The Clone Wars trailer threatens The Republic

Lucasfilm has released a long-form trailer for the upcoming season of its CGI Star Wars drama.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars tells the story that was left greatly underserved by the films: Anakin’s days as a general in the Clone Wars, and it’s been doing a fantastic job. I can honestly say I enjoy The Clone Wars more than any other non-film Star Wars production, and even more than a few of the films themselves, and the most recent season was the best yet, with lots of great revelations and interesting character moments.

The series deals quite a bit with the commanding of clones and the fighting of droids, but it also analyzes the characters of Anakin and Obi-wan very closely, and slowly we’re seeing the events that turned The Republic into The Empire, divided the Jedi across political lines, and transformed the Clone Troopers into the Storm Troopers. Setting us up for the events of Episode 3, in which these transformations and divides become final and terrible.

This new season will see the fight against the separatists become a distraction from what will become the true threat later, the gathering of Sith forces in an underground movement led by Darth Maul. We also get to see Anakin start to get angrier, and to let that anger begin to control him, much more sympathetically and interestingly than the brief description in the films.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni sumamrized the new season as follows:

“We’ve got some critical set-up this season to explore why the Sith triumph, why the Empire replaces the Republic, the kind of things that fans have always wondered about regarding this period. What do people really think of the Jedi? How is it that Palpatine had the Jedi eliminated and the galactic populace seems fine with that? What does it mean when Mace Windu walks in to the Chancellor’s office and tries to arrest him? Would the people be for that or against that? Palpatine makes it look like the Jedi launched a coup. How is it that people would accept such an explanation?”

Season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars starts September 2012 on the Cartoon Network.