Created by George Lucas
First episode date 3 October 2008
Developed by Dave Filoni
Final episode date 7 March 2014
|Genre Military science fiction
Based on Star Wars by George Lucas
Written by Dave Filoni Steven Melching Katie Lucas Christian Taylor Drew Z. Greenberg Henry Gilroy Cameron Litvack Matt Michnovetz Paul Dini
Directed by Dave Filoni (supervising)
Networks Netflix, Cartoon Network, Disney XD
Cast Tom Kane, Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an American 3D CGI animated television series created by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Animation with the division Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Lucasfilm and CGCG Inc. The series debuted on the US version of Cartoon Network on October 3, 2008. It is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy during the three years between the prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the same time period as the previous 2D 2003 TV series Star Wars: Clone Wars. Each episode has a running time of 22 minutes to fill a half-hour time slot. In 2007, Star Wars creator George Lucas stated "there will be at least 100 episodes produced [about five seasons]". Dave Filoni is the supervising director of the series. Genndy Tartakovsky, director of the first Clone Wars series, was not involved with the production, but character designer Kilian Plunkett referred to the character designs from the 2D series when designing the characters for the 3D series. There is also an online comic, depicting story-snippets between the single episodes.
- Home media
- Critical response
- The Clone Wars Legacy
- Darth Maul Son of Dathomir
- Dark Disciple
- Story reels
- Crystal Crisis on Utapau
- Bad Batch
- Unproduced spin off
The first trailer for the series was released on the official Star Wars website on May 8, 2007. The series was launched with an animated feature film, which was released in theaters on August 15, 2008. Season 2 ended on April 30, 2010. Season 3 premiered on September 17, 2010, with the complete second season releasing on Blu-ray Disc and DVD October 26, 2010. Season 4 premiered on September 16, 2011 with the Complete Season 3 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD released October 18, 2011. The fourth season was released for Blu-ray Disc and DVD release on October 23, 2012. Season 5 premiered on September 29, 2012 with a new time slot of 9:30 A.M. PT/ET. Season 5 and the entire series in the "Collector's Edition" Box set were both released in October 15, 2013.
On March 11, 2013, Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be "winding down". Super RTL, a German TV network, began airing the episodes on February 15, 2014. The sixth-season episodes were made available in the U.S. for streaming on Netflix, along with the entirety of the series, beginning March 7, 2014. A project known as The Clone Wars Legacy adapted unproduced story arcs into other formats beginning in August 2014.
After viewing some of the completed footage of the early episodes on a big screen, the production team decided to weave the first few planned episodes together to form a theatrical release. Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, and Samuel L. Jackson reprised their roles as Count Dooku, C-3PO, and Mace Windu, respectively, from the live action films (although Lee and Jackson did not reprise their roles in the series).
Season 1 shows a wide variety of battles and adventures with Grievous and Dooku as the lead antagonists. Many of the episodes are stand-alone, but a common thread throughout the season is that the Republic and the Separatists attempt to convince various planets and races to side with them. In Season 2, the Sith resort to hiring bounty hunters and mercenaries to steal objects and intel or to assassinate targets for them. Meanwhile, the Jedi lead the Republic forces in an assault on the primary battle droid manufacturing facility.
The first half of both Season 3 and Season 4 are diplomatic in nature; Season 3, in particular, has many stories that take place away from the battlefield. How different races and planets are affected by the galaxy-wide war are shown, as well as how the Republic Senate can make a bigger difference than even the Jedi Council at times. The first half of Season 3 is used mainly to make the The Clone Wars series more cohesive as these first episodes created better chronology, setting themselves in and among the previous two seasons' episodes. The second half of both seasons, Anakin steps a little closer to the dark side. Meanwhile, the Sith experience turmoil among themselves.
Season 5 is unique in that it consists of 5 four-part story arcs, 3 of which center on Ahsoka's character development. Meanwhile, the Separatists gain more ground, and the story of an old villain who has returned concludes. Season 6 explores topics that are crucial in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, namely the creation of the clones and the details behind Order 66. Chancellor Palpatine gains even more power, and Yoda delves deeper into the nature of the Force.
On December 5, 2011, a full-length feature cut of one of the Season 3 trilogies of episodes (the one composed by "Nightsisters," "Monster," and "Witches of the Mist") was released for download on iTunes as an uninterrupted movie that was previously shown at selected screenings in 2010. The three episodes were written by Katie Lucas, who had previously written the Season 1 episode "Jedi Crash" as well as the Season 3 episodes "Sphere of Influence" and "Assassin." A repeat of season one aired in "decoded" episode format. Each installment contained unobtrusive text windows giving supplemental information about the characters and events playing out on screen.
At April 2005's Star Wars Celebration III, Lucas stated that "we are working on a 3-D continuation of the pilot series that was on the Cartoon Network; we probably won't start that project for another year." In July 2005, pre-production had begun on the series, according to Steve Sansweet, head of Lucasfilm fan relations. Sansweet referred to the series as "the next generation of the Star Wars saga, a cutting edge 30-minute, 3-D computer-animation series based on the Clone Wars that take place between Episode II ... and Episode III." Sansweet described the look of the new series as "a melding of Asian anime with unique 3-D animation styling." Primary production will take place at the Lucasfilm Animation facility in Singapore.
According to another statement by Sansweet, "Lucasfilm Animation will be hiring a total of about 300 digital artists and others in both California and Singapore locations to produce not only the series, but animated feature films in the years ahead." He said about the series, "to get the series underway, Lucasfilm Animation has hired key production and creative talent to lead the development of its first animation project." Sansweet has said that "a large component of the future of Star Wars and Lucasfilm is CGI animation."
Lucasfilm Ltd. and Lucasfilm Animation used Autodesk software to animate both the film and the series. The Maya 3D modeling program was used to create the highly detailed worlds, characters and creatures. Animators also reviewed designs from the original 2003 Clone Wars series when creating the animation style for the film and the new series.
Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in all seven films as well as the Star Wars Holiday Special, Star Wars radio adaptations, Star Wars: Droids and Star Wars: Clone Wars, confirmed in June 2006 that he had been contracted for the series.
In a video interview with Rob Coleman from Imagina 2007 divulged that there were 15 episodes in production, one episode was complete, he was going to direct 5 of the first 22 episodes, reaction from licensees was very positive, and that final assembly of shows is done at Skywalker Ranch.
At Lucas' March 3, 2007 appearance at the 2007 PaleyFest, Lucas revealed the series is episodic, and as such will not focus on Anakin Skywalker's story; with episodes dedicated to clone troopers and other characters. Lucas revealed further information in a fan interview, a new character named Ahsoka Tano, over 100 episodes and a possible appearance by Boba Fett. In an interview in the September 24, 2007 issue of TV Guide, Lucas confirmed that 39 episodes of the series have been completed.
On April 8, 2007, Ain't It Cool News reported that musician Eric Rigler had recorded music for the series. Rigler disclosed that each planet in the Star Wars galaxy would have its own theme music. The episode Mr. Rigler performed on was based on Bulgarian music and played on Uilleann pipes. Kevin Kiner composed the original score for each episode.
Stuart Snyder, who oversees Cartoon Network and other Turner Broadcasting System cable networks, said he became interested in the new Clone Wars series immediately upon starting the job in May 2007. Snyder flew out to San Francisco, California to screen several episodes, and told Lucas the only place he wanted to see the show was on Cartoon Network. Snyder wished to create an action/adventure block of shows on Friday night in an attempt to rejuvenate Cartoon Network. Snyder expressed confidence that the shows would help boost ratings: "You catch me at a time where I have a smile on my face because of our internal results". "I can say there's a little bit of bragging on the third quarter for us."
Seasons 6, 7 and 8 were in some form of production at the time of the show's cancellation in March 2013.
The Clone Wars premiered on October 3, 2008 at 9 p.m. on Cartoon Network. The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network is shown in a 16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio, cropped from its original aspect ratio (OAR) of 2.35:1 (as seen in the UK Sky Premiere screenings). The show began airing on Adult Swim on March 14, 2009, making the series the first Cartoon Network series to simultaneously air on both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars also aired from January 15, 2009 to March 26, 2009 on TNT. This show was the first animation aired on that channel in over a decade.
On March 11, 2013, it was announced that Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be "winding down" to focus on the Star Wars sequel trilogy and new series Star Wars Rebels.
On February 13, 2014, Netflix announced that starting on March 7, 2014 they would begin the US distribution of all five seasons of the TV series, including some previously unreleased director's cut episode versions. Netflix also released the previously unreleased "sixth season" episodes.
A Galaxy Divided was an early DVD release of the series which included the four season 1 episodes ("Ambush", "Shadow of Malevolence", "Destroy Malevolence", "Downfall of a Droid") and Clone Commandos is another, which includes episode five "Rookies" as well as episodes 19 through 21 ("Storm over Ryloth", "Innocents of Ryloth" and "Liberty on Ryloth").
Darth Maul Returns is a feature-length "director's cut" edited together from Season 4 episodes "Massacre", "Bounty", "Brothers" and "Revenge" and was initially available exclusively at Target.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a Metacritic score of 64/100 for Season 1. On July 11, 2008, television critics were shown a completed episode of the series. The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog called the footage "likely the most photo-realistic animated TV series ever produced." On August 31, 2008, a sneak peek of the new series was shown on Cartoon Network. IGN named it the 89th best animated series. They specifically praised the episodes "Rookies", "Cloak of Darkness", and "Lair of Grievous" saying that their storylines stood out as some of the best in the Star Wars expanded universe.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars became the most-watched series premiere in Cartoon Network history. The series averaged 3 million total viewers in its debut, according to Nielsen Media Research. Cartoon Network said the Star Wars spin off ranked as the number one channel among all major animated networks in the time slot among total viewers (the largest in the demographic for any premiere telecast of an original Cartoon series). On July 23, 2010, at the San Diego Comic-Con, Craig Glenday, editor of the Guinness World Records, presented Star Wars: The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni, CG supervisor Joel Aron, and lead designer Kilian Plunkett a certificate proclaiming the cartoon series "the highest rated sci-fi animation currently on television". In 2014, WatchMojo.com ranked Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the seventh best cartoon to have gotten cancelled. Tech Times said that, "while the Star Wars prequel films fail to make audiences care about characters like Anakin Skywalker, The Clone Wars succeeds."
The Clone Wars Legacy
At the time of cancellation in March 2013, 65 episodes were still in development. Thirteen of these episodes were finished to become part of Season 6: The Lost Missions, but there were still additional arcs that were never released. In September 2014, StarWars.com released details of three story arcs from the unfinished episodes.
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir
A four-episode arc continued the story of Darth Maul following the events from the season 5 episode "The Lawless". The story gave reason as to why Darth Maul was resurrected in the season 4 episode "Brothers". The four episodes were titled: '"The Enemy Of My Enemy", "A Tale Of Two Apprentices", "Proxy War", and "Showdown On Dathomir'". The arc was adapted into a four-part comic book, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, which debuted in May 2014.
An 8-episode arc with Asajj Ventress and Jedi Quinlan Vos has been adapted into a novel by Christie Golden titled Dark Disciple, released on July 7, 2015. The eight episodes were titled: Lethal Alliance, The Mission, Conspirators, Dark Disciple, Saving Vos, Part I, Saving Vos, Part II, Traitor and The Path.
Two arcs consisting each of 4 episodes were released on the official Star Wars website for free in the form of complete animatics, albeit with unfinished animation as those episodes only went through the earliest stages of production, both were fully voiced by the cast.
Crystal Crisis on Utapau
In September 2014, four unfinished episodes were released on Star Wars' official website. The four episodes released were titled: A Death On Utapau, In Search Of The Crystal, Crystal Crisis and The Big Bang. The arc took place on Utapau with Obi-Wan and Anakin investigating an arms deal involving the Separatists and a Kyber crystal. The arc also dealt with Anakin's feelings after the disappearance of Ahsoka.
The unfinished animatics for Bad Batch, a four-episode arc, were screened at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California on April 17, 2015. Scripted by Brent Friedman, it is a four-part story arc focusing on a ragtag unit of clone commandos of the same name. The arc was subsequently released on StarWars.com for free shortly after on April 29, 2015. The four episodes were titled: The Bad Batch, A Distant Echo, On The Wings Of Keeradaks, and Unfinished Business.
Seven video games have been released, which are based on the style and character designs of the series.
Characters and/or locations from the show have also appeared in the following Star Wars games listed below:
In November 2016, Pablo Hidalgo from the Lucasfilm story group revealed that the "young padawans" arc from Season 5 was intended to be aired separately from The Clone Wars, as the pilot for a spin-off show that never materialized.