A Media Timeline for the New Stars Wars Continuity

The Clone Wars animated series essential viewing guide.

Welcome to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars essential viewing guide. The below episodes present the most important story lines relative to what happened in the Star Wars saga between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The first two seasons are a bit angular and can seem "jerky." But, by season three they had fine-tuned the process. By seasons five and six you'll be in awe of the imagery and artistry of these animated episodes. When you have time, watch them all. Share your comments with me at don@donkbrown.com or tweet at me at @donkbrown. I hope you enjoy your Star Wars: The Clone Wars journey.

“Begun, the Clone Wars Have”
These initial four pieces set the stage for the series. The theatrical release most notably introduces Ahsoka Tano, who becomes one of the most popular Star Wars characters ever after the Big Three and perhaps the most important personality in The Clone Wars.

Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones motion picture
S2E16 "Cat and Mouse"
S1E16 "The Hidden Enemy"
The Clone Wars theatrical release

Of Jar Jars and Gunrays
Ahsoka demonstrates her loyalty in this arc and begins to become the padawan fans love. This arc has a great lightsaber duel, explores General Grievous and brings Jar Jar into a better light than The Phantom Menace did.

S1E8 "Bombad Jedi"
S1E9 "Cloak of Darkness"
S1E10 "Lair of Grievous"
S1E11 "Dooku Captured"
S1E12 "The Gungan General"
S1E13 "Jedi Crash"
S1E14 "Defenders of Peace"

Second Invasion of Geonosis
This arc introduces an important character that will later be used to shake Anakin and Ahsoka’s faith in the Jedi council later in the series.

S2E4 “Senate Spy”
S2E5 “Landing at Point Rain”
S2E6 “Weapons Factory”
S2E7 “Legacy of Terror”
S2E8 “Brain Invaders”

A short arc, but it portrays Captain Rex well as he struggles with his loyalties and makes him the excellent character he turns out to be as the series unfolds over the next few years.

S2E9 “Grievous Intrigue”
S2E10 “The Deserter”

Satine, Duchess of Mandalore
Not the most action-filled arc, but it provides important context for one of season five’s paramount stories. Also, the Death Watch is introduced and we get our first glimpse of a dark blade, a lightsaber’s opposite.

S2E12 “The Mandalore Plot”
S2E13 “Voyage of Temptation”
S2E14 “Duchess of Mandalore”

Advanced Recon Commando
This arc further explores the humanity of the clones. The “ARC Troopers” episode is where The Clone Wars really begins to come together and find its footing. Anakin is shown to be the badass he is, Obi-wan has a few great one-liners, and Asajj Ventress shows how cruel she can be.

S3E1 “Clone Cadets”
S1E5 “Rookies”
S3E2 “ARC Troopers”

Young Boba Fett
This arc presents young Boba Fett seeking revenge and has some great action sequences. It also presents rare scenes of Mace Windu in action.

S2E20 “Death Trap”
S2E21 “R2 Come Home”
S2E22 “Lethal Trackdown”

A compelling and beautifully animated arc. “Nightsisters” introduces a very well developed and amazingly well portrayed sect of female witches (dark force users) in an all out battle against Dooku. This is one of my favorite arcs and Lucasfilm nailed the dark magic feel and mood. And then, we get Clancy Brown as Savage Opress. Total win!

S3E12 “Nightsisters”
S3E13 “Monster”
S3E14 “Witches of the Mist”

The Citadel
Moff Tarkin, who would later give the order to destroy the planet Alderaan with the Death Star, is first introduced to a young Anakin Skywalker in this arc. They have an interesting conversation about war, peace and the role of the Jedi.

S3E18 “The Citadel”
S3E19 “Counter Attack”
S3E20 “Citadel Rescue”

Hunted Padawans
More of Ahsoka in action and coming of age. Yes, it’s a total rip-off of Predator, but, the payoff here is the appearance of a certain young, original trilogy character.

S3E21 “Padawan Lost”
S3E22 “Wookiee Hunt”

Shadow Warrior
A great stand-alone episode that returns to Naboo and does a great job of conveying the feel and drama that The Phantom Menace did not. Fans of the Akira Kurosawa film Kagemusha will love this episode.

S4E4 “Shadow Warrior”

Battle of Umbara
This arc ably demonstrates the challenges of war. This arc is when Captain Rex became one of my favorite Star Wars characters and shows, again, that Jedi are fallible. I was pretty angry after this arc ended.

S4E7 “Darkness on Umbara”
S4E8 “The General”
S4E9 “Plan of Dissent”
S4E10 “Carnage of Krell”

Obi-wan Undercover
This arc is okay as far as story-telling and visual display. You could skip “The Box” episode. But, the arc is important to watch because it presents one of the many ways the Jedi council drove Anakin away.

S4E15 “Deception”
S4E16 “Friends and Enemies"
S4E17 “The Box”
S4E18 “Crisis on Naboo”

The Return of Darth Maul
This arc sees fan-favorite Asajj Ventress’ sisterhood destroyed, and fan mega-favorite Darth Maul is brought back to the saga.

S4E19 “Massacre”
S4E20 “Bounty”
S4E21 “Brothers”
S4E22 “Revenge”

Jedi Younglings
These episodes present an interesting study of early Jedi training. Plus, lots of action with Ahsoka and the popular character Hondo Ohnaka.

S5E6 “The Gathering”
S5E7 “A Test of Strength”
S5E8 “Bound for Rescue”
S5E9 “A Necessary Bond”

The Revenge of Darth Maul
This story arc is THE must see story arc of all of The Clone Wars episodes. It’s gritty, darkly beautiful and very emotional. “The Lawless” left me with my jaw on the floor. I watched it over and over and still do.

S5E1 “Revival”
S5E14 “Eminence”
S5E15 “Shades of Reason”
S5E16 “The Lawless”

Ahsoka’s Trial
The other must-see story arc! These episodes show how far Darth Sidious manipulated the Jedi council and how lost they became. Ahsoka’s fate literally, honestly, left me in tears. I was in shock when “The Wrong Jedi” ended.

S5E17 “Sabotage”
S5E18 “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
S5E19 “To Catch a Jedi"
S5E20 “The Wrong Jedi”

Clone Conspiracy
This important arc does a great job of explaining the origins of Protocol 66, or Order 66, which the feature film Revenge of the Sith did not address. And, again, the Jedi are shown to be oblivious to Darth Sidious’ machinations.

S6E1 “The Unknown”
S6E2 “Conspiracy”
S6E3 “Fugitive”
S6E4 “Orders”

The Rise of Clovis
While not strong on action, this arc is important becasue it shows Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker falling further away. While it may have a few dull moments, this arc does well showing Darth Sidious insidiously unwinding Anakin’s sanity from behind the scenes.

S6E5 “An Old Friend”
S6E6 “The Rise of Clovis”
S6E7 “Crisis at the Heart”

Secrets of the Force
A beautiful and brightly colored ending to the series that raises more questions than it answers. These episodes make an effort to inform viewers of Force-related concepts. This whole arc is pretty weird and nebulous, but beautifuly crafted. Yoda comes to life as a character in "Sacrifice" and demomstrates his dedication to light and the lengths he'll go to do the right thing. The final episode ends The Clone Wars series well.

S6E10 “The Lost One”
S6E11 “Voices”
S6E12 “Destiny”
S6E13 “Sacrifice”

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