6 Reasons Why Star Wars: Clone Wars 2003 Is The Better TV Show (& 6 Reasons Why It's The Clone Wars 2008) (2024)

Summary

  • Anakin's knighting ceremony adds depth in Clone Wars (2003) that The Clone Wars (2008) does not show.
  • General Grievous is more menacing in Clone Wars (2003) than The Clone Wars (2008), showcasing a darker side to the character.
  • Clone Wars (2003) includes bolder character choices and comedic moments, giving the show a unique and unexpected edge.

Although Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) has become an incredibly popular Star Wars TV show, its predecessor, Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) is equally exceptional; in fact, each one is better in specific ways. The Clone Wars (2008) has become one of Star Wars' best TV shows, and its prominence in the Star Wars timeline and importance to other Star Wars movies and TV shows has made it an essential watch. However, some of its shortcomings were perfectly addressed in Clone Wars (2003).

Clone Wars (2003) isn't canon, but it captures the same point in time that The Clone Wars timeline does. Falling between Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Clone Wars (2003) depicts critical moments during the Clone Wars era, some of which even the much longer The Clone Wars (2008) didn't. Each certainly has its merits, although both Clone Wars (2003) and The Clone Wars (2008) have 6 key ways they're better.

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12 Anakin's Knighting Ceremony Is Shown

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Created By
George Lucas
Cast
Bob Anderson , Hayden Christensen , James Earl Jones , Matt Lanter , Matt Lucas , Jake Lloyd , David Prowse , Sebastian Shaw
First Appearance
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Alliance
Jedi, Sith

One of the most exciting scenes in Clone Wars (2003) was Anakin Skywalker's knighting ceremony, in which he became a full-fledged Jedi Knight. This moment hasn't been depicted on-screen in canon yet, despite its importance to Anakin's larger Star Wars story, which gives Clone Wars (2003) a significant leg up. In addition to how important this moment was to Anakin's Jedi path, though, it was also a deeply touching moment in the broader franchise.

For one, to acknowledge that Anakin was ready for this next step, Obi-Wan Kenobi told Anakin that he had truly become capable of all Qui-Gon Jinn had thought he would be, offering the perfect connection to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan then told Anakin that it was time they became "brothers" and left their master and apprentice dynamic behind. Although it hadn't happened yet, this comment perfectly set up Obi-Wan's assertion in Revenge of the Sith that Anakin had been his brother.

11 General Grievous Is More Terrifying

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

General Grievous was a critical character in the Clone Wars era, as he led the Separatists ruthlessly and had a massive influence on the war. In fact, the Republic found Grievous so dangerous that, in Revenge of the Sith, they believed if Obi-Wan captured him (after Count Dooku had died), it would end the war. General Grievous was also quite a fearsome opponent, with Star Wars: Tales of the Empire recently depicting how bloodthirsty he truly was.

However, the Clone Wars (2003) Grievous was significantly more terrifying than the Clone Wars (2008) version of the character. In fact, in The Clone Wars (2008), Grievous often came off as a bit foolish and could at times be played for a laugh. In contrast, General Grievous in Clone Wars (2003) was a great deal scarier, taking a sick delight in cutting down Jedi and leaving Shaak Ti tied up for the other Jedi to find—much closer to the recent Tales of the Empire depiction.

10 Characters Make Much Bolder Choices

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

In addition to Clone Wars (2003) having a more playful, 2D animation style, the show made much bolder choices in terms of characters' behaviors. One of the most shocking examples came when Jedi Master Kit Fisto suddenly tore off his cloak, revealing himself to be shirtless underneath, and jumped into a body of water. This more daring, even comical type of scene was not present in The Clone Wars (2008).

That isn't to say that The Clone Wars (2008) wasn't funny. The show was plenty comical, although the humor tended to be more subtle, with snarky remarks from Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka Tano alike. Clone Wars (2003) certainly comes out on top in this regard, though, as it was much more willing to do something unexpected, which absolutely paid off in its comedic effect.

9 The Battle Of Coruscant Is Depicted

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

One of the best things included in Clone Wars (2003) was the Battle of Coruscant, in which Chancellor Palpatine was abducted by General Grievous. Although Revenge of the Sith showed the very end of this battle, with Anakin and Obi-Wan going to retrieve Palpatine—and Anakin killing Count Dooku in the process—it was not included in The Clone Wars (2008). This was a pivotal moment in the Clone Wars, and it was shocking to see the Republic under attack.

Moreover, though, it simply made for excellent television, as the battle was full of action and suspense. The scenes from the Battle of Coruscant also showed Master Yoda actively engaged in the fights, which offered a somewhat rare look at Yoda's strength and abilities. It's a bit surprising that The Clone Wars (2008) didn't include this event, but that means Clone Wars (2003) certainly wins here.

8 Shaak Ti's Abilities Are Revealed

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

One of the key characters during the Battle of Coruscant in Clone Wars (2003) was Jedi Master Shaak Ti, a Togruta female Jedi. Although Shaak Ti appeared in The Clone Wars (2008), her fierceness and bravery in Clone Wars (2003) shed new light upon the strength of the character. In fact, during the siege, Shaak Ti bravely risked her life to protect Palpatine, and she even went head-to-head with General Grievous.

Given Shaak Ti's seat on the Jedi Council, it's surprising that her character hasn't been given more attention either in live-action or animation. While even in Clone Wars (2003) her role was somewhat limited, her involvement in the Battle of Coruscant was nevertheless a brilliant moment for her character. Clone Wars (2003), much more so than The Clone Wars (2008) allowed Shaak Ti's abilities to truly shine through, as she took on one of the prequels' most dangerous villains.

Given Shaak Ti's seat on the Jedi Council, it's surprising that her character hasn't been given more attention.

7 Anakin Uses The Force With No Hand

Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

Anakin Skywalker's missing hand is one of the most recognizable aspects of his character, but Clone Wars (2003) made it feel brand-new in one brilliant scene. After his hand was cut off yet again in the show, Anakin managed to use the Force with just the mechanical stump. While, yes, the Force is an incredible power that doesn't always require the use of one's hands, the visuals of this moment were fantastic.

Although this may not have been one of the most impressive Force feats in Star Wars, it was nevertheless a thrilling moment and a reminder of Anakin's power and strength. Moreover, any attention on the mechanical hand is a reminder of the things to come. Anakin's mechanical hand was really the first physical step on his path to becoming Darth Vader; not only was this the first part of his body that became mechanical, but it was also only cut off after he had slaughtered the Tusken Raiders, one of his worst atrocities.

Anakin's mechanical hand was really the first physical step on his path to becoming Darth Vader.

6 Ahsoka Tano Is Introduced

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Easily the best thing to come out of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) was the introduction of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's surprise Padawan. Given how beloved Ahsoka has become and how important she has proven to be to Star Wars' other shows, The Clone Wars (2008) clearly has the advantage here. Even beyond Ahsoka being an excellent character in her own right, though, she had massive implications for Star Wars.

For one, Ahsoka fleshed out Anakin Skywalker's character considerably, making the reasons behind his fall make even more sense. However, Ahsoka also revealed the flaws of the Jedi Order—perhaps more than anyone else. When Ahsoka was falsely accused of murder, the Jedi turned their backs on her, deferring to the Senate, which almost led to her death. In that sense, The Clone Wars (2008) radically changed Star Wars for the better in a way that Clone Wars (2003) did not.

5 The Show's Arc Is Longer And More Detailed

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Whereas Clone Wars (2003) can be watched in its entirety in about two hours, The Clone Wars (2008) had seven seasons and covered an impressive amount of ground. This massive difference in length allowed The Clone Wars (2008) to delve much deeper into the events that transpired between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which is one major advantage of this show. Because of its length, in fact, no element of the show felt rushed, which is a major difference even compared to the prequel movies.

One of the best aspects of this increased time was the development of the clones' stories. In Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Clone Wars (2003), the clones have little depth to them. For the most part, they remain faceless troopers willing to die for the Jedi and the Republic until Order 66. However, The Clone Wars (2008) added a beautiful depth to them that truly made Star Wars better.

4 Padmé's Character Is Massively Improved

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Padmé Amidala
Created By
George Lucas
Cast
Natalie Portman , Catherine Taber
First Appearance
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Alliance
Naboo, Republic

Like the clones, Padmé's character was developed considerably more in The Clone Wars (2008) than in Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Clone Wars (2003). Padmé certainly got more attention than the clones did in those three projects, but, especially in Revenge of the Sith and Clone Wars (2003), her main function became Anakin's wife and the source of his fears. This was a disappointing change following her debut in the prequel trilogy as the powerful Queen of Naboo.

The Clone Wars (2008), in contrast, did the character justice. In the show, Padmé acted as a fearless fighter in the Clone Wars, an honorable senator, and someone who always led with compassion. In fact, The Clone Wars (2008) is arguably the most humanizing and intriguing version of her character in any Star Wars project.

3 Anakin's Fall Is More Fleshed Out

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

One of the biggest complaints about Revenge of the Sith, which is otherwise a rather beloved movie, was the sudden nature of Anakin's fall. For many, despite the nods toward who he would soon become (such as his massacre of the Tusken Raiders), Anakin's acceptance of his new role as Palpatine's Sith apprentice happened too quickly. However, The Clone Wars (2008), as a companion piece to Revenge of the Sith, entirely fixed this problem.

In The Clone Wars (2008), Anakin's fall was tracked in much greater detail, with his struggles with rage, jealousy, guilt, and a fear of death more apparent than ever. In fact, entirely new bouts of violence, such as his assault on Rush Clovis, revealed how extensive Anakin's issues were, long before he knelt before Palpatine. Particularly because it addressed a grievance Star Wars audiences have, The Clone Wars (2008) had a massive advantage with Anakin's arc.

Entirely new bouts of violence, such as his assault on Rush Clovis, revealed how extensive Anakin's issues were.

2 The Characters Are More Complex

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Undoubtedly because of the amount of time the show had, The Clone Wars (2008) blew Clone Wars (2003) out of the water when it came to the depth of characters. While Clone Wars (2003) offered incredible action sequences and did capture key moments like Anakin's knighting ceremony, it can't compete with the amount of character development that happened in The Clone Wars (2008). Not only were characters like Obi-Wan and Anakin fleshed out, but also, new characters like Ahsoka literally grew up over the course of the show.

In fact, The Clone Wars (2008) remains one of the best Star Wars projects overall in terms of character development. Even villains like Maul had so much complexity added to their characters in the show. While Clone Wars (2003) is certainly a fun watch, the complicated, thoughtful character development in The Clone Wars (2008) is unmatched.

1 The Show And Revenge Of The Sith Directly Cross Over

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

One of the best aspects of The Clone Wars (2008) is the way it directly intersected with Revenge of the Sith. In fact, not only was Order 66 depicted in the show, but also, the show ended with a time jump, showing Darth Vader finding and holding up Ahsoka's lightsaber. This direct connection to the movie, particularly as it brilliantly weaved Ahsoka's story in while explaining away her absence in Revenge of the Sith, was masterfully done.

All in all, it's difficult to say which show was better overall. Each show had key strengths, from the humor and daring choices in Clone Wars (2003) to the depth of character development in The Clone Wars (2008). While there might not be a clear, singular winner, however, it's evident that both Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and Clone Wars (2003) were incredible additions to Star Wars' Clone Wars era.

6 Reasons Why Star Wars: Clone Wars 2003 Is The Better TV Show (& 6 Reasons Why It's The Clone Wars 2008) (2)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Animation

Sci-Fi

The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place between Episodes 2 and 3 of the Star Wars film saga. The fan-favorite series expands the story of the prequel trilogy through characters including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and more fan-favorite jedi.

Cast
Matt Lanter , james arnold taylor , Ashley Eckstein , Dee Bradley Baker , Matthew Wood , Tom Kane , Catherine Taber , Terrence Carson , Corey Burton , Nika Futterman , Katee Sackhoff , Sam Witwer

Release Date
October 3, 2008

Seasons
7
Network
Disney Channel

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+
Franchise(s)
Star Wars

ALL STAR WARS MOVIES AND TV SHOWS ARE AVAILABLE TO STREAM ON DISNEY+

6 Reasons Why Star Wars: Clone Wars 2003 Is The Better TV Show (& 6 Reasons Why It's The Clone Wars 2008) (2024)
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