Star Wars: Clone Wars TV Series Overview


Star Wars: Clone Wars is an American animated television micro-series set in the Star Wars universe and developed and drawn by Genndy Tartakovsky.

Produced and released between the films Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), it is amongst the first of many works to explore the conflict 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 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 Revenge of the Sith villain General Grievous.

The series aired on Cartoon Network for three seasons consisting of 25 episodes altogether from 2003 to 2005, and was the first Star Wars television series since Ewoks (1985–1986).

Its success led to it being spun off as the half-hour CGI series The Clone Wars. After The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm and the rights to the Star Wars franchise in 2012, the 2003 animated series was declared to be non-canonical and placed under the Star Wars Legends banner, although the series has since been referenced in canonical works.


Clone Wars is part of the Star Wars prequel storyline, surrounding the fall of esteemed Jedi Anakin Skywalker and his subsequent transformation into the Sith lord Darth Vader. The series begins shortly after Attack of the Clones, as the failing Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are under siege from the Separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith. As the war rages, more and more planets slip from Republic control.


The main storyline of Volume One features the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi leading an assault on the planet Muunilinst, home of the Intergalactic Banking Clan, benefactors of the Separatists wishing to break away from the Republic. His apprentice, Anakin, is personally appointed to lead the space forces by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Meanwhile, Separatist leader Count Dooku takes in the Force-sensitive Asajj Ventress as his Sith 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.

Surrounding this storyline are various battles focusing on other Jedi and their wartime exploits: Master Mace Windu faces a droid army unarmed on Dantooine, Master Yoda travels to the ice world Ilum to save two imperilled Jedi, the amphibious Kit Fisto leads an aquatic regiment of clone troopers on the waterworld Mon Calamari, and a team of Jedi encounter the dreaded General Grievous on Hypori.

Volume Two picks up at the conclusion to the Hypori battle: Obi-Wan sends his team of ARC troopers to Hypori to rescue the Jedi from Grievous. The Republic is desperate, and after much consideration, the Jedi Council decides to promote Anakin to the rank of Jedi Knight. The series then jumps ahead to nearly the end of the war, when Anakin has become a more powerful Jedi. He aids Obi-Wan in capturing a fortress, saves Saesee Tiin in space battle, and rescues Jedi from crab droids.

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 Separatist 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, 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.


Several attempts were made to maintain continuity with the overall saga, most notably bridging Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Anakin appears with his new lightsaber (as it appears in Episode III) after his first was destroyed in the previous film. In “Chapter 21”, C-3PO makes his first appearance in gold plating and Anakin is knighted; he sends his Padawan braid to Padmé, who stores it with the necklace he gave her in The Phantom Menace. It is implied that Anakin and Padmé may conceive the Skywalker twins on Naboo in “Chapter 22”.

General Grievous’ cough in Revenge of the Sith was intended to emphasise 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 finalised. To reconcile the differences between the two presentations, the Clone Wars production crew inserted a scene in “Chapter 25” of Mace Windu Force-crushing the chestplate housing Grievous’s internal organs.

Volume Two shares aspects of its storyline with the novel Labyrinth of Evil, which was created at the same time. In the series, Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate a possible base for Grievous on Nelvaan prior to returning to Coruscant, but in the novel, they pursue Count Dooku on Tythe; Dooku briefly pauses at Nelvaan when escaping to Coruscant. According to The New Essential Chronology, the events on Nelvaan occurred before those on Tythe, with the final scene of Obi-Wan and Anakin getting the message from Mace on the cruiser taking place afterwards.

Clone Wars served as a pilot for the half-hour CGI The Clone Wars. The character designer for the latter series attempted to translate aspects of the character designs from the 2D series to 3D. It was originally reported that the new series would not supersede the continuity of the 2003 series, but following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, in 2014, it was announced that 2008’s The Clone Wars was considered canon, while the 2D series went unmentioned. However, Den of Geek’s Ryan Britt notes that the final arc of The Clone Wars does not necessarily negate the final arc of the earlier series.


The series was produced and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, and employs a similar animation style to the latter. According to Tartakovsky, the series was developed in two weeks and created by a small crew.

Tartakovsky stated that he purposely animated C-3PO with moveable expressive eyes to pay homage to his animated appearances in The Star Wars Holiday Special and Droids. Additionally, the planet Nelvaan’s name was a nod to Nelvana, the production company that produced all previous Star Wars animated series. In “Chapter 21”, a Dulok appears, a species introduced in Ewoks. According to art director Paul Rudish, the Banking Clan planet of Muunilinst was designed to look like a US dollar bill.


  • Anakin Skywalker (Mat Lucas).
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor).
  • Yoda (Tom Kane).
  • Mace Windu (Terrence “T.C.” Carson).
  • C-3PO (Anthony Daniels).
  • San Hill (Corey Burton).
  • Count Dooku (Corey Burton).
  • Asajj Ventress (Grey DeLisle).
  • Palpatine / Darth Sidious (Nick Jameson).
  • Clone troopers (André Sogliuzzo).
  • Padmé Amidala (Grey DeLisle).
  • General Grievous (John DiMaggio (Seasons 2) and Richard McGonagle (Season 3)).
  • Capitain Typho (André Sogliuzzo).
  • Saesee Tiin (Terrence T.C. Carson).
  • Ki-Adi-Mundi (Daran Norris).
  • Shaak Ti (Grey DeLisle).
  • Kit Fisto (Richard McGonagle).


  • Awards & Nominations:
    • Nominated for Saturn Award for “Best Television Presentation” in the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, for seasons 01 and 02, in 2004.
    • Won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Animated Programme (for Programming One Hour or More)”, for seasons 01 and 02, in 2004.
    • Won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Animated Programme (for Programming One Hour or More)”, for season 03, in 2005.
    • Won the Emmy Award to background key designer Justin Thompson for “Outstanding Individual in Animation”, for season 03, in 2005.
    • Won the Annie Award for “Best Animated Television Production”, for season 03, in 2005.
  • A series of Hasbro action figures was released in the years of the series’ run, including four Walmart-exclusive “Commemorative DVD Collection” 3-packs (which did not include a DVD).
  • Dark Horse Comics also published a ten-volume comic series titled Clone Wars – Adventures, which utilised the style of the 2D animated series and depicts original stories set during the era; the last issue was published in 2007.

DVD Release

  • Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One:
    • Region 1: 22 March 2005, and Region 2: 09 May 2005.
    • This release contains all 20 of the show’s 3-minute episodes (Chapters 01-20), 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 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:
    • This release contains all 5 of the show’s 12-minute episodes (Chapters 21-25), 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.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Series

The first and second seasons consisted of 10 episodes, lasting three minutes each. Both seasons were released on DVD as Volume One. The third and final season consisted of five episodes, lasting 12 minutes each. These episodes were released on DVD as Volume Two.

Production & Filming Details

  • Developed By: Genndy Tartakovsky.
  • Director(s): Genndy Tartakovsky.
  • Producer(s): Brian A. Miller, Claudia Katz, George Lucas, Genndy Tartakovsky, Jennifer Pelphrey, Geraldine Symon, Sam Register, and Shareena Carlson.
  • Writer(s): Genddy Tartakovsky, Bryan Andrews, Darrick Bachman, and Paul Rudish.
  • Music: James L. Venable and Paul Dinletir.
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s): Paul Douglas.
  • Production: Lucasfilm, Cartoon Network Studios, and 20th Century Fox Television.
  • Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Television Distribution and 20th Television.
  • Release Date: 07 November 2003 to 25 March 2005.
  • Running time: 3-5 minutes (seasons 01 and 02) and 12-15 minutes (season 03).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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