The Clone Wars Decoded
It was 2009 (late) before I started watching the animated series Star Wars Clone Wars. The show had been running for a few seasons already. In fact, the animated series has been imagineered in a few different flavors: a movie released to theatres, a Cartoon Central TV series, and an Adult Swim styled cartoon movie.
Frankly, Lucas Films has made it an organizational mess. It took me a few hours of IMDB, Wikipedia, and Google research to figure out what there was to watch and in what order to watch them. Here is my rescription for catching up in four steps.
Step 1, watch the live action movies
The first two movies are the setup for the cartoons. Their names are: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. If you are a very orderly person, you may opt to not watch episode 3 until you do steps 2-4. But I’m not very orderly so I recommend watching the live action movies first, and because sometimes it’s nice to know where a character is headed, and then watch that character at an earlier time and see how he struggles along that path.
Step 2, Go for an Adult Swim
Lucas wanted you to have something to do after watching Episode 2 Attack of the Clones in 2002, until he released Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith. So he gave you cartoon shorts. They were released in 2003, 2004, 2005 as teasers (sometimes on TV, sometimes in the theater). Notice the “Adult Swim” rough and minimal style of animation on the front cover. This series of shorts (also called the “micro” series) was later combined to make a large narrative about what Anni had been up to between Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. I enjoyed watching it very much. It’s an example of doing narrative with sparse dialog and lots of showing.
Step 3, Star Wars: Clone Wars movie
Notice the distinctive difference in animation on the movie poster versus the “Adult Swim” style. This movie was used to kick off the TV series in Step 4.
Step 4, Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series
This TV series ran immediately after the animated movie and is still running today (crica 2010). The animation style is the same as that of the movie. As of now, only two seasons are out in blu-ray.
Now go to Amazon or NetFlicks and find ways to enjoy the Star Wars experience! (Sorry, JarJar Binks is still included.)