Come to an end, The Clone Wars did, on May 4. The beloved Star Wars CGI animated series got 12 new episodes on Disney Plus, with the last episode -- "Victory and Death" -- landing on Monday. The show's final arc ran alongside the events of Revenge of the Sith, when the Jedi-killing Order 66 was triggered by Darth Sidious.
All 12 episodes are available on Disney Plus now, and each set of four make up distinct arcs. I've recapped each one.
- The Bad Batch
- Distant Echo
- On the Wings of Keeradaks
- Unfinished Business
- Gone With a Trace
- Deal No Deal
- Dangerous Debt
- Together Again
- Old Friends Not Forgotten
- The Phantom Apprentice
- Victory and Death"
The finale will hit Disney Plus on May 4 (Star Wars Day), along with The Rise of Skywalker and the first episode of a documentary series on The Mandalorian.
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Previous seasons of the show are available on the service, so you can jump in right now. The Mandalorian, which wrapped up its first season back in December, is set decades after The Clone Wars and ties into the events of the show.
What's Star Wars: The Clone Wars?
This series is set between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, revealing the intergalactic conflict Obi-Wan Kenobi first mentioned in 1977's A New Hope .
The show's named after the clone troopers, which were created from the DNA of bounty hunter Jango Fett and serve the Galactic Republic in its battle against the Separatists.
The Clone Wars started off with a theatrically released movie of the same name on Aug. 15, 2008, then five seasons of 108 episodes that aired until 2013. The series was canceled that year, in the wake of Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, but a sixth season, known as The Lost Missions, gave us an additional 13 episodes in 2014.
The show's best known for introducing Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's Padawan, who "represented equality," according to her voice actress Ashley Eckstein. She became one of the franchise's most beloved characters despite never physically appearing in a live-action movie.
The Clone Wars has amassed legions of loyal fans -- as evidenced by its packed convention panels and the success of the #BringBackCloneWars movement -- and offered a gateway into a galaxy far, far away for a new generation watching on Cartoon Network.
If you need more persuading as to why this engaging, ambitious series is essential viewing, check out our love letter to some of its greatest elements and moments.
While writer Brent Friedman said in 2014 the team had The Clone Wars planned out through the end of season 8, the cancellation resulted in several characters' fates being left unresolved.
Some of these stories have since been adapted into fun novels like Dark Disciple, excellent comic book series such as Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, and unfinished story reels that are available online. But others have not.
The most important character arcs are those of Ahsoka and Maul. The former left the Jedi Order to become a free agent after being framed and was almost sentenced to death at the end of season 5, while Maul was captured by his former master, Sidious, and escaped in the Son of Dathomir comic series.
What about the cast?
- Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka
- Matt Lanter as Anakin
- James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan
- Dee Bradley Baker as Rex, Hunter and all the clone troopers
- Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan
- Sam Witwer as Maul
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What's the deal with the Siege of Mandalore?
Filoni revealed a great deal about this arc during the Ahsoka's Untold Tales panel at the 2016 Star Wars fan convention Celebration Europe -- even making reference to the clone trooper helmets with orange markings, as seen in the poster. We learned some further details about it in E.K. Johnston's 2016 Ahsoka novel.
Essentially, it's a continuation of the Mandalore storyline that played out between seasons 2 and 5 of the show. Its impact is also seen in follow-up series Rebels and the season 1 finale of The Mandalorian.
Were any other story arcs planned?
Yes indeed, the crew behind the show revealed details of a whole bunch in the years between the show's cancellation and its revival.
Along with an unfinished version of The Bad Batch, Crystal Crisis on Utapau was released in story reel form -- so you can experience Obi-Wan and Anakin investigating the mysterious death of a Jedi Master, even if it is a bit rough.
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A storyline about Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's former apprentice, and maverick Jedi Master Quinlan Vos was adapted into the 2015 novel Dark Disciple, while the tale of Darth Maul continued in the four-issue comic miniseries Son of Dathomir.
There were a whole bunch of other episodes planned out, and these stories remain untold. Another Ahsoka arc would've brought her back in contact with the Jedi as they try to rescue Yoda from a Sith shrine that lies far beneath the Jedi Temple -- and brought her dangerously close to an encounter with Darth Sidious.
Beyond these Ahsoka episodes, another arc focused on bounty hunters Boba Fett and Cad Bane. Cad knew Boba's late father, Jango (the template for the clone army). This storyline would've taken them to Tatooine for the rescue of a child kidnapped by Tusken Raiders, and animatics were shown at Celebration Anaheim in 2015.
At the 2016 panel, Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo talked about an arc that would've taken Yoda and the Bad Batch to the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk. Matt Michnovetz noted that Chewbacca, who appeared in season 3, would've played a huge role in these episodes.
Filoni referred to an arc that was basically "Top Gun with clones," in which Rex and R2-D2 got stranded together after the clone ground forces argued with the pilots.
The Yuuzhan Vong -- an extragalactic race of invaders from the non-canon New Jedi Order novel series -- would've made a brief appearance in an arc in which a scout ship tested the Republic's defenses (hinting at plans for an invasion). Hidalgo said this was "almost like an X-Files episode."
The final unaired arc we've heard about saw Sen. Padmé Amidala and Anakin returning to the water world of Mon Calamari as Padmé works to end Chancellor Palpatine's extended term of office.
First published Aug. 10, 2018, and updated as we learn more.