Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series)

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Star Wars: Clone Wars
The DVD Volume One cover art for Star Wars: Clone Wars
Created by
Written by
  • Bryan Andrews
  • Mark Andrews
  • Darrick Bachman
  • Paul Rudish
  • Genndy Tartakovsky
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Voices of
Theme music composer John Williams (original)
Composer(s) James L. Venable
Paul Dinletir
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 25 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sam Register
George Lucas
  • Genndy Tartakovsky
  • Shareena Carlson (Season 3; line producer, Season 1–2)
Running time
  • Volume I: 3 minutes
  • Volume II: 12–15 minutes
Production company(s) Lucasfilm Ltd.
Cartoon Network Studios
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original release November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07) – March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)
Preceded by Star Wars: Droids
Star Wars: Ewoks
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Followed by Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: Clone Wars is an American animated microseries created by Genndy Tartakovsky, set in the Star Wars universe. Chronologically, the series fills the three-year gap between prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The show follows the actions of various characters from the Star Wars prequel trilogy; notably Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, and other Jedi Knights during the conflict, leading the clone trooper forces of the Galactic Republic against the battle droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith.

Clone Wars was produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with Lucasfilm Ltd., and was aired on Cartoon Network in 25 chapters from 2003 to 2005. The first two seasons, comprising Volume One, were produced in a two to three minute "micro" format, while season three was produced as fifteen-minute episodes making up Volume Two. Both volumes were later released on home video edited as feature-length films. Since release, it has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards.



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 Star Wars Episode II: 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 source known as the Force for a variety of purposes, 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.


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, though only through the means of fear and anger, the path to the dark side of the Force.

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.

The Volume Two storyline picks up two years after Anakin's victory over Ventress and Obi-Wan's victory on Muunilinst. With Grievous emerging to claim victories for the Separatists, the Republic is in need of more Jedi Knights. After much consideration, the Jedi Council decides to promote Anakin to a Knight. Three years later, Anakin has become a strong Jedi Knight and has helped the Republic several times, such as aiding Obi-Wan in capturing a fortress, save Saesee Tiin (Carson) from a space battle, and rescue a couple of Jedi from bigger droids. During the rest of the war, Anakin and Obi-Wan are assigned to find Grievous on the planet Nelvaan, but instead end up liberating a group of Nelvaanians who had been enslaved and mutated by the Techno Union.

Meanwhile, General 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 faces a spiritual trial that shows him becoming Darth Vader and also manages to rescue the Nelvaan warriors, though he once again draws upon his anger, then sets out with Obi-Wan to rescue the Chancellor over Coruscant. This leads into the beginning of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.


The series was produced by Genndy Tartakovsky 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 served as a executive producer in addition, he gave Genndy all the major events during the Clone Wars.


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.


Critical reception[edit]

In 2009, Clone Wars was ranked 21 on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series list.[1]

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[2] Nominated 1 and 2 2004
Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More)"[3] Won 1 and 2 2004
Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More)"[4] Won 3 2005
Emmy Award to background key designer Justin Thompson for "Outstanding Individual in Animation"[4] Won 3 2005
Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Production"[2] Won 3 2006

Home media[edit]

Chapters 1–20 of the series were released March 22, 2005, as Star Wars Clone Wars: Volume I. The episodes were edited together into one continuous feature. The set featured English subtitles, and commentary tracks on all the episodes, as well as 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 featured a glimpse of Volume II, an Episode III game trailer, and a playable level of the Xbox game Star Wars: Republic Commando.

Chapters 21–25 of the micro-series were released on December 6, 2005, as Star Wars Clone Wars: Volume II. The release was an edited together compilation of the five chapters, similar to the Volume I release. The set featured English subtitles, and commentary tracks on all the episodes. Features included 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. Volume II was released significantly later than the DVD release of Revenge of the Sith. According to Van Ling, the producer of both DVDs, the Volume II disc was released at such a late date due to an extremely tight schedule in producing the DVDs. According to, both DVDs were produced at exactly the same time, but the Clone Wars DVD could not be finished in time for the DVD release of Revenge of the Sith. Ling apologized to fans for this.


  1. ^ "IGN - 21. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)". Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series) : Awards". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars". Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  4. ^ a b "Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21-25)". Retrieved 2012-10-02. 

External links[edit]