Star Wars: Numbers show Clone Wars dominated 2020, reached huge audience

Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 709 “Old Friends Not Forgotten” - Image Courtesy Disney+
Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 709 “Old Friends Not Forgotten” - Image Courtesy Disney+ /
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Ahsoka Tano
Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 710 “The Phantom Apprentice” – Image Courtesy Disney+ /

Star Wars: Good content wins and the future and Force is Filoni

Not bad for a show that had close to no marketing.  Considering Stranger Things and The Mandalorian both have far more intense marketing campaigns, one can only imagine how much serious paid marketing could have boosted the popularity and viewership of Clone Wars.  And we have to keep in mind this was mainly because of just four episodes—the final four—out of the 12-episodes of the season.

The first four were fun, for sure, with and even a few deeper moments, but felt a bit drawn out, while the middle four were definitely drawn out and formed the weakest arc by far of the finale (it was, admittedly, build up for the final four-episode arc, and I still enjoyed them all at any rate).

After 12 years, The Clone Wars seems to have finally earned some of the critical respect and mass appeal that its fans have known for so long it has deserved but which had, until this final season, eluded it.

And not just Clone Wars, but showrunner Dave Filoni, who, alongside Jon Favreau, is the main force behind The Mandalorian. My only wish is that Disney would have produced the eight unfinished episodes that became the highly-rated novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden to make the final season 20 episodes instead of 12. Those additional eight episodes, unlike the first eight episodes, would have been near and perhaps even at the quality of that astounding final arc.

I have no doubt Disney could have seen demand similar to what happened with its final episodes throughout the eight-episodes of the Dark Disciple arc, with unique story that would have generated a lot of buzz. It would have been dark (but probably not too dark for Disney) and filled with edge-of-your-seat emotion and tension throughout and could easily have opened up the season, generating more interest compared the other weaker arcs that ran before the finale. Plus, it would give Disney two additional full months of top-level consumption.

Disney can and easily should still make these eight episodes for Disney+ or into a feature-length movie, slated for theatrical release (same with the final four episodes of the series). If this seems an unrealistic ask, consider that work on the Dark Disciple episodes, like the season seven-opening Bad Batch arc, had already begun years ago (you can watch some of that Dark Disciple work here).

It is a tragedy Disney did not put more muscle behind Clone Wars.  It’s almost as if Disney was spiteful of its non-creation inspiring so much more passion and acclaim that its theatrical releases, which divided fans fan deeply as opposed to unifying nearly all Star Wars fans, like Clone Wars did.

If nothing else, let these numbers show Filoni and The Clone Wars represent a future than can be profitable, artistic, epic, and well-executed in non-polarizing ways, as opposed to whatever adjectives we may use (some certainly unprintable here) to describe what the Sequel Trilogy was and was not.

Filoni’s and George Lucas’s Clone Wars stands as a testament to the value of careful planning and storytelling and allowing creative control in ways that stay true to the real spirit of epic Star Wars even while breaking new ground, giving us content that can stand the test of time and match some of the best out there. The Clone Wars is not just Star Wars at its best, but entertainment at its best.

The show also now has the numbers to prove its success and popularity and that good content can and will be rewarded.

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