‘The Clone Wars’ Is The Best Tribute To George Lucas That Currently Exists in ‘Star Wars’
Star Wars: The Clone Wars might be all you’ve heard about recently when it comes to the franchise. And if you’ve seen any of the chatter online about the series, you might have noticed that it’s predominantly positive, which isn’t always the case when it comes to Star Wars. The reason it is so universally loved is that it takes the best elements of the franchise and adds great writing, characters, and so much heart. And with the release of the series finale, it turned out to be the greatest tribute to George Lucas to date. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars].
‘The Clone Wars’ is Lucas’ brainchild through and through
In case you weren’t aware, The Clone Wars is Lucas’ creation. It was created after Revenge of the Sith in 2008 and was a passion project of Lucas’. He and Dave Filoni essentially made it what it is today with their massive team of writers and artists. The Clone Wars were mentioned all the way back in 1977’s A New Hope, and of course, are a big part of the prequels.
However, the war isn’t really shown except for at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. It’s talked about again, and we see the clones, but the gravity of the war, the toll it took, and how it shaped Anakin Skywalker (and others) isn’t looked at. But in actuality, they’re super important, and Lucas wanted a series that would dive into it a bit more.
And the show’s most important new character, Ahsoka, was the brainchild of Lucas as well. In order to successfully get Anakin from the cocky, immature 19-year-old Padawan in Attack of the Clones to one of the greatest Jedi — who’s also on the verge of a breakdown — in Revenge of the Sith, Lucas wanted him to have a Padawan. Ahsoka is the character they used to help mature him and help him grow. She also went on to have the best character development in the whole franchise, which made this final season oh-so-special.
The show is the last thing that Lucas created in the franchise and honors that 100 percent
Because of everything mentioned above, the show holds Lucas’ DNA. It is the last thing to come out of Star Wars — Disney or not — that is a direct product of Lucas. He didn’t have as much creative say as he did in the first six movies; that’s where Filoni came in. But Filoni still never lost sight of what the show meant and stood for.
It had some of the best arcs and gave so much emotional depth to the overall franchise. Anakin’s character flourished in The Clone Wars; whereas he might have come off as a whiny Padawan who turned to the Dark Side too easily in the prequels (to some), the series showed why his story ended up how it did. It also established him as the best Jedi at the time, which we didn’t really see in the prequels as strongly.
It also really turned Ahsoka into the powerhouse that she is known as today. To put it plainly, the show was telling the stories Lucas wanted to tell. It takes his ideas and runs with them, but still keeps the integrity of the franchise he created.
The series honors Lucas’ essential meaning of ‘Star Wars,’ which the sequel trilogy didn’t really grasp
Probably the best example of how The Clone Wars grasped Lucas’ intent with Star Wars is the Siege of Mandalore arc. It took the biggest moment in the prequels — Order 66 — and showed another side of it. And in the end, it closed its curtains with Darth Vader, which is where Lucas started this journey in A New Hope.
Something that the sequel trilogy never truly got was the essential point behind the first six movies. As Lucas wrote in a letter in 2006, the saga started and ended with Anakin Skywalker. Even though it never started out as such in 1977, that’s where the story turned. The sequels completely disregarded that. Which is fine, but it doesn’t really coincide with Lucas’ “Skywalker Saga.”
The Clone Wars is a beautiful ode to Lucas, the original creator. Even though it took his themes and stories and wove them into a well-written series away from him, it still hinged on Lucas’ intentions with the franchise. It deepened these characters more than any of the movies were able to do and it gave fans some of the most beloved material in Star Wars. That, in itself, is the biggest compliment to Lucas.