Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a generation’s introduction into the galaxy far, far away. The six season animated series introduced new concepts, new characters, and some fan-favorites from the broader spectrum of Star Wars into the minds and hearts of fans. Here are six of the most important ways The Clone Wars changed the Star Wars mythos.
Clones are people, too!
If you ask members of the 501st Legion when Star Wars: The Clone Wars started, they’ll probably tell you the show really started with Season 1, Episode 5, “Rookies.” The episode was centered around a group of clone troopers working their first mission. These “shinies” helped us learn, through this episode and others, that while clones may have the same faces and voices, they are still individuals.
Through Echo, Fives, Cutup, Hevy, and Droidbait (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), we saw clones who were brave, that had different strengths and weaknesses, and through their own brotherhood showed just how human they are.
Obi-Wan’s Lost Love
The Clone Wars challenged the edict that Jedi could not have romantic relationships even more than the films. While Anakin and Padmé’s relationship flew in the face of the code, it also contributed to Anakin’s descent into the dark side. When Obi-Wan Kenobi loved in The Clone Wars, however, he came out stronger. While we all loved the flirtations between Obi-Wan and Ventress, in this case we’re talking about Dutchess Satine Kryze.
Obi-Wan and Satine’s feelings were clear, despite a hidden history. In “Voyage of Temptation,” Obi-Wan reveals he would have left the Order to be with her had she but asked – and just think of how differently our saga would be without his guidance.
Having loved makes Kenobi more relatable, and it also makes him relate to Anakin and Padmé’s plight more, making the heartbreak of Revenge of the Sith all the more palpable.
The Dark Side: Stronger Than We Thought
“Remember, the first and only reality of the Sith… there can only be two. And you are no longer my apprentice.”
Any Star Wars fan worth their salt knows “The Rule of Two,” but The Clone Wars challenged that idea. Asajj Ventress, Savage Opress, Darth Maul: the dark side was strong in The Clone Wars, and touched more than just the Sith Lords of the era, Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus.
When it came down to it, Ventress fought against her “master,” Dooku. As for Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress, well, see the quote above, and the Season 5 episode “The Lawless” for how that turned out.
Canon, Meet Darth Bane
The “Legends” world established the Sith who instated the “Rule of Two:” Darth Bane. In about 1000 BBY, the Sith Order was like the Jedi Order, recruiting any Force-sensitives they came across. Bane’s new rule, that there could be only two Sith at any given time, birthed in the death of all the other Sith.
Until The Clone Wars, however, that was but a “Legend.” Darth Bane entered the official canon of Star Wars, coming in the very last episode, “Sacrifice.” Bane’s inclusion is a perfect example of how the Star Wars story group can bring “Legends” into canon.
The Mortis Trilogy
This three-part story from Season 3 offered up a grander view of the Force, helping to increase its mysticism in stark contrast to the scientific bent it was given by The Phantom Menace. The Force did not only connect all things, but balanced the universe, and was in turn kept in balance by three beings who embodied it: Father (Balance), Son (Dark), and Daughter (Light). With Father near death, he reached out through the Force to find a replacement, a “chosen one” who could maintain the balance, and found Anakin.
Despite trials that seemed to prove Anakin’s status, he declined the position, and the balance was broken, a portent of things to come.
Was there any doubt? Ahsoka Tano, padawan of Anakin Skywalker, started off as a bratty and rambunctious kid, and became a thread of hope for all Jedi. She was the viewer’s character, but she was more than that; she was also the heart of the Jedi Order. Ahsoka actually maintained more balance through her feelings than those who would try to shut themselves off could. She found friends in the enemy ranks, taught Anakin nearly as much as he taught her, and gave us all a hero who we saw grow into one of the greatest that Star Wars has given us so far. While she may have left the Jedi Order before the series ended, at least #AhsokaLives.
Lucas Siegel is a freelance journalist and writer with over a decade of Comic Book, Movie, TV, and Video Game reporting. A lifelong Star Wars fan, the galaxy far, far away shares time in his brain with Disney, Superheroes, and Chicago sports. When he and his wife aren’t at Disney Parks, they’re watching Disney movies or re-watching favorite Clone Wars episodes or playing Disney Infinity – you get the idea. He currently contributes to ComicBook.com and other outlets.