Star Wars: Clone Wars is an animated television series that chronicles the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Produced by Cartoon Network Studios, the series originally aired from 2003 to 2005. It 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. The series consists of twenty-five 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 success of Star Wars: Clone Wars led to a second Clone Wars series—the similarly titled Star Wars: The Clone Wars—which was produced by Lucasfilm Animation and ran from 2008 to 2014.
While finishing work on the animated series Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky was asked to produce a series of one-minute shorts for Lucasfilm, based on the Clone Wars. He agreed, but only if the runtimes could be extended to 3-to-5 minutes. Tartakovsky pitched the show as having "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. According to Tartakovsky, Lucasfilm became interested in the series because action figures based on the prequel films had been selling less-than-expected.
The series was produced in 2-D and primarily with traditional animation techniques. Tartakovsky revealed in his Hyperspace audio commentary that he animated C-3PO's eyes in a way that pays homage to the animation style of Nelvana, who produced the Droids and Ewoks series and the The Star Wars Holiday Special's animated segment—all of which he had grown up with as a child.
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".[source?] 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.
Star Wars: Clone Wars 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 on StarWars.com and the Cartoon Network website. 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.[source?] In an act of cross-promotion, Cartoon Network ran a Star Wars contest involving the 2004 original trilogy DVDs. A PhotoComic adaptation of the entire series was released on May 21, 2008.
The series was released on Region 1 DVD in two phases in 2005. 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 One. 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 Two. Chapters 1 and 8 were also included on a "Bonus Lightsaber Action DVD" that was packaged with Hasbro's Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader toy lightsabers.
Clone Wars was one of the first online series to win an Emmy Award, due to the fact that it was released on television and the internet simultaneously. 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.[source?] Seasons one and two won an Emmy award for "Outstanding Animated Program" in 2004, and season three won in 2005 for the same category. Background key designer Justin Thompson also won in "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" for his work on season three. The series was also a nominee and winner, respectively, of the 32nd and 33rd Annie Awards for "Best Animated Television Production".
The series was successful enough for Dark Horse to release a comic book series 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.[source?] 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.
|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|
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume Two
- Star Wars: Bonus Lightsaber Action DVD