With the amazing conclusion of Star Wars The Clone Wars, we at IGN couldn’t help but think about how The Clone Wars redeemed the prequels.
The Star Wars prequels were never going to be able to do true justice to the Clone Wars conflict. The prequel movies–The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith were predominately focused on the young, force sensitive Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and his descent from Jedi to the Sith lord Darth Vader, which ultimately culminated in the Obi Wan vs Anakin lightsaber battle in Revenge of the Sith.
But The Clone Wars brought a depth of characterization to Anakin that was sometimes lacking in the movies, but he is not the only one. Characters like Obi Wan Kenobi (who was played n the prequels by Ewan Mcgregor), Count Dooku, Darth Maul (Ray Pak), Captian Rex, and Sheev Palpatine were also further fleshed out in the series. We also see a young Boba Fett take his first steps toward becoming the Mandalorian legend he is in the time of the Empire. Even Jedi who had little or no dialogue in the prequels – Ki-Adi-Mundi, Shaak Ti, Even Piell, etc. – were given personalities and a more significant part to play in the war.
As much as the Clone Wars did to flesh out the familiar heroes and villains of the movies, the Clone Wars series’ real accomplishment is in working with characters like Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress.
The opening crawl in Revenge of the Sith teases, “There are heroes on both sides” of the Clone Wars. Unfortunately, that’s not an idea the prequel movies were really able to explore, but The Clone Wars Season 7 was able to expand upon. The siege of Mandalore in clone wars season 7 both highlighted the heroes on both sides as well as shown where key characters were when Order 66 was executed.
The Clone Wars had a way of unifying the entire franchise, which ultimately helped Star Wars. Explained in The Clone Wars, concepts like the siege of Mandalore (the homeworld of the Mandalorian warriors) and the lightsaber battles like Darth Maul vs Ashoka, made all those previously extraneous bits of story relevant to the main saga.