Welcome back, Rebelscum fans! It’s Clone Wars week, but we’re talking about the 2D animated micro series that ran from 2003 to 2005, and not the 2008 3D series from Dave Filoni. Make sure to check out the “Expand Your Mind” base article that explains the show’s history, why it was a novelty, how it helped Dave Filoni launch The Clone Wars, and of course all the best merchandise you should be looking for.
Star Wars: Clone Wars may have been initially pitched as a means to bridge the gap between episodic installments, but in the years since its debut the show has developed a cult following among Star Wars fans and animation enthusiasts alike. It’s importance in developing Star Wars animation cannot be overstated; without Tartakovsky's Clone Wars you wouldn’t get Filoni's The Clone Wars, and without The Clone Wars you wouldn’t get Rebels, Resistance, The Bad Batch, and characters like Ashoka Tano and Captain Rex.
While it influenced these later projects, the shorter episodic format and bold 2D animation remains unique among Star Wars shows. This is due to the influence of showrunner Genndy Tartakovsky, who used a similar style for shows like Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory. Clone Wars is now receiving renewed attention after being added to the Disney+ Star Wars Vintage library, and we think it's about time Tartakovsky made his return to the galaxy far, far away.
Clone Wars wrapped up perfectly in its two volumes, but that doesn’t mean Tartakovsky can’t use a similar animation style to make a different Star Wars show. This week for “Force Casting,” we’ve come up with five pitches for animated shows Tartakovsky could make exploring other eras in the Star Wars timeline.
Star Wars: The High Republic (200 years before The Phantom Menace)
One of the most exciting current ongoing storylines within the Star Wars universe is the ongoing The High Republic multimedia event that tells a connected storyline across novels, comics, short stories, and an upcoming audio drama. The High Republic explores an era two centuries prior to The Phantom Menace where the threat of the Sith is a distant memory, but the Republic is threatened by an organization of space marauders known as the Nihil. The High Republic has already developed dozens of new Jedi characters embarking on adventures throughout the galaxy, and we think Tartakovsky could bounce around to different events and locations to capture the scope of the storyline. We loved what Tartakovsky did with Yoda on Clone Wars, and we’d be interested in seeing Yoda’s adventures during The High Republic.
Star Wars: Prelude (Right before The Phantom Menace)
The period directly before The Phantom Menace has so much potential for an exciting animated series. What other missions did Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon go on? What sort of covert operations was Darth Maul doing? How did Padme transition to becoming the youngest Queen of Naboo? When did Dooku leave the Jedi Order? Many of the coolest characters and vehicles from The Phantom Menace haven’t been featured prominently within Star Wars projects since 1999, and we’d love to see what Tartakovsky could do with this fascinating time period.
Star Wars: Smugglers (Right after Solo)
It’s a real shame that Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed at the box office, as the exciting origin story did a great job depicting the “hive of scum and villainy” with many great new characters (Qi’ra is making a reappearance in The War of the Bounty Hunters comic series). Unfortunately it seems like the plans for a proposed trilogy of Solo films has been put on hold, but the fast-paced western style of Han’s early adventures could be transitioned into an animated series. Solo was refreshing for the way it depicted episodic adventures reminiscent of classic serials that inspired George Lucas in the first place, and Tartakovsky could definitely use some of the planned storylines for Solo 2 and 3 and transition them into shorter animated adventures.
Star Wars: Empire (Between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back)
If you’re looking for a period within Star Wars canon that promises a lot of action, the Galactic Civil War would be a great follow up to Clone Wars. Three whole years pass between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and although we’ve seen how Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids evolve as a team in stories such as Splinter of the Mind’s Eye or the classic Marvel comics, an animated series could flesh them out even more. It would be a shame if the only Star Wars television project during this setting was The Star Wars Holiday Special, but we guarantee Tartakovsky could change that.
Star Wars: First Order (Between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker)
The Last Jedi ends with a jaw-dropping conclusion that changes the landscape of the galaxy far, far away. We’d love to see the further adventures of Finn, Rey, Poe, and Rose as they rebuild the Resistance and gather allies, and we’d be interested in seeing how Kylo Ren transitions to his position as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. There’s also the question of Exogal- how did Palptaine put together his fleet? The Rise of Skywalker was unfortunately limited in what it could do with Leia due to the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher, and it would be great to see Leia in her prime as she leads the Resistance during this critical era.
What do you think? Do you want to see Tartakovsky develop a new animated series? Do any of our pitches excite you, or do you have another idea? Let us know below, and as always, may the Force be with you!