15. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones premiered in 2002, and shortly thereafter the Star Wars universe got a booster shot in the name of Star Wars: Clone Wars. While it’s often forgotten or ignored, and some don’t even consider it part of Star Wars canon, it’s nonetheless impressive and worthwhile. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Star Wars: Clone Wars felt simpler, more for enjoyment than some of its successors.
The series starts off with Yoda saying, “Like fire across the galaxy, the Clone Wars spread.” It’s a great choice of words because much of the series’ 2D animation feels like a high production, side-scroller video game. What this series gets right is the fun, the excitement. There aren’t many moments in between massive ship movements, swarms of starfighters, epic lightsaber battles, and nonstop action. Especially whenever General Grievous is present (a little different than how most fans see him).
For more mature viewers, the writing and animation for Anakin are very clear. He’s got a perpetual toddler scowl, as Obi-Wan took away his lightsaber. Only Anakin treats it like a pacifier. Furthermore, the connection between Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Anakin shows subtle hints of the deceit and manipulation.
The Star Wars: Clone Wars series can’t be given enough credit. If you’re not interested in the complexity of six seasons of the later animated series, and you just want the filler information between films, this short series works perfectly.