Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series)

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Star Wars: Clone Wars
CloneWarslogo.JPG
Cover art for the first volume of Star Wars: Clone Wars
Genre
Created by Genndy Tartakovsky
Based on
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Voices of
Theme music composer John Williams
Composer(s)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 25 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Genndy Tartakovsky
  • Shareena Carlson
Running time
  • Season 1: 3 minutes
  • Season 2: 3 minutes
  • Season 3: 12–15 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor
Release
Original network Cartoon Network
Original release November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07) – March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)

Star Wars: Clone Wars (sometimes referred to as Tartakovsky's Clone Wars) is an American animated television miniseries created, directed, produced and co-written by Genndy Tartakovsky, set in the Star Wars universe. Produced and released between the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it is the first of many works to explore the conflict set between the two known as the Clone Wars, and directly leads to the events of Revenge of the Sith. The show follows the actions of various characters from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, notably Jedi Knights and clone troopers, in their war against the battle droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith. The series is notable for introducing the character of General Grievous to the Star Wars universe.

The series aired on Cartoon Network for three seasons consisting of 25 episodes from 2003 to 2005, and was the first Star Wars television series since Star Wars: Ewoks in 1986. The first two seasons of Clone Wars, known together as "Volume One", were produced in a two- to three-minute "micro" format, while season three consisted of five fifteen-minute episodes making up "Volume Two". Both volumes were later released on home video edited as feature-length films, since release, the series has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program twice for both of its volumes.

The success of Star Wars: Clone Wars, which Star Wars creator George Lucas referred to as the "pilot series," led to a second Clone Wars series — the CGI-animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars — which was produced by Lucasfilm Animation and ran from 2008 to 2014 [1][2][3].

Plot[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Star Wars: Clone Wars is part of the Star Wars prequel storyline, surrounding the fall of esteemed Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and his subsequent transformation into the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The series begins in the year 22 BBY, a few months following Attack of the Clones, the Clone Wars have just begun, with the failing Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order under siege from the Confederacy of Independent Systems wishing to secede from Galactic society with the help of the Sith. As the war rages, more and more planets slip from Republic control. Both the Jedi and the Sith use a metaphysical power known as the Force, but in different manners: the Jedi draw on the "light" side which is fueled by selflessness and compassion, while the Sith draw on the "dark" side which is fueled by primal urges such as greed and hate.

Synopsis[edit]

The main storyline of Volume One features the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) being assigned to lead an assault on the planet Muunilinst, home of the Intergalactic Banking Clan, benefactors of the Confederacy of Independent Systems wishing to break away from the Galactic Republic. His apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Mat Lucas), is personally appointed to lead the space forces by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Nick Jameson), the secret alter ego of Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Also on Muunilinst, ARC (Advanced Recon Commando) Captain Fordo (André Sogliuzzo) leads more clone troopers on an assault. Meanwhile, Separatist leader Count Dooku (Corey Burton) takes in the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress (Grey DeLisle) as his 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, which is considered a path to the dark side.

Surrounding this storyline are various battles focusing on other Jedi and their wartime exploits: Jedi Master Mace Windu (T.C. Carson) faces an entire droid army unarmed on Dantooine; Grand Master Yoda (Tom Kane) travels to the ice world Ilum in order to save two imperiled Jedi Knights; the amphibious Kit Fisto (Richard McGonagle) leads an aquatic regiment of clone troopers on the waterworld Mon Calamari; and a team of Jedi encounter the dreaded General Grievous (John DiMaggio in season 2; McGonagle in season 3) on Hypori.

Volume Two picks up at the conclusion to the Hypori battle, where Obi-Wan sends his team of ARC troopers to Hypori to rescue the Jedi from Grievous, the storyline then jumps ahead two years later; with Grievous having claimed numerous victories for the Separatists, the Republic is in need of more Jedi Knights, and after much consideration, the Jedi Council decides to promote Anakin to a Knight. Anakin has become a strong Jedi Knight and has helped the Republic several times, such as aiding Obi-Wan in capturing a fortress on Bomis Koori IV, saving Saesee Tiin (Carson) from a space battle, and rescuing three Jedi from LM-432 crab droids.

Six months later, 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 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 (DeLisle) 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.

Continuity[edit]

In the series, Anakin is depicted as being knighted seemingly early on in the war (while his hair is still short) as a response to a shortage of Jedi Knights, and believing that Anakin was long overdue for knighthood, this seemingly conflicts with the EU novel Jedi Trial, in which Anakin, only six months prior to Revenge of the Sith, is sent on a mission to earn his knighthood. However, Leland Chee confirmed that there is in fact a two-year timejump between the conclusion of the Hypori battle and the Jedi Council scenes leading up to Anakin's knighting, claiming Anakin's hair was in a topknot that he merely let down after being knighted.[4]

Volume Two was loosely based on, and shares its storyline with the EU novel Labyrinth of Evil. However, as it was only based on a rough draft of the novel, there are several inconsistencies between the two works, such as the finer details of the Battle of Coruscant and where Anakin and Obi-Wan were located prior to returning to Coruscant; in the series, they investigate a possible base for Grievous on Nelvaan, but in the novel, they pursue Count Dooku on Tythe (Dooku only briefly pauses at Nelvaan when escaping to Coruscant). The New Essential Chronology retconned this by stating that the Nelvaan events occurred before Tythe,[5] with the final scene of Obi-Wan and Anakin getting the message from Mace on the cruiser taking place after Tythe.

General Grievous' asthmatic cough in Revenge of the Sith was intended to emphasize his organic nature as well as the flaws of having cyborg prosthetics. Grievous had previously appeared in Clone Wars before many of his personality traits had been finalized. To reconcile the differences between the two presentations, the Clone Wars production crew inserted a scene in "Chapter 25" of Mace Windu Force-crushing Grievous's chestplate housing his internal organs, as the general makes a desperate escape with Palpatine.[6][7]

Production[edit]

The series was produced by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack, and employs a similar animation style to Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack. Tartakovsky revealed in his Hyperspace commentary tracks on the official Star Wars website and on the Volume I DVD that he purposely animated C-3PO with moveable expressive eyes to pay homage to the animators of and the animation style of Nelvana, the production company behind the animated segment from Star Wars Holiday Special and the 1980s Droids cartoon series. George Lucas, who inspired the Clone Wars television series and served as an executive producer on the series, gave Tartakovsky all the major events during the Clone Wars.

Broadcast[edit]

The pilot series, produced primarily with traditional animation, originally ran on Cartoon Network; in addition to being shown on television, the episodes were released online simultaneously at the Star Wars and Cartoon Network websites. The series was heavily advertised by Cartoon Network, and was originally shown immediately before their popular Friday night programming block Fridays.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07) November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20)
2 10 March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26) April 8, 2004 (2004-04-08)
3 5 March 21, 2005 (2005-03-21) March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2003)[edit]

Season 1 consisted of 10 episodes, lasting 3 minutes each, these episodes were released on DVD together with those from the second season as Volume One.

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
1 1 "Chapter 1" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07) 101
Four months after the battle of Geonosis, 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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 10, 2003 (2003-11-10) 103
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 11, 2003 (2003-11-11) 102
Pinned down by droid enemy fire, the ARC troopers must make use of their specialist training to reach their target.
4 4 "Chapter 4" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 12, 2003 (2003-11-12) 107
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 13, 2003 (2003-11-13) 104
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 14, 2003 (2003-11-14) 105
Count Dooku arrives on Rattatak to witness the gladiator fights at the "Cauldron". A force sensitive woman beats every opponent in the Arena and claims to be a Sith.
7 7 "Chapter 7" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 17, 2003 (2003-11-17) 108
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 18, 2003 (2003-11-18) 106
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 19, 2003 (2003-11-19) 110
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20) 111
Anakin proves himself to be the best star fighter in the galaxy battling Geonosian fighters above Muunilinst.

Season 2 (2004)[edit]

Season 2 consisted of 10 episodes, lasting 3 minutes each, these episodes were released on DVD together with those from the first season as Volume One.

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
11 1 "Chapter 11" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26) 201a
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 29, 2004 (2004-03-29) 201b
Young Paxi Sylo looks on as Mace Windu battles Separatist droids backed up by enormous seismic tanks on Dantooine.
13 3 "Chapter 13" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 30, 2004 (2004-03-30) 203
Having lost his lightsaber, Master Windu must take on a battalion of Super Battle Droids hand to hand.
14 4 "Chapter 14" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 31, 2004 (2004-03-31) 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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 1, 2004 (2004-04-01) 202
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 2, 2004 (2004-04-02) 205
Padmé, worrying about Master Yoda, is attacked by Chameleon Droids. Luckily she has C-3PO to use as a decoy.
17 7 "Chapter 17" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 5, 2004 (2004-04-05) 208
Anakin has followed Asajj Ventress to Yavin IV. 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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 6, 2004 (2004-04-06) 206
Ventress leads Anakin through the jungles of Yavin IV towards the ancient Massassi temples once inhabited by Exar Kun.
19 9 "Chapter 19" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 7, 2004 (2004-04-07) 207
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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA April 8, 2004 (2004-04-08) 209
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.

Season 3 (2005)[edit]

Season 3 consisted of 5 episodes, lasting 12 minutes each, these episodes were released on DVD as Volume Two.

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
21 1 "Chapter 21" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 21, 2005 (2005-03-21) 301
Captain Fordo and his ARC troopers rescue Ki Adi Mundi, Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti from Grievous. The Jedi council grants Anakin Skywalker the title of Jedi Knight, after which Senator Amidala allows him the use of R2D2 as co-pilot for his Jedi Interceptor starship.
22 2 "Chapter 22" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 22, 2005 (2005-03-22) 303
Leading the third army of the Republic, General Kenobi and Commander Skywalker blow up a shield generator on Bomis Korri IV. Meanwhile, Separatist forces move in on Outer Rim planets such as Kashyyyk, Orto and Bal'demnic, as Darth Sidious launches his final operation, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to Nelvaan, where young Skywalker disrupts a young native's rite of passage by defeating a giant Horax.
23 3 "Chapter 23" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 23, 2005 (2005-03-23) 302
Coruscant is attacked by Separatists 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" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 24, 2005 (2005-03-24) 304
Jedi Shaak Ti, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama fight to keep Supreme Chancellor Palpatine out of General Grievous' mechanical claws. Anakin finds a hidden laboratory where the Techno Union is conducting mutation experiments on Nelvaan warriors.
25 5 "Chapter 25" Genndy Tartakovsky TBA March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25) 305
Shaak Ti takes a desperate stand against Grievous' 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 into...

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

In 2009, Clone Wars was ranked 21 on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series list.[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Type Season(s) Year
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)"[9] Won 1 and 2 2004
Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More)"[10] Won 3 2005
Emmy Award to background key designer Justin Thompson for "Outstanding Individual in Animation"[10] Won 3 2005
Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Production" Won 3 2006

Home media[edit]

Both volumes were distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

DVD releases[edit]

Title Release date Chapters
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 Clone Wars 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ McMilian, Graeme (April 25, 2014). "Lucasfilm Unveils New Plans for Star Wars Expanded Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Disney and Random House announce relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction line". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ Chee, Leland Y. (2005-03-29). "Star Wars: Message Boards: EU Leadup to Revenge of the Sith". StarWars.com Message Boards. StarWars.com. Archived from the original (Online forum) on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  5. ^ The New Essential Chronology
  6. ^ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett, 2005.
  7. ^ Clone Wars: Connecting the Dots featurette. Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two DVD, 2005.
  8. ^ "21. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series)". IGN. 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  10. ^ a b "Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21-25)". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 

External links[edit]