January 4, 2013

Happy 100th Episode, Clone Wars!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars hits an important milestone tomorrow: the 100th episode.

Besides being a neat, round number and just being awesome, it has a greater significance. You might have noticed that seasons one and two of the series have entered syndication. Shows typically can't do that unless they cross the 100 episode milestone.

It's been a joy to watch this series change and evolve every year. Each season surpasses the last in terms of impact, effects, visuals, assets, and story. If I could ask one thing of anyone who likes Star Wars, I'd ask them to check out this series. Even though it occasionally stumbles (and what series doesn't), it's worth every minute you invest in watching.

I would not be the Star Wars fan I am today without The Clone Wars.

The saga was near and dear to me before 2008, but the animated series pushed me over the edge. Just the idea that the galaxy and history was so much greater than what I'd seen in the films and that watching characters like Anakin Skywalker gain depth and background as the episodes rolled forward - somehow this was the shiny ring that made me jump into the river.

Yoda's remarks that "the shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun, the Clone War has," always intrigued me and seeing more of that period, getting to know the soldiers, learning about the ins and outs of war and how it shaped the universe and the Jedi order was a reward beyond imagining for this fan.

The Clone Wars has filled in gaps and made the prequels richer for me. They've changed my opinion about Padmé Amidala. They've showcased a new female hero and role model for kids with Ahsoka Tano. They've resurrected Darth Maul and made it believable. They're showing how Anakin falls to the dark side, and it's not with one reckless leap. You see the bad pile up in small slights, betrayals, and manipulations, and it hurts because you know how it ends. They've shown how Palpatine plays everyone around him like instruments. They've given the clones voices and personalities and opened our eyes to the struggles of the soldiers fighting this ongoing war. They've created memorable characters and revealed new information about characters we already knew.

On top of the fantastic stories, everyone who works on this show does an amazing job. The voice actors impress the heck out of me with their range and nuance. The writers amaze me with what they pull out of their hats. The animators and lighting and FX folks just blow me away. I've been fortunate enough to see a handful of episodes on the big screen, and that's where the series belongs. 'Cause wow, is it gorgeous. The episode directors and supervising director Dave Filoni do a wonderful job of showing everything in the best way and managing the countless threads that have to be knit together to make each episode successful.

Everyone who works on this series in any way deserves a toast. Here's to all of you, and thanks for taking fans on such an entertaining ride.

To commemorate the occasion, the folks at Lucasfilm have cut together a celebration video. Relive some of your favorite moments from the series and get a peek at what's ahead for season five.


  1. I've been mostly against The Clone Wars (mostly due to how they play overly fast and loose with continuity), but this post and that video have persuaded me to at least give it a shot.

    Question -- about how long in would you expect someone new to the series to get hooked, if indeed they were ever going to?

    1. It gets progressively better over the seasons on all levels, but if you aren't sold by the middle of season 1 it probably won't be your thing.
      In my opinion, the only real rough patch it hit was in the beginning of season three. There's a stretch that focuses on the politics of war, and it gets a little sleepy.

    2. Thanks for that. I made it through the first two episodes and didn't burst into flames, so there's that. I still have some issues with the concept (and now that I've seen it, with the execution), but it seems interesting enough to pursue. Thank you for the illuminating post -- I should probably track down the Clone Wars movie I skipped...

    3. Actually, you can skip the movie. It's not fantastic.

    4. Haha I shall then. And I appreciate the heads up, because that could have really brought down my anticipation for the series :)

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