|Star Wars: Clone Wars|
|No. of episodes||
Star Wars: Clone Wars is an Emmy Award–winning animated television series set in the Star Wars galaxy. The series chronicles the Clone Wars, which are fought between the Galactic Republic under Chancellor Palpatine and the Confederacy of Independent Systems under Count Dooku. Clone Wars was intended to serve as a bridge between the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith—which begin and end the war respectively.
Produced by Cartoon Network Studios, the series originally aired from 2003 to 2005 and ran for 25 episodes. The commentary tracks of the series indicate that it was, at least in part, thought of as a commercial, which helped bolster the video games, books, comics, and other licensed products sold with the Clone Wars brand. The success of Star Wars: Clone Wars, which Star Wars creator George Lucas refers to as the "pilot series," led to a second Clone Wars series—the similarly titled Star Wars: The Clone Wars—which was produced by Lucasfilm Animation and debuted in 2008.
|Season||Episodes||First airdate||Last airdate|
|One||10||November 7, 2003||November 20, 2003|
|Two||10||March 26, 2004||April 8, 2004|
|Three||5||March 21, 2005||March 25, 2005|
The series consists of twenty-five episodes, or "chapters". Seasons 1 and 2 (Volume I) are made up of three-minute installments, while Season 3 (Volume II) is made up of twelve-to-fifteen minute installments. The episodes mostly comprise energetic set-piece battles. Since much emphasis is placed on action, the story and plot is less developed than in the films. Despite this, it can be argued that the third season focuses more on Anakin's story. In respect to the animation of the series, there are many examples of design errors, simplifications, exaggerations, etc. present. This can be attributed to Genndy Tartakovsky's distinctive style, also evident in such shows as Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack.
Seasons 1 and 2, which consist of 20 chapters lasting 3 to 5 minutes each, feature one major storyline surrounded by a series of many battles. Count Dooku auditions for a bounty hunter on the planet Rattatak by pitting them against each other in a battle arena. Asajj Ventress kills every one of the bounty hunters and is sent on a mission to assassinate Anakin Skywalker. She engages him in a space battle, through the streets of Muunilinst and eventually leading him into Yavin 4, where the two engage in a lightsaber duel, Anakin emerges the victor, despite it being through means of rage and fear (feelings of a Dark Jedi). Apart from the main storyline, many battles ensue, including Mace Windu's fight on Dantooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi fighting against bounty hunter Durge and the banking clan, Kit Fisto's battle against the Quarren on Mon Calamari, the adventures on Ilum and the Battle of Hypori in which General Grievous makes his first appearance in Star Wars media.
The third and final season of Star Wars: Clone Wars, which consists of five chapters lasting 12 to 15 minutes each, gives the audience a look at Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker's adventures in the Outer Rim Territories as mentioned in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Anakin is knighted as a Jedi Knight and Coruscant comes under attack by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This then serves as a diversion for General Grievous and the droid army to sneak in and capture Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Coruscant. Season III delves deeply into, and focuses mostly on, Anakin's story and the relationship between him and Obi-Wan Kenobi, while also showing their struggles during the war. It builds up many of the events leading to Revenge of the Sith, as it takes place closer to the film's timeframe. It is also an immediate lead-in to Revenge of the Sith—the opening scene of which takes place only minutes after the end of Chapter 25. Although the Season III chapters are still action-oriented, the longer running time allowed for more dialogue between characters.
The series was directed and produced by Genndy Tartakovsky. It employs a similar animation style to Tartakovsky's previous Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory series. When executives at Cartoon Network began to consider the possibility of a new Star Wars animated series, Tartakovsky was one of their prime candidates for the job, both because they were impressed by his work on Samurai Jack and because he was a vocal Star Wars fan eager to take on such a task. According to Tartakovsky, Lucasfilm became interested in the series because action figures based on the prequel films were selling less-than-expected. Tartakovsky pitched the show as "a Clone Wars-style story with a Band of Brothers-feel to it—where it's episodes of different battles and strategies during the Clone Wars."
After Lucasfilm and Cartoon Network approved the idea, Tartakovsky produced twenty, three-minute episodes—with the story remaining basically the same throughout. The series was produced in 2-D and primarily with traditional animation techniques.
Tartakovsky revealed in his Hyperspace audio commentary on StarWars.com and on the Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume I DVD that he animated C-3PO's eyes in a way that pays homage to the animation style of Nelvana, who were the production company behind the animated segment from The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Cartoon Network held a poll to determine which of three new Jedi should be introduced in the series. The three choices were Roron Corobb, Voolvif Monn, and Foul Moudama. Voolvif Monn won the vote and was introduced in "Chapter 20." The other two choices, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama, were later introduced anyway, both of which played parts larger than Monn's. Though twenty episodes were originally planned, created and aired over two seasons, the series' success led to the greenlight of a third season consisting of five, twelve-to-fifteen minute episodes.
Release and marketing
The series ran on Cartoon Network from November 7, 2003 to March 25, 2005. It was partially meant to serve as advertising for Revenge of the Sith. In addition to being shown on television, the 25 episodes of the 2-D series were released online simultaneously at the Star Wars and Cartoon Network websites. On television, the series was heavily advertised by Cartoon Network, and was usually shown in five-minute slots immediately before many of their other popular cartoons aired of their Friday night lineup.
Star Wars: Clone Wars was released by Lucasfilm Ltd. on Region 1 DVD in two phases in 2005. Each DVD contains half of the entire series (by runtime) as edited together compilations, along with a moderate number of bonus features.
The first DVD, containing Chapters 1-20 of the micro-series, was released on March 22, 2005 – one day after the third and final season had began airing. With a total runtime of 69 minutes, the DVD was released as "Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume I". Bonus features include:
- Available subtitles: English
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Chapters 1-20 of the animated series
- Exclusive featurette: "Bridging the Saga: From Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith," including new interviews with George Lucas, Genndy Tartakovsky, and the Clone Wars production crew; also featuring a glimpse of Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two
- Behind the scenes featurette
- Director commentary
- Hyperspace commentary
- Two galleries of concept art, storyboards and sketches
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith teaser trailer
- Episode III video game trailer
- An Xbox playable game level of Star Wars: Republic Commando
- Two DVD Easter Eggs
The second DVD, containing Chapters 21-25 of the micro-series, was released on December 6, 2005 – the same day as the "family pack" re-release of the original trilogy on DVD. With a total runtime of 64 minutes, the DVD was released as "Star Wars Clone Wars: Volume II". Bonus features include:
- Available subtitles: English
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Commentary by Genndy Tartakovsky and his band of artists
- Exclusive "Connecting the Dots" featurette takes you inside the creative process that Genndy Tartakovsky and his team used to link Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith.
- Two galleries of concept art, storyboards, sketches & more!
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith launch trailer
- Star Wars: Battlefront II video game trailer
- Star Wars: Empire at War video game trailer
- Revenge of the Brick short film from LEGO
- Access a special Xbox-playable demo with two entire levels from the new Star Wars: Battlefront II video game
- One easter egg
Note that the second volume of the Clone Wars series was released significantly later than the DVD release of Revenge of the Sith. According to the producer of both DVDs, Van Ling, the Clone Wars Volume II disc was to be released at such a late date due to an extremely tight schedule in producing the DVDs. According to starwars.com, both DVDs were produced at exactly the same time, but apparently, the Clone Wars DVD could not be finished in time for the DVD of Revenge of the Sith. Ling apologized to fans for this. Evidence of the release date originally being earlier, before the Revenge of the Sith DVD release date can be seen in one of the features in the Clone Wars Volume II disc. The new disc has a feature allowing disc owners to play a demo game of the video game, Star Wars: Battlefront II. The actual game itself was released over a month before the Clone Wars disc, along with the Revenge of the Sith DVD.
Additionally, in 2005, Lucasfilm and Hasbro released a "Bonus Lightsaber Action DVD" with marked packages of the Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader toy lightsabers. In addition to other material, the DVD contained the unedited versions of Chapters 1 and 8 of the series.
The series received mostly positive critical reviews, with some reviewers and fans even believing the show to be better than the prequel trilogy it was based on. Seasons 1 and 2 won an Emmy award for "Outstanding Animated Program" in 2004. In 2005, Season 3 also won an Emmy award in the same category. Clone Wars was one of the first series released on the Internet to win an Emmy Award, due to the fact that it was released on TV and the Internet at the same time. On the Internet, it was released the same day episodes aired on StarWars.com's Hyperspace section, which is for subscribers only, and was released the next day to Cartoon Network's website and StarWars.com for non-Hyperspace members.
The cartoons were successful enough for Dark Horse to release a comics series, Clone Wars Adventures, based on the artwork and atmosphere of the show, in some cases with direct plot tie-ins. According to the "bumps" airing during commercial breaks on Adult Swim, George Lucas liked the series so much that he let Cartoon Network employees see Revenge of the Sith on May 17th, two days before the official release of the film. EW.com ranked the series 20th out of 25 of the best science-fiction films or television of the previous 25 years (1982-2007). IGN listed Clone Wars as the 21st (out of 100) greatest animated series of all 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 Achievement in Animation"||Won||3||2005|
|Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Production"||Won||3||2006|
In the series, Anakin is depicted as being knighted very early on (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 novel Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg, in which Anakin, only a few months prior to Revenge of the Sith, is sent on a mission to earn his knighthood. However, Leland Chee did confirm that there is in fact a jump in time 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 top-knot that he merely let down after being knighted.
The third season of the series is loosely based on, and shares its storyline with the novel Labyrinth of Evil. However, it was only based on early plot outlines, and therefore there are several differences/inconsistencies between the series and the novel:
- In the series, a trio of Jedi Masters made up by the Togruta Shaak Ti, the Ithorian Roron Corobb and the Talz Foul Moudama attempt to rescue Palpatine; however, in the novel, several different Jedi, led by Shaak Ti and Stass Allie, attempt to rescue the Supreme Chancellor. In the novel, four Jedi—a Human (Roth-Del Masona) a Talz (Foul Moudama), an Ithorian (Roron Corobb), and a female Twi'lek (B'ink Utrila)—are killed when they seek to protect Palpatine inside his shielded bunker.
- In the series, Mace Windu fights alongside Yoda against droids; however, in the novel, Windu fights alongside Kit Fisto on a mag-lev train against Grievous.
- In the series, Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate a possible base for Grievous on frigid Nelvaan, and Anakin goes on a spiritual journey; however, in the novel, Anakin and Obi-Wan search for traces of Darth Sidious on Tythe. Dooku only briefly pauses at Nelvaan. (This was explained by stating that their mission to Nelvaan actually happened before the novel, even before they attack Cato Neimoidia, which is their first mission in the novel. This is similar to how the episodes with Dooku meeting and training Asajj Ventress happen quite a while before Anakin and Kenobi's assault on Muunilinst.) Also, according to The New Essential Chronology, Anakin and Obi-Wan visited Nelvaan before Tythe.
Although Eeth Koth was listed as killed during the Battle of Geonosis, a Zabrak Jedi High Council member that appears in two scenes of Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume II who is officially credited as Agen Kolar was animated instead with the unmistakable likeness of Eeth Koth. It is unknown if the character was originally intended to be Eeth Koth (in ignorance of his canonical death) and then retroactively credited as Agen Kolar to avoid a continuity problem, or if the Zabrak was always intended to be Kolar and the animators accidentally used the wrong reference photographs. Although the character is canonically identified as Agen Kolar, the discrepancy of his appearance has confused some fans into believing that the character actually was Koth, coupled with the fact that Eeth Koth's death has as yet not been depicted or even directly referenced in any in-universe sources until his appearance in an episode of The Clone Wars, Grievous Intrigue.
"Chapter 20" on the Volume I DVD introduces General Grievous, and "Chapter 25" attempted to give an explanation on why he wheezes when he talks. On the film commentary for the DVD of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, John Knoll noted the reason for Grievous's cough in Revenge of the Sith was due to the Force Crush Mace Windu gave him in this series. Canonically, this should be combined with George Lucas's explanation that the General's body didn't adapt well with the cybernetics as he was an experiment for the technology perfected with Darth Vader's armor, to give the reason of Grievous's cough. The Grievous in Clone Wars is depicted as larger, far more aggressive and acrobatic than his movie counterpart. While the Grievous of the film is described as a coward and repeatedly flees until cornered, the Grievous of Star Wars: Clone Wars appears anything but, repeatedly taking on numerous Jedi single-handedly (though this inconsistency can be "explained" by stating that after Mace crushed his chest, he learned his lesson and started running from Jedi in order to avoid it happening to him again). Though the damage he suffered from Mace Windu may have largely affected his stamina and movement capability. Grievous also does not split his arms into four arms until the final chapter, but instead, on one occasion, to prevent Ki-Adi Mundi from using his lightsaber, he uses one foot to use a third lightsaber, Ki-Adi's.
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume Two
- Star Wars: Bonus Lightsaber Action DVD
- "Cartoon Guru"—Star Wars Insider 68
- "The Chosen One"—Star Wars Insider 69
- "Clone Wars Timeline"—Star Wars Insider 69
- Star Wars Insider 80
- Star Wars Insider 84
- The Art of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- The Star Wars Poster Book
- Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and references
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume Two
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 5.52 5.53 5.54 5.55 5.56 5.57 5.58 5.59 5.60 5.61 5.62 5.63 5.64 5.65 5.66 5.67 5.68 5.69 5.70 5.71 5.72 5.73 5.74 5.75 5.76 5.77 5.78
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ "Cartoon Network animator traces his path to the top"
- ↑ Total Film magazine, May 2008 issue, p. 137
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ The Sci-Fi 25
- ↑ 
- ↑ 16.0 16.1
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars - Emmys.com. Retrieved on February 27, 2012.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21-25) - Emmys.com. Retrieved on February 27, 2012.
- ↑ http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=196444&start=105
- Cartoon Network's Clone Wars site - at the Internet Archive