Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an American 3D CGI animated television series created by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Animation with the division Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Lucasfilm Ltd. and CGCG Inc. The series debuted on the US-version of Cartoon Network on October 3, 2008. It is set in the fictional Star Wars galaxy, during the same time period as the previous 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars series (the three-year time period between the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). Each episode has a running time of 22 minutes, to fill a half-hour time slot. Star Wars creator George Lucas says “there will be at least 100 episodes produced [about five seasons]”. Dave Filoni is the supervising director of the series. Genndy Tartakovsky, director of the first Clone Wars series, is not involved with the production, but character designer Kilian Plunkett referred to the character designs from the 2D series when designing the characters for the 3D series. There is also an online comic, depicting story-snippets between the single episodes.
The first trailer for the series was released on the official Star Wars website on May 8, 2007. The series was launched with an animated feature film, which was released in theaters on August 15, 2008. Season 2 ended on April 30, 2010. Season 3 premiered on September 17, 2010, with the complete second season releasing on Blu-ray Disc and DVD October 26, 2010. Season 4 premiered on September 16, 2011 with the Complete Season 3 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD released October 18, 2011.
It was announced on January 16, 2012 from Supervising Director Dave Filoni, that a fifth season of The Clone Wars would return in late 2012.
The conflicts leading up to the Clone Wars begin 22 years before the events of A New Hope and end 19 years before it. During the film, The Phantom Menace, the Trade Federation, a major galactic trade organization under the control of the Neimoidians, blockades the small planet Naboo and demands the capitulation of the world by its queen, Padmé Amidala, who refuses their demands and requests help from the Galactic Republic, the main governing body of the galaxy. The Republic responds by sending two Jedi ambassadors, Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, to oversee the situation and negotiate with the Trade Federation. The Federation, wary of the Jedi and secretly taking orders from Darth Sidious, attempts to murder the Jedi, who escape to Naboo just as the Federation begins a full-scale invasion. Following a brief occupation, the Trade Federation is defeated by an alliance of the Naboo Royal Guard and the indigenous Gungan Tribes, with the help of the Jedi, and the Viceroy is forced to surrender and deactivate his droid armies.
Following these events, Jedi Master Dooku resigns from the Jedi Order and returns to his homeworld of Serenno, taking on his hereditary title of Count. However, the Jedi Council is unaware that Dooku has fallen under the control of Sith master Darth Sidious, and is secretly his new apprentice Darth Tyranus who begins to organize a separatist coalition of planets and civilizations, with the intention of seceding from the Republic. During this time, the Separatists begin forming their own armies, which primarily consist of battle droids constructed by the Trade Federation and its allies.
Ten years later, following the attempted assassination of Senator Padmé Amidala, the investigation by Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker puts them on the trail of Jango Fett, an interstellar bounty hunter. Tracking him to the world of Kamino, Obi-Wan discovers that the Kaminoans have used samples of Fett’s DNA to clone a vast army of soldiers, referred to as Clone troopers and lead by commander Cody, introduced in episode 3. The order for the soldiers had been submitted to the Kaminoans by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas (who was killed after making the order). Meanwhile, the Republic faces internal opposition as several thousand worlds publicly secede from the Galactic Republic and form the Confederacy of Independent Systems, or CIS. The Republic Senate deliberates passing the Military Creation Act, which calls for the formation of an army to serve the Republic to keep order across Republic Star Systems and prevent further secession. As deliberations stall, Shadow Senator for Naboo Jar Jar Binks proposes (after suggestion from Chancellor Sidious) that the Chancellor be granted emergency powers in order to resolve the issue of the Clone Army that is awaiting approval on Kamino, and to take decisive action to put down the rebellion. This is greeted by applause from the majority of the Senate Chamber, and Chancellor Sidious describes it as a “purely temporary measure”.
The Clone Army of the Republic first sees battle engaging the Separatist forces on Geonosis, rescuing a group of Jedi trapped by Tyranus’s droids. The Republic’s forces in this engagement are commanded by Master Yoda. The Battle of Geonosis marks the end of Attack of the Clones and the beginning of the Clone War.
During the in-universe time period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, conflict between the Republic and the Separatists increases and expands, which is chronicled in an extensive multimedia campaign for Revenge of the Sith.
Three years after the Battle of Geonosis, CIS forces under the command of the cyborg General Grievous attempt to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine from the Republic capital world of Coruscant. The Chancellor is rescued and Confederacy leader Count Dooku killed, thanks to the efforts of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.
At this point in the timeline of the Clone Wars, the Outer Rim Sieges are in full swing and numerous other battles rage across the galaxy. The Jedi are considered generals, far outranking clones in terms of battle prowess, and are spread thin across the galaxy. One of the key battles of the Outer Rim Sieges is the Battle of Utapau, depicted in Revenge of the Sith. During the battle, Obi-Wan strikes a crippling blow to the Confederacy by killing Grievous. However, the entire Battle of Utapau is a diversionary tactic, intended to remove Obi-Wan Kenobi from Anakin Skywalker’s immediate circle of influence in order for Chancellor Sidious to draw Skywalker toward the dark side of the Force.
Left behind by Obi-Wan on Coruscant, Skywalker discovers that Palpatine is also Darth Sidious, Sith leader of the Confederacy. He informs Mace Windu of this terrible truth, who promptly departs with a small group of Jedi Knights to detain the corrupt Chancellor. A furious duel ensues in Palpatine’s personal chambers, until only Windu and Palpatine are left standing. Skywalker arrives at the Chancellor’s quarters to find Palpatine at the mercy of Windu’s lightsaber. Skywalker, recoiling at the idea of executing Palpatine without trial and promised by Palpatine enough power to save his wife Padmé from death, cuts Windu’s lightsaber hand off, allowing Palpatine to defenestrate Windu. Sidious takes Skywalker as his new Sith Apprentice and gives him his Sith name Darth Vader. As a newly made Sith Lord, Skywalker has now completely fallen under the sway of the Dark Side.
Utilizing the attack by Mace Windu as a pretext, Palpatine issues Order 66, a pre-arranged military command ordering all Clone Troopers to execute their Jedi commanders in the event that the Jedi “betray” the Republic. Darth Vader leads the raid on the Jedi Temple with the 501st Clone Trooper Legion and kills all the Jedi in the Temple, including Jedi younglings living in the Temple.
With the extermination of two-thirds of the Jedi complete, Palpatine marks an end to the Galactic Republic, naming himself ruler of the Galactic Empire. During this time, Emperor Palpatine dispatches Vader to Mustafar to kill the rest of the Separatist leaders. With the elimination of the Confederacy leadership accomplished and his plan for total domination complete, Palpatine (as Darth Sidious) orders all battle droids to be shut down immediately, effectively ending the war.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: