Once upon a time, I didn’t hold the Star Wars prequels in very high regard. When they came out around twenty years ago, I was disappointed and not impressed. I grew up with the Original Trilogy, you see, and I didn’t get a Round Two of the OT. Why I expected this is beyond me, but I quickly dismissed them and didn’t give them another thought, really.
When the sequel trilogy came out, I absolutely LOVED them, and they plunged me back into a Star Wars obsession I haven’t experienced since I was a kid. This caused me to explore all manner of Star Wars media, and have since realized we’re living in a golden age of SW, in my opinion. I caught up on Rogue One (amazing!) and Solo (fun!), watched The Mandalorian (cool!), and have since read several canon books (see my sister blog, The Star Wars Reader, for my book reviews). I’ve even rewatched the prequels and found a new appreciation for them. It’s all great, it’s all fun, and I’m loving every minute of it.
However, I hadn’t watched The Clone Wars, which I was hearing all about in my social media feeds, especially the last upcoming Season 7. Up until then I hadn’t seriously considered watching it, as it dealt with prequel-era stuff, and, well, it was a cartoon, right? “I ain’t watching no cartoon!” I told myself.
But the hype leading up to Season 7 was compelling and caught my attention. What’s the big deal? I wondered. People my age (the other side of 40) were watching this “cartoon” and loving it. I got the sneaking suspicion I was missing out on something important.
So I watched the first few episodes on Disney+. And while the animation was impressive (not cartoonish at all, but more like CGI video game kind of stuff), as far as the storylines went, I thought, “Meh.” What I wanted was the good stuff I was hearing about in Season 7. So I started there: I watched Season 7 first.
And was blown away by what I saw. I was familiar enough with the Star Wars universe and the characters not to be totally lost, and it was pretty damn amazing. This was movie-quality stuff, and the last few episodes were gripping and tragic, the other side of Order 66 that we don’t see in Revenge of the Sith. I liked the character of Ahsoka, and absolutely loved Captain Rex and the Clones, who up until then were just faceless drones to me. I needed to know more about them all, and so I decided to watch Season 6. And then Season 5. And 4, and so on.
I was watching it backwards, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this great Star Wars material. I’m obsessed. I love the Mandalorian arcs–I now know more about the Dark Saber, which showed up at the end of The Mandalorian (I had no idea what it was, and was like, huh? Wat dat?). I love that Obi-Wan had a love interest (who knew?). I’m fairly in love with Obi-Wan myself now; I love his quips, his courage, his kindness, and his strength in adhering to the Jedi Code.
And I definitely like Anakin much more in Clone Wars than in the movies. No disrespect to Hayden Christensen, who is a fine actor, but the character of Anakin just never clicked with me. He’s much more likable in Clone Wars, which only makes his fall to the Dark Side more tragic to me. The clues are there, but for the most part, he’s a great character here.
I admit, I skipped a few episodes, namely the droid adventures, and a few with Ahsoka and the younglings. Some arcs are more interesting than others. I especially love the ones about the Clones, Rex and Echo and Fives, and so many others. My heart broke with 99, and the Bad Batch were a scream.
Basically, Clone Wars caused me to fall in love with prequel-era Star Wars, which is a great gift. I’m looking forward to watching Rebels, as well, and gaining even more appreciation for Rebellion-era Star Wars. It’s all great, it’s all fun, and I’m so lucky to have this galaxy far, far away in my life.