Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress locked in lightsaber duel

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When one thinks about the Clone Wars within the Star Wars canon, the first thing that likely comes to mind is the Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI TV series, and for good reason. That show, which aired its seventh and final season on Disney+ in 2020, is one of the most popular Star Wars projects outside of the film series, and it’s left a legacy that’s continued on in Rebels, The Mandalorian and the upcoming Bad Batch spinoff. But half a decade before The Clone Wars debuted on Cartoon Network, this conflict was chronicled on the same cable channel in the Star Wars: Clone Wars microseries.

While the Clone Wars was already being explored at the time through novels, comic books and a few video games, Clone Wars was something special, and for a lot of people, it was the only way they learned what went down between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Alas, as of 2014, the events of the Clone Wars microseries are no longer deemed canon in favor of keeping The Clone Wars TV series cemented in official Star Wars continuity. However, that doesn’t mean Clone Wars isn’t worth watching, especially now that it’s finally available on Disney+ in the “Star Wars Vintage” section. Here are some of the reasons why you should check it out on the streaming service.

Samurai Jack

Clone Wars Is A Must-Watch For Samurai Jack Fans

First off, let’s go over Clone Wars’ distinctive animation. If it looks familiar to you, then chances are you grew up at familiar with, if not watching Samurai Jack, the series about a samurai prince wielding a magical katana who’s sent to an apocalyptic future by the nefarious demon known as Aku. Both shows were developed by Dexter’s Laboratory and Primal’s Genndy Tartakovsky (who also had a hand in Iron Man 2), and if you were a fan of Samurai Jack back in the day, then Clone Wars is worth your time.

Like Samurai Jack, Clone Wars features all sorts of cool action (more on the later) and often tones down dialogue in favor of simply showing its characters going through crazy situations, and you can easily track how they’re feeling during those moments. Granted, Clone Wars doesn’t get quite as complex as Samurai Jack did (particularly the more adult-oriented Season 5), but it definitely feels like a spiritual cousin to the latter series, especially since they both aired on Cartoon Network.

Clone troopers firing blasters

Clone Wars Is Easily Digestible

Most of the time, animated TV shows deliver episodes that are approximately half an hour long, minus time for commercials if airing on conventional TV. Not so with Clone Wars, because as clearly indicated in this feature’s headline, this wasn’t a full-blown TV series. Instead, Clone Wars aired in smaller chunks across the Cartoon Network programming block, with the first two seasons’ episodes usually lasting between two to three minutes, and Season 3’s episodes all lasting around 12 minutes.

Luckily for those of you watching Clone Wars on Disney+, you won’t have to keep pressing play on a new episode every few minutes. The streaming service has the microseries available in two videos, with Season 1 and 2’s episodes being mashed together and Season 3 standing on its own. So you’re welcome watch these videos as mini-movies, but it’s also easy enough to slowly make your way through this saga across multiple viewings, as there are plenty of pausing points.

General Grievous Clone Wars microseries

Clone Wars Introduced Some Cool Characters

Clone Wars reunited viewers with plenty of familiar faces, from Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Count Dooku and Chancellor Palpatine. But as is expected of any fresh Star Wars project, it also brought some new players into the fold. The most famous of this bunch is General Grievous, as we met him here over a year before he served as Revenge of the Sith’s secondary antagonist, and it didn’t take long for viewers to see why the Jedi should fear him.

We also met Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku’s apprentice who was so popular that she was prominently featured in The Clone Wars a few years later, just like Grievous. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention Durge, the lance-wielding bounty hunter who faced off against Obi-Wan and is finally debuting in the official Star Wars canon through the Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters comic book crossover event. So if you’re a fan of any of these three character, thank Clone Wars for putting them on the map.

Mace Windu in Clone Wars microseries

Clone Wars’ Action Is Ridiculously Awesome

Look, the action in the Star Wars movies is great to watch, especially nowadays with the advancement in digital effects, CGI, etc. But there’s only so much that can be done in live-action, whereas in animation, the sky’s the limit. That’s certainly clear in The Clone Wars TV series, but before that, the Clone Wars microseries went even more extreme. Picture Clone Wars as Stars Wars mashed with Dragon Ball Z.

Whether we’re on a battlefield or out in space, the action is ridiculous, over-the-top and, best of all, so much fun to absorb. Nowhere is this more evident than in “Chapter 14,” which shows Mace Windu singlehandedly eliminating a battalion of Separatist droids and accompanying tanks on Dantooine. Star Wars will never lack for ways to get audiences’ pulses pounding, but there’s something special about the way Clone Wars did this that we’re unlikely to see again.

Clone Wars DVD artwork

Clone Wars Is Hard To Track Down On Physical Media

If you’ve made it this far and are now interested in watching Clone Wars, but don’t want to do so on Disney+, here’s my final selling point: it’s difficult to track down the microseries on physical media. While Clone Wars was released on two DVD volumes in 2005, they went out of print shortly after and haven’t been put back into circulation since.

Look around long enough and you’ll find a few copies being sold on websites like eBay, but because most of them are pre-owned, there’s no guarantee they’ll be of good quality. And in some cases, you’ll have to pay way more than what they originally cost given how scarce these DVDs are. Provided you have a solid internet connection, you’re better off just getting a Disney+ subscription and watching it there.

Once you’ve watched all of Clone Wars, let us know in the poll below what you think about the miniseries. And as always, keep checking with CinemaBlend for the latest and greatest news concerning upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.

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