Before there was the classic animated series The Clone Wars, there was just simply Clone Wars. These days, everyone knows the seven-season, 133-episode series was peak Star Wars, introducing us to iconic characters like Ahsoka Tano. But five years earlier, in 2003, Lucasfilm had another animated show about the prequel-era conflict, animated by Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky. Although very short, about three minutes per episode, fans loved the over-the-top kinetic action. As the classic Clone Wars series approaches its 20th anniversary, its creator Genndy Tartakovsky took questions about the series from fans.
Taking questions from Twitter for Wired, Tartakovsky answered the most commonly asked question about Clone Wars. Just why were the episodes so darn short? Well, in the video below, he says George Lucas originally wanted them even shorter, just a minute long. Lucas had been burned letting others handle his baby on TV before. Does anyone remember the Star Wars Holiday Special? But Tartakovsky convinced him to go for a longer runtime. And we’re so glad he did.
In another question, a fan asked how Clone Wars pulled off the 3D animation. Now, Tartakovsky animated his series traditionally, 2D style. But there were some early CGI elements to it, like the ships. Other 2D Cartoon Network shows at the time like Justice League Unlimited also experimented with CGI vehicles. You can hear Tartokovsky talk about the challenges of pioneering 3D animation in Star Wars long before Ahsoka ever picked up a lightsaber down below:
We’d love for Genndy Tartakovsky to tackle another 2D Star Wars cartoon again. Can you imagine a Tartakovsky-style series featuring the original trilogy characters or The Mandalorian? Maybe for a future Star Wars: Visions it could happen. We can dream, right? In the meantime, the entire Clone Wars micro-series is on Disney+. Do yourself a favor and check them out. They may not be canon, but they’re incredible.