take a detour to Ilum in order to mount a rescue operation.|
|16||6||"Chapter 16"||April 2, 2004||206|
|Padmé, worrying about Master Yoda, is attacked by Chameleon Droids. Luckily she has C-3PO to use as a decoy.|
|17||7||"Chapter 17"||April 5, 2004||207|
|Anakin has followed Asajj Ventress to Yavin 4. Although a clone squadron has been sent after them by Obi-Wan in a Republic carrier, they prove to be no match for the Sith hopeful.|
|18||8||"Chapter 18"||April 6, 2004||208|
|Asajj Ventress leads Anakin through the jungles of Yavin 4 toward the ancient Massassi temples once inhabited by Exar Kun.|
|19||9||"Chapter 19"||April 7, 2004||209|
|Driven to the edge by Asajj Ventress, Anakin almost gives in to the Dark Side in a final bid to defeat her.|
|20||10||"Chapter 20"||April 8, 2004||210|
|The Republic has won the battle of Muunilinst, but news arrives of a new droid general hunting down Jedi on the planet Hypori. There, a group of Jedi consisting of Ki-Adi Mundi, Shaak Ti, Aayla Secura, K'Kruhk, Tarr Seirr and Sha'A Gi are driven into a corner by the formidable General Grievous.|
The third and final season consisted of five episodes, lasting 12 minutes each. These episodes were released on DVD as Volume Two.
|Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|21||1||"Chapter 21"||March 21, 2005||301|
|Captain Fordo and his ARC troopers rescue Ki-Adi-Mundi, Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti from General Grievous. The Jedi council grants Anakin Skywalker the title of Jedi Knight, after which Senator Amidala allows him the use of R2-D2 as co-pilot for his Jedi Interceptor starship.|
|22||2||"Chapter 22"||March 22, 2005||302|
|Closer to the end of the war, Anakin has become battle-scarred and leads the third army of the Republic alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi. They blow up a shield generator and capture a fortress. Meanwhile, Separatist forces move in on Outer Rim planets such as Kashyyyk, Orto and Bal'demnic. Anakin visits Padmé on Naboo, but as Darth Sidious launches his final operation, he and Obi-Wan are sent to Nelvaan, where Anakin disrupts a young native's rite of passage by defeating a giant Gorax.|
|23||3||"Chapter 23"||March 23, 2005||303|
|Coruscant is attacked by Separatist forces. Mace Windu takes to the air while Yoda rides his Kybuck to defend the city. Meanwhile, Saesee Tinn leads his troops into battle just above the planet's atmosphere. On Nelvaan, Obi-Wan volunteers Anakin to take the trial of fire.|
|24||4||"Chapter 24"||March 24, 2005||304|
|Jedi Shaak Ti, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama fight to keep Supreme Chancellor Palpatine out of General Grievous's mechanical claws. Anakin finds a hidden laboratory where the Techno Union is conducting mutation experiments on Nelvaan warriors.|
|25||5||"Chapter 25"||March 25, 2005||305|
|Shaak Ti takes a desperate stand against Grievous's Magnaguards. Anakin, surrounded by mutated Nelvaan Warriors, must destroy the geothermal crystal powering the siphon generator. Mace Windu hurries to face General Grievous, who abducts Palpatine. When Anakin and Obi-Wan learn of this, they set out on a dangerous rescue mission, leading to the opening of Revenge of the Sith.|
According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 80% of critics have given season 1 a positive review based on 5 reviews. In 2009, Clone Wars was ranked 21 on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series list. ComicBook.com writes that the series "is worth a watch for any fan of magnificent animation". In 2021, SyFy Wire's Phil Pirrello rated the series as the best Star Wars television production ever produced, writing that Tartakovsky "gave Star Wars its most dynamic visuals ever as he tackled all the Clone Wars action and conflict Lucas left out of his big-screen prequels." Pirrello continues: "[W]hat Clone Wars lacks in intricate storytelling it more than makes up for with stunning animation and stirring action scenes. The mini-episodes are bare bones by design, as Tartakovsky employs a pure visual storytelling execution ... The franchise has only taken such a bold stylistic risk this one time."
|Saturn Award for "Best Television Presentation" in the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Nominated||1 and 2||2004|
|Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)"||Won||1 and 2||2004|
|Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)"||Won||3||2005|
|Emmy Award to background key designer Justin Thompson for "Outstanding Individual in Animation"||Won||3||2005|
|Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Production"||Won||3||2006|
Both volumes were distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, making it one of the few Cartoon Network original shows not to have their Home Media releases released through Warner Home Video. Both volumes were released on Disney+ on April 2, 2021.
|Region 1||Region 2|
|Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One||March 22, 2005||May 9, 2005||1–20|
This release contains all 20 of the show's 3-minute episodes, edited together into one continuous feature with English subtitles and an optional commentary track. Extras include art galleries, behind the scenes information, and the featurette "Bridging the Saga: From Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith", the Revenge of the Sith teaser trailer: with interviews of George Lucas, Genndy Tartakovsky, and the production crew. The disc also features a glimpse of Star Wars: Clone Wars – Volume Two, an Episode III game trailer, and a playable level of the Xbox game Star Wars: Republic Commando.
|Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume Two||December 6, 2005||December 5, 2005||21–25|
This release contains all 5 of the show's 12-minute episodes, edited together into one continuous feature with English subtitles and an optional commentary track. Extras include a Revenge of the Sith movie trailer, art galleries, trailers for the Star Wars games Battlefront II and Empire at War, an Xbox demo with two levels from Battlefront II, and the Lego short film Revenge of the Brick. Also included was the featurette "Connecting the Dots", which highlighted the creative process that Genndy Tartakovsky and his team used to link Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith.
A series of Hasbro action figures was released in the years of the series' run, including four Walmart-exclusive "Commemorative DVD Collection" 3-packs (which did not include a DVD). Dark Horse Comics also published a ten-volume comic series titled Clone Wars – Adventures, which utilized the style of the 2D animated series and depicts original stories set during the era; the last issue was published in 2007.
Elements of the series, including the regenerative villain Durge,[e] are mentioned in the 2005 novelization of Revenge of the Sith. Durge will appear in an upcoming issue of the canon Marvel comic book series Doctor Aphra, as part of the Boba Fett-centric "War of the Bounty Hunters" crossover event. According to the (now-defunct) Star Wars Databank, Durge has a vendetta against Mandalorians, and extends this to the clones of Jango Fett.
Versions of the medieval-style Jedi knighting ceremony have appeared in canon works such as Star Wars Rebels and Jedi: Fallen Order.