From the theatrical debut of the original trilogy to the exclusive release of The Mandalorian on Disney+, Star Wars has a rich history filled with iconic characters and timeless stories. This beloved franchise also has a bright future ahead of it. The upcoming slate of new movies and television shows will undoubtedly excite fans and entice new viewers, but before we look forward, let’s look back at my favorite decade of Star Wars content.
From 2010 to 2020, we watched characters say goodbye in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, fight against the Empire in Star Wars Rebels, explore the galaxy in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars, take flight in Star Wars Resistance and face insurmountable odds in the return and series finale of The Clone Wars.
So why do I love this golden age of Star Wars? Technically, I became a fan of the animated shows in 2008, but my love for Lucasfilm Animation’s productions surprisingly took off after the premature cancellation of The Clone Wars.
Looking back at the Star Wars animated shows
When news about The Clone Wars winding down broke in 2013, I was devastated. I joined hundreds of other fans and wrote a letter to Lucasfilm, begging for the series to continue. I eventually received a response.
"It is incredible how deeply the show connected with fans around the world and we are so proud of Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm Animation team for creating such an amazing series… As we enter into an exciting new era focused on the next Star Wars feature films, we have also decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming."
I didn’t know it at the time, but the cancellation was sort of a blessing in disguise.
The Clone Wars paved the way for Rebels, allowing canonical stories to branch away from the Skywalker saga and focus on brand-new characters and locations. Like its predecessor, Rebels expanded Star Wars in unexpected and thrilling ways. Ancient Sith temples, Inquisitors, Loth-wolves, and the World Between Worlds were just some of the ways Rebels enhanced my understanding of the Force.
The Freemaker Adventures and LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars accurately captured the essence of Star Wars and introduced lovable and hilarious characters to a younger generation of fans. And although these characters existed in a LEGO environment, their journeys were interwoven with fan-favorite movies, like Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story. They reminded me what it was like to be a kid again and have fun.
Star Wars Resistance helped flesh out the sequel era with the most diverse cast to date by exploring ordinary, day-to-day characters. Because of that slice-of-life approach, I developed a greater appreciation for the sequel time period. What makes Resistance even more unique, though, is the cell-shaded art style. Lucasfilm Animation always pushes the envelope, and that’s especially evident in this show.
Things came full circle in 2020 with the return of The Clone Wars and its epic series finale. The final episodes were an emotional roller coaster ride, from Ahsoka dueling with Maul to Captain Rex and Ahsoka fighting off clone troopers we’d come to know and love. I can’t thank the creators enough for bookending the 2010s with one of the most heart-wrenching and bittersweet stories that brilliantly complemented Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
Each one of these shows took us on awe-inspiring and memorable adventures, making us laugh, think, and cry along the way, but what else do they all have in common? They’re cartoons.
Animation is an extraordinary medium. There are no limits in an animated world, and the storytelling possibilities are endless. It’s the reason why I’m eagerly looking forward to starting this new decade of Star Wars with The Bad Batch, and why I hope Lucasfilm Animation has several more decades of animated shows to come.
What decade of Star Wars do you love most? Let us know in the comments below. And you can watch these Star Wars animated shows and more on the Disney+ streaming service.