A long time ago… I discovered Star Wars. It would define my life. It’s time to rediscover it.
Today we explore the first 2 seasons of Star Wars: Clone Wars, the animated series from 2003-05 directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack). The series was created for Cartoon Network during the wait between Episodes II and III. each episode was about 3 minutes long, and told a larger story of the Clone Wars, and specifically the battle of Muunilinst, the home of the Banking Clan. These are kind of tough to rate on an episodic basis, so I will give a run down on each episode, followed by my thoughts.
1: The story is set as the Clone Wars rage and the Jedi take leadership roles, defending the republic from the separatists.
2: The Jedi attack the planet Muunilinst, and a gunship carrying Arc Troopers, an elite squad, is shot down in the capital city.
3: The troopers fight off sniper attacks and make their way to the central gun and take it out, allowing reinforcements to arrive.
4: Dirge, a Separatist general is unleashed on the Republic forces, causing serious damage.
5: Taking a break from the main action, we follow Kit Fisto as he leads the Mon Calamari in a battle against their neighbors the Quarren for control of Mon Cal.
6: In an important installment (especially for the future of the Clone wars) we find Dooku traveling to a gladiator event. He is looking for an apprentice to train and send after Skywalker. He discovers Sith hopeful Asaaj Ventress, one of the nightsisters of Dathomir. He is impressed and takes her in.
7: Dooku tests Ventress and takes her as a disciple, with Sidious’ blessing. He gives her an assignment- Kill Anakin Skywalker.
8: Obi Wan rides out to face Dirge on the battlefield of Muunilinst. He defeats Dirge, chopping him in half. unknown to Kenobi, Dirge can heal such wounds.
9: After taking the Banking Clan citadel, the heroes relax until Dirge returns and reveals his tendril like body that can heal from dismemberment. Kenobi jumps inside him and uses the force to make Dirge explode- an injury he cannot survive.
10: The battle won, Anakin is mopping up the droid fighters in the space above Muunilinst when a strange ship attacks from nowhere. Anakin proclaims- “This one is mine”.
Season One of this show was pretty solid for what it was- about 30 minutes of adventure. It bounces around a lot, but the art is well done and the voice actors get their first crack at these characters. Several would continue on with the CGI Clone Wars. Now season two.
11: The dog fight all over and the ship jumps to Hyperspace. Sensing a trap, Kenobi orders Anakin to stand down. He ignores the order and chases after the ship…Asaaj Ventress has set the bait.
12: On Dantooine, a battle rages. A young boy watches as Mace Windu fights off the droids. Mace faces incredible odds as a massive ship appears in the sky.
13: Having lost his saber, Windu finishes off the Army bare handed, get his saber back and takes out the massive piled river ship. The young boy gives him a drink of water after the battle.
14: Luminara Unduli and her apprentice Bariss Offee fight off a droid attack on the Temple on Illum- where the saber crystals are mined.
15: Yoda comes to Illum to save the Jedi trapped in the temple.
16: Padme and the droids venture into the snows of Illum to find Yoda. They defeat the droids, and save the Jedi, but the temple is no longer secure.
17: Anakin and the troopers land on Yavin IV, after chasing the ship in season one. Ventress strikes, killing the troopers and prepares to fight Anakin.
18: Anakin and Ventress begin their fight in the jungle of Yavin. Mid-fight, a rain starts to fall.
19: Ventress and Anakin fight atop the temple on Yavin IV. Anakin defeats Ventress and knocks her into a chasm, presumably dead. Anakin screams, his rage consuming him.
20: Several Jedi are trapped in a battle with a new Separatist Leader- General Greivous. He handily defeats the Jedi until only Ki Adi Mundi is left to fight…
Season two was far superior to the first season. Asaaj Ventress was a credible threat (who would resurface in the later series). This was an admirable show, and fun to watch. Tomorrow, we delve into the better known, and far superior spin off…
Yes, I was at this convention when the show was unveiled for the first time. I also have this poster, and was the 2nd ever person to get a clone wars autograph (Matthew Wood, Grievous.)