Western Animation / Star Wars: Clone Wars

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"Like fire, across the galaxy, the Clone Wars spread."
Yoda

Star Wars: Clone Wars is an Animated Adaptation Miniseries, written and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, and produced by Cartoon Network. Clone Wars is set in the Star Wars universe, between the events of Episode II and Episode III. Where the prequel trilogy teases us with the beginning and end of the Clone Wars, this miniseries puts the "Wars" back in Star Wars and actually shows the meat of that galaxy-spanning conflict.

It should not be confused with the CG film and TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It could be considered a spiritual pilot for that series, and the two share a few voice actors, but don't have any of the same writers.

The first volume of the series (Seasons 1 and 2) shows Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker leading the Clone forces in the Battle of Muunilinst. Obi-wan leads the ground forces, and ends up battling the mercenary Durge. Meanwhile, Anakin leads the space battle, then gets drawn into a one-on-one fight with the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress.

Interspersed with this are shorter scenes from other characters and other battles: ARC troopers taking a key enemy position, Kit Fisto fighting underwater, Yoda and Padme rescuing two Jedi ambushed on an ice planet, and Mace Windu battling an army on Dantooine.

Then General Grievous shows up and kills a bunch of Jedi. A bunch.

The second volume of the series (Season 3) has only two main storylines and no side-stories. Beginning with the rescue of the Jedi from the last season's cliffhanger, it shows the tide of the war shifting against the Republic due to Grievous' arrival. The Jedi Council responds by promoting Anakin to Jedi Knight. A montage of Anakin kicking butt ensues, then he and Obi-wan are dispatched to Nelvaan to find Grievous. In this story, Anakin receives a trippy vision quest that foreshadows his later fall to the Dark Side.

Meanwhile, Grievous leads a massive attack on Coruscant. Yoda and Mace Windu lead the counterattack, while Shaak Ti attempts to escort Chancellor Palpatine to safety.

The animation style is similar to Samurai Jack, but with outlines and CG spaceships. The series was originally broadcast as four-minute episodes for the first two seasons, then as twelve-minute episodes for the third season. Even in this format, the series earned an Emmy award.


This microseries provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Used by Obi-wan and Anakin to sneak into an enemy base.
  • Action Girl: Shaak Ti, Asajj Ventress (a Dark Action Girl) and Padme has her moments.
  • Adaptational Badass: Everyone is depicted as far more powerful than they were in the movies. The most egregious and infamous example is General Grievous, because he was introduced in the series as being capable of curb-stomping five — albeit exhausted — Jedi, whereas George Lucas intended him to be a mustache-twirling villain, but hadn't yet made the final decision when he decided to give the character to the crew of the series.
  • Alien Lunch: The second episode of the 3rd season shows that Anakin isn't picky when it comes to food. Though he might have done it just to Squick out Obi-Wan.
    Obi-Wan: How can you eat that?
    Anakin (mouth full of bugs): But Master, you always taught me to feed off the Living Force.
  • All There in the Manual: Volume II serves as the manual for portions of Revenge of the Sith, as it is meant to bridge the gap between Episodes II and III, in particular introducing General Grievous, showing C-3PO's new gold plating and Anakin becoming a Jedi Knight (as well as the cosmetic changes he and Obi-Wan undergo), and especially showing the Battle of Coruscant before Episode III drops everyone into the tail end of it.
  • Animesque
  • Are These Wires Important?: In one episode, Mace Windu punches a hole in a droid fighter, yanks at some wires... and starts using them as reins. Implausible as all get out, but it looks cool.
  • Arm Cannon: Most of the Nelvaanian warriors were given these as part of their grotesque body modifications. They tear them off after Anakin loses his own cybernetic arm, as a sign of respect to "holt kazed" — and to symbolize that they won't let themselves be what the Techno Union turned them into.
  • Ascended Extra: Shaak Ti.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Given an interesting spin. The Nelvaan language is a mix of Russian and Hungarian, read phonetically by voice actors who don't speak the language, to give it a non-natural "alien" sound.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Both used straight by many Jedi, and mixed with Deadly Dodging by Shaak Ti.
  • Badass:
    • Mace Windu. To utterly ridiculous levels.
    • General Grievous, moreso than in the live-action film due to his lungs being Force crushed by Mace Windu in the show's last episode.
    • Captain Fordo, leader of the ARC trooper squad.
    • Dooku, who curbstomps both Asajj Ventress and General Grievous.
  • Badass Crew: The Muunilist 10, the group of clones that take out the gun platform in the first season.
  • Badass Grandpa: Yoda performs a variety of insane feats of the force while taking down a bunch of Giant Robot mooks.
  • Bald Woman: Asajj Ventress. Also, Bald of Evil, obviously.
  • Bash Brothers: Luminara and Barriss Offee. Their lightsaber fight against the battle droids showed them to be perfectly synchronized.
  • Battle in the Rain: It conveniently starts to rain during a face-off between Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress. Cue a dramatic pause where they both stand still while raindrops hit their lightsabers and turn into wisps of steam. (This foreshadows the end of the faceoff, where Anakin gives into rage again, channeling the Dark Side of the Force and using Ventress' dropped Sith lightsaber to savagely attack her, shoving her off the building they're on with the final blow.)
  • Beam Spam: A lot of it.
  • BFG: Some of the ARC troopers are armed with this.
  • Big Bad: Palpatine/Darth Sidious.
  • Big Entrance: Our introductions to both Durge and General Grievous.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Very little of any remains are shown. Taken to ridiculous extremes when there is no visible body left after General Grievous's Goomba Stomp. Averted with the below Body Horror.
  • Body Horror:
    • What happens to the male Nelvaanians.
    • What Obi-wan does to Durge, exploding him all over the walls from within.
  • Bolivian Army Ending:
    • The second season ends with a handful of Jedi holding out against an army of Battle Droids and the newly introduced General Grievous.
    • The third season actually picks up a couple minutes later. Four Jedi survived the initial ambush, and holed up where the Droid army couldn't touch them. General Grievous killed one more Jedi before Ki-Adi-Mundi single-handedly stalled long enough for reinforcements to arrive and save his surviving friends.
  • Broken Faceplate: In one scene, General Grievous grasps a clone trooper's head with his clawed foot and smashes him against a wall so hard that his helmet shatters and his jaw is visible. There's no blood, but it's reasonable to assume that trooper is down for good.
  • Call Forward: During his dogfight with Ventress, Anakin gets a lock on her and says "I have you now." Fittingly, just like when he said it in A New Hope, he failed to kill his target.
  • Cape Busters: The ARC Troopers are a borderline case of this. They were genetically engineered super-soldiers who, using squad tactics (and heavy supporting firepower and air support), were able to at least hold their own against General Grevious to rescue a group of wounded Jedi knights. Although they were super-soldiers, against Force-users like the Jedi Knights or the Sith, even their genetic augments wouldn't be enough to qualify them as supers in their own rights.
  • Cape Snag: Shaak Ti manages to temporarily defeat General Grievous by using the Force to tie his cape to a passing train.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Jedi Sha'a Gi. Genndy says on the commentary he wanted to initially give him a more Shaggy-like voice, but thought it might come off as too goofy.
  • Captain Obvious: "The city is under attack!" Said by Windu to Yoda, as a veritable rain of droid starfighters are flying past a Jedi Temple window.
  • Chainsaw Good: Gennedy Tartovsky joked regarding the offscreen fight with General Grievous that they should put the sound of a chainsaw into the scene. It made it into the scene, and it turns an otherwise terrifying scene into something to laugh about as you wonder where he could have gotten a chainsaw.
    • Hilariously, one of the Jedi waiting on the elevator while this is going on starts frantically hitting the call button faster when he hears it.
  • Chase Fight: The Jedi and General Grievous during the battle of Coruscant. The Jedi are trying to get Palpatine to a safe bunker while Grievous and his Magnaguards are trying to kidnap him. It all comes to naught in the end, though, as Grievous somehow makes it there ahead of them.
  • Chiaroscuro:
    • Anakin's knighting ceremony. A darkened chamber, with only the Jedi Council's lightsabers for illumination.
    • Anakin's fight with Asajj briefly has them fighting in a darkened tunnel. All you can see is the red-blue reflections of their lightsabers. Anakan is in blue, Asajj in red; when they emerge atop the temple, into the light of a red gas giant in the sky, and Anakin finishes Asajj with her own lightsaber and the Dark Side, they are both shown in red.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Palpatine does this in his first scene, complete with what sounds vaguely like bones rattling when he taps his fingertips together.
  • Clifftop Caterwauling: Anakin, after his fight with Ventress.
  • Compilation Movie: The miniseries aired on Cartoon Network with 4 minute episodes and was later released on DVD as an hour long movie. Inverted in some countries outside the US as this is the only form the episodes were available and TV-airings are in the same format.
  • Conspicuous CG/Cel Shading: Spaceships are animated with cel-shaded CG.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Averted. Though characters and objects are typically solid colors and backgrounds are painted, an object will be painted to match the background to avoid giving the game away. For example, when Asajj destroys a branch Anakin is standing on with the Force and a flick of her finger, the branch very nearly matches the tree.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Numerous lines from the original trilogy appear in different contexts: "I have you now", "What a wonderful smell you've discovered", "Impressive. Most impressive", "There are alternatives to fighting", and "I've got a bad feeling about this."
    • The Speeder Bike scenes to the Endor battle in Return of the Jedi.
    • The overhead shots of the clones' cockpits are made to evoke those of the Original Trilogy.
    • Anakin's cave vision of Darth Vader is a mirror of Luke's.
    • The fight between the Mon Calamari's organic mounts and the machines of the CIS is meant to evoke the Gungan vs. Droid battle of The Phantom Menace.
  • Cosmetic Award: Captain Fordo (The red ARC trooper) receives a unique helmet insignia for his service in fighting Grevious in the beginning of season 3. An unusual case of a cosmetic award actually being considered good — it's a highly prized Mandalorian symbol of heroism and honor.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Grevious spends most of his time stomping Jedi, but his fight with Mace Windu lasted two seconds — in the first Windu used the Force, in the next Grevious was lying on the floor.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In a sequence reminiscent of Luke's experience in the cave on Episode V, Anakin has a vision in which a warrior loses his arm in battle, and replaces it with a mysterious shiny, black one with great power. At first he is able to defend his home and friends with the power of the arm, but soon it reaches out and kills a bunch of stuff without him meaning to, eventually including his wife. The parallel to the loss of his own hand is clear, and it is certainly tracks to his own tragic fate and reliance on the power of the Force to protect the ones he loves.
  • Dead Hat Shot: You can repeatedly see clone helmets floating on water or lying on the ground, since the series' ratings do not allow showing dead owners of those helmets in detail.
  • Delayed Causality: Ventress does it to her final opponent in Count Dooku's "tryout".
  • Disney Villain Death: Asajj and Anakin climb to the top of a ruined temple over a cliff. Anakin pummels her so hard, the part of the temple she's standing on gives way and she falls into the darkness. She was much too awesome a villain to kill off, so she returned in the expanded universe and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Dogface: The Nelvaanians.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Paxi Sylo, the young boy who watches the Battle of Dantooine (and Mace Windu's awesomeness) from his family's farm is barefoot the entire time. Given that he is seen running towards the hill with appears to be some small tools (including a canteen he gives to Mace), it's likely he goes barefoot anytime he's helping his parents.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Fordo holding off a line of Super Battle Droids by himself during the Invasion of Coruscant.
    • Asajj Ventress with lightsabers.
    • Shaak Ti with a lightsaber and a MagnaGuard's staff.
    • Grievous with four lightsabers.
  • The Dreaded: General Grievous. His near-victory against five (albeit exhausted) Jedi established him as a fearsome enemy. Count Dooku actually taught Grievous to use fear as a weapon, telling him that without it he wouldn't stand a chance against the best of the Jedi.
  • Dynamic Entry: Durge makes his appearance against the Troopers (after his battle with Kenobi) by dramatically bursting through a window with his jet pack. The clones shoot him, shoot his jetpack, and shoot his body when it hits the ground, rounding it off with a rocket launcher. Durge unveils his more venous and large form after that.
  • Elevator Escape: Happens near the end of the third season. Shaak Ti and two other Jedi take Chancellor Palpatine down a hallway as Grievous begins slashing his way through the assembled guards. They call the elevator while listening to Grievous fighting, and when it all goes quiet, the Ithorian Jedi repeatedly mashes the button. They do make it inside though, despite Grievous busting out of the office and running down the hall towards them.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Revenge of the Sith doesn't allow you to see just how vicious General Grievous can be. His first entrance here has him taking on, and beating, no less than 5 Jedi at once. And we do mean beating.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Anakin Skywalker received a scar across his right eye. This carries over into Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, where Hayden Christensen sports the scar over his right eye.
  • Evil Laugh: Durge lets rip an epic one after Obi-Wan's attempt at stabbing him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Asajj Ventress has a deep, gravely voice.
  • Expy: Sha'a Gi is an expy of Shaggy. He was intended to have the exact same voice, but the producers decided against it because they felt it would have given his death an overtone of inappropriate humor.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Oddly, Anakin brings a bag of bugs and worms to the little makeshift shelter he and Obi-Wan hang out in while waiting out a protracted siege and starts happily chomping on them. When Obi-Wan expresses his disgust, Anakin quips about how Obi-Wan always taught him to "feed off the living Force".
  • Face Palm of Doom: Grievous does this to one Jedi. With his foot.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Anakin infiltrates a Seperatist compound on Nelvaan that has been performing horrifying experiments on the native population. First he was specifically chosen by the Nelvaanian shaman because he had a fake hand. Then the people who had been corrupted by the experiments tasked him to destroy the facility. Anakin does this by sticking his artificial hand in an energy sphere and stealing a critical component, but loses his robot hand in the process. The Nelvaanians see Anakin's mechanical stump as a symbol of their own freedom and respond by tearing off the arm cannons that the Sepratists placed on them and cheer Anakin triumphantly.
  • Fake Static: "Sorry Master Kenobi, your transmission is breaking up."
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Durge surrounds and absorbs Obi-Wan. Then Obi-Wan uses the Force to explode Durge from the inside out, scattering bits of him all over the room. Durge is shown in a later shot to be Not Quite Dead, but still, that's not pleasant.
    • General Grievous gets two of these as part of his Establishing Character Moment. First a hapless Padawan is crushed as Grievous lands on him. Then he grabs another Jedi with his mechanical foot, and visibly snaps his neck before tossing his corpse into the ceiling.
    • Grievous's debut in the next season has him murder his way through dozens of clones and senate guards, crushing them and slicing them up. Most of it takes place off screen, but the sounds are gruesome enough.
  • Fast-Roping: After ascending an enemy tower, the Obi-Wan and the ARC troopers come sliding straight down into the war room.
  • Flat "What.": From a droid a split second before it becomes two half droids.
  • Flynning:
    • There's times when the Jedi and their opponents are just sort of waving frantically in each other's direction. This seems inversely proportional to how close the camera is to the combatants.
    • Deconstructed briefly; Count Dooku is shown training Grievous to defy this trope, which is part of how he's able to defeat so many Jedi. Dooku himself is more economical with his movements than most in his duel as part of his Makashi style.
  • From a Single Cell: Alien bounty hunter Durge who has incredible healing powers. We see him recover from been cut into half, and later in that series he got blasted into a gooey mess via the Force by Obi-Wan. His remains slither away.
  • Frontline General: The Jedi are all automatically generals, and prefer to command from the frontlines. Probably because they don't fear enemy blaster fire.
  • Futureshadowing:
    • In a cave, Anakin hallucinates, seeing pictures on a wall move before his eyes, foretelling his fall to the dark side.
    • An earlier scene has Anakin walking as the lone human in a crowd of aliens with resentment and anger growing in his face, foreshadowing the Empire's anti-alien specism.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: General Grievous is ridiculously impressive and highly adept at combat... and in the last episode, Mace Windu uses the Force to crush his chest, nearly killing him. Cue Revenge of the Sith, where he's coughing and wheezing painfully and jobs to everyone.
  • Gatling Good: Some of the clone troopers.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: C-3PO gets his gold plating in Chapter 21.
  • Goomba Stomp: How Grievous kills the Jedi Sha'a Gi.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Not as far as violence, there is no radar for that, but Chapter 22 has a sequence of Anakin and Padme embracing followed by a shot of a building with a single window lit. No points for guessing what happens when the lights go out. It gets even better as the series implies that this was the night Luke and Leia were conceived.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Magnetic pistols are used to propel the ARC troopers up a tower and away from the exploding cannon at its base.
  • G-Rated Sex: We see Anakin and Padme having a respite from the war and spending time together, culminating on spending the night together, it's implied that that was the moment they conceived Luke and Leia.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Nelvaanians speak Hungarian with a few Russian words thrown in.
  • Guns Akimbo: Captain Fordo's weapons of choice with his standard ARC trooper kit are his pistols. Then, in one brief but completely awesome scene, he does this with a pistol and the standard DC-15a heavy rifle.
  • Gunship Rescue: The beginning of Season 3 ("Volume 2") has a custom-painted gunship save some Jedi from General Grievous just in the nick of time, in a move almost as cool as Grievous hunting them down in the first place.
  • Gun Twirling: Fordo pulls off this trope with his pistols occasionally.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Anakin and Ventress use the Force to splash water into each others' faces.
  • Hand Signals: Used by the ARC troopers during their missions.
  • Handy Feet: General Grievous has this as a feature of his cyborg body. He can put all six of his limbs to good use as hands, though normally he sticks to being a humanoid, folding his extra arms and walking on his legs.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • Averted with the clone troopers, as even the ones who get a degree of individual characterization never remove their helmets.
    • Averted by Saesee Tiin, though he couldn't exactly not wear one when going into space.
    • Played straight by Obi-Wan, who wears a helmet for exactly one battle, and it quickly gets knocked off.
  • Hero Killer: General Grievous. In total, he effortlessly kills Daakman Barrek, Sha'a Gi, Tarr Seir, four Arc Troopers, 17 clone troopers (and that's just on-screen), two Senate Guards, Foul Moudama and Roron Corobb. The first six alone were in his first appearance.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: The Gunship Rescue doesn't seem to land a single shot on Grievous. Also, the droid Nantex-class fighters targeting Anakin in Season 1 provide the page image.
  • Hollywood Tactics: During the Battle of Muunilinst, both sides are guilty of these. Especially when the droid speeder bikes charge at clone troopers who ... stand still and wait to be run down.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: General Grievous in the last episode. You thought he was tough with two arms? Well, now he has four.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: The lightsaber construction ceremony.
    Luminara Unduli: The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the Force. The Force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined: the crystal, the blade, the Jedi. You are one.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In season 3, Anakin tries this against a group of Nelvaan warriors who have been brainwashed by the Techno Union. It doesn't work, and when he has to take another approach - destroying the mechanism that's controlling them - his cybernetic hand is destroyed, and the pain again causes him to give in to rage, channeling the Dark Side to savagely kill the villains. (But he did rescue the Nelvaans.)
  • Impending Clash Shot: A terrifying one occurs at the end of Chapter 20. Weaponless, Master Ki-Adi Mundi's spirit breaks as he watches General Greivous, wielding a lightsaber in each hand, strike the fourth of a five Jedi team across the length of the room and into a pillar, which collapses upon them. Greivous turns his attention to Ki-Adi before picking up a third lightsaber; he prepares to strike. Ki-Adi's spirit returns and he grabs another lightsaber from Grevious's belt with the Force. They wait. Suddenly Greivous leaps at him — all three blades drawn; Ki-Adi plants one foot behind and prepares to engage him. End of the season.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: This trope shows up a few times. For example, at one point Padme uses Threepio as a target to make an invisible battle droid reveal its position. The droid fails to land a single shot on this shiny target walking slowly in a straight line.
  • Implacable Man: Grievous, who seems to be constantly aware of everything going on around him, allowing him to block and counter nearly anything thrown at him. It helps that he belonged to a race of proud warriors.
  • Important Haircut: The completion of Anakin's training as a Padawan and his becoming a Jedi is signified when Yoda slices off Anakin's braid with a light saber in a Jedi Knighting ceremony. Later Anakin has it sent to Padme, who keeps it in a small jewelry box with the pendant he carved for her back in The Phantom Menace.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The ARC Troopers possess impressive powers of accuracy, almost every shot blasts a droid's head off and a single trooper takes out a Trade Federation armored tank in less than 5 seconds by running up the side of it, blasting the top off, shooting several shots from the inside of the machine and running.
  • Insert Grenade Here:
    • One of the ARC Troopers uses this tactic to take out a droid tank in Star Wars: Clone Wars. However, he didn't have any grenades. So he blasted his way into the tank, then shot it up from the inside with his gun that fired explosions, and jumped out. It worked.
    • Yoda did it as well, and though he had a lightsaber, it worked even better.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Played for laughs, with Palpatine dismissing Grievous's clanking footsteps drawing nearer and then suddenly stopping, to the dismay of his Jedi protectors. The droid general's head appears in the window behind him even as he's delivering the line, hanging upside down on the outside of the building. One gets the impression that the scheming dark lord, who actually wants to be captured, plays the classic part with some glee. Then again, the Ham is Large with this one.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Yoda uses the trick on Padmé's security chief, who takes on Yoda's speech patterns. Padmé sees through it, but agrees with Yoda's request anyway.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Count Dooku, a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, was shown training General Grievous.
  • Knighting: Anakin was knighted by Yoda and the Jedi Council with a lightsaber. It was to sever the "Padawan Braid" that Anakin had, which was delivered (secretly) to Padme, which symbolized the attainment of Jedi Knight rank.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Although the series tends to be extremely flashy and campy, some of its villains are treated quite seriously.
    • Assaj Ventress. In her first appearance, she kills of all other contestants for Count Dooku's notice. Then she takes out several squads of clone fighers on her own, then she kills off all clones who had followed Anakin, and manages to give Anakin a good fight.
    • Durge. While Obi-wan's troops easily crush other Separatist forces, he and his biker droids begin slaughtering the clones and destroying their machinery. Obi-wan cuts him with his lightsaber, but Durge begins pulling himself back together. He's regenerated within minutes, and it takes Obi-wan going inside him and ripping him apart from the inside to finally bring him down.
    • General Grievous. He's introduced by his troops surrounding a small group of Jedi, then orders them to stop while he deals with the Jedi personally. Before he even appears on-screen, his voice booms, warning the Jedi about their impending doom. He kills a frightened Padawan, then mercilessly slaughters his way through several others before clone reinforcements chase him away. Out of six Jedi, only three survive, and two of those have serious injuries.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Reveal that General Grievous has four arms is no longer a surprise because almost all merchandise shows him with four arms.
  • Least Is First: When Anakin returns with the horribly mutated males of the local Proud Warrior Race Guy tribe, a small child is the first one to welcome them back to the tribe.
  • Leave No Survivors: Done in the first arc as Count Dooku didn't want any witnesses to inform the Republic of the Separatists new ion cannon.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Yoda spends most of the time offscreen in the Jedi Temple. When the Separatist invasion of Coruscant begins, he heads to the front lines and starts forcepushing colossal troop carriers.
  • Licked by the Dog: An alien child is the first to welcome back mutated villagers.
  • Lock and Load Montage: A couple of them. "Chapter 21" has a montage of the ARC Troopers arming themselves just before they swoop in to rescue the Jedi.
  • Low Clearance: Mace Windu takes advantage of this: He flies at a gap in the skyscrapers of Coruscant and closes his fighter's S-foils to let him fit through. The Vulture Droids following him can't fit, and wreck themselves on the side of the building trying.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The show managed to have episodes entirely without Jedi, but that's only because the episodes were 3 minutes long.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of these was fired at the Republic starfighters by the droid starfighters. Anakin Skywalker got them all following him, then used the Misguided Missile technique and flew straight through the nearest enemy capital ship's starfighter launch bay. He still had a swarm of missiles after him, though, so he got his fighter squadrons to line up a shot at where he was going to be and fire off another Macross Missile Massacre. The two Massacres collided in midair (-space?) and wiped each other out.
  • Made of Explodium: Somehow, machinery is even more explosive than it is in the films. Tanks and artillery emplacements fall apart after being poked with a lance or slashed in the side with a lightsaber. After watching for a while you start expecting everything to explode into red smoke if it's so much as touched.
  • Magical Native American: The Nelvaanians are this IN SPACE!.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Roron Corobb, due to Ithorians having four throats.
  • Mauve Shirt: The unnamed Clone commander, he's always distinguishable by wearing red (He's on the show's page image). The manual lists his name as Fordo.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Ithorian from the Make Me Wanna Shout is named "Roron." Say it phonetically.
    • There's a wolf-man Jedi named Voolvif Monn.
  • Misguided Missile: Used by Anakin to take out one of the enemy ships. They were actually fired by his squadron, but due to the exact circumstances a few missiles happened to lock onto Anakin's ship by mistake.
  • Mood Whiplash: When General Grievous kicks his way into the Chancellor's office to try and kidnap him. The Jedi rush the Chancellor out, leaving the clones behind to stall him in scenes of what is very nearly explicit carnage (only the lack of blood kept it from being truly horrific). Cut to the Jedi waiting for the elevator to arrive, with screams, blaster fire and chainsaw sounds coming from the office. And then one of the Jedi reaches out and pushes the elevator call button 6 times to make it get there faster.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: A Planet of Hats of them in the Banking Clan.
  • Moral Myopia: Minor example. When a suggestion is made to forego Anakin's trials and promote him early, the one arguing the most against it is Jedi Master Oppo Rancisis:
    Rancisis That is what concerns me. To walk the path of the Jedi, one's spirit must be strong. That requires discipline. And he has often disobeyed you, has he not Master Obi-Wan?
    Yoda: Did you not disobey me from time to time in your youth, Master Rancisis?
  • More Dakka: Almost all the ranged weapons are fired continuously until the opponent is reduced to scrap.
  • Motorcycle Jousting: There's a pair of episodes (Chapter 4 and Chapter 8) in which Obi-wan Kenobi and a platoon of clone lancers do this against IG lancer droids and the bounty hunter Durge, on speeder bikes.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: General Grievous. He can hold lightsabers with his feet, too. So theoretically he could use 5 lightsabers at once (one foot would still be needed to stand on).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Mace Windu drinking from the wide-eyed kid's canteen is very nearly as awesome as the rest of his actions in Chapter 13.
  • Mushroom Samba: Anakin's vision in the cave. He gets a blast of steam in the face in a cave on Nelvaan. As a result, he starts seeing the cave paintings move. Considering how well the vision summarizes and foreshadows his own fall to the Dark Side, The Force probably assisted the lack of oxygen. This sequence parallels Luke's experience in the cave in Episode V, where he receives a similar vision/warning about his own susceptibility to the Dark Side.
  • My Horse Is a Motorbike: The good guys' speeder-bikes are stylized to resemble horses.
  • Neck Lift: General Grievous does this in his introductory scene with his cybernetic leg before slamming the victim through the ground.
  • Never Found the Body: Asajj Ventress is thrown off a temple on Yavin 4 . She actually survives.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Durge. At the end Obi-Wan makes him explode from inside and his pieces are still shown crawling away afterwards. Other comicbooks and novels confirm that Durge fights the Jedi again, and has to be dropped into a star to be killed.
  • No Dialogue Episode: A few combat-centric or clone-centric episodes. Helped by the fact that the episodes are only about four minutes long.
  • Nose Art: The ARC troopers paint a Rancor on their ship.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Palpatine pretends to be horribly Genre Blind while he's being chased by Grievous.
  • Off Model: The series is filled with capes, lots of capes, which flow behind characters and ripple in the wind and get ripped to shreds and take lots of time to animate. Occasionally the capes will completely disappear for a few frames when an animator got lazy.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Many Jedi, especially Mace Windu and Yoda, who wipe out hundreds of droids without their lightsabers and tear apart legions with little help from their soldiers.
    • The first scene in Episode 22 has a commander of a droid base bragging that it would take at least 50 Jedi to take it. The droid standing next to him tells him there are Jedi approaching. The commander's first guess at their number is 1000, but there are only two. Those two are Obi-Wan and Anakin, who utterly destroy the droid army without batting an eye. The massive army of non-Jedi they brought with them probably helped.
    • General Grievous is able to cut through clones and Jedi with his usual psychopathic zeal.
    • Durge is shown to be a one-man arsenal.
  • The Oner: A dogfight between Anakin and Asajj through a battle cruiser required a 50 foot painting. And still needed to be cut for time.
  • Outfit Decoy: On the ice planet, Padme gets attacked by some battle droids with cloaking fields. She takes cover, then throws her fur-trimmed cape into the open to trick the droids into firing and revealing their position.
  • Out of the Inferno: So cool, they do it twice. First, Durge walks out of the flaming wreckage of his speeder bike, then Asajj Ventress emerges from the flaming wreckage of Anakin's starfighter. Though Asajj used the Force to clear the flames.
  • Pendulum War: Constantly, with the ground battle for Muunilinst being the best example.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • Every single Jedi.
    • The ARC troopers to a lesser extent.
    • Yet again, General Grievous. Example: While escorting Palpatine to the safety bunker, the three Jedi taking him hop on a transport ship moving away from Grievous. His solution? Jump on the ship and slice the engines open, causing the ship to crash into the streets below.
    • Even Amidala gets in on the action.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Amidala's ice planet suit has a fur cape.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: A subtle example. The reason General Grievous spared Shaak Ti when he obviously could have killed her was because he needed a live witness to let the Jedi Council know that Chancellor Palpatine was gone (as his boss Darth Sidious, who unknown to Grievous, was Palpatine, had wanted them to know).
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: One of the Jedi during the space battle of Coruscant:
    Clone Trooper: General Tiin! The ship is lost!
    Saesee Tiin: It's time to get a new one.
  • Pretender Diss: Asajj Ventress declares herself a Sith Lord, only for Count Dooku, a real Sith Lord, to mock and beat her down. Specifically, Dooku tells Ventress how he senses fear in her, which a true Sith would lack. While fear can indeed be used to draw power from The Dark Side, a Sith is supposed to draw power instead from hatred.
  • Pretty in Mink: Amidala's ice planet outfit is trimmed with light blue fur on the cape and gloves.
  • Psycho Strings: Used to introduce Grievous. Also used when Durge's true form is revealed.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Durge.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Happens with a lightsaber instead of fists: Obi-Wan is fighting Durge, a giant alien bounty hunter, and manages to stab him in the chest. Durge looks down, begins to laugh, and proceeds to beat the crap out of Obi-Wan.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Mace Windu goes all Kenshiro on some super battle droids after losing his lightsaber.
  • Red Herring Shirt: Shaak Ti is a member of the squad of Jedi that Grievous soundly defeats. She survives, and goes on to play a major part in the Battle of Coruscant, protecting Chancellor Palpatine.
  • Redshirt Army: When Anakin Skywalker takes off alone to chase an enemy Force-user, Obi-Wan orders a squadron of clone troopers to follow him and save him from getting himself killed. When the clones arrive, they proceed to split up and get wiped out over the course of about three minutes, without ever seeing the enemy. Amusingly enough, clone troopers are the predecessors of storm troopers, perhaps indicating that the trope is inheritable.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Anakin had a lunch of a bag full of bugs.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The blue, elephant-like species of Ortolans (which first appeared in Return of the Jedi) , when the Separatist Droids invade their homeworld.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • Speeder-bike jousting.
    • Also, when the Jedi are waiting for the elevator to arrive, and are listening to Grievous beat the tar out of a several dozen clone troopers, a chainsaw can be heard, something which is not often noted to be in his arsenal of weapons. This one was also Rule of Scary.
    • The "Seismic Tank" on Dantooine.
  • Sarashi: The top half of Ventress' outfit kind of looks like one.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Count Dooku's response to Ventress' Single-Stroke Battle.
  • Seahorse Steed: Mon Calamari riding giant seahorse-alikes and other aquatic creatures.
  • Sea Monster: The Mon Calamari fought the separatist forces with knights riding on giant eels.
  • Sexophone: Used as a joke when C-3PO first shows off his new gold plating.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Anakin when he gets tattoos.
    • Kit Fisto while battling underwater.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Mace Windu is fighting a giant "seismic tank". A massive hovering vehicle close to the size of a Star Destroyer, which only has a single form of attack: A giant stomper that hits the ground below it with the force of a medium nuclear bomb.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the first Jedi killed by Grievous is named Sha'a Gi, and he's a dead ringer for Shaggy.
    • The scene where Anakin uses his robot arm to slide down to the core of the Techno Union's factory was strongly reminiscent of I, Robot.
    • Planet Nelvaan was named for Nelvana Studios, who had created the Droids and Ewoks animated series, as well as the Boba Fett cartoon that was the single best part of The Star Wars Holiday Special. C-3PO's eyes are animated in homage to his portrayal in the Droids series.
    • In one very brief crowd shot, a Cylon is seen.
    • The Nelvaanian shaman's hair clip bears the zintaris, which was a prominent clan symbol in Tartakovsky's other hit series.
    • More of an allusion, and most likely not deliberate, but the last two thirds of Chapter 20 showcase almost an identical scenario — in mood, conflict, and soundtrack and sound effects — to the episode "Jack and the Ultrabots" from Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack.
    • On Nelvaan, during the cave trial, Anakin sees the Story of the Ghost Hand, where the hero fights a tatarigami and gains a cursed arm with incredible power. At first helpful to the village, it eventually devours them all. Very similar to the story of Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke, and used to foreshadow the coming of Darth Vader.
  • Silence Is Golden: The series made excellent use of extended no-dialogue sequences.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Asajj Ventress against the last of the gladiators.
  • Smoke Shield: Used on Durge and Grievous.
  • Spam Attack: General Grievous performs a defensive version of a spam attack while holding five Jedi at bay simultaneously, using their slain comrades' lightsabers!.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: General Grievous attacked five Jedi at once via judicious spinning of two lightsabers and his own rotating torso.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Asajj Ventress's introduction.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Palpatine's composure while Coruscant is under attack. It's easy to remain calm when he secretly orchestrated the whole thing.
  • Stock Scream: When Grievous's MagnaGuards knock the clone troopers off a skyscraper, one of the troopers lets out a Wilhelm Scream. The scream is also heard from a clone thrown through the air by the seismic tank on Dantooine.
  • Storming the Castle: Averted. Obi-Wan and Anakin have been assigned to help out a siege effort of a clone army. Obi-Wan, bored out of his mind, asks a commander how much longer it will take for them to take the enemy's position. The commander, cheerfully responds three months, saying they're making good progress, while Obi-Wan moans about how long they've already been there. Then he and Anakin found an underground tunnel to sneak into the city, and take out its shields reactor, allowing the clones to storm all over it.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The season 2 finale:
    Yoda: Mmm. Darker, the coming storm grows. I fear the dark cloud of the Sith shrouds us all.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: In one episode, Yoda uses a Jedi Mind Trick to get one of Padme's guards to agree with him. Hysterically, this leads to the guard talking in the same way as him. Padme sees right through it, but goes along with it.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: Amidala's ice planet outfit. Since it's a white camo Spy Catsuit (she is in a snow environment), it also doubles as Fanservice.
  • Super Speed:
    • Mace Windu.
    • Shaak Ti, right before her final confrontation with Grievous.
    • Asajj Ventress in her opening scene against the gladiators.
  • Super Soldier: General Grievous, one of the greatest badasses in the Star Wars universe, was a cyborg. His finest display of power was shown here; at the Battle of Hypori, his first public appearance in the Clone Wars, he single-handedly defeated a team of seven Jedi, including Council members Ki-Adi Mundi and Aayla Secura. He killed four of them, and would almost certainly have killed the other three if a team of ARC troopers hadn't arrived at the last second and (somehow, without getting obliterated themselves) held him off. Grievous himself summed up this victory with a declaration of their imminent demise prior to the fight:
    Grievous:"Jedi! You are surrounded, your armies decimated. Make peace with the Force now, for this is your final hour. But know that I, General Grievous, am not completely without mercy. I shall grant you a warrior's death. Prepare!!!"
    • The team of ARC troopers managed this because they were Super Soldiers themselves (to a much milder degree than Greivious, sure, but there were a lot more of them then there were of him). They held him at bay with impressive amounts of More Dakka.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The opposite of Tartakovsky's other swordfighting series.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: It does when it's a Laser Blade. Being able to control its path and call it back to your hand helps.
  • Train Escape: Used by the Jedi to end the fight with MagnaGuards at the train station.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The bridge of the Republic Cruisers.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Playfully averted in the third season. Obi-Wan and Anakin are leading the siege of a city when Anakin discovers a secret way inside past the shields. In a deadpan voice, Obi-Wan says, "So your plan is to sneak in through the sewers, under the shield and into the main generator, destroy the generator and have our troops swarm in?" They then do exactly that.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Shaak Ti gets bound up by electric wires by General Grievous.
  • Vision Quest: Anakin goes on one that almost perfectly foretells his fall to the dark side. It even ends with a twisted (and rather horrifying) image of Darth Vader's mask.
  • The Voiceless: Despite being an important character (and not being a taciturn guy in any other adaptation), Durge never talks on-screen in the series, aside from a brief Evil Laugh.
  • Wait Here: Yoda to Padmé. To her credit, Padmé does get out of the situation herself by taking out a couple of invisible mooks.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction:
    • The Seismic Tank. Unfortunately for the tank it encounters Mace Windu shortly after its appearance.
    • The giant underwater cannon on Mon Calamari. That one encounters Kit Fisto.
  • Weather-Control Machine: An side-effect of whatever the Techno Union was doing on Nelvaan.
  • While Rome Burns: Played with. As the Confederacy attacks Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine remains in his office, sipping tea and ignoring the Jedi's encouragement to take shelter. And when the Jedi-killer General Grievous smashes through the window, Palpatine reacts by scolding Grievous. But this is all for show: unknown to anyone present, Palpatine is also Darth Sidious, the shadowy leader of the Confederacy. He makes no effort to protect himself because had arranged his own kidnapping.
  • Wronski Feint: Anakin, pursued by a large numbers of enemy fighters, orders his squadron of clone pilots to fire their missiles across the bow of a capital ship and then lures the enemy fighters into the path of the missiles, and carries over some of the missiles to one of the enemy carriers.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Asajj Ventress, on the receiving end of Dooku's Force lightning.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Shaak Ti against the MagnaGuards. Subverted horribly — Grievous is already waiting in the shelter she's guarding.

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