Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars series is one of the franchise's most underrated entries, so why is it no longer considered canon? Star Wars creator George Lucas always had a grander version for the saga than the practical effects used in the original trilogy could allow, so he waited until technology had caught up before embarking on a prequel trilogy. It was only after seeing the CGI effects in Jurassic Park did Lucas feel confident to develop the movies.
The prequel saga launched with Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace in 1999, and the trilogy remains controversial to this day. A lot of fans felt the emphasis on CGI and actors performing against green screen robbed the series of its humanity, which wasn't helped by the often stilted dialogue. For the generation of fans who grew up watching the prequel trilogy, however, they still hold a special place and the movies have been reassessed more positively in recent years.
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones was the second chapter, following young Anakin Skywalker falling in love with Padmé Amidala, but an emerging threat leads to the beginning of the infamous Clone Wars. Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith don't dedicate a huge amount of screen time to the three-year conflict, so to fill in the gaps for fans, a 2D animated show dubbed Star Wars: Clone Wars was created.
Star Wars: Clone Wars was created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack) who brought his talent for storytelling and action sequences to the show. Clone Wars was a micro-series, with episodes in the first two seasons running about three minutes long, while the third and final season featured episodes that ran over ten minutes. The shorts slot together nicely as a two-hour movie, and follows Anakin and Obi-Wan leading the fight against the Separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith.
The Star Wars: Clone Wars show ran between Episode's II & III, and in addition to keeping decent continuity with the movies, it introduced Revenge Of The Sith villain General Grievous. That said, it also depicted the Jedi as being ridiculously overpowered compared to the films, which is one element fans always questioned. The popularity of the shorts led to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a 3D animated show that also covered the years between Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.
Genndy Tartakovsky wasn't involved with this project, which became a beloved series in its own right, and after a long hiatus will return for season 7 on streaming service Disney+. Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars series was later relegated - alongside the rest of the Expanded Universe - to the non-canon Star Wars Legends banner in 2014. This covers anything in the saga that isn't the main Star Wars movies or certain spinoffs like the 3D Star Wars: The Clone Wars show, which are considered the "immovable" objects of the franchise.
This change was necessary to allow the new series of movies to move forward without being beholden to the old Expanded Universe material. This also means Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars show is now a Legends tale. It's a series that doesn't seem to get mentioned much anymore, but for fans who haven't experienced Tartakovsky's Clone Wars, it's very much worth seeking out.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019