Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2012) are often levied against one another as one being the superior product and the other the inferior depending on which side of the line you find yourself on. Either Genndy Tartakovsky or Dave Filoni made animated Star Wars work for you, hopefully both did and you just enjoyed yourself all these years. Star Wars fans tend to be either/or types though.
What has actually changed for me has been my expectations. In 2003, it seemed unlikely we’d ever see an animated Star Wars series because we hadn’t really had a proper one (or two) since 1985-86. Star Wars: Ewoks and Star Wars: Droids were the last animated endeavors set in the Star Wars galaxy.
So when Clone Wars (aka The Micro Series) hit, I was happy. I was satisfied and it did its job to get me even more excited for the new films during that three year wait. For the scope and the aims, it excelled greatly. Seeing it on the big screen at Star Wars Celebration III also did wanders to wet my appetite for the new films while having a unique “theatrical” experience. But looking back, it failed at making itself a timeless story that stood upon its own merits.
To be fair Clone Wars was meant to be tiny three minute episodes we saw in between Cartoon Network programming and on StarWars.com, back in the day. For what they are, they stand up really well. But my expectations for animated series have changed. I can spend two hours watching Clone Wars or I can spend two hours watching The Clone Wars in which I get a great substitute often rivaling The Skywalker Saga.
Now today, with over 100 episodes of The Clone Wars out there, Clone Wars has been regulated to an interesting curiosity fueled by nostalgia for me. I in no way have any dislike or disrespect for it. Where it works best for me has to do with it using John William’s music. Where it excelled visually was easily toppled by The Clone Wars making Star Wars in a visual style akin to the films. But when they miniaturized Star Wars ships and made them “pew pew pew” with their lasers is where the show really finds its charm for me.
Those lovable rapscallions over at ClubJade.net turned us onto this YouTube video containing the entire run of Clone Wars:
Video no longer available.
If you’re like me, you already own both volumes on DVD. But it is kind of nice to put this YouTube video on while I eat dinner at the computer.