Whenever I mention the Star Wars: The Clone Wars show to people they always ask me, “Oh I haven’t really watched it, is it good?” I feel like a lot of people just dismissed this show as a kids version of Star Wars, which is doing it a great disservice. I decided to take some time to give people a closer look at this show, because I feel that is a (mostly) outstanding entry in to the Star Wars canon.
For people who may not know, the show is about the myriad conflicts that occurred during the Clone Wars (the period between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). The main 2 characters are Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano, with many appearances by all of our favorite characters including Obi-Wan, Padme, Yoda, Mace Windu, Chancellor Palpatine, and yes Jar-Jar. The first point I’d like to address is that this is just Star Wars for kids: absolutely not true. This show is about war. It is not graphic by any means, but characters die in just about every episode and more clone troopers than anybody could count meet their maker through the course of the series. The lives of the clone soldiers weigh heavily on the commanders and Jedi conscience, and frequently through the stories characters question if they are really on the “good” side of the war.
On to to the characters. One of the things this show does (unfortunately even better than the prequel movies) is portray the characters from the Star Wars universe. I won’t go in to every character (though I happily would) but I would like to mention some that stand out. Anakin is not the same whiny teen from Episode II or angst-ridden young adult he is in Episode III. We see Skywalker frequently disregard rules to save lives (not always successfully either), and learn that just because Ahsoka is young doesn’t mean she can’t teach him too. Ahsoka Tano is a wonderful character, and probably my favorite in this show. She is intelligent enough to take the value she can from Anakin’s teachings and not the extreme emotions that he puts behind them. It is very intriguing to watch her grow and to see her make the very hard decision she makes near the end of the show. Lastly Padme Amidala is portrayed with far more believability and conviction than Natalie Portman ever achieved (Sorry Nat, love ya’). Her and Anakin have more synergy and you get to see how much of a struggle their (not so) secret relationship is.
Ok, now I will be fair and mention the Cons. One: Jar-Jar is in it, and he is exactly the same. The good side of this is that all the other characters hate the idiot just as much as we do. They make him stay on the ship and try to keep him as far away from anything important as possible. Two: the show is still targeted to kids. Most storylines have a lesson to be learned, some of the logic is ridiculous (Jedi can use the force to sense almost anything, but get snuck up on all the time), and the child characters always manage to heroically help save the day. To me, the biggest con is that the show took many things from the Star Wars EU (expanded universe) and then changed them in strange, seemingly pointless, ways. Because the Clone Wars show is now official canon for the Star Wars universe we have little perverted pieces of the old Legends canon that made their way into the new one. Such as the Sith homeworld being changed from Korriban to Morriban for no reason even though it is exactly the same for all other purposes, Jabba having a son (the Hutts changed genders for childbirth and Jabba never had a kid before he died in the EU), and Darth Maul being raised from the dead just for fan service. I know this is just me knit-picking and complaining about losing the old Legends canon, but it does bother me.
So if you have considered watching this show but weren’t sure if it was worth your time, or it was “ruining” the Star Wars universe, I urge you to check it out. The entire series is on Netflix now and the few episodes that didn’t get finished are on the StarWars.com site.
Thanks for reading guys.
TL;DR The Clone Wars is actually really great IMO and don’t write it off as a kids show. It’s probably better than the prequel movies.