One of the most memorable shots in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the one above: the wreckage of a crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku. It called back to a long-gone Star Wars era, but for animator Genndy Tartakovsky, it’s a reminder of the same kind of shot that he and his team used in the Clone Wars micro-series that aired on Cartoon Network in between the releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
After noting how Clone Wars “influenced a lot, as far as Star Wars going forward,” he was asked about any specific similarities he’d noticed between the micro-series and later projects, Genndy Tartakovsky responded:
The [Force Awakens] opening sequence with all the Star Destroyers crashed on the planet. That was literally, exactly the setting that we did for when we introduced General Grievous. It’s even the same silhouette and everything. I mean, they could have come up with it without seeing ours. But it seems too suspicious, you know? And nobody credited us. A few people caught it, but it certainly, to me, was like, ‘Wow! Hey! Look at that! That’s exactly what we did!’ Well, you know, yeah, I’ll take it.
While General Grievous made his film debut in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, he first appeared the year prior in the Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 2 finale, where he dueled various Jedi on the planet Hypori. The droid commander and his adversaries were surrounded by crashed ships that were definitely positioned similarly to the Star Destroyer in The Force Awakens.
Whether The Force Awakens intentionally lifted from Clone Wars or it was just a coincidence, Genndy Tartakovsky (whose credits also include the Hotel Transylvania movies, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Primal) seems to okay with the similarity. And to be fair, these shots are seen in wildly different circumstances, with the Clone Wars ships having recently crashed, while the Star Destroyer Rey passes by after scavenging having crashed during the Battle of Jakku, which occurred decades earlier following the events of Return of the Jedi.
While Clone Wars earned a lot of positive reception, it was ultimately deemed non-canon just several years after it wrapped up when George Lucas decided to make the CGI, half hour-long series The Clone Wars, which is returning for its seventh and final season next month on Disney+. Genndy Tartakovsky also mentioned during his interview with Digital Spy that he found Clone Wars not factoring into official Star Wars history “frustrating,” but he “doesn’t lose sleep over it” and is glad that people are still enjoying the micro-series.
As for The Force Awakens, it launched the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy at the end of 2015 and raked in over $2 billion worldwide; it currently ranks as the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time. This trilogy, as well as the entire Skywalker Saga, concluded last month with The Rise of Skywalker, so we’ll soon be entering a new era of Star Wars movies, although there’s still no official word yet on what any of them will be about.
In the meantime, along with the final batch of The Clone Wars episodes, the Star Wars media empire will keep chugging along with offerings like The Mandalorian, the Cassian Andor series and Obi-Wan Kenobi series, as well as numerous, novels, comic book series and video games. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates about the franchise set in a galaxy far, far away.
Don’t forget to also look through our 2020 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater this year accordingly.