As we all know many of the events that happen within our favorite ‘galaxy far far away’ harken back to real life events. Many of the battles from Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series were based on concepts of real battles that occurred in World War II. These similarities first came about when George Lucas and the creatives sat down to write and produce these large scale battle episodes. George told the team that he wanted them to take inspiration for these battles from World War II and from modern day war movies such as The Longest Day, which is a movie based around the events of the D-day landings. Lucas’s overall vision for The Clone Wars was to create a Band Of Brothers in space so to speak, and he was quoted as saying: “I wanted to show the time between the films and show the war that turned the Republic into the Empire”.
So that being said, The Clone Wars filled in a massively important part of the timeline we had not seen, a part of the timeline only referenced by Obi-Wan in A New Hope. During the series we got to see battles that defined the war, characters and their stories during the struggles of the Clone Wars. We also got to see Darth Sidious himself pulling the strings in a way we had not seen before. The vision of George Lucas wanting to create a Band Of Brothers in space really shined through, especially in the Clone arcs. Their tales of brotherhood and bravery, and really their own personal feelings about where they stood in the war and their purpose were what captivated me and really tied back to the overall vision of a band of brothers fighting for what they believed to be right! Dave Filoni made one of my favorite statements in an interview about the show where he said this when talking about characters stories: “It’s a way to inspire us as an audience to understand what the characters are going through and that it is not much different to what we are going through”. This statement is so true in the sense that you watch your most loved characters go through personal problems and issues, and whilst watching them you can relate to their problems, it’s a brilliant way to bring the audience closer to the characters lives off screen.
One particular event in history that stands out to many as one of the largest battles of WWII is of course D-day. D-day was one of the most important military operations carried out by the Allied forces in 1944. D-day was an operation carried out by the Allied forces in order to break through opposition defenses and a move to gain ground on a Germany controlled Europe. One arc in particular that reminded me instantly of this catastrophic battle was “Darkness On Umbara” which also happens to be my absolute favorite story arc from the entire series. The moment the Republic gunships broke through the fog of the shadowy world and were bombarded with gunfire and missiles I was instantly bought back to the first time I watched Saving Private Ryan and said “Wow”! It was the intensity of the attack and the resistance of the Umbaran militia that sucked me straight in there with the Clones. I couldn’t help but compare the attack from air to the attack by the Allied troops from the boats, because the way the whole sequence played out was so similar.
Everything about that episode gave me the Normandy beaches feel to it. the strategic planning and capturing vantage points on the ridge or the arms capital are so similar to the Allied troops having to gain the important checkpoints such as ‘Pegasus bridge’. If you also compare the motives of the attack they line up almost perfectly. The main aim of the Republic assault was to isolate supply routes from the Separatist forces which pretty similar to what I mentioned of the Normandy assault. Though the assault tactics and battle play out very similar, the main story that stood out to me was the Clones. The Clones were the backbone of the Republic and without them it would have surely fallen in a heartbeat, this arc really bought out the best in the Clones, from their fearlessness to to their brotherhood they stood out as heroes, so reminiscent of, of course Band Of Brothers. So this arc was not only a masterpiece at showing us the chaos and devastation war creates, but showing us the beauty of brotherhood on the front line, and the bravery that the Clones showed in order to not just fight for the cause, but for one another! This arc really summed up George Lucas’ vision for a Band Of Brothers in space on an epic scale.
“Darkness On Umbara“ was not the only arc inspired by the events of ‘Normandy’, “Innocents On Ryloth“ was also an episode that drew from that event, with the Republic and the Jedi liberating a planet under full control of the opposition. With the plot line of D-day being the same, this episode was portrayed in a different manor with the general assault being on a lesser scale to that of the opening of the Umbaran arc.
So there we have it, I hope this write up gives you some insight into where some of the story arcs for Star Wars: The Clone Wars come from, and what events inspired them. Maybe you yourself can relate to one of the characters stories in particular. I know I can! Again this was the vision of George Lucas, something we should all respect. He and his extremely talented creative team drew from massive events in history and turned them into, well into Star Wars. Not only that, this is a story arc that has become iconic in my opinion. It is something I can watch over and over again and can still be captivated by the animation and the characters struggles. I can’t wait to see what “Star Wars Rebels” has in store for us, and truly hope they draw from iconic events in history so we as an audience can relate to what we see. It’s just another way to sucked into a ‘Galaxy Far Far Away’.