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Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7: Release date, plot and possible spoilers

#CloneWarsSaved, but what does that mean on the 10th anniversary of the movie's release?

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The orange clone trooper helmets seen on the teaser poster for the new episodes of The Clone Wars are inversions of Ahsoka Tano's markings.

Lucasfilm

At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, we learned Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning with 12 all new episodes on Disney's upcoming streaming service.

That service is scheduled to arrive in late 2019 -- the exact date hasn't been announced -- and The Clone Wars should be available on day one.

With Aug. 15 marking the 10th anniversary of the movie's theatrical release, so let's take a look at what we know about the revival so far.

What's Star Wars: The Clone Wars?

The Clone Wars is a CGI animated series set between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It revealed 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 theatrically released movie of the same name on Aug. 15 in 2008, then five seasons of 108 episodes that aired until 2013. The series was cancelled 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, and became one of the franchise's most beloved characters despite never appearing in a live-action movie.

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.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano will return in the new episodes of The Clone Wars.

Lucasfilm

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 Darth 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, Darth Sidious, and escaped in the Son of Dathomir comics.

What we know about season 7

The 10th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 surprised fans with a trailer and poster for the new season.

The presence of the Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze (seen as a hologram with Ahsoka) suggests this exchange will lead into the Siege of Mandalore, one of the final battles of the Clone Wars, which writer Matt Michnovetz said was intended to be the climax of the eighth and final season.

Executive Producer Dave Filoni knows fans will examine the trailer closely, and told IGN he tailored it to fuel speculation.

"It's four shots, really, and there's a lot in those four shots that I put in there specifically for people to decrypt over the next however-long-it-is until this thing is out," he said.

We reached out to Lucasfilm, but it isn't confirming anything beyond what we've seen in the trailer. Expect further details to come out of convention panels between now and the new season's release.

What about the cast?

We know from the trailer some actors will return, but an official list has yet to be announced.

What we know about 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.

More story arcs we're aware of

We don't know how long the Siege of Mandalore will last, but it's unlikely it will be 12 episodes.

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It'd be very easy for Lucasfilm to fill out the rest of the season by giving us finished versions of two unaired four-episode arcs, Crystal Crisis on Utapau and The Bad Batch, which are both available online as incomplete story reels.

That'd be logical (especially since The Bad Batch introduces Hunter), but not very exciting. The shot of Anakin, Rex and Hunter walking out of the hangar is nearly identical to one from A Distant Echo, the second episode from the Bad Batch arc.

There are several other four-episode arcs we're aware of, including one focused on Ahsoka's life after she left the Jedi Order. She gets caught up in the galaxy's seedy underworld, but must be careful about using her Jedi abilities lest she make herself a target.

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.

Given Ahsoka's popularity, it's highly likely these will be used to make up the remainder of the upcoming season.

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Cad Bane, a bounty hunter who regularly battled the Jedi in The Clone Wars, was going to team up with Boba Fett in one of the unused arcs.

Lucasfilm

Beyond these Ahsoka arcs, another 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. Padme Amidala and Anakin returning to the water world of Mon Calamari as Padme works to end Chancellor Palpatine's extended term of office.

That's all we know about the unused Clone Wars material, but we'll update this guide as more details come in.

First published on Aug. 10 at 12:18 p.m. PT.

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