Dear Dave Filoni and the Cast & Crew of ‘The Clone Wars’ – Love, the Fans

Endings are bittersweet. This has never felt more apparent than the moment of realization that the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is almost here.

For many, the series has represented a period of growth. Whether they grew from children or teenagers into adulthood alongside fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano or they reevaluated their outlook on life and its issues while Padme fought for a peaceful galaxy, it is practically undeniable that fans will be finishing the series a different person than when they started.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was originally kicked off by an animated film of the same name before the series premiered on Cartoon Network. The show follows Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and their many allies and adversaries over the course of the Clone Wars, taking place between Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Major plot points like Anakin’s rise and then fall to the dark side were expanded on throughout the series, other plots and many characters were better fleshed out as well. While one may not have had such a strong feeling about the clones betraying Jedi when watching Revenge of the Sith before seeing the series, The Clone Wars makes those clones individuals, with strong relationships with each other and the Jedi they fight alongside, making this moment of betrayal absolutely devastating.

When the series was initially cancelled in 2013 – some episodes premiering until 2014 – fans were heartbroken. They were left with a gaping hole in their view of Star Wars as the series was getting closer to the events of the third film. Highly-anticipated arcs were either shelved or placed online with incomplete animation, or were never created at all. This set forth a major fan campaign that lasted years – #SaveTheCloneWars. In July 2018, fans got their wish with #CloneWarsSaved.

The final episode of the series is set to premiere on Disney+ shortly and it gives viewers a sense of fulfillment. The long waiting game has paid off tenfold with Dave Filoni and the entirety of The Clone Wars team delivering television that is a cinematic masterpiece, tension slowly filling the air and heartbreak setting the tone for the events of Revenge of the Sith taking place simultaneously with the last arc of the series.

With the conclusion just around the corner, and in honor of May the Fourth, TEENPLICITY asked Star Wars fans about the impact the series had on their lives.

 

The Start

Of the Star Was fans who heeded my call to discuss The Clone Wars, most of them either started with the series or grew up on the films.

For fans like Evan, Adam, Ben, and Nos, it is hard to imagine life without Star Wars. Since they were young, the franchise has been in their lives in one way or another.

“I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t a fan! I was instantly hooked.” Adam says. “I think it can be attributed to the Prequel Trilogy, as that’s what I grew up on. I loved the sense of adventure, but also the Jedi and Clones!”

Nos grew up on the Prequel Trilogy as well. Her first foray into Star Wars was through a viewing of The Phantom Menace in theaters with her mom. “Duel of Fates really cemented that this was cool.”

The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones is what caught Alessio’s eye. “I became a fan of Star Wars in the era of the Prequels, though not until 2007,” she says, citing that as the time she watched the first two films. “It is when The Clone Wars series debuted in 2008 [that] really got me interested and into Star Wars.”

Dads played a major part in getting Evan and Ben into Star Wars. Evan recalls viewing his father’s VHS tapes of the Original Trilogy when he was four. “I watched them constantly amazed by everything about it and Darth Vader became my favorite character in all of cinema.”

“My dad showed me all the prequels when I was in kindergarten and I’ve loved the series ever since!” Ben says of his experience with his own father.

Other parents attempted this on their children as well, but it didn’t stick.

“I watched Star Wars with my dad when I was really young. I wasn’t a fan then, I hardly remember it,” Rosi admits. “But I think it still left its mark because when I started watching The Clone Wars, I was hooked immediately.” Other kids her own age helped build the foundation for Star Wars to stay in her life. “I guess I started watching it to talk with other kids about it in school and it was great! We used to play Star Wars on the playground all the time.”

Being a little girl and getting to see another girl wield a lightsaber and have actual dialogue – it was a big moment.

Sarah has a similar story. Her first piece of Star Wars media that she remembers seeing was the animated feature film that started the series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when she was just nine. “I’d seen the Original and Prequel Trilogies thanks to my parents, only parts of which stuck with me – character names, mostly, and a vague sense of the plot – but the 2008 film was my first active, big-screen introduction to the universe.” She immediately loved it and, according to Sarah, couldn’t get enough of it. “My siblings and I had lightsaber battles in the backyard,” she says of the time. “Later, when my younger sister began turning her interests to science, she tried to puzzle out how someone could plausibly communicate with a ship travelling in hyperspace. My younger brother – who very much took after me in this regard – still comes up with his own characters and stories, and we’ll talk about them for hours. We were wide-eyed and filled with wonder over the Star Wars universe – first with the films and their events, then with the subtleties and unanswered questions, which kept our interest long after the main-line movies did.”

Sarah still embraces the sense of wonder she held as a child towards the movies but that isn’t all. “As an adult now, twelve years later, another large part [of my interest] comes from analysis. Star Wars is a fascinating case of modern storytelling, where the universe is enormous, but the stories most are familiar with are fairly isolated – it is coined as the “Skywalker Saga”, after all. What’s kept my interest in most Star Wars media is seeing how that works, and when and why it might not.”

Then there are some fans that were instantly grabbed by one thing.

“2008 – Ahsoka Tano took me instantly into a galaxy far, far away,” an anonymous fan dubbed Ahsoka Fan says.

In fact, Ahsoka Fan can recall the exact moment it happened. “I was nine and I can remember vividly sitting on my grandparent’s bed, my back to the television, playing with my toys when the TV spot with Ahsoka came on Cartoon Network. Hearing her voice, I was compelled to turn around.” It was almost like fate, as that moment started her journey with Star Wars. “At that point in my life, I’d watched the Star Wars movies but had been too young to fully appreciate/understand them. It wasn’t until Ahsoka that I became interested in Star Wars as a whole, that I learned how beautiful and tragic the story was.”

While almost every fan featured had watched The Clone Wars since its start, Nos had to pause her viewing.

“I watched a bit of it when it first started coming out, but it was the last couple years of high school and I was going through that weird growing up phase of ‘putting away childish things.’” Thankfully, she picked the series back up and hasn’t looked back. “I seriously started watching it in 2016.”

Star Wars fan Benjamin dove head-first into the series when it started. “My love of Star Wars,” he cites as the reason being.

Fellow Star Wars enthusiast Ben says of what interested him in the series, “I really loved lightsaber fights.”

“If you were to ask nine-year-old me, the answer would be something along the lines of ‘Ahsoka’s cool! Big battles! The Clones!’” Sarah says of her interest in the series at first. “Now, and even when the show first ‘ended’ in the mid-2010s, my answer is slightly different but no less simple: the stories and the characters.”

Evan and Adam easily echo that sentiment. The former’s interest was first piqued when it was mentioned during Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. “It left a lot of fans imagining the full scale and impact the war had around the galaxy and on characters like Obi-Wan and Anakin. I was really interested in seeing that in full during the TV series,” Evan says.

Much like him, Adam wanted to learn more.

“It was Star Wars, but more importantly, Prequel- Star Wars. I was massively into the prequels when I was younger – still am – and as soon as it was released, I wanted in on that new adventure,” explains Adam. “I wanted to see more of my favorite Jedi, more of the Clone Troopers, and everything that came with it.”

The Clone Wars promised that and so much more. “It looked so different and cinematic for an animated TV series,” Alessio says, using this as a reason for her interest as well.

The animation provided The Clone Wars their own unique style to accompany how they fleshed out beloved characters as well as the clones who were almost indistinguishable.

Getting to know the clones as individuals completely changed the landscape going forward in canon. The introduction of Ahsoka Tano as Anakin Skywalker’s padawan also created a bigger change than anyone could have ever imagined.

The team had to do what had honestly felt like an impossible task: taking a fodder CGI army and making them human. They succeeded.

Initially met with harsh pushback by a loud portion of the fandom when she was introduced, Ahsoka’s journey throughout the series has made her a legend within the Star Wars fandom and one of the most-liked characters. Over the years, she grew from a spunky, over-enthusiastic padawan with a snippy comment always at the ready to a focused, quieter character who continually broadens her view and is critical of not only the Jedi Order but the world.

There were some fans that instantly connected with Ahsoka when she appeared on screen and that matters just as much.

“Ahsoka Tano, hands down,” Ahsoka Fan says about what piqued her interest in the show. “Being a little girl and getting to see another girl wield a lightsaber and have actual dialogue – it was a big moment,” she says, referencing the severe lack of female representation in the franchise in most of its media prior to the show.

 

The Favorites

It comes as no surprise then that Ahsoka Fan’s favorite character is, well, Ahsoka. “She started as a foil for Anakin’s character and when presented with death, took charge of her own narrative and said, ‘My story is going down a different path.’”

It is a sentiment shared by many, with most responses to this question also being Ahsoka, showcasing not only her importance in the series but also her impact amongst fans.

“She represents what it means to be a voice of hope and positivity for fans of Star Wars,” Alessio explains.

Adam echoes this. “It’s hard for me to put into words why she is my favorite character, to be honest. She’s a character that I could really relate to, whether that was because of our age or our struggles,” he begins. “She represents all that’s good. She wasn’t perfect: she made many mistakes that she had to quickly learn from, she faced so many uphill battles and lost so much… but she still remained a beacon of hope, strength, and inspiration.”

He gets candid, relating his growth through his own struggles to Ahsoka’s journey. “I’ve had a lot of personal struggles, but I got to grow with her and experience the unknown with her. When she left the Jedi Order, I was also facing a lot of uncertainties in life but being on that journey with her was almost comforting – I wasn’t alone. As soon as she was introduced to us, I was a fan and I think I always will be.”

Her growth from padawan to independent Force user has been incredible and one of the key components that makes The Clone Wars work so well. She was an outsider of sorts, learning how to adjust to this new lifestyle outside of her training at the Jedi Temple and figuring out the inner workings of the Clone Wars. She brought out a different side to Anakin, exposed more of the hypocrisy of the Jedi Order, and showed strength to make a hard decision that is best for one’s self even when it is hard and a large unknown is waiting on the other side of that choice.

Clone Wars is her story and her journey and it’s one of the best you’ll find in Star Wars,” Evan says. “You see her growth, her friendships with Anakin, Kenobi, Captain Rex, and others. You see her become a brave Jedi warrior and you see her trust in the Republic and Jedi Order fall apart in season five and her journey afterwards in season seven with the Martez Sisters and the Mandalore arc.” He drives home the statement others have made and says, “Through all of it, she still has faith in herself and her friends. Clone Wars is Ahsoka’s show.”

Ben adds to the ever-growing list of big fans of the character. “Ahsoka Tano is the best character.” He says, taking a moment to reference her unique lightsaber technique, “I love her fighting style, and her growth through the show.”

For Rosi, she acknowledges that she’s the exact person that Dave Filoni and George Lucas wanted to reach with Ahsoka. Calling it an easy choice to pick her, the avid fan explains, “I was a young girl and completely fascinated by this character. She was my role model and probably always will be.” Rosi explains how some of Ahsoka even rubbed off on her as she grew up. “When I was young, part of my personality was influenced by her; I wanted to be just as kick-ass and cool as her. Growing up I can still see the mirror of how me and her are similar.”

She continues, saying, “I was fascinated by the Jedi when I was young but when I got older and my political views started developing, I was more and more frustrated with how the Jedi acted in that situation – meaning, letting Ahsoka down when they banished her, but also the war as a whole. Now, talking about Ahsoka in season seven, me and her have the exact same opinion about the Jedi.”

This arc genuinely felt like a love-letter from Dave Filoni and co. to the fans, after years of loyalty and support. It’s a dream to see it come to life.

In addition to Ahsoka, another character or characters, I should say, that stole the spotlight were the Clone Troopers. With their own personalities, armor markings, and viewpoints on the situations presented to them, each of the clones introduced to viewers became recognizable as their own. Though many of them have a similar look, being a clone, they are just as different.

Benjamin bridges the gap between having the former-Jedi as his favorite character or a clone, instead citing both. “It’s a tie between 99 and Ahsoka Tano because they’re great characters and make me cry,” he confesses.

Sarah adds onto the emotional investment and individuality that has been put into the seemingly identical clone characters.

“Not a specific character, but a group of characters: the Clones,” she says when picking her favorite character. “The team had to do what had honestly felt like an impossible task: taking a fodder CGI army and making them human. They succeeded.”

The proof of their accomplishment is shown first-hand in Nos’ favorite character. “Fives,” she states. “His character growth and final arc was a joy and absolutely heartbreaking to watch. He came so close to saving everyone but that creepy futility ensures that you know the outcome,” she says, referencing a point of her interest in the series being the, in her opinion, underlying futility of it, which she doesn’t think any other franchise could pull off.

With Ahsoka or the Clone Troopers being so many viewers’ favorite characters, it’s interesting to see the diversity in the answers when it comes to their favorite episodes and arcs.

Alessio cites ‘A Friend in Need’ from season four as her favorite episode. She explains why she picked this one, saying, “It is able to demonstrate that you don’t need an entire three or four-part arc to tell one story.”

Meanwhile, Nos chose ‘The Lawless’. “Everything to do with Satine and Obi-Wan leading up to this really set the scene for it to be devastating and it was,” she said, referring to a moment of shock and heartbreak for fans. “Also, the part where the blast doors open and everything is going to shit looks so cool.”

This episode also makes the list for Evan, amongst a few others. “There’s a lot of episodes that I could pick such as ‘Ghosts of Mortis,’ ‘The Citadel,’ ‘Revenge,’ ‘The Lawless,’ and ‘The Wrong Jedi,’ but I’m going with ‘The Phantom Apprentice’. It’s really hard to do a perfect episode in any TV show and this episode is just perfect.”

Adam agrees with this statement, having struggled a bit to choose just one episode. “I think it may have to now be ‘The Phantom Apprentice’. Though this was a tough one, because ‘The Wrong Jedi’ was very close behind, as was ‘Shattered.’” Discussing ‘The Phantom Apprentice,’ Adam says, “This episode was so powerful. The animation was absolutely flawless, the story continued to evolve as we find out that Maul has uncovered the bigger scheme in play, and the motion-captured duel between Ahsoka and Maul was absolutely phenomenal. This episode truly feels like it had everything.”

The episode that had everything for Ben was actually ‘Shattered’. He says of this choice, “It’s so emotionally charged and an amazing payoff to seven seasons of the show.”

There is another episode that comes to mind when one says “emotionally charged”. One of the best arcs of the show and the one that broke heart across fandom, is the episode that Ahsoka Fan has chosen.

“My favorite episode, despite how sad it made me, was the finale of season five when Ahsoka walks away from the Order.” She says of ‘The Wrong Jedi,’ “Her decision was monumental, and it was this decision that showed me Ahsoka was going to be more than just a part of Anakin’s narrative. She was going to forge her own story and solidify herself as a legend within the Star Wars Universe.”

For Sarah, seeing more of the characters besides their associations with ones from the films is important. Her favorite arcs in the show focus on the characters introduced to audiences through the series growing through unforeseen circumstances. While she couldn’t pick a favorite episode, she is torn between two arcs: ‘Padawan Lost’ and Umbara’.

“Not only did they show more of the gritty, realistic side of a galactic conflict, which was honestly intriguing, but both saw the focus characters – Ahsoka and Captain Rex, respectively, forced into unprecedented situations, from which they had to grow and change,” she says. “Those tend to make for the most compelling stories.”

Benjamin echoes the favoritism for the Umbara arc. The last episode of which is also his favorite episode of the series, Benjamin says of this arc, “Seeing Waxer die broke my heart and made me cry.” It is moments like these that showcase the success of the series.

Nos agrees with Benjamin about Waxer. “Umbara,” she says, picking her favorite arc. “Clone focused and interesting characters. It loses points for killing Waxer, but the whole traitor Jedi thing was interesting to watch.”

Star Wars would not be the same without The Clone Wars.

One of the most famous arcs of the series is many fans favorite: Mortis.

“The Mortis Trilogy, because it really got me interested in learning about the more complex and larger view of the Force along with its mysteries such as if Mortis was the home world/home planet of the Force,” Alessio says of it. She recalls what led her to this, “There was a commercial for season three of The Clone Wars where Ahsoka, in her mind, asked, ‘Where does the Force come from, really?’”

Ahsoka Fan focuses on the elements of the arc that gave Anakin an insight into what could be his future. “So much foreshadowing went into that arc,” she says. “It gave us clues as to the paths Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka would take after Anakin’s fall.”

Adding to that, Rosi starts by saying, “I don’t know how many times I’ve watched [the Mortis arc] but it was always the most interesting one because it showed such a different Star Wars than what we knew. I still love the idea about the Father, the Son, and the Daughter, and really liked how they picked it up again in [Star Wars Rebels].” Understandably, she is unable to pick just one favorite arc. She cites the season three finale as another one she loves. “Till this day, the lesson we learned in that arc amazes me.” She says of the episode which finds Ahsoka taking padawans under her wing to escape a jungle while being hunted, “It shows how Anakin has to learn to trust his student but also that Ahsoka showed him he can trust in his skills as a teacher. Great arc and also, we got Chewie!!”

Lastly, she adds a critical arc that, if the characters within the show investigated further, could have prevented so much. “In season six, the Inhibitor Chip arc was just great and heart-wrenching and now seeing the final arc The Siege of Mandalore, I’m happy that Fives didn’t die for nothing.” It’s at this point that Rosi comes to a decision. “Honestly, I guess The Siege will forever be my favorite arc just because this really feels like a movie. The storytelling is amazing and I’m just so anxious but at the same time I know what is going to happen. That just shows how good it is.”

Adam understands the anxiety and high tension that The Siege of Mandalore arc has brought to viewers. “This was it. The arc we had all been begging for ever since the series got cancelled in 2013. All I had wanted was to see this arc fully animated. To see Ahsoka’s journey end how it was meant to. To see The Clone Wars end… how it was meant to.” He says of finally seeing it play out on screen, “Right from the moment it started: I was on the edge of my seat. The action sequences were incredible. The moment we got to see Ahsoka reunited with Rex and Anakin was so emotionally driven – given what we see in Rebels – further adding to the heartbreak of them not seeing each other again until Anakin has already fallen. Maul and Ahsoka both developed beautifully – then had a breathtaking mo-capped duel. Then we were hit hard with Order 66.”

Discussing the moment we all knew would happen, he says, “Order 66 was the first time that I had gotten emotional over Star Wars since 2012, when we had to watch Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order. The moment the music hit after Rex fired on Ahsoka… I was a mess.” He makes sure he gives credit where credit is due when it comes to the performances that rounded out the arc. “All of this would have been nothing without the flawless performances from Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, and Sam Witwer,” Adam says. “They truly put their heart into this final arc. We were gifted a movie. It was made with so much love and care and it truly showed. This arc genuinely felt like a love-letter from Dave Filoni and co. to the fans, after years of loyalty and support. It’s a dream to see it come to life.”

Ben agrees, simply stating, “It’s the perfect finale to this era of Star Wars.”

She represents what it means to be a voice of hope and positivity for fans of Star Wars.

Though both the Mortis arc and The Siege of Mandalore are beloved by many, including Evan, his favorite arc is still The Wrong Jedi arc at the end of season five. “Throughout the entire arc, you wanted so badly for the Order to believe Ahsoka of her innocence.” Evan explains, “Ahsoka is on the run of her life after being betrayed and framed by Barriss Offee, as she trusts in past adversaries like Asajj Ventress. The only one that believes her innocence is Anakin and you see him try so hard to help Ahsoka.”

Diving deeper into what makes this arc so great, he says, “I love that you see the flaws in the Jedi way and you understand and know why Ahsoka ends up leaving after her innocence is proven. You also see the conflict and lack of trust in the Order that was already there in Anakin grow as he explains to Ahsoka why he understands she’s leaving. The scene and the music that goes with it of Ahsoka walking down the steps of the temple at the end of season five is memorable and heartbreaking.”

 

The Impact

The image of Ahsoka walking down the steps of the Jedi Temple, understanding what is best for her and that the Jedi are not infallible in their processes creates an incredible parallel to Anakin’s walk up the steps after he has fallen, intent on eliminating the Jedi.

This scene is one of Evan’s favorites of the show. “Ahsoka walking down the steps of the Jedi Temple as she leaves the order… That’s the moment I’ll always think about when it comes to this show.”

A memory that Benjamin will always take with him is watching the movie. “Specifically, the scene when Jabba got shown the heads of the people he sent to find his son and, even though it scared me, it was a great scene.”

Alessio’s favorite memory comes from her strong desire to watch the show. At the time the show was airing, she didn’t have cable yet. “I had to go to the house of a boy, who is only my close friend, when season one was airing on Cartoon Network back in 2008.” She says, looking back on the memories, “It was quite an experience I’ll never forget.”

Sarah and Adam know just the feeling. For Sarah that came from the Star Wars convention, Star Wars Celebration.

“Sitting down with my younger brother to watch the Celebration panel in which it was announced The Clone Wars would be returning for a seventh season. There was much whooping, laughing, and crying,” she says of the moment.

“Getting to take a group photo with the cast at Celebration Chicago in 2019 may be my most treasured memory,” Adam says, no doubt making hundreds of thousands of fans instantly jealous. “After being with that series for so long and finally getting a brief moment with the people that unknowingly changed me as a person… that was special.”

For Nos, her favorite memory comes from the fandom side of things. “Realizing how much fix-it fic was out there,” she says. “There’s so much and it’s all so good.”

Ahsoka Fan’s favorite memory also involves the fandom, to an extent. “My favorite memory has to be the ones I’m making right now as the final season draws to a close. Seeing the surge of popularity for the show is overwhelming and makes me so happy. The show is finally getting the recognition it deserved at its conception.”

The show has spent seasons devoting itself to connecting the story between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, making Anakin’s fall more understandable and subtle, a journey that builds and builds over time, while also expanding the world of Star Wars with new planets, characters, and mythology.

When asked, the fans all undeniably credit The Clone Wars with enriching their overall Star Wars experience. Quite a few would also agree that it understandably set the expectations for new Star Wars content to a pretty high bar that seemingly nothing, except possibly The Mandalorian, has been able to reach.

To me, The Clone Wars is everything Star Wars can and could be: good, sometimes simple stories told by a dedicated, passionate group of people who really want to tell them.

“It has made me appreciate [Star Wars] so much more,” says Benjamin, “but also [to] expect better from the future of Star Wars because I would like things as good or better than The Clone Wars in the future.”

“The show added so much to the overall Skywalker Saga,” added Evan. “You now get a full understanding and [are] shown to what leads to the fall of the Republic, to the rise of the Empire, and to the eventual rise of the Rebellion. Now thanks to The Siege of Mandalore arc, when I watch Revenge of the Sith again, I’ll be able to point out things going on between the show and film. Such as the Jedi Council meeting scene from the film where Ahsoka comes so close to speaking to Anakin again after her confrontation with Maul.”

While fans wait for someone to splice together the episode and the film for a full view of what was happening to beloved characters, they are still able to appreciate the artistry and care of that connection between the two.

The Clone Wars has fully enriched Star Wars as a whole,” Adam says. “It expanded on worlds built, crafted new ones, developed background characters into ones that we now care so much for, and gave us the most beautiful storytelling of all, in my opinion. Star Wars would not be the same without The Clone Wars.”

Ben echoes that. He says, “It’s made the prequels even better than before and gave me such a great connection to Ahsoka and Obi-Wan.”

The Clone Wars are by far my favorite part of Star Wars,” Nos says. While there’s no disagreement from many fans on this, she prepares herself for her next statement. “I personally find the movies hit and miss – yes, even the [Original Trilogy]. I can hear the mob from here crying, ‘Burn the witch!’ – but I adore every episode of The Clone Wars. I honestly don’t think I’d be as into Star Wars as I am without it.”

Rosi’s thoughts on this also acknowledge the impact The Clone Wars has on her as a fan, but also adds the personal impact as well. “I think when we talk about the Prequel Era, nostalgia comes [to] mind because I was too young to grow up with the originals. Now, for me, Star Wars means Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I always thought that the Prequel Era was so much wider and complex than the one from the originals,” says Rosi. “When I think of Star Wars now, it’s a lot more about politics, different planetarium systems and their views, as well as corruption and so on.” She adds that as a kid she didn’t like the politic-centric episodes – something Dave Filoni knew would happen, he joked with George Lucas at a panel for Lucasfilm employees – but now they are her favorite.

For Ahsoka Fan, it brings her back to the story of Anakin and improves upon it in Star Wars overall. “It’s given me a lot of insight into Anakin’s character and why he fell so fast and hard,” she says. “It’s made me appreciate the films more.”

Sarah agrees while also managing to stay critical of the content she loves. “The Clone Wars isn’t perfect; not by a long shot. However, looking at the stories it told and the characters it created in comparison to the rest of the Star Wars universe, it’s hard to point to any entry, besides perhaps the Original Trilogy, that had equal heart,” she says. “With almost every episode of The Clone Wars, there’s this incredible sense that someone wanted to tell the story and cared about it deeply enough to put everything into making sure the audience cared too, but in a careful way.”

She continues, explaining, “They took their time. They improved and grew right along with their audience. To me, The Clone Wars is everything Star Wars can and could be: good, sometimes simple stories told by a dedicated, passionate group of people who really want to tell them.”

The show didn’t just impact the way that fans viewed Star Wars. It impacted their lives, some on a deeper level than ever thought imaginable.

“It gave me a voice to show how much I could speak out on social media to unite people who love the show to come together to keep it alive and show that there can be people out there who can unite and use their talents for good instead of evil,” Alessio says of the impact it has had on her.

Rosi strived to be like Ahsoka and have her confidence and the abilities to do what she did. Calling her a role model, she also adds that Padme has become a role model to her as well. “She always [fought for what she thought] was right,” she says, before adding, “and her political views really are identical to mine so, go Padme!!”

Ahsoka was, and still is, Ahsoka Fan’s role model and the impact that had on her validated her feelings and sense of self. “I felt like I was in Star Wars, because of her,” she says. “Because she was like me, a girl, who had to prove she could be there because a lot of the fans didn’t accept her at first. There were moments when people didn’t take me seriously when I said I was a fan of Star Wars. I felt invalidated a lot because there were some who invalidated Ahsoka.” However, the growth of Ahsoka and how people perceived her helped Ahsoka Fan as well. “The love and recognition she has now shows me how far we’ve come as a fandom, though. Ahsoka has taught us a lot. Seeing her wield a lightsaber right next to the legendary characters of Anakin and Obi-Wan showed me I was allowed to partake in fandom, too, that it wasn’t just for boys.”

The escapism that Star Wars offers lent a hand to Nos. “It’s been a stellar world to get lost in which I was in desperate need of back in 2016 and still am occasionally,” she says honestly.

This is a feeling that Adam can understand and relate to.

The Clone Wars has had a massive impact on me. The series has always been there for me,” he says. “The movie came out in 2008 and ever since, I have been hooked. It was fun, beautiful, and constantly gave me more reasons to fall in love with Star Wars. Getting to know more of the galaxy, see the Jedi in action, learning who the Clones really were instead of them just being a faceless army, being introduced to wonderful new characters like Hondo or Savage, seeing movie storylines be given so much more depth, and so, so much more.”

He continues, “It’s been a place of learning for me. I was always fascinated by the smaller details, the world-building and character development. It made for the most wonderful distraction.”

Deciding to be more open and candid, Adam says, “I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and a lot over the years, but The Clone Wars series has always been a constant escape for me. I even have a tattoo on my forearm, depicting that heartbreaking scene at the end of season five when Ahsoka walked away from the Order, because it serves as a reminder that I was never alone on my journey: Ahsoka was there too.”

Of the lessons learned on the show, he’s applied many to his own life. “Lessons that I know I will take through life and hopefully pass on to my own children someday,” he says. “I can’t fully explain just how much it means to me… but I do know that if I didn’t have this series in my life, I don’t feel like I’d have made it this far.”

 

All our thanks…

It would be an understatement to say that fans are grateful for The Clone Wars. It has forged friendships, opened eyes, and had such a strong impact on some that it has forever changed their lives.

This is all thanks to the cast and crew behind The Clone Wars, especially Dave Filoni.

George Lucas’ protegee and right-hand man, the two worked together on The Clone Wars with George often offering advice regarding their storytelling or wanting to correct something that might not have made sense with the way the show was going. Since then, Dave has worked on Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian as an executive producer, adding those shows to the list of ones he has directed and written for, including a number of episodes of The Clone Wars.

Dave Filoni is someone who understands what Star Wars is and what is at the heart of it. It often feels like, outside of George Lucas, he is the one who understands it all the most. He has become a masterclass storyteller with an incredible cast and crew by his side perfecting the animation and lighting, delivering the dialogue like a punch to the heart to make audiences sob, and creating music sending chills up our spines.

The entire cast and crew of The Clone Wars are unparalleled and have created some of the best entertainment out there.

Through all of it, she still has faith in herself and her friends. Clone Wars is Ahsoka’s show.

Nos sums up her thanks perfectly, saying, “Thank you. You tore my heart to pieces, but it was always worth it.”

Evan adds, “I’d like to say a big thank you to Filoni and the entire cast and crew for this incredible show and experience. From this fan, thank you for everything.”

“Thank you for allowing me to immerse myself in such a beautiful galaxy of creation,” Adam starts. “For giving me an escape from personal struggles. For allowing my passion for Star Wars to grow far beyond what I feel it would have if The Clone Wars didn’t exist. For allowing me to grow and mature with your characters, stories, and even the cast/crew of the show. Finally, thank you for being there for me for 12 years and for being a constant light in the dark. I owe Dave, the cast, and the crew so, so much. They’ve given me a gift that will keep on giving for years and years to come. I’m forever grateful.”

Benjamin adds his gratitude for the memories, saying, “You all did a fantastic job with this season. It is the best Star Wars I have ever seen and watching this show again brings back so many memories of my childhood.”

Directing her statement to Dave Filoni, Alessio says, “Thank you for being able to bring back the series one more time to finish it out on your own terms and give it a proper ending as well as giving fans one last opportunity to come together for something that they all know well and love.”

Thank you doesn’t begin to cover all Rosi wants to say and her gratitude for the creative team behind the show. “This concept of not concentrating on some characters and just taking a timeline and telling a story from so many different perspectives was what always got me about this show,” she says. “We saw the good guys, the bad guys, the ones in the middle, and even got these really ridiculous stories of droids on an adventure. I really wish we could have seen all the stories you guys had planned for our characters. But nevertheless, I’m happy we at least got a conclusion.”

Ben adds, “Thank you so much for everything you did in this show – it’s incredible!!”

When it comes time for Ahsoka Fan to express thanks, she takes the time to individually address the groups behind the show.

“To Dave Filoni,” she starts. “Thank you for letting Ahsoka live. Thank you for not taking the path that would’ve been easiest. Thank you for letting her be a part of Anakin’s life but not letting her life center around him. Thank you for giving her agency, and for giving her choices, and for never letting the criticism you faced reduce how you handled her. From the very first moment I heard Ahsoka’s voice, how she proudly proclaimed on The Clone Wars TV spot twelve years ago, ‘I’m supposed to listen to him [Anakin]. He’s my master.’ I knew I would travel with her through that galaxy far, far away. And I did. And I’m so glad that I did.”

Next, she thanks the cast. “You all put so much heart and soul into your performances. I loved watching behind the scenes footage of you record. I loved the camaraderie you had with one another. The stories of how you became the voice actors for these characters were so interesting. Thank you for giving life to the show that brought me into Star Wars.”

Ahsoka Fan continues, “To the Crew: So many details go into every part of this show, and they don’t go unnoticed. From the music to the lighting to the sets and scenery and facial expressions. I’m so glad that The Clone Wars had such a dedicated team of people putting these episodes into production. Thank you so much.”

Lastly, she addresses the voice behind Ahsoka Tano. “To Ashley Eckstein: Thank you for being the voice of Ahsoka Tano. Thank you for creating Her Universe. Thank you for being the Fulcrum of inclusivity in not just Star Wars fandom but so many others as well. I hope you get to continue to play the iconic character of Ahsoka in the future. Thank you for investing so much of yourself into Ahsoka and for never giving up hope, even when the beginning was difficult. I’ve loved Ahsoka’s characters since the very first time I saw her. I’m so thankful that you helped bring her to life.”

There’s so many ways to say thank you but, with the finale just a short while away, Sarah sums it up best: “Thank you. Just that – thank you.”

The entirety of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is available for streaming on Disney+!

A special thank you to the fans who participated and answered questions! May the Force be with you.

25. Television and radio production graduate. || I think some people underestimate the range and variety of things that interest younger generations. I'm determined not to.

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