You’ve Been Watching ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ in the Wrong Order

Of all the franchises in entertainment, none are as far-reaching as the Star Wars universe. It spans multiple films, books, TV shows, and games. One corner of the universe has gotten plenty of attention lately is the Clone Wars era. This skirmish, first referenced by Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, represents one of the most important, long-running conflicts in all of Star Wars. 

The first ever Star Wars TV series was an animated one focusing on the Clone Wars. The show has been both a critical and commercial success lauded by fans and reviewers alike. But before you fire up Disney+ to watch the series, did you know there’s a better way to watch it than starting at the beginning? 

What is ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ about? 

Clone Troopers
Clone Troopers | Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place in between two of the Star Wars prequels, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

While Episode II portrays the beginning of the Clone Wars and Episode III shows us the tail end, the series shows the battles from the war itself. It follows numerous Jedi as they take on the evil Count Dooku, General Grievous, and other nefarious characters from the dreaded Trade Federation. The show began with a feature film released in theaters entitled Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The show debuted in 2008 and after a several year hiatus, debuted its seventh and final season in 2020. 

The show works as an ensemble, with multiple Jedi taking center stage as the protagonists depending on the episode. Two major characters featured are Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The series also added a new character to the Star Wars mythos: Skywalker’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano. 

The correct order of episodes to watch ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’

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A fan on Reddit watched the entire series and noticed that from a narrative standpoint, there may be a better way to watch the series’ episodes rather than linearly. This order is arranged in terms of arcs rather than in a straight line. Each cluster of episodes highlights an arc that runs throughout the show, which means you’ll end up skipping seasons, but in the end, will have watched every episode. 

For example, here’s the first group of episodes you should watch, according to the original poster:

The Domino Squad: Part 1

  • Season three, episode one: Clone Cadets

The Battle of Christophsis

  • Season two, episode 16:  Cat and Mouse
  • Season one, episode 16: The Hidden Enemy
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (film)

The Battle for Ryloth: Part 1

  • Season three, episode three: Supply Lines
  • Season one, episode one: Ambush

But why start it in this order? Why not just watch it by release date? The answer lies with the way the episodes are arranged in this setup.

Why this order is the right order

The reason why this order works? For each individual thread or character arc, it gives a better introduction to a specific storyline or character. Take a look at one of the descriptions from the original poster as to why their order begins with the Clone Cadets episode as opposed to the movie that launched the series: 

“In my opinion it’s a much better introduction to the show than Cat and Mouse. It shows us Domino Squad which are characters we’ll be seeing a lot. And it shows the humanity and personality the Clones have.”

The order puts a focus on story and character development over plot. While the plot is important, this order allows you to view a character or story’s cohesive thread from start to finish before moving onto the next thread.