Star Wars: The Clone Wars celebrates its 100th episode

The Cartoon Network has released a featurette which illustrates how Clone Wars ties into the films.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars may be one of the best animated shows on television right now. Not only is it beautifully animated, but the skillfully woven lore and world-building is a real treat for Star Wars fans.

Taking place between Episodes 2 and 3, the series fills in the huge gap between those stories, namely most of Anakin’s career as a general for the republic, and his adventures with Asoka, the padawan he trained during that time. The several series-long sub-plots include the beginning of Anakin’s decent to the darkside and the role that played in the foundation of the Empire.

The current, and final, season of the show is getting heavily into that story-line, and showing us, for the first time, a well-paced progression of Anakin’s anger and evil, balancing out the abrupt shift which takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, an issue which has become one of the biggest critiques of the latter film.

Star Wars is, and always has been, Anakin’s story, and nowhere is this shown to be true more than in Clone Wars, where it’s clear that everything that takes place in both trilogies can really be traced to Anakin, and his corruption and betrayals. One disillusioned man tore apart a galaxy for a short time, and this is Star Wars’ most compelling tale. Luke’s story is just a small part of it.

Of course, it’s also a very well-written, well-performed show, even taking none of the Star Wars canon into consideration.

The most recent episode of the show was the 100th. To celebrate the milestone, this video was put together showing a bit of recap from the five seasons of story, as well as a bit of the short conversation from near the beginning of A New Hope, upon which Clone Wars is based:

Even if you’ve never seen Clone Wars before, this is an interesting, quick insight into the part of the story it seeks to tell, as well as a look at some of the best and most beautifully animated moments of the show. For those who have been watching, it’s a reminder of how closely Clone Wars ties into the films.

“From the start, the idea was to show that there were many more Star Wars stories left to tell after the six movies. We all love the Star Wars universe, and we wanted to keep it alive on-screen in a way that had never been done before,” said Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni.

“We looked at everything that had been created before us, going back to the original film in 1977, and we mined concept art, behind-the-scenes footage, comics, games, novels and brought it together with [Star Wars creator] George [Lucas]’s guidance to make a series that jumps to every corner of his galaxy. I’m very proud of my crew, and all of Lucasfilm for being part of this series. I’m looking forward to what comes next. Seven years after Revenge of the Sith was in theaters, it’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan, as the best is yet to come! “

It was only last year that Lucas confirmed that Clone Wars is now considered top-level canon, the only piece of media, other than the six core films, to receive that distinction.

“To produce 100 episodes of an animated series is a major milestone. But to produce them at the high level of quality of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an incredible achievement,” explained Clone Wars producer Cary Silver.

“And it’s a testament to our amazing crew. They are some of the most talented, dedicated, hard-working and passionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with and know. Being a part of making Star Wars and working closely with George Lucas has been an incredible experience and blessing. I truly feel this work will live on forever. Here’s to another 100 episodes!”

This comment is odd because we’ve been told that the current season will be tying the series into the beginning of Revenge of the Sith, which will end it. Perhaps the crew, now under Disney, is thinking about continuing the show at another point in the lore, maybe even take it forward to connect the two trilogies together. That would be a welcome move. Nothing to that effect has been announced, however, so Silver’s comments will remain a mystery for now.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is currently running Saturday mornings on Cartoon Network.