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Obviously, everyone knows about the Star Wars films. The three trilogies — the originals, prequels, and sequels — have a stronghold on pop culture and their active fanbase’s hearts. But what some might not know about is the expanded universe of the franchise, from books, comics, and television series. Not The Mandalorian, which is new, but The Clones Wars and Star Wars Rebels. While Rebels added a lot to canon, The Clone Wars is one of the most beloved parts of the franchise, outside of the original trilogy. 

The show was canceled in 2014 without finishing what its creators wanted to do with the show. But thanks to a loud fan campaign to save it, it’s coming back to Disney+ in February 2020. 

A film poster for 'The Clone Wars' on display at the New York International Children's Film Festival in 2008.
A film poster for ‘The Clone Wars’ on display at the New York International Children’s Film Festival in 2008 | Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

The Clone Wars is a beloved show that was canceled before it was done

It all started in 2008, three years after Revenge of the Sith premiered. Lucasfilm created The Clone Wars animated movie, a precursor to the much more successful series that ran for six seasons from 2008 to 2014. It starts about three years before Episode III in the Star Wars timeline and follows Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s work during the Clone Wars, as you’d expect from the name. 

It introduced fans to Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s Padawan who’s sort of forced on him by Yoda. But he ends up giving in and the two form a major bond as master and student. It also included more in-depth stories, amazing arcs for existing characters, and writing that really sucked audiences in. 

In addition, it introduced fans to Clone troopers as actual people, something none of the movies had done. From Rex and Kody, to even 99, they had personalities and individual thoughts, which allowed audiences to get attached to them, which of course pulled on many people’s feelings throughout the series. 

Fans’ support for ‘The Clone Wars’ after its cancellation was what brought it back

Supposedly the show was canceled because it was getting too “graphic” for Cartoon Network, according to Boba Fett actor Daniel Logan in 2018. In contrast, Lucasfilm said they wanted to “pursue a new direction in animated programming” following Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars.

But fans weren’t happy. The show was obviously going really well with its storyline. Season 5 ended with Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order and things really taking a turn in the war and in Anakin’s struggle with the Jedi and his feelings. Season 6 is titled “The Lost Missions” and shows Yoda’s journey during the raging war. But it never linked back to Revenge of the Sith. Fans were vocal about it finishing what it started.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 15, before the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy shared that those voices didn’t go unheard. “It does matter what they say and what they care about,” Kennedy said. “All of those things play a role in our decision making.”

Dave Filoni is going far in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise 

A Clone trooper at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' movie in Los Angeles.
A Clone trooper at the premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ movie in Los Angeles | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Dave Filoni, the showrunner for The Clone Wars, has a very special place in the Star Wars franchise. He served as writer and director for the show, was taught about the franchise directly from George Lucas, and went on to have a major hand in Star Wars Rebels.

Now, he’s involved with The Mandalorian as a director, writer, and executive producer and that’s thanks to Kennedy and Lucasfilm, who gave him mentors like J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. “I think it says a lot about how [Kennedy] looks at a long game and works patiently to achieve goals and find success, not just for the projects, but for people as well,” Filoni told the Los Angeles Times. 

So, thanks to positive fan reinforcement and encouragement, Season 7 of The Clone Wars is set to premiere in February. It’ll focus on Ahsoka’s work outside of the Jedi Order, and how they brought her back for more missions. The Siege of Mandalore will also play a prominent role, as it goes right into Order 66 and Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side.