Today I am 34 years old. Yesterday I was 34 years old and tomorrow I will be 34 years old. Understanding that doesn’t change who I am and what I do.
I watch cartoons. More specifically, I watch amazing cartoons. By amazing I mean the ones that make me think about their content. Not the ones that are a senseless waste of time (I point to you Caillou).
It’s no secret that I love everything Star Wars. I love the characters. I love the plots. And I’d even go as far as to say that I love the acting (most of it). Star Wars has transformed the way movies are made and stories are told. From the highly respected original three to the much-hated prequels, Star Wars is a part of Pop Culture as much as the Soup Cans from Andy Warhol.
And as far as cartoons go, Star Wars Clone Wars is one helluva cartoon.
When Revenge of the Sith ended oh so many years ago, I was left wondering what actually happened. Why did Anakin turn to the Dark Side? Sure, I get that this was his destiny and the movie had to make it happen. But I left thinking that the movie didn’t do a good enough job of showing the exactly why.
Yes, I know that “Sith” only had 2.5 hours to show why and that 2.5 hours simply isn’t enough time. However, even in that 2.5 hours, I could only point out a few moments that might justify his reasons.
- Shmi’s (his mother) death in Attack of the Clones
- His visions of Padme’s death
- Anakin’s frustration with the Jedi order
- A bad haircut for the third movie in a row
Granted the haircut might put the best of us over, but it wasn’t enough.
This is where the Clone Wars cartoon fills in the blanks perfectly.
Star Wars Clone Wars
Over the course of its 6 seasons, the viewer (or binge watcher in my case) is taken by the Jedi Council on a ride across the galaxy. Without giving away too much, the show takes you to planets only mentioned in the movies. More importantly, on these planets are creatures and people that make up the Star Wars Universe. Even ones whose names are briefly mentioned in the movies tend to appear.
Clone Wars follows both factions of the galaxy (Separatists and Republic) as they attempt to gain the support and control of the most important planets and systems in the Universe. More than a cartoon, Star Wars Clone Wars is a political thriller that perfectly embodies the corruption and back and forth “negotiating” that occurs when two factions fail to come to an agreement.
This back and forth is where the development of Anakin Skywalker becomes interesting. According to the Jedi Council, he is considered reckless and does not always follow the teachings of the Jedi. Anakin is different from the other Jedi in the sense that his perception of right and wrong and how to handle it are unorthodox.
The first few seasons have Anakin paired with his master Obi-Wan Kenobi. At times he seems lost, spending the majority of the time following Obi-Wan like a lost puppy. Around the midway point of season 3, things start to change. As Senator Palpatine begins his manipulation, you can see his beliefs, morals, and standards shift away from that of a Jedi. And that’s where it becomes interesting.
Thrown in the middle of his conflict is his padawan, Ahsoka Tano (who instantly became a personal favorite of mine). While she understands the ways of the Jedi, as the series goes on, you can see that Anakin’s viewpoints, morals, and beliefs begin to sway her way of thinking. She becomes torn by the teachings of the Jedi and the teachings of her master. As far as this fan is concerned, her development is just as, if not more interesting than Anakin’s.
I suppose above everything else that I have said, what makes Star Wars Clone Wars so amazing is that at its heart, it’s a show about divide. Considering the world we live in right now, the divide is a lesson we should all take note of.
So…I can’t promise you that if you watch it you’ll like it because, well, maybe you’re not into amazing shows. What I can promise you is that if you’ve always wondered what happened to Anakin, this cartoon will show you.