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Is The Clone Wars Canon?

The Clone Wars is a cartoon series that details the time period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Yes, The Clone Wars is canon and it might be the best piece of the Star Wars canon.

The show tells the stories of many well known Star Wars characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, but also introduces new characters such as Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress.

Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress fight

The show aired in 2008 and pre-dates the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm. It’s well known that  Disney made the decision to make the majority of Star Wars Legends no longer canon, so where does this leave The Clone Wars in the Star Wars canon?

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

In 2003 Cartoon Network aired an animated TV series that ran for 25 episodes between 2003 and 2005. The show detailed the Clone Wars and was well received by the general public and won several awards. It was one of the first animated shows to win an Emmy.

Clone Wars (2003-2005)

General Grievous made his first appearance in the show and was the main antagonist. The show did a great job in making Grievous look terrifying as there were numerous episodes of him slaughtering Jedi and being a nuisance. 

The show culminated with an attack on the Republic homeworld of Coruscant by the Sepratist army. This episode ended with Grievous kidnapping Chancellor Palpatine with Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker pursuing the cyborg which leads directly into the opening scene from Revenge of the Sith.

The show was removed from the Star Wars canon when the new Clone Wars series launched in 2008. 

The Clone Wars Movie

Before the new take on The Clone Wars aired on Cartoon Network. An animated movie set within the first series of the show was released. The movie came out just two months before the show aired. 

The Clone Wars - Movie Poster

The movie introduced us to a pivotal character for the series, Ahsoka Tano, she was introduced as Anakin’s Padawan. The plot of the movie centers around the Galactic Republic and the Separatists vying for Jabba the Hutt’s permission for the use of the Hutt Space Trade Routes. 

Count Dooku kidnaps Jabba’s son, Rotta with the aim of framing the Jedi Order as the true captors and then returning the child to gain favor with Jabba. 

The reception from the critics was a negative one. However, despite the negative reviews the movie was a big box office success the movie grossed $68.3 million against the budget of $8.5 million, making a huge $14.6 million dollars during opening weekend.

The Clone Wars: Pre Cancellation  

Following the movie, the first episode of The Clone Wars aired in October 2008, the show was an anthology. The episodes would not be a linear story but it would jump from story to story within the Clone Wars. The first episode chronologically is season two episode 16. 

The show would have multiple episodes covering a single story such as the Mortis Arc where Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka find a world inside a ship floating in space where a family lives, the son being the dark side incarnated and the daughter the light side.

The father who is dying is the balance, so he tries to convince Anakin to take his place. The arc is one of the highest rated of the entire series. 

For five seasons the show aired on Cartoon Network with a special sixth season being released on Netflix. The show was canceled after the fifth season when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the reason cited at the time was that Disney wanted to ‘pursue a new direction in animated programming.’ 

The show was replaced by a new show named Star Wars Rebels that would air on Disney XD.

This was not the death of The Clone Wars, the show remained canon and the episodes that had been completed at the time of the shows cancellation were released on Netflix under the name “The Lost Missions”. A number of episodes that had not been completed were repurposed for other mediums.

#SaveTheClone Wars 

During the period of time where the show was canceled many fans and the head of the show Dave Filoni pushed a hashtag in the attempt to get Disney to renew the show as there was a huge audience who wished to see the show’s conclusion. 

At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Filoni led a panel celebrating the show’s 10 year anniversary. The end of the panel would give Clone Wars fans the news they had been waiting to hear for years. One final season of The Clone Wars would be released on Disney+ in 2020.

The Final Season

Season seven aired February 2020 to an incredible reception from not only fans but from critics. The show has a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the final season contained 12 episodes covering the end of the Clone Wars. 

The start of the season would introduce a new group of characters that had been intended to be in the show before it was canceled. The Bad Batch who now have their own show were finally introduced after years of fans wanting to see the group in action.

The Siege of Mandalore was the perfect way to end the show and give the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano the spotlight in the show that made her one of the most loved Star Wars characters.

Twelve years after its initial release, The Clone Wars aired its final episode on Star Wars day, May 4th 2020. The final episode tied together Order 66 from Revenge of the Sith and we saw how Ahsoka survived the Clone betrayal.

The final scene of Darth Vader turning up at the crash site where his former Padawan had last been seen was a pungent way to end the show that creator Dave Filoni and the fans had tirelessly campaigned to be revived. 

So to answer the question.
Yes, The Clone Wars is canon and it might be the best piece of the Star Wars canon.

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