Star Wars: The Clone Wars makes wildly entertaining return

Anakin Skywalker (voice of Matt Lanter) faces off against Count Dooku (voice of Corey Burton). Photo courtesy of

After I finished watching the original Star Wars trilogy as a kid, I asked my dad if there were more. I wanted to see as much laser blasting, lightsaber fighting, and spaceship battling that I could. My dad told me there were three more movies, but that they were dumb and I shouldn’t waste my time on them. 

So I didn’t. 

Eventually, I got around to watching the prequels. I thought they were okay. The lightsaber fights were excellent, but the CGI, writing, and some parts of the stories were sub-par, with a lot of cringey scenes and dialogue. So, I turned my back on the prequel era and just kind of accepted it as “there.”

At San Diego Comic-Con in 2018, Lucasfilm announced the return of The Clone Wars, which would premiere on Disney+ in 2020. Still feeling “eh” about the prequels, I debated watching the show, but since every Star Wars fan I knew was blowing up about how excited they were, I thought “why not?” and started watching. 

And boy, was it good. 

The Clone Wars didn’t hold back. It was not a kids show. The Clone Wars was a ton of Star Wars movies packed into an animated series. It had some incredibly mature themes, like how war changes pacifists into soldiers, as well as exploring the individual identities of soldiers who, at a glance, appear to be the same. Episodes also explored lore of the prequel era, but my personal favorite episodes were the ones revolving around the thoughts of the Republic’s clone troopers and their purpose, as well as episodes exploring what it meant to be a Jedi. 

The Clone Wars depicts the years between Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, showcasing the war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatist Alliance, all while hinting at future Star Wars events like the Jedi Purge, the rise of Darth Vader, and the identity of Darth Sidious. 

Many standout Star Wars characters come to The Clone Wars, like Anakin Skywalker (voice of Matt Lanter), Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice of James Arnold Taylor), Yoda (voice of Tom Kane), and even Darth Maul (voice of Sam Witwer) a character many believed to have been dead after the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. I actually prefer these voices to the film actors, because they make some of the less-popular characters like Anakin have some more depth and make him a little less whiny. The series also features the debut of fan-favorite characters Ahsoka Tano (voice of Ashley Eckstein) and Captain Rex (voice of Dee Bradley Baker). 

Watching this show evolve was one of the coolest things I saw when first watching it. When the series first kicked off, the animation and quality were lackluster. Human features looked disproportionate and weird, and most of the renderings looked unfinished. But as the show progressed, so did the animation, gaining higher and higher quality with each season.

The Clone Wars was always an amazing show, but the recent seventh season took the quality up to a standard that wasn’t met by some of the recent theatrical releases, with the top-notch writing, story, and action many fans had felt had been missing since 2017’s The Last Jedi. The story arc revolving around the Siege of Mandalore and Order 66 got me right in the feels, watching the clones turn on a general they were so loyal to. The music choices of the Siege of Mandalore also were phenomenal, starting with similar undertones to Revenge of the Sith and mixing it with electrical noises reminiscent of the Blade Runner soundtrack. 

Ultimately, The Clone Wars delivers on a Star Wars experience like no other, bringing emotional investment from fans into the lives of these fictional characters. It blends what is normally seen as an indicator of a kids showanimationand mixes it with the more mature themes of war and loyalty from the live-action films, creating a perfect mix that is watchable for families, but still mature enough to be entertaining. If you enjoy movies about war, shows like The Mandalorian, and any of the main Star Wars saga films, then The Clone Wars is for you. 

And now, since summer is almost here, The Clone Warsand Disney+is an absolute essential for a summer that will involve a lot of social distancing and binge-watching. 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is available to stream on Disney+.

After years of waiting after its cancellation in 2014, The Clone Wars returned to give fans a proper ending to the show. Photo courtesy of

What to Watch

If you’re new to Star Wars, I recommend you go chronologically. Watch the first two films, then The Clone Wars, then the rest of the saga. If you’re well-versed in Star Wars, you can start watching any time. Some of the story arcs in the series are skippable if you want to find just the essentials. Here are some of the best episode and story arcs in the show for your convenience. My personal favorites are the Battle of Umbara, any episode with Maul, and the Siege of Mandalore.

  • Rookies (S1E5)
  • Second Battle of Geonosis (S2E5-8)
  • Mandalore Arc (S2E12-14)
  • ARC Troopers Arc (S3E1-2)
  • Savage Opress Arc (S3 E12-14)
  • Citadel Arc (S3E18-20)
  • Battle of Umbara (S4E7-10)
  • Darth Maul’s return (S4E21-22)
  • Revival (S5E1)
  • Missing in Action (S5E12)
  • Maul’s takeover of Mandalore (S5E14-16)
  • Conspiracy Arc (S6E1-4)
  • Yoda’s Journey Arc (S6E10-13)
  • Bad Batch Arc (S7E1-4)
  • Siege of Mandalore (S7E9-12)