Remembering the 2003 “Star Wars: Clone Wars” Series


Everybody knows the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series right? The show that launched in 2008 on Cartoon Network and was considered a revival for Star Wars popularity at the time and helped add to the Prequel Trilogy?

The series headed up by Dave Filoni was no small task, creating a number of new characters and stories that helped enrich the lore, filling in the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. But did you know that this was Not the First time this particular point in time was explored?

Just after Attack of the Clones had premiered in 2002, George Lucas approached Genndy Tartakovski, the creator of shows like Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, to helm a “Micro-Series” for Cartoon Network called Star Wars: Clone Wars. The art style was even lifted from Samurai Jack to give it a comic book aesthetic. 

If the Phrase “Micro-Series” doesn’t sound familiar, it means a series where episodes run for 3 to 5 minutes long, that was the chosen format for the show. The show ran for a total of 3 Seasons. Seasons 1 and 2 consisted of 10 three – minute episodes while Season 3 consisted of 5 twelve – minute episodes.

The story started almost immediate after Attack of the Clones, following Padawan Anakin Skywalker as he was just recently married to Padme and dealing with his new robotic arm. We follow Obi-Wan as he leads an assault against a heavily fortified city, see bits and pieces of the war from other Jedi like Kit Fisto and Luminara, but also we get the debut of popular Star Wars villain Asajj Ventress as Count Douku’s Assassin.

She is sent on a mission to kill Anakin but fails, her encounter was even referenced in the 2008 Clone Wars Film connecting the two shows.

Season 3 began with Anakin Skywalker becoming Knighted by the Jedi Council, now giving us his look we are so used to seeing with the longer hair and even giving us an origin of his facial scar.

Obi-Wan also goes through a costume change and we see the phase II Clone Troopers. If the continuity for the two Clone Wars shows would could try and pinpoint when Anakin would supposedly train Ashoka. We would also see the debut of General Grevious who was portrayed as more vicious and less comical in his film version, we even get to see the origin of his cough and even see the battle that abducted Chancellor Palpatine at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.

Sadly this series is considered part of the “Legends” category, despite a number of “firsts” and callbacks from the 2008 series. Even the 2008 show’s art design was modeled after the 2003 show. The series was released on DVD with Seasons 1 and 2 being collected as “Volume One” and edited into a full movie while Season 3 was collected as “Volume Two” and edited into a film.

The show has stellar animation due to the creative team behind it and we may have them to thank for giving the 2008 series a lot to work with when they made their show. I honestly do wish there was a way to rework the series into official canon, but that would be tricky, especially since the 2003 series already has a difficulty keeping track of its own continuity. 

Do you remember the 2003 Series? If yes what did you like about it the most?

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