Wednesday, March 17, 2021



Ask a “Star Wars” fan and they will most likely sing the praises of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the computer-animated series produced by Lucasfilm Animation, running from 2008 to 2020 on Cartoon Network, Netflix and ultimately Disney+. Its depiction of the events between prequel films “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” (with part of the final season on Disney+ even going through and beyond “Revenge”), has been treated as gospel in the new canon established by Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. But there is an older, traditionally animated take on the Clone Wars, and it will soon resurface on Disney+ as well.

As Polygon tells it, Disney+ will soon be the streaming home of the 2003 animated series “Star Wars: Clone Wars.” Note the difference with the 2007-20 “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (no “The”). This earlier cartoon spinoff of the “Star Wars” prequel films was created by legendary animator Genndy Tartakovsky, of “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Samurai Jack” fame. Running on Cartoon Network for three seasons (2003 to 2005), “Clone Wars” will now see a new lease on life after it is rereleased for streaming on Disney+ beginning next month, April 2.

“Clone Wars” shows the immediate aftermath of “Attack of the Clones” with the Jedi taking command of the Kamino Clone Troopers while Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious continues building his political power in the background. Before “Samurai Jack,” this series showcased Genndy Tartakovsky’s signature animation style, with minimal dialogue and story pushed forward by the visuals and soundtrack. Some of the storylines featured include the original introduction of Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress as well as the promotion of Anakin Skywalker from Obi-Wan’s Padawan to full-fledged Jedi Knight. Its final season would end with Anakin and Obi-Wan responding to the (staged) abduction of Palpatine from Corsucant, as seen in the opening scenes of “Revenge of the Sith.”

Although Lucasfilm Animation took cues from Tartakovsky’s series in setting up the beginning of “The Clone Wars,” eventually “Clone Wars” was removed from canon following the 2014 Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Due to this series being presented in short format, when released on DVD the mini-episodes were stitched together into two volumes. Apparently that is how “Star Wars: Clone Wars” will be present upon its “premiere” on Disney+ next month.

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