In April, 2005, (a month before Revenge Of The Sith came out) George Lucas showed up at a Star Wars fan convention revealed that a computer animated television series related to The Prequel Trilogy was under pre-production. Every single fanboy and fangirl cheered for excitement. George said that each episode focuses on a random character’s point of view as he or she attempts to accomplish a mission instructed by The Galactic Republic.
In 2007, George revealed that an original character named, Ahsoka Tano was confirmed as a main character who serves as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan fleshing out Anakin’s backstory during The Clone Wars as a responsible Jedi Knight prior to his transformation as Darth Vader, before the dark times, before The Empire. Ahsoka is the very first female Jedi in Star Wars canon (not a secondary character nor extra) as a protagonist before Rey existed.
The series kickstarted with an animated movie called, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” was released in 2008, way before Rogue One & Han Solo anthology movies came along. The film is arguably considered the first anthology movie. It’s basically episode 2.5 set between Attack Of The Clones & Revenge Of The Sith. If you’re interested in The Clone Wars movie, go ahead and give it a watch and don’t forget to check out my non-spoiler review.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Season 1) aired in 2008. (same year Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull came out) The first season earned positive reviews from critics, fans and causal television viewers alike. The series aired from 2008-2013. It was canceled after Disney bought the rights for Star Wars worth $4 billion. Until a miracle happened in 2018…
Dave Filoni and his crew showed up at The 2018 Comic Con, revealing a footage of a seventh season scheduled to air in Disney’s upcoming streaming service. In response to recent news of Season 7 and an upcoming animated series titled, “Star Wars: Resistance.” I want to share what’s good or bad about Season 1.
The Whole Season
Positive: Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstien, Corey Burton, Dee Bradley Baker, Matthew Wood, & Tom Kane all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances. I believe that the cast from The Prequel Trilogy weren’t available, due to the fact that they had a busy schedule.
Action Sequences contains lightsabers, blasters, aerial and ground combat.
Dave Filoni did an excellent job showing us what happened during the events of The Clone Wars before Revenge Of The Sith permanently ended with Palpatine’s “Order 66.”
Animation looked unique for its mixture of Computer Animation & Anime.
The Tone for the season managed to balance between light and dark elements without going into emo or kid friendly territory.
Character Designs featuring familiar characters are based on the actor’s facial appearance from The Prequel Trilogy.
Each episode focuses on a selected character either a Jedi or clone trooper whose goal is to accomplish a specific mission instructed by The Galactic Republic.
A blue text resembling the line “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away,” shows you the moral of an episode’s theme.
Sound Effects retain familiar sounds from the films.
Kevin Kiner took over John Williams role as a composer and he did a good job orchestrating music.
Negative: Jar Jar Binks has a major role in a few episodes. Why did the writers pick the worst aspect of The Prequel Trilogy? As a true Star Wars fan, I have no choice but to Triple Down his involvement!
Episode 1: Ambush
Balanced: Yoda goes full on Rambo fighting a group of Battle Droids.
Yoda gives his clone troopers a pep talk.
Watto’s (from The Phantom Menace) species, “The Toydarians” are located in a moon called, “Rugosa” close to their actual planet, “Toydaria.”
Episode 2-4: Malevolence
Functional: Plo Koon shouts, “Brace for impact!” Denzel Washington also shouted the line in his film “Flight.” Perhaps Denzel is a Star Wars fan.
An escape pod is mentioned as “1-9-7-7.” A nod to the year A New Hope came out in 1977.
Ashoka briefly brings up her past.
General Grievous sets a trap to prevent The Republic from defeating The Separatists.
Anakin said, “Somebody has to save her skin.” A call-forward to Princess Leia’s “Somebody has to save our skins.”
A ship crashing towards a moon is an obvious reference to an old silent film known as “A Trip To The Moon.”
Dysfunctional: Anakin’s ship from The Clone Wars movie is revealed as “The Twilight.” Twilight came out the same year as The Clone Wars. Whenever someone brings up Twilight, it brings back excruciating memories sitting in the theater cringing at sparkly vampires.
Episode 5: Rookies
Good: A hologram radio plays a song that sounds suspiciously similar to Puff Daddy/Diddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.” Could it mean Diddy exists in the Star Wars universe?
The episode got away with a swear word back when The Clone Wars used to air on Cartoon Network. If you’re a parent relax, It’s not on the same page as Martin Scorsese’s use of countless “F-Bombs.”
The fifth episode takes place in on a planet called, “Rishi.” Is it me, or was it named after Christina Ricci? (Wednesday from The Addams Family, Black Snake Moan, Monster)
Episode 6-7: Downfall Of A Droid & Duel Of The Droids
Shiny: Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman guest stars as a “junk dealer.”
Ashoka nicknames R-2’s replacement R-3 after a famous actress. I’ll give you a clue, she started in The First Wives Club. I’ll assume that Ashoka’s a fan of the movie.
R-3’s role is revealed.
Rusty: Captain Rex replies sir to Ahsoka instead of mam. Doesn’t he understand the difference between males and females. The Jedi never told their fellow clone troopers “The Birds & The Bees.”
Episode 8-10: Bombad Jedi, Cloak Of Darkness & Lair Of Grievous
Positive: Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, Ice King from Adventure Time, Mayor from Powerpuff Girls) voices Nute Gunray.
Padme goes Matilda from Leon: The Professional on a few Battle Droids.
An interrogation scene between Ahsoka & Gunrey mirrors Batman & Joker’s interrogation scene from The Dark Knight. Ahsoka acted like Batman, Luminara takes the role of Commissioner Gordon & Gunrey felt similar to Joker in terms of a strategic escape plan. What the second part of this episode lacked is Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard’s “Why So Serious?” I’m surprised that it’s influenced by a Christopher Nolan film.
Speaking of Batman, Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Arkham video games) wrote the teleplay for Cloak Of Darkness.
A lightsaber duel was legit between Ventress, Ahsoka & Luminara.
A droid kinda resembles Johnny Five from Short Circuit.
Phil LaMaar voices Kit Fisto. To put the icing on the cake, Kit has a Jamaican accent like Hermes Conrad from Futurama. Plus, he played John Stewart/Green Lantern who’s associated with the color green.
Fun Fact: Phil LaMaar who voices Kit, also worked with Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction. It’s ironic to see Phil as a member of The Jedi Council with Mace Windu.
Negative: Jar Jar has a prominent role in Bombad Jedi. Why didn’t they pick a Jedi like Plo Koon or Kit Fisto as “The Good Guy Of The Week” episode or have both of them pair like a love letter to buddy-cop action comedies like Rush Hour.
Jar Jar’s stupidity accidentally destroyed Padme’s starship. She’s definitely gonna need Geico Insurance.
Padme’s “uncle” is named after Yoko Ono. (John Lennon’s widow) I will let this flaw slide as long as her uncle doesn’t sing badly like Yoko.
Episode 11-12: Dooku Captured & The Gungan General
Worthy: Jim Cummings (Winnie The Pooh, Big Pete, Darkwing Duck) guest stars as Hondo. Winnie The Pooh played against type as a space pirate.
Fun Fact: Jim went on to collaborate with Ewan McGregor in Christopher Robin.
Hondo’s spaceship obviously resembles a UFO. Somebody’s watching Mars Attacks.
Hondo is named after a John Wayne film.
A red monster reminded me of The Red Guy from Cow & Chicken, but ten times bigger with a beard lacking intelligence.
The eleventh episode got away with Anakin & Obi-Wan drinking beer. In the words of Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic, “You know, for kids!”
Anakin, Obi-Wan & Dooku attempting to escape prison is based on the main plot from Cool Hand Luke.
Unworthy: Once again, Jar Jar has a major role in The Gungan General. It would’ve been ok if Bail Organa was selected by Palpatine.
Episode 13-14: Jedi Crash & Defenders Of Peace
Healthy: “The Lurmen” reminded me of Zoboomafoo, a lemur who used to be on PBS back when I was in first grade.
Secura briefly mentioned her backstory.
In the second part, an experimental weapon is designed to annihilate any lifeform.
Episode 15: Trespass
Hot: An ice planet reminded me of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back.
Cold: C-3PO said “Master Ani.” When somebody uses the nickname Ani, “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” automatically plays inside my brain.
Episode 16: The Hidden Enemy
Good: This episode takes place before the events of The Clone Wars movie.
A clone trooper double crosses The Galactic Republic.
A clone trooper’s given name is “Chopper.” Seven Years Later, Star Wars: Rebels introduced a droid named Chopper, who’s actually based on concept art involving R2 original appearance.
A lightsaber duel/chase scene with Anakin, Obi-Wan & Ventress escalates.
For those who were complaining about the opening scene from The Clone Wars with The Republic lacking vehicles, the sixteenth episode will help you understand.
Episode 17-18: Blue Shadow Virus & Mystery Of A Thousand Moons
Healthy: Dr. Nuvo Vindi, (the villain of the two parter episode) reminded me of Mr. Freeze’s appearance from Batman: The Animated Series minus rapid ice puns. Freeze’s on and off again enemy Batman, also had his own movie the same year The Clone Wars was released.
Jar Jar is shocked by electricity. (not from force lightning I wish)
A minor character named, “Taquito” dies from an explosion. I think Dave Filini or the writers did a jab at Rob Schneider’s The Hot Chick when his character comes up with a false name in order to avoid suspicion by posing as a gardener.
Captain Rex refuses to teach Jar Jar how to use a gun. Finally, someone who dislikes Jar Jar
Unhealthy: Jar Jar appears in this episode.
Padme called Anakin by his nickname, “Ani.” “UGH”! What’s next play Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal?”
Episode 19-21: Ryloth
High: A separatist uses Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous catchphrase, “I’ll be back!”
This three partner episode involves The Galactic Republic trying to liberate the planet “Ryloth.”
Mace Windu is involved in the mission to liberate Ryloth.
A funny moment with Battle Droids claiming that their “independent bankers.” I can picture them working at a fast food restaurant bickering about workplace ethics.
Low: A clone trooper referred to Ahsoka as sir. Doesn’t anybody watch Charlie Brown? Peppermint Patty’s friend Marcy always calls her “sir.”
Episode 22: Hostage Crisis
Successful: The season finale introduces fan favorite, Cad Bane.
According to the producers, Cad Bane is based on Lee Van Cleef role as Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. (Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie)
Hostage Crisis pays tribute to Die Hard. Anakin fills in the role as John McClane while Cad Bane takes the role as Hans Gruber. Both Anakin & McClane attempt to save their loved one from the villain during a heist.
A character from The Clone Wars film returns. I’ll give you a hint, his voice is based on Truman Capote, Cartman from South Park and Shrieff Buford T. Justice from Smokey & The Bandit.
Anakin said that his lightsaber is his life. A callback to Attack Of The Clones with Obi-Wan reminded Anakin not to lose his lightsaber by stating, “This weapon is your life.”
The end of the episode felt like a breath of fresh air. Don’t wanna tell you why.
Unsuccessful: Padmè referred to Anakin as Ani yet again. Do I have to make fun of Anakin by playing Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life?”
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BREATHTAKING!
Season 1 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a legit start besides the animated film which kickstarted a legacy for Disney to spawn animated shows such as Star Wars: Rebels, the upcoming seventh season of Clone Wars & Star Wars Resistance. Despite Jar Jar’s occasional appearances, Clone troopers often calling Ahsoka sir and Padmè referring to Anakin as Ani, I thought Season 1 was awesome. The Clone Wars is my favorite television show related to Star Wars. If you’re eager for season 7 or Star Wars: Resistance, I highly recommend The Clone Wars series alongside the animated film.