One of the most celebrated animated series ever made, as well as one of the most beloved additions to the Star Wars universe, is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This animated series followed an anthology format, telling stories set between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
This being the final Star Wars project with George Lucas' involvement means it has deep roots in the mythology of the franchise, as well as a few nods to other Lucasfilm properties. Over its six-season run, the series has made allusions, references, and easter eggs nodding to other moments and stories in the films.
10 Gungan Mobile
In one of the darker plotlines from the show, Darth Sidious planned to kidnap force-sensitive children. After gaining the knowledge from a stolen Holocron, Palpatine sent Bounty Hunter Cad Bane across the galaxy to steal these children from their families.
One such youngling was a Gungan living on Naboo. In one of the episodes, the child owns a seemingly harmless hologram mobile featuring alien creatures. Looking closer though, one will notice that these were none other than the same monsters that terrorized Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Jar Jar Binks as they traversed the planet core in The Phantom Menace.
9 Krell's Lightsabers Have A Rise Of Skywalker Connection
When it comes to the alien species Besalisk, they don't just end up running slummy diners. Pong Krell, a Jedi master during the era, was a renowned general and warrior, wielding two double-bladed lightsabers at once.
He is one of the only force users to do such, proving his ability as a swordsman and his innate body strength. His sabers were not just normal double-bladed sabers akin to Darth Maul. His were a similar model to the Sith version of Rey from the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker. These double-bladed sabers click into place, either in a staff mode or in the same direction.
8 A Classic Disguise
One of the biggest tropes in all of Star Wars is characters disguising themselves in the garb of the enemy. Obviously, Han and Luke dressed as stormtroopers in A New Hope. But, Lando dressed as a guard at Jabba's palace, and Finn, Rose, and DJ dressed as First Order officers when aboard Snoke's ship in The Last Jedi.
The Clone Wars carried the tradition on as well. In one episode, the bounty hunter Cad Bane suited up in clone trooper armor. This comes across as a direct mirroring of Han and Luke in the first film.
7 Space Pirates Of The Caribbean
In the episode The Box, Obi-Wan disguises himself as a bounty hunter to investigate Count Dooku. In doing so, he and other bounty hunters must venture through a series of difficult physical tasks in a deadly obstacle course.
This episode has tons of great bounty hunters, but only one has a connection to a beloved Disney property. Kiera Swan was a Weequay alien and named in honor of Kiera Knightly, both an alum of Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean. Her character in the Pirates film shares a surname with the alien, and Kiera Swan in the show won a tournament titled the Obsidian Sphere, a direct reference to the ship The Black Pearl.
6 Mortis Connections
The Mortis arc changed the mythology of the force forever. Here in this parallel dimension, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka encountered three beings who embodied each side of the force. The Father who represented balance, The Daughter, who represented the light, and The Son who embodied the dark.
This episode is full of alums from both other Star Wars films and video games. Liam Neeson and Pernilla August both reprised their film roles, playing Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker respectively. The voice of The Brother, Sam Witwer, also voiced Palpatine and Starkiller in the Force Unleashed video game series as well as Darth Maul in both Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.
5 The Voice Of Darth Bane
Speaking of film cameos, season six has arguably the best of the whole show. The final arc of the series focused on Yoda, who journeyed through the galaxy to learn the path of immortality. In this arc, Yoda is taught by Qui Gon and the Whills to learn the ways to return as a force ghost.
But he doesn't run into light side users alone. Along his journey, he confronts an apparition who claims to be the spirit of Darth Bane, the ancient Sith who instituted the rule of two. This character was voiced by none other than Luke Skywalker himself: Mark Hamill.
4 The First Star Wars Flashbacks
As a franchise, Star Wars has always been fairly resistant to change. Not only is it resistant to new aesthetics, but the storytelling devices it utilizes are fairly precise. Flashbacks, for example, were unseen in the series for years.
The Last Jedi was the first of the films to utilize this story choice, but it was The Clone Wars that first brought it to the franchise. When reliving her past, Asajj Ventress sees visions of her life as a Jedi Padawan. This was the first time in the history of Star Wars where flashbacks were implemented.
3 The Trandoshan Lebowski
Pirates of the Caribbean isn't the only franchise to be referenced in The Clone Wars. The creators behind the show are cinephiles, not just Star Wars fans. As such, there are references to tons of other films in the show.
On such is the character of Sochek. This Trandoshan appeared in the Padawan Lost and Wookie Hunt episodes of season three. Modeled and named after John Goodman's Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski, Sochek rocks similar orange-tinted goggles, a vest, and cargo shorts.
2 Indiana Windu
Perhaps the most fitting reference to another movie though comes through Mace Windu's actions. In one episode, the Jedi Master slides under a closing door, only to quickly grab his lightsaber before it closes.
This is a direct allusion to Indiana Jones, who made this his signature move every time he lost his hat. As both series were created in part by George Lucas, its only fitting one would reference the other in this clear way.
1 The Anatomy Of The Mon Calamari
This is less a reference and more of just a fun bit of world-building the series provided. Unlike the films, Clone Wars had more of an opportunity to expand the galaxy in ways unseen. Like Pong Krell, the inclusion of Nahdar Vebb expands the role of the Mon Calamari.
Nahdar's physical attributes changed the way we understood the anatomy of these aliens. Unlike Ackbar, Nahdar had a single tendril protruding from his chin. This was a definite choice to indicate his age. Ackbar, in contrast, has many scattered across the lower half of his face.