Today, I’m going to talk about the acclaimed animated TV show Star Wars The Clone Wars created and produced by George Lucas and supervised by Dave Filoni.
Star Wars The Clone Wars is an animated TV show about the events that happened between ‘Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith’.
Star Wars The Clone Wars has been cancelled by Disney after its fifth season. However, 13 episodes called Bonus Content/ The Lost Missions/ Season 6 had been released recently. These 13 last episodes where in production at the time of the cancellation but got the chance to be finished. So, as you might expect, The Clone Wars did not get a real ending and some story lines haven’t been concluded. It is the case of the story of Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Ventress, Captain Rex and Darth Maul.
The show is composed of stand alone episodes and arcs. The first two seasons are more made of stand alone episodes than arcs. Season 5 and 6 are only made of arcs, plus the movie Star Wars The Clone Wars which is an arc of four episodes edited as a movie.
The Expanded Universe previously dealt with this area of the clone wars with the 2003 tv show star wars clone wars and comics but it is the Expanded Universe, it’s not Lucas’ vision of the clone wars. Star Wars is George Lucas work and Star Wars The Clone Wars is Lucas’ baby, it IS his show, a show that he produced with HIS own money. All the stories are Lucas’ stories, they all came from him. Star Wars The Clone Wars is a part of the Star Wars saga and gives us the chance to see this epic area of the clone wars.
The creative team and the cast of The Clone Wars is brilliant. The actors and actresses chosen are very talented and have done an incredible work through the years. Dee Bradley Baker had a very difficult work – he had to do the voice of the clones and each clones in the voice had to be a little bit different, in the way he talks. It is very difficult to do this but Dee Bradley Baker was able to do this job in the most amazing way. Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker, Catherine Taber, Tom Kane, Ian Abercrombie and others are the voices of characters that were already in the movies so their voices needed to seem like the characters in the movies and all the cast did a wonderful work with this. Ashley Eckstein is the voice of Ashoka Tano, Anakin’s padawan and she also did a fantastic work with Ahsoka. The cast also includes some awesome guest-stars like Jon Favreau as Pre Vizsla, Simon Pegg as Dengar, Katie Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, George Takei as Lok Durd … The creative team has brought to life breathtaking stories, George Lucas has picked up great writers, directors, editor, visual effect supervisor … for this show. Kevin Kiner did a brilliant work on the musics of the show.
Star Wars Episode I, II, III focus on Anakin Skywalker and with Star Wars The Clone Wars, it does not only focus on Anakin but it also develops some background characters like Plo Koon, Adi Gallia, Kit Fisto, Ki-Adi Mundi and much more ! This allows us to know more about these characters. For example, Plo Koon in the movies has no lines to say, we just see him sitting on the Jedi Council. With The Clone Wars, Plo Koon has many lines. We know more about him and this is one of strong positive points of the show – we get to know the background characters. All these characters are very interesting and brings a lot to the story. Even with this development of characters, there are main characters and they are four – Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Clone Captain Rex.
Anakin Skywalker’s fall happens slowly and it’s what happen in Star Wars The Clone Wars that accentuate and lead to what happens to Anakin in ‘Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith’. In the series, we see a young funny dynamic man that slowly becomes this dark young man that he is in ‘Revenge of the Sith’. Ahsoka’s departure at the end of season 5 is one of the events that affects a lot Anakin’s life. They had developed a brother-sister relationship and she has been his padawan for three years, it represents a great part of the war. Furthermore, Ahsoka’s departure is partly the Jedi Council’s fault – they didn’t believed her, they didn’t stand on her side, they chose to stand on the Chancelor’s side because they feared about the public opinion, about the appearances. Anakin was the only jedi to stand on Ahsoka’s side, plus Obi-Wan who tried to do what he could to stand on Ahsoka’s side. Obviously, this is another reason for Anakin to distrust the Jedi Council and to become closer to the Chancelor Palpatine.
This last Ahsoka’s arc like I said previously shows a weak Jedi Order. A Jedi Order who is forced to accept the Chancelor decisions about Ahsoka and cannot do anything to help her. We also see an hypocrite Jedi Order. Indeed, when Ahsoka is proved to be innocent, they want her back in the Order after expelling her, explaining this was the will of the Force. The Jedi Order has suffered from the war and the more we get into this war the more people wants it to stop and because of this, the public opinion is not on the Jedi Order side. Even some jedi disagree with the war – Barriss Offee is one of them. Barriss realized what was the real situation of the Republic and the Jedi Order – a falling Republic and a Jedi Order fighting for the dark side.
As you know the clone wars is the war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatists so this means that the clones are involved in the show and droids too. From season 1 to 3, we have the clones with their armor phase 1 ( Attack of the Clones armor ) and from season 4 to 6 we see the clones with their armor phase 2 ( Revenge of the Sith armor ). Like the background characters, the clones are developped in the show. Each clone has his own personality. Some of them even personalize their armors and their haircut. We get to know more the clones, their personalities, we know them as individuals and not as just a huge army of fresh meat. So when I watch ‘Revenge of the Sith’ now, the Order 66 part is more dramatic because I got attached to the clones too. Throughout the show, there have been awesome clone armor designs and colors. The armor of Captain Rex in phase 2 is an original creation. We find some parts of the armor phase 1 and some of the armor phase 2. Each, legion of clones has a specific color, the 501st legion of Anakin Skywalker is the blue and the 212th Attack Battalion of Obi-Wan Kenobi is orange, the shock troopers are red …
Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Plo Koon, Yoda and Palpatine get an upgrade on their model design during the show too. From the movie to season 3 episode 9, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka have gears suited more for war .
From season 3 episode 10 to the end of the series, they get a new model with new suits. Obi-Wan and Anakin have new haircuts too, their suits are like in Star Wars Episode III but with different gloves.
Plo Koon gets his update at the end of season 3.
As the clone wars is a war we see awesome and huge battles like the battle of Christophsis, Teth in the movie, Geonosis, Mon Calamari in the series … It gives us an idea of how this war is devastating and violent – on both sides there are a lot losses but on the Separatists side, the army is the droids so it’s not living losses for them.
‘Heroes on Both Sides’ that is the title of the episode 10 of season 3. This episode shows us that good guys, bad guys, heroes is just a question of point of view. The Separatists are not necessarily evil. With this episode we get to know how the Separatists work – they also have their senate chamber, they vote for things and like the Republic senators, many Separatists senators want peace (but as we know Darth Sidious/Palpatine and Count Dooku don’t want peace and do everything they can to continue the war). On both sides, people have a bad opinion of the other side but they don’t know each other. The first time Ahsoka Tano and Lux Bonteri meet is a very interesting moment and illustrates this very well. One is a jedi, one is the son of the Separatist senator. When they get to know, they become great friends and this proves that the Separatists are not so different than the Republic.
Star Wars The Clone Wars also deals with important subjects that the movies didn’t have the time to deal with and so it is an excellent point. For example, the origins of the Force and why Obi-Wan and Yoda became one with the Force. These are big questions in the Star Wars saga and Star Wars The Clone Wars answers to these important questions with the Mortis arc in season 3 and the Yoda arc in season 6. Yoda arc also deals with the mysterious death of Syfa-Dyas, the jedi who supposed to order the clone army. The Mortis arc is a very special arc, in science-fiction sagas/series there is usually a special movie/episode that is not like the others that is special and Mortis is that special arc in the Star Wars saga. This arc is one of my favorite arcs if not my favorite of all arcs. The way it deals with the Force, with the Ones family, I love it ! This arc explains a lot of things about the Force and also leaves a lot of questions about it. Star Wars The Clone Wars also deals with things surrounding the Order 66 in an arc of season 6. This arc is very dramatic with Fives death who understood what it was all about but died before Anakin and Rex believed him. It shows how much the jedi were blind and didn’t see this coming.
The Clone Wars is not only about this war but it is about what happens during this time too. The Mandalore storyline is one of these stories that are not really about the war. The first Mandalore arc is about the oppoistion between the New Mandalore which is a peaceful and pacifist people, the leader of the neutral systems and the Death Watch which is for violence and war. Each side is respectively supported by the Republic and the Separatists. The second Mandalore arc is about the corruption of the New Mandalore. The final Mandalore arc is about the fall of the New Mandalore and the Shadow Conspiracy (the Death Watch being a part of it) taking control of Mandalore. This last Mandalore arc is connected with Darth Maul storyline. Darth Maul returns in Star Wars The Clone Wars after being cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi in ‘Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace’. How can Darth Maul has survived to this ? As Palpatine says in ‘Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith’ the dark side can done things that are ”unnatural”. Surviving from being cut in half is unnatural. It is like Anakin Skywalker surviving to his fight with Obi-Wan in ‘Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith’. The dark side is very powerful and surviving from a probable death is one of them. Darth Maul storyline is like the Mandalore storyline not about the war. Maul wants to be a third party and not with the Republic or the Separatists, he also wants his revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi, his nemesis. We get to know much more Maul in the series. We saw his very evil side, his madness. His brother Savage Opress is here in contrast, he is a brute, beast but it was not his choice. In ‘Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace’ we learn that Sith can only be two. We understand with this series why. Sith love power and want to keep power so they always fear to be overthrown. As a consequence, where there is something that seems to grown in power they want to take it down. Dooku’s secret apprentice/assassin, Asajj Ventress is betrayed by Dooku as Sidious requested – indeed she was becoming more powerful in the Force, she obviously was a threat to Sidious. Darth Maul and Savage Opress create their Shadow Conspiracy – a threat to Sidious again. So Sidious has to take down the two brothers, killing Savage and keeping Maul alive for plans that are unknown as the series was canceled. The Younglings arc is another story that is not really about the war. This arc deals with younglings learning how to build a lightsaber and how to survive in this dangerous galaxy.
The Clone Wars is about politics too. This war is for politics matters as it was explained a little bit in ‘Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones’. So we have some episodes about politics. I love these episodes. The political episodes reflects the politics of today’s world – nothing really moves in politics, power, corruption, murders a la House of Cards … Star Wars Universe definitely could be our world.
Deaths of important characters are usually quite dramatic and they are a lot of death like these. The Duchess of Mandalore, Satine Kryze dies in the arms of Obi-Wan Kenobi – the man she loved – telling him ”Remember my dear Obi-Wan. I loved you always, I always will.”. The arc trooper Echo dies trying to secure a shuttle to get his group leaving the planet Lola Sayu. The defective clone 99 dies sacrifying his life for others to live. The arc trooper Fives dying in the arms of Captain Rex. Steela dying at the moment of the victory on Onderon. There are so many sad death in The Clone Wars – it is as dark as or even more dark than ‘Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith’.
George Lucas was inspired by many films and paid tribute to them in some of the episodes of the show. Here are som examples. The episode 4 of season 2 called ‘Senate Spy’ was inspired by the movie Notorious directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The ending scene of the episode 18 of season 5 called ‘The Jedi Who Knew Too Much’ when Ahsoka Tano leaps from the water pipe was inspired by a similar scene in the movie ‘The Fugitive’. The titles of the four episodes of the last Ahsoka’s arc were all named after Alfred Hitchcock films : ‘Sabotage’, ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’, ‘To Catch a Thief’ and ‘The Wrong Man’.
May The Force Be With You !
Star Wars The Clone Wars The Movie, season 1-2-3-4-5-6 are available on Blu-Ray.