“Begun, the Clone War has.” Yoda spoke that line of dialogue near the end of the 2002 feature film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and it signified the beginning of one of the Star Wars franchise’s most famous conflicts. Now, with the return of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars for its seventh and final season on Disney+, that conflict is finally coming to an end, at long last filling in the narrative gap between Episodes II and III in the larger Star Wars saga.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars initially aired from 2008 through 2014, with five seasons airing on Cartoon Network and one streaming on Netflix. It was created by Star Wars mastermind George Lucas, though the creative direction of the show eventually fell upon animator Dave Filoni, who has since gone on to produce several more long-running cartoons set in A Galaxy Far, Far Away, as well as the Disney+ live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
If you haven’t yet taken the time to catch up on all 121 existing episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (plus a feature-length movie that played in theaters around the world), here’s a quick breakdown: the series largely follows the adventures of Jedi Masters Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they fight alongside the Republic’s clone army to combat Separatist forces. However, the show frequently diverges from its central premise to follow a number of interesting side characters, including Anakin’s Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano, droids C-3PO and R2-D2, the villainous Darth Sidious and his sniveling underling Count Dooku, and the individual clone troopers themselves, all of whom are capable of developing their own unique personalities.
There are extended arcs featuring newly introduced bounty hunter Cad Bane, the noble politicians who serve in the Galactic Senate, the slimy crime-lord race known as the Hutts, the conflicted denizens of the planet Mandalore, and the witch-like Nightsisters of an eerie world known as Dathomir. Anakin often combats his own demons, Obi-Wan comes face-to-face with enemies thought long dead, and Ahsoka finds out the hard way how judgmental the Jedi Order can truly be. And upon its cancellation, Clone Wars still had dozens upon dozens of episodes going through various stages of the developmental process– some arcs of which were then adapted into other formats like the Star Wars: Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir comic book miniseries and the Star Wars: Dark Disciple novel, all as part of Lucasfilm’s “The Clone Wars Legacy” multimedia initiative.
But now that the series is officially making its way back to television for one final season, what can fans expect to see in this last batch of installments? Well, for one, we know this new season opens with the arc introducing the Bad Batch, a group of clone troopers with “beneficial mutations” who help Captain Rex track down an old friend. This sequence of four interconnected episodes was actually previously released in an unfinished form on StarWars.com after being shown as story reels by Dave Filoni at Star Wars Celebration 2015 in Anaheim, California.
In the officially released trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars season seven, we also see what looks like an oft-referenced event known as the Siege of Mandalore, considered to be one of the final battles of the Clone Wars. Considering that this season is being released after the debut of the hit series The Mandalorian, it’s possible Filoni and his writing staff have managed to work in some references or setup to that other Star Wars television show, which takes place decades later in the franchise’s overarching timeline. There’s also evidently a confrontation between Ahsoka and Maul, plus Jedi Master Mace Windu’s declaration that he senses “a plot to destroy the Jedi,” a line taken directly from the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, meaning this season will likely overlap with the events of that movie.
Other unfinished arcs from the show’s original run included “Crystal Crisis on Utapau,” which was also released in story reel form, a bounty hunter story involving the young Boba Fett teaming up with Cad Bane to rescue a child kidnapped by Tusken Raiders on Tatooine (it sounds like much of this arc was cannibalized to become the plot of The Mandalorian), a team-up between Yoda and the Bad Batch on the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk, another multi-episode pairing focused on Captain Rex and R2-D2, an exploration beneath the Jedi temple on Coruscant, Padme sent on a diplomatic mission to Mon Cala, and even the introduction of the controversial Yuuzhan Vong enemies from the original Star Wars Expanded Universe. Will any of these elements make it into the actual final season of the show? We’ll have to wait to find out as the newly completed episodes are released.
One arc we do know is being factored in (from talent interviews and convention appearances) is referred to as “Ahsoka’s walkabout,” and sees the young Togruta Padawan exploring the Coruscant underworld and developing connections to scoundrel characters and becoming involved with the criminal organization known as the Pyke Syndicate. It’s also been confirmed that author E.K. Johnston had to alter her narrative plans for the 2016 novel Star Wars: Ahsoka to adhere to the then-secretly-in-the-works forthcoming Clone Wars season, so we know there’s undoubtedly some big Ahsoka Tano stuff on the way before the series ends.
Whatever specific events and character moments this season holds, Star Wars fans are certainly at the very least hoping to see some satisfying resolution to The Clone Wars’ many narrative threads. In all likelihood, we’ll see the series end with Chancellor Palpatine kidnapped by General Grievous and Count Dooku, leading directly into the opening moments of Revenge of the Sith, but might we get a tease of something more… perhaps a hint of additional adventures to come? Let’s tune in on Fridays to find out.
The seventh and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars premieres this Friday, February 21 exclusively on Disney+.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.