Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The 20 Best Episodes of the Series

Author

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated series that delves deep into the events between Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith of the Star Wars film saga. Its compelling stories, intriguing characters, and stunning visuals make it a beloved addition to the franchise. To this day, no Star Wars TV show has been able to expand the universe quite like Clone Wars has. From deepening our understanding of the Force to introducing new characters that have become pivotal to the live-action side of the universe, the series has pushed Star Wars forward in bold new directions.

MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Here is our ranking of the top 20 episodes and arcs of The Clone Wars, showcasing its finest moments and unforgettable stories. These episodes and arcs represent the best-animated series, underscoring its depth, complexity, and storytelling prowess. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the series, these are the episodes that you won’t want to miss. Beware, there are some spoilers ahead.

Updated February 12, 2024: In preparation for the release of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, this article has been updated with more great episodes of the Clone Wars.

20 The Citadel (S3, E18)

Lucasfilm

A three-part arc in The Clone Wars, “The Citadel Trilogy” takes us on a gripping journey as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Captain Rex embark on a dangerous mission to rescue Jedi Master Even Piell from the impenetrable Trade Federation prison known as the Citadel. This arc showcases the unwavering determination and sacrifices made by our heroes in the face of unimaginable challenges.

This trilogy introduces Anakin to Captain Tarkin, who would later appear alongside Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as Grand Moff Tarkin — one of the few people whom Vader held in high regard. It’s also a huge moment for Ahsoka’s character, as Anakin directly told her to stay behind as he didn’t think she was ready for this mission. In an attempt to prove herself, she secretly came along and intervened, and immediately showed her worth to Anakin. Had she not been there, they never would have made it into the prison in the first place to save Piell. A huge episode for character growth as it shows Anakin and Ahsoka growing closer together, along with an exciting prison break sequence that makes it worth watching for that alone.

19 To Catch a Jedi (S5, E19)

Clone Wars To Catch a Jedi
Lucasfilm / Disney

As Ahsoka Tano faces false accusations and becomes a fugitive, the “To Catch a Jedi” arc explores her journey to clear her name and uncover the truth. Along the way, she encounters unexpected allies and confronts the dark underbelly of the Jedi Order.

“To Catch a Jedi” is a compelling exploration of justice, redemption, and the complexities of the Force. In Ahsoka’s time of desperation as she’s, on the run, she turns to her rival Asajj Ventress for help. It’s an interesting dynamic seeing the two team up for once as their stories mirror each other in a way. Where Ventress was left for dead by Dooku and all alone, Ahsoka has Anakin still trying to help her out. Seeing how they both ended up really highlights what makes them both interesting characters. The tragedy is that the Council seeing these two work together only incriminated Ahsoka more and nearly sealed her fate.

18 Carnage of Krell (S4, E10)

Carnage of Krell Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

Carnage of Krell” is an emotionally charged episode of The Clone Wars. The loyalty of the clones is put to the ultimate test as they find themselves under the command of the treacherous Jedi General Pong Krell, who has fallen to the dark side and orchestrates a plot to have the clones kill one another without them realizing it as he has come to see them as disposable. This episode is a great example of showing a character fighting for the Republic and the Jedi Order but is morally compressed and as despicable as any of the main Star Wars villains.

Part of what makes the series so interesting is the focus on the clones themselves. In the films, they are mostly used as cannon fodder and aren’t given any development. In an episode like this one, the clones take center stage and get to show why they’re so interesting. Genetically designed to be expendable and follow orders, they still have a moral compass to decide between right and wrong. Captain Rex gets a lot of play in the episode as he shows that even those in high power need to be held accountable and that it isn’t right for clones to just “follow orders”. It also foreshadows the unfortunate part of the clones when they’re forced to follow Order 66 and have their freedom of choice stripped away from them.

17 ARC Troopers (S3, E2)

ARC Troopers Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

In the action-packed episode, “ARC Troopers,” we witness the strength and bravery of the ARC Troopers, an elite unit of clone troopers. The planet Kamino, home of the secret cloning facility, is about to be under attack by the Separatists. After learning about the imminent doom, Anakin and Obi-Wan rush to the planet to aid the Clones in what they know will be an important battle in the war. Joined by Captain Rex and Commander Cody as they lead their troops into battle against overwhelming odds, the episode demonstrates the true spirit of the Republic.

The most important part of the episode, though, involves 99, a disabled Clone who was relegated to janitorial duty on Kamino. Desperate to prove his worth, 99 joins in the fight and brings his clone Bretheren ammunition to use against the invading separatists. Tragically, he’s killed in the attack, giving his life in support of the cause and finally proving that he could contribute to it in the most heartbreaking way. It’s one of the saddest episodes of the series, as it highlights some of the more depressing aspects of being a clone.

16 The Bad Batch (S7, E1-4)

The Bad Batch
Lucasfilm
 

This four-part arc kicks off the final season of The Clone Wars and introduces us to Clone Force 99, aptly named after the aforementioned 99, aka The Bad Batch, a group of elite clone troopers with unique abilities. Years ago, before The Clone Wars was canceled, these episodes were planned and even partially animated. When season 7 was finally released in 2020, the Bad Batch got their long overdue time to shine in one of the series’ best arcs.

Tasked with a daring mission behind enemy lines, this arc showcases the power of teamwork, individuality, and the resilience of the clones in the face of adversity. It also effectively serves as a soft-launch for the spin-off series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch. These episodes work as a fantastic introduction to the group and what makes each member special, all while continuing the themes of the series. One of the most interesting parts of the episode actually involves Captain Rex, as it’s revealed that he knew about Anakin’s secret marriage with Padme. It’s a nice look into their relationship and shows just how much Anakin trusted Rex.

Related
Star Wars: Is The Bad Batch Essential Viewing for Fans?

The animated series The Bad Batch has been hailed as some of the best new Star Wars content out there, but how important is it to watch?

15 The Hidden Enemy (S1, E16)

The Hidden Enemy Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

Uncover a traitor within the ranks of the Clone Army in “The Hidden Enemy” as Captain Rex and Commander Cody investigate suspicious activities on Christophsis. The series loves to explore how the clones yearn to establish their own identities and become more than just tools in war. This episode shows that in a unique way, as one of the Clones has been lured to the dark side in an attempt to free his clone brothers.

Slick was a trooper who lost faith in the Jedi and saw them as incompetent leaders, marching the clones towards their death. He sold out the Republic to Asajj Ventress and the Separatists, hoping that the Jedi’s defeat would lead to the Clone’s freedom, no longer being pawns in someone else’s war. Loyalties are tested, and bonds are forged in this suspenseful episode of The Clone Wars that further expands upon the clones themselves. It’s a very interesting take on the clones and shows a whole new perspective to the war itself, and for that deserves its spot on this list.

14 Rookies (S1, E5)

Rookies Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

No doubt the best episode in season one, “Rookies,” was the first in the series to give the clones the spotlight. This episode follows a group of rookie Clone Troopers as they face their first real test on the remote outpost of Rishi Moon. When you’re created just to fight like these Clones are, it’s understandable for them to want a piece of the action so soon. Hevy was a trooper who was itching to join the fight and serve the Republic, but unfortunately, that anticipation of hastiness would cost him his life.

The Rishi Moon outpost was a crucial one, and while the clones there didn’t see much action, they were there to protect the clones who were still developing. The rookie clone would finally get his chance to go into battle, but after the remote detonater malfunctions, he sacrifices his life to protect his fellow clones. It’s an unexpectedly heartbreaking moment in the series but it helps to set the tone for what the rest of the show would accomplish.

13 Old Friends Not Forgotten (S7, E9)

Old Friends Not Forgotten Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

After much anticipation, “Old Friends Not Forgotten” is the first episode in season 7 that reunites Ahsoka with Anakin. As the Clone Wars escalate, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi receive a vital mission from Chancellor Palpatine as Grievous has launched an attack on Coruscant. Ahsoka, Rex, and Bo Katan Kryze are given permission to go to Mandalore to try to finally capture Maul. This Clone Wars episode sets the stage for the epic Siege of Mandalore as portions of Revenge of the Sith are told from different perspectives.

This episode is as close to perfect as you can get and provides a great setup for the finale that it’s building up to. It’s a huge moment for Ahsoka as she all but officially rejoins the Jedi order to fight for Mandalore. Her growth here is on full display as she’s now leading an army herself. Anakin is only days away from making his infamous turn to the dark side, and the bittersweet ruin with his padawan is cut short. It’s the final time these two will see each other in their current forms, and it gives us the goodbye we’ve needed to see between them for years.

12 The Box (S4, E17)

The Box Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

In the thrilling episode, “The Box,” Obi-Wan Kenobi fakes his own death, even fooling his apprentice into thinking he is dead, and goes undercover in an elaborate training program designed to test the skills of the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunters. This episode is incredibly exciting as it’s one of the rare that focuses on Obi-Wan as he must maintain his disguise in the presence of ruthless and cunning bounty hunters like Cad Bane. It shows a different side of the Jedi Master, one who’s willing to go to extreme lengths and dangerous situations to uphold the Republic’s Democracy.

It’s always nice to see Cad Bane make an appearance, since he’s the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, and seeing him orchestrate an elaborate trap like this goes a long way to show how cunning he is. The way Obi-Wan survives the box demonstrates what makes him such a good character, as he’s not trying to defeat the other contestants, he even helps them at points, he’s just trying to beat the Box itself.

11 The Mandalore Plot (S2, E12)

The Mandalore Plot Clone Wars

Nowadays, The Mandalorian focuses on the ruined planet of Mandalore as Din Djarin and the other Mandalorians fight to reclaim it. In The Clone Wars though, they could show the Mandalorians at the height of their power when they were on the verge of political turmoil. In “The Mandalore Plot“, we see the terrorist group the Death Watch push the now peaceful nation towards joining the war as their ruler, Duchess Satine, advocates for a neutral stance. Amidst political intrigue, Obi-Wan Kenobi uncovers a dark plot that could have far-reaching consequences.

The political drama is interesting, but the real draw of the episode is the new depth that Obi-Wan’s character gets. It’s well known that Jedi are forbidden from falling in love, and while Obi-Wan strictly adheres to the code, the episode heavily indicates that he had a romance with Satine in the past. Whatever happened, the two drifted apart in their beliefs and as people, so seeing them together again creates an immediately interesting and rare dynamic for the franchise. This is also the first appearance of the legendary Darksaber in The Clone Wars, a weapon that will go on to have much more significance in the future.

10 Landing at Point Rain (S2, E5)

Landing at Point Rain Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

An action-packed Clone Wars episode that focuses on a large-scale battle during the Clone Wars, in “Landing at Point Rain,” Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the clone troopers of the Republic launch an assault on the planet Geonosis. This episode showcases intense combat sequences, strategic planning, and the bravery of the Jedi and clones as they fight against the Separatist forces. It exemplifies the epic scale of the Clone Wars conflict that was never fully appreciated in the prequel trilogy.

Thrilling from start to finish, the episode is a perfect example of how the animated medium can be used. The combat is beautifully animated and brought to life in a way that never gets boring throughout the entire episode. In a series called The Clone Wars, it’s important to actually show these wars every once in a while to remind the audience what they’re fighting for and dealing with on a daily basis. It may not have the emotional punch that some of these others do, but it makes up for that with memorable action scenes.

9 The Jedi Who Knew Too Much (S5, E18)

The Jedi Who Knew Too Much Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

The Jedi Who Knew Too Much” follows Ahsoka Tano’s journey after being accused of a bombing at the Jedi Temple. Ahsoka goes on the run to prove her innocence, and this episode showcases her resourcefulness and determination. It also delves into the complexities of the Jedi Order as Ahsoka questions their principles and core beliefs while facing the challenges of being a young Jedi. When it comes to Ahsoka’s character development in the series, there’s no episode that changes her more than this one.

As a child soldier brought into the war, she grew up idolizing the Jedi and wanting nothing more than to be one. After being framed for the bombing and those she trusted turned on her, she began to grow disillusioned with the Jedi Order. She cements this by rejecting Anakin’s help and jumping into the unknown by herself for the first time, starting a new chapter independent of any organization. Ahsoka’s only allegiance now is to the force and helping other people, and it’s one of the many reasons why she’s such a beloved character.

8 Conspiracy (S6, E2)

Conspiracy Clone Wars-1
Lucasfilm

There’s no episode of The Clone Wars more heartbreaking than “Conspiracy“. It’s a gripping episode that delves into the sinister plot surrounding the creation of the clone army as Clone Trooper Tup experiences a malfunction during a battle, causing him to shockingly murder Jedi General Tiplar. This led to the discovery of a secret bio-chip implanted in all clones, also known as Order 66. Clone Trooper Fives uncovers the plan and realizes how grand of a scale this is. Now knowing Palpatine’s plan to kill all the Jedi, Fives rushes to try and warn Anakin and Obi-Wan, but is apprehended and unfortunately killed.

It’s a bittersweet episode, but for that reason, “Conspiracy” is one of the best. The episode uncovers a conspiracy that raises questions about the clones’ free will and serves as a pivotal moment in the series’ exploration of the clones’ identity and purpose. Tup’s final words being “I’m free” before he passed away, ending his nightmare but bringing many more questions to the surface about how content the clones really are. It also serves to underline the tragedy in Revenge of the Sith to see just how close the Jedi were to avoiding their doom.

7 The Mortis Arc (S3, E15-17)

Mortis Arc Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

This three-episode arc takes a unique and mystical approach to the Force and its balance, unlike anything Star Wars fans have ever seen before. Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano find themselves on a mysterious planet, where they encounter powerful Force-wielders who embody the light and dark sides. This arc delves into the inner struggles and temptations faced by Anakin, heavily foreshadowing his eventual and inevitable fall to the dark side.

Mortis is an almost dreamlike place outside of the regular galaxy that is nearly impossible to reach, but the trio are brought there by The Father. He keeps the balance between The Son, who represents the dark side, and The Daughter, who is the light. The Father saw that Anakin was the chosen one and brought him here to put him through tests to see if that were the case. In this case, Anakin’s prophecy is to take The Father’s place and bring balance to the Force and he is told that if he leaves Mortis, there will be drastic consequences in the future. It’s an important point as it shows that despite all the manipulation, Anakin’s fate was almost avoidable as the Force directly gave him a choice at one point. It’s a fantastic arc filled with tragedy, death, and resurrection, but Anakin’s memory is wiped to the point where he will never remember any of what happened.

6 Clone Cadets (S3, E1)

Clone Cadets Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

This episode kicks off the third season of Clone Wars and offers an insightful look into the training and development of the clone troopers. It introduces the Domino Squad, a group of clone cadets who struggle to work together. Exploring the individuality and identity of the clones, the episode provides a deeper understanding of their role in the war. “Clone Cadets” sets the stage for future Clone Wars arcs and highlights the complexity of the clones’ characters in a fascinating way.

The big thesis with the clones is that, despite their uniformity, it’s the individuality each clone brings out that makes them special. No other episode demonstrates that like this one, as the only time the Domino Squad was able to succeed was when they let their unique quirks shine. Whenever they tried to do things by the book like other clones, things fell apart. It’s a beautiful message about being yourself and a clone-centric story that doesn’t end in tragedy for once. This episode also has the introduction of the disabled Clone 99 who manages to inspire the team and bring them all together.

5 The Lawless (S5, E16)

The Lawless Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

This action-packed Clone Wars episode brings Darth Maul’s story to a climactic and emotional conclusion – or so we think. Maul’s quest for revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi reaches its peak as he confronts Darth Sidious. On his quest to destroy Obi-Wan’s life, Maul executes his former lover, Satine to torture him. Mandalore is caught in the crossfire as several different parties are at war with each other here. Obi-Wan is doing anything he can to stop Maul, as Palpatine betrays Maul and kills his brother Savage.

An overabundance of tragedy that all comes together to create one of the most impactful episodes in the entire series. It’s filled with action, emotion, and pivotal moments that resonate throughout the Star Wars saga. It showcases the duality of Maul and sets the stage for future events more than any other episode in the series. It’s a pivotal moment as it changes the trajectory of many characters in the climactic conclusion of one chapter and the start of another.

4 The Wrong Jedi (S5, E20)

The Wrong Jedi Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

The fifth season finale and end of the Jedi Temple Bombing Arc provided a gripping and compelling conclusion. Ahsoka Tano is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and her trial becomes a dramatic exploration of justice and trust within the Jedi Order. This episode showcases Ahsoka’s growth and decision to leave the Order, leaving a lasting impact on the series and her character development in future Star Wars projects.

Throughout all of her appearances, there’s no moment more important than this one. Her frustration with the Jedi Order can’t be ignored anymore, even when they’ve acquitted her of all charges. The Order had abandoned her in her time of need, exposing the flaws of the system to her and even Anakin. Throughout everything, he never gave up on Ahsoka and did everything in his power to clear her name. The damage had already been done though, and Ahsoka was determined to go down this new path. One of the greatest what-ifs in Star Wars is if Anakin decided to join her that day, but their fates were sealed.

3 Shattered (S7, E11)

Shattered Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

Continuing the events from Siege of Mandalore arc, the penultimate episode of The Clone Wars, “Shattered,” explores the events of Order 66. As the clones turn against their Jedi generals, Ahsoka’s loyalty is tested, and the emotional impact of the execution of Order 66 is fully realized from multiple perspectives. There’s a moment in this episode after the Siege of Mandalore has ended that acts as the calm before the storm. It’s peaceful, but it’s obvious that things aren’t finished yet. The tension in the air, as if something even worse is about to happen, carries on throughout the entire episode, but it’s the moment the fateful order is given that everything changes.

Friends are forced to fire upon each other as the ultimate betrayal is played out in real-time. The most emotional moment in it all is when Captain Rex receives the order and has to resist firing on Ahsoka. It also has Ahsoka and Maul almost working together in an unexpected turn of events, as she uses him as a distraction to escape. This episode is a poignant portrayal of the fall of the Jedi Order and the devastating consequences of the clones’ programming. It also provides deep insight into the events of Revenge of the Sith, again told from entirely new perspectives.

2 Victory and Death (S7, E12)

Victory and Death Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

The Clone Wars series finale, “Victory and Death,” delivers an emotional and impactful conclusion. As the Clone Wars come to an end, Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex face the devastating consequences of Order 66, bringing. This episode beautifully plays out congruently to the events of Revenge of the Sith and emphasizes the bonds of friendship and loyalty between Ahsoka and Rex. The two are on the run from their former Clone friends as they are labeled traitors and hunted down. While it’s known that the two survive, the real tension comes from seeing if they’ll be able to fight off their friends or not.

The whole series has spent time showing that, under all that armor, the clones are real people, and for that reason, they’re unable to fight back and just have to run for their lives. It’s an episode about letting go, as Ahsoka must learn to let go of the things she once cherished in order to survive. The final scenes show the two burying and mourning the dead as it flashes forward to the future, where Darth Vader visits the grave and finds Ahsoka’s lightsabers on the ground. Not a word is spoken, but so much is said with the palpable feeling in the air that he misses her and what they once had.

Related
Star Wars: Ahsoka’s Best Clone Wars and Rebels Episodes to Watch

Ahsoka Tano is set to take over the Star Wars universe. Here are the best episodes from The Clone Wars and Rebels to watch to understand her past.

1 The Phantom Apprentice (S7, E10)

The Phantom Apprentice Clone Wars
Lucasfilm

Coming in at number one on our list, “The Phantom Apprentice” is a standout episode in the final season of The Clone Wars. It depicts an epic lightsaber duel between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Maul, showcasing the series’ exceptional animation and choreography. Although she doesn’t know it yet, Maul is in the right for once. He’s figured out that Anakin is going to turn and doom both the Jedi and the Sith and has arrived in an attempt to kill him and prevent the Empire from ever rising to power. It’s a shocking development but one that twists the entire dynamic on its head and makes for some of the best Star Wars there’s ever been.

Their duel is arguably the best in the entire franchise, with beautifully animated combat that rivals even the best. Ahsoka, understandably, doesn’t trust Maul and prevents him from doing the unthinkable. This episode marks a crucial turning point for Ahsoka and provides deeper insight into her journey and the impending end of the Clone Wars. The stakes are high and filled with emotional drama as time runs out, but no matter what happens, it’s already too late. The Empire had been there from the start. They just didn’t know it. This episode is not only the highlight in the fantastic final arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars but also the best in the entire series and one of the best in all of Star Wars.

Stream every episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.

Share This Article
Leave a comment