Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series)

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 and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 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.[2]

Star Wars: Clone Wars
Cover art for the first volume of Star Wars: Clone Wars
Based onStar Wars by George Lucas
Developed byGenndy Tartakovsky
Story by
Directed byGenndy Tartakovsky
Voices of
Theme music composerJohn Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3[1]
No. of episodes25 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Brian A. Miller
George Lucas
  • Genndy Tartakovsky
  • Shareena Carlson (Season 3; line producer, Season 1–2)
Running time
  • Season 1–2: 3–5 minutes
  • Season 3: 12–15 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkCartoon Network
Original releaseNovember 7, 2003 (2003-11-07) –
March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)

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). The first two seasons of Clone Wars, released on DVD as "Volume One", were produced in episodes ranging from two to three minutes, while the third season consisted of five 12-minute episodes comprising "Volume Two".[2] Since its release, the series has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program for both volumes. 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.[3]


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,[4] 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[5]. 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[4] to Yavin 4, where he manages to defeat her in a lightsaber duel by drawing on his anger.[2]

Surrounding this storyline are various battles focusing on other Jedi and their wartime exploits: Master Mace Windu faces a droid army unarmed[4] on Dantooine, Master Yoda travels to the ice world Ilum to save two imperiled Jedi, the amphibious Kit Fisto leads an aquatic regiment of clone troopers on the waterworld Mon Calamari,[5] and a team of Jedi encounter the dreaded General Grievous[2] 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.[2][a] 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.[b]

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.[2] 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.[2]


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.[8] In "Chapter 21", C-3PO makes his first appearance in gold plating[9] and Anakin is knighted; he sends his Padawan braid to Padmé, who stores it with the necklace he gave her in The Phantom Menace.[c] It is implied that Anakin and Padmé may conceive the Skywalker twins on Naboo in "Chapter 22".[11]

General Grievous' cough in Revenge of the Sith was intended to emphasize 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 finalized. 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.[12][9]

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,[13] 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.[14] The character designer for the latter series attempted to translate aspects of the character designs from the 2D series to 3D.[15] It was originally reported that the new series would not supersede the continuity of the 2003 series,[16] 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.[17][14] 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.[18]


The series was produced and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack,[14] 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.[19]

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.[20] Additionally, the planet Nelvaan's name was a nod to Nelvana, the production company that produced all previous Star Wars animated series.[21] 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 U.S. dollar bill.[22]

Voice castEdit


The series originally ran on Cartoon Network. In addition to being shown on television, the episodes were released online simultaneously on the Star Wars and Cartoon Network websites. It was heavily advertised by the channel, and was originally shown immediately before their popular Friday-night programming block, 'Fridays'.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07)November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20)
210March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26)April 8, 2004 (2004-04-08)
35March 22, 2005 (2005-03-22)March 26, 2005 (2005-03-26)

Season 1 (2003)Edit

The first season consisted of 10 episodes, lasting three minutes each. Along with the second season, it was released on DVD as Volume One.

No. in
TitleOriginal air dateProd.
11"Chapter 1"November 7, 2003 (2003-11-07)101
Following the battle of Geonosis, the Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. Obi-Wan Kenobi is given the task of leading the assault on Muunilinst while Anakin Skywalker gets command over the space forces. Anakin bids farewell to his secret wife, Senator Padmé Amidala.
22"Chapter 2"November 10, 2003 (2003-11-10)103
Obi-Wan's ARC troopers are shot down over the capital of Muunilinst as the assault on the Intergalactic Banking Clan's planet begins.
33"Chapter 3"November 11, 2003 (2003-11-11)102
Pinned down by droid enemy fire, the ARC troopers must make use of their specialist training to reach their target.
44"Chapter 4"November 12, 2003 (2003-11-12)107
With the battle of Muunilinst raging in space as well as on land, San Hill orders Durge and his IG-lancer droids to defend the city.
55"Chapter 5"November 13, 2003 (2003-11-13)104
On Mon Calamari, Kit Fisto and his Scuba Troopers defends the Calamari council against Manta Droid sub fighters army of the Quarren Isolation league. Mon Calamari Knights riding giant Keelkanas provide the Republic forces with back up.[5]
66"Chapter 6"November 14, 2003 (2003-11-14)105
Count Dooku arrives on Rattatak to witness the gladiator fights at the "Cauldron". Asajj Ventress beats every opponent in the arena and claims to be a Sith.
77"Chapter 7"November 17, 2003 (2003-11-17)108
Dooku submits Asajj Ventress to a test with a lightsaber before sending her on her way to find and eliminate Anakin Skywalker.
88"Chapter 8"November 18, 2003 (2003-11-18)106
General Kenobi and his troopers mount up on speeder bikes to take on Durge and the droid forces from the Intergalactic Banking Clan.
99"Chapter 9"November 19, 2003 (2003-11-19)110
General Kenobi and the ARC Troopers capture the Banking Clan's headquarters but Durge remains in pursuit, displaying almost unstoppable regenerative powers.
1010"Chapter 10"November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20)109
Anakin proves himself to be the best star fighter in the galaxy battling Geonosian fighters above Muunilinst.[23]

Season 2 (2004)Edit

The second season consisted of 10 episodes, lasting three minutes each. Along with the first season, it was released on DVD as Volume One.

No. in
TitleOriginal air dateProd.
111"Chapter 11"March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26)[1]201
Anakin chases a mysterious rogue pilot (Asajj Ventress) piloting a Geonosian fanblade starfighter and against his master's orders, pursues her into hyperspace.
122"Chapter 12"March 29, 2004 (2004-03-29)202
Young Paxi Sylo looks on as Mace Windu battles Separatist droids backed up by enormous seismic tanks on Dantooine.
133"Chapter 13"March 30, 2004 (2004-03-30)203
Having lost his lightsaber, Master Windu must take on a battalion of Super Battle Droids hand to hand.
144"Chapter 14"March 31, 2004 (2004-03-31)204
The sacred Jedi Temple on Ilum is attacked by Chameleon droids just as Luminara Unduli's padawan, Barriss Offee is completing her training.
155"Chapter 15"April 1, 2004 (2004-04-01)202
Master Yoda, traveling aboard Senator Amidala's ship, persuades Captain Typho to take a detour to Ilum in order to mount a rescue operation.
166"Chapter 16"April 2, 2004 (2004-04-02)205
Padmé, worrying about Master Yoda, is attacked by Chameleon Droids. Luckily she has C-3PO to use as a decoy.
177"Chapter 17"April 5, 2004 (2004-04-05)208
Anakin has followed Asajj Ventress to Yavin IV. Although a clone squadron has been sent after them by Obi-Wan in a Republic carrier, they prove to be no match for the Sith hopeful.
188"Chapter 18"April 6, 2004 (2004-04-06)206
Asajj Ventress leads Anakin through the jungles of Yavin IV toward the ancient Massassi temples once inhabited by Exar Kun.
199"Chapter 19"April 7, 2004 (2004-04-07)207
Driven to the edge by Asajj Ventress, Anakin almost gives in to the Dark Side in a final bid to defeat her.
2010"Chapter 20"April 8, 2004 (2004-04-08)209
The Republic has won the battle of Muunilinst, but news arrives of a new droid general hunting down Jedi on the planet Hypori. There, a group of Jedi consisting of Ki-Adi Mundi, Shaak Ti, Aayla Secura, K'Kruhk, Tarr Seirr and Sha'A Gi are driven into a corner by the formidable General Grievous.

Season 3 (2005)Edit

The third and final season consisted of five episodes, lasting 12 minutes each. These episodes were released on DVD as Volume Two.

No. in
TitleOriginal air dateProd.
211"Chapter 21"March 21, 2005 (2005-03-21)301
Captain Fordo and his ARC troopers rescue Ki-Adi-Mundi, Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti from General Grievous. The Jedi council grants Anakin Skywalker the title of Jedi Knight, after which Senator Amidala allows him the use of R2-D2 as co-pilot for his Jedi Interceptor starship.
222"Chapter 22"March 22, 2005 (2005-03-22)303
Closer to the end of the war, Anakin has become battle-scarred and leads the third army of the Republic alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi. They blow up a shield generator and capture a fortress. Meanwhile, Separatist forces move in on Outer Rim planets such as Kashyyyk, Orto and Bal'demnic. Anakin visits Padmé on Naboo, but as Darth Sidious launches his final operation, he and Obi-Wan are sent to Nelvaan, where Anakin disrupts a young native's rite of passage by defeating a giant Gorax.
233"Chapter 23"March 23, 2005 (2005-03-23)302
Coruscant is attacked by Separatist forces. Mace Windu takes to the air while Yoda rides his Kybuck to defend the city. Meanwhile, Saesee Tinn leads his troops into battle just above the planet's atmosphere. On Nelvaan, Obi-Wan volunteers Anakin to take the trial of fire.
244"Chapter 24"March 24, 2005 (2005-03-24)304
Jedi Shaak Ti, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama fight to keep Supreme Chancellor Palpatine out of General Grievous' mechanical claws. Anakin finds a hidden laboratory where the Techno Union is conducting mutation experiments on Nelvaan warriors.
255"Chapter 25"March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)305
Shaak Ti takes a desperate stand against Grievous' Magnaguards. Anakin, surrounded by mutated Nelvaan Warriors, must destroy the geothermal crystal powering the siphon generator. Mace Windu hurries to face General Grievous, who abducts Palpatine. When Anakin and Obi-Wan learn of this, they set out on a dangerous rescue mission, leading to the opening of Revenge of the Sith.


Critical responseEdit

According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 80% of critics have given season 1 a positive review based on 5 reviews.[24] In 2009, Clone Wars was ranked 21 on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series list.[25]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Type Season(s) Year
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)"[26] Won 1 and 2 2004
Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)"[27] Won 3 2005
Emmy Award to background key designer Justin Thompson for "Outstanding Individual in Animation"[27] Won 3 2005
Annie Award for "Best Animated Television Production" Won 3 2006

Home mediaEdit

Both volumes were distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (currently 20th Century Studios Home Entertainment), making it one of the few Cartoon Network original shows not to have their Home Media releases released through Warner Home Video.

Title Release date Chapters
Region 1 Region 2
Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One March 22, 2005 May 9, 2005 1–20

This release contains all 20 of the show's 3-minute episodes, 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 December 6, 2005 December 5, 2005 21–25

This release contains all 5 of the show's 12-minute episodes, 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.


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).[28] Dark Horse Comics also published a ten-volume comic series titled Clone Wars – Adventures, which utilized the style of the 2D animated series and depicts original stories set during the era; the last issue was published in 2007.[29]



  1. ^ Anakin is a Knight by the time of the later The Clone Wars, in which he takes an apprentice.[6]
  2. ^ At this point, Anakin appears with the facial scar he has in The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith.[7]
  3. ^ In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, it is recounted that Anakin gave the braid to Padmé in person. In both the book and animation, she then assigns R2-D2 to him.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Clone Wars Season 2 on Hyperspace". March 23, 2004. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Star Wars on TV: The Original Clone Wars - Page 2". IGN. October 2, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". April 25, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Star Wars on TV: The Original Clone Wars". IGN. October 2, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Clone Wars Breakdown". IGN. November 14, 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  6. ^ Hawkings, C.J. (October 17, 2018). "How Ahsoka Tano shaped Anakin Skywalker as a character". Dork Side of the Force. FanSided. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Hill, Amelia (December 13, 2018). "How Did Anakin Skywalker Get His Scar?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "History and Origin of the Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber". Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Clone Wars: Connecting the Dots featurette. Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two DVD, 2005.
  10. ^ Stover, Matthew (2005). Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Lucas Books/Del Rey. pp. 114–15. ISBN 978-0345428844.
  11. ^ Tartakovsky, Genndy et al. (2005). Star Wars: Clone Wars – Volume Two (DVD audio commentary). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Event occurs at 15:00.
  12. ^ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett, 2005.
  13. ^ Wallace, Daniel; Anderson, Kevin J. (2005). Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology. Del Rey. pp. 81, 82. ISBN 978-0345449016.
  14. ^ a b c Cotter, Padraig (May 23, 2019). "Why Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars Isn't Canon". ScreenRant. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  15. ^ Vilmur, Pete (October 5, 2007). "Clone Wars Character Designer Kilian Plunkett". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  16. ^ Sands, Rich (February 14, 2008). "New Star Wars Series: Five Burning Questions Answered! - Celebrity and Entertainment News". TV Guide. Archived from the original on August 25, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  17. ^ "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  18. ^ Britt, Ryan (April 17, 2020). "How Star Wars: The Clone Wars Retconned the 2000s Clone Wars Series". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  19. ^ Chase, Stephanie; Opie, David (January 22, 2020). "Exclusive: Clone Wars boss Genndy Tartakovsky explains 'suspicious' similarities between his show and Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  20. ^ Audio commentary tracks on the official Star Wars website and the "Volume One" DVD
  21. ^ Tartakovsky, Genndy et al. (2005). Star Wars: Clone Wars – Volume Two (DVD audio commentary). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Event occurs at 23:00.
  22. ^ "Muunilinst". Archived from the original on September 8, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "Clone Wars Breakdown: Chapters 6-10". IGN. October 2, 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  24. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars---'The Epic Micro Series': Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  25. ^ "21. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series)". IGN. 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21-25)". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  28. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2015). Picker's Pocket Guide - Star Wars Toys: How to Pick Antiques Like A Pro. Penguin. p. 121. ISBN 9781440245886.
  29. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 10 :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Dark Horse. Retrieved October 30, 2019.

External linksEdit