Top Five Story Arcs and Episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Photo Credit:

No matter how you look at it, a chapter of the Star Wars legacy is ending. The most successful and critically acclaimed Star Wars TV show ever had an unique style, making a top ten episodes list not totally relevant. The just concluded fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars had five four-part story arcs, serving almost as mini movies. It had been moving towards this since its second season. But still, standalone episodes did matter, since that’s how the show aired. So, we have two lists for you, the five best story arcs and standalone episodes. UPDATE: This list now includes Season 6 a.k.a. The Lost Missions.


Top Five Story Arcs:

Photo Credit: Darth Maul Takes Mandalore (Season 5)-

There isn’t another storyline as epic as this one on the show. The recently reunited brothers round up the scum of the galaxy, including Death Watch, to take over Mandalore. Featuring several major deaths, this was perhaps the most shocking arc at its time. All this, just to get Obi Wan’s attention. But Maul also got his old master’s attention, leading to one of the best lightsaber duels in Star Wars history.


Photo Credit: Umbara (Season 4)-

Interestingly enough, the only arc on this list that actually deals with the Clone Wars, the four Umbara episodes are both exciting and thought provoking. The Jedi heroes take a backseat to Captain Rex, who must deal with a new Jedi General, Krell, who will test the clones in ways they have never been tested before. In a way, this arc feels like a precursor to Order 66.


Photo Credit: 3. Order 66 (Season 6)-

Well, maybe the Umbara arc lead directly into this one. Playing like a Hitchcockian thriller, this four-part arc delves deep into the clones’ purposes. Fives takes the lead when fellow brother Tup loses control in battle and murders a Jedi Master. The secrets behind Order 66 are unveiled, but not at the sacrifice of this shocking and engaging story of a man’s purpose in this fantastical world.


Photo Credit: 2. Yoda’s Travels (Season 6)-

If you want the mysticism of the Force reinstated for you, look no further than the four phenomenal episodes that closed out the series. Connecting The Clone Wars to the rest of the saga, Yoda’s mission to uncover the truth foreshadows events to come while giving Yoda a new lesson to learn. Filled with surprises for the fans and an emotional finale, this arc can only be trumped by one.


Photo Credit: Ahsoka on the Run (Season 5)-

This thing was heavy. Since the beginning, fans have wondered what would come of Anakin’s apprentice Ahsoka, as she doesn’t appear in Revenge of the Sith. This arc delivered that answer and more, some of which, fans didn’t necessarily know they wanted. What was Tarkin’s role in the Clone Wars? How does the public feel about the Jedi? Are the Jedi always the good guys? It’s shocking and even makes Anakin’s dark decent more believable and tragic.



Top Five Episodes:

Photo Credit: Rookies (Season 1 Episode 5)-

After the disaster that was the theatrical release (it’s not THAT bad looking back on it, but it certainly isn’t good), Clone Wars hit the small screen with four forgettable episodes. Then came Rookies, an episode that dared to give the clones personalities. This was when we knew Clone Wars could be something special. While it wouldn’t reach this high point again for a few seasons, fans started to take note of what this show was capable of.


Photo Credit: Carnage of Krell (Season 4 Episode 10)-

The end of the Umbara arc put Rex and the clones to the test as they took on the insane General Krell. Incredible action and visuals are followed by some of the most emotional moments on the series as Rex contemplates killing the Jedi. It’s a moment where we wonder if Rex could possibly handle Order 66, and what kind of life a clone could have in a warless galaxy.


Photo Credit: The Lawless (Season 5 Episode 16)-

This is what Star Wars is all about. The action packed, emotional finale to the “Darth Maul Takes Mandalore” arc is a rollercoaster from start to finish. Featuring two major character deaths, a clever twist, and the best lightsaber duel this side of Mustafar, The Lawless reminds us why we are Star Wars fans in a way that had never been done before on the small screen.


Photo Credit: Destiny (Season 6 Episode 13)-

The series finale of Clone Wars manages to do, at least to some degree, what George Lucas failed to do: connect the entire saga. When Yoda’s quest ends with a mental confrontation with Darth Sidious, it becomes a battle for Anakin’s soul. Can Sidious truly kill the Chosen One, or will Yoda manage to keep at least part of him away from the Dark Side? The series ends on a stunningly high note as Yoda seems to be planning for victory beyond the Clone Wars. Enter Revenge of the Sith.


Photo Credit: The Wrong Jedi (Season 5 Episode 20)-

The Season 5 finale is by far the most emotional episode the series ever produced. After Ahsoka framed and nearly convicted for attacking the Jedi Temple, Anakin finally finds proof proving her innocence. It’s not enough for her though, as she leaved the Jedi Order in one of the saddest but most logical moments I’ve seen in a cartoon ever. It makes you wish Anakin would go with her.


Fans, I want to thank you for reading and commenting and making this one of the most fun shows I’ve had the pleasure of covering. As this great series comes to an abrupt close, I urge you to keep the conversation going. That way, no matter what Disney has in store for us, Clone Wars will become an immortal part of this saga that means so much to us. May the Force be with you, and I’ll see you at Episode VII

By Matt Dougherty


One Response to Top Five Story Arcs and Episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

  1. Eric says:

    Very good review – both from an opinion and descriptive standpoint. My only difference would be in switching #2 & #1. Although I felt that explaining Asohka’s lack of appearance in the movie was critical – with her being a central character to the series – The Lawless was far more important in terms of settling the huge missed opportunity of expanding on Darth Maul’s legacy, especially in light of Ray Park’s stellar performance of him in the movie. He is continually listed as a perennial favorite on top 10 bad guy lists and Lucas himself even said he missed an opportunity with Maul. Sam Witwer did a great job as both Mortis and Maul and I hope to see a conclusion to the arc in a future DVD set.

    Good review and keep up the good work!

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