Clone Wars (Star Wars)

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Films

Primary battles of the Clone Wars
Geonosis – Rhen Var – Raxus Prime – Alaris Prime – Thule – Kamino – Ohma-D'an – Muunilinst – Mon Calamari – Dantooine – Ilum – Yavin IV – Hypori – Haruun Kal – Jabiim – Coruscant – Utapau – Mustafar – Felucia – Kashyyyk – Cato Neimoidia – Mygeeto – Saleucami – List of minor Clone Wars battles

The Clone Wars (also known as the Clone War) are a series of fictional intragalactic battles in George Lucas's science fiction saga Star Wars. The conflict is first mentioned in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), but not featured in Star Wars fiction until the second and third episodes of the six-part Star Wars film series: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). The animated microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005) chronicle the major campaigns of the war. Additional events and stories are detailed in a multimedia campaign consisting of Star Wars literature and video games. Many of the events featured have parallels in history, politics, and mythology from which Lucas and other writers drew inspiration. Critics and film historians debate which parallels are most prominent or consistent.

The Clone Wars begin during the Separatist Crisis when thousands of star systems secede from the Galactic Republic to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS). The first battle occurs on the CIS planet Geonosis as the Republic's new clone army, led by Jedi generals, combats the Separatists' battle droids. War quickly spreads across the galaxy and eventually reaches the Republic's capital, Coruscant. The Clone Wars end shortly after the Great Jedi Purge, the Separatist Massacre on Mustafar, and the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The events causing the war and those leading to its conclusion are orchestrated by the Republic's chief executive, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.


The beginnings of the war are first portrayed in the 1999 film The Phantom Menace (the first chapter but fourth release in the series) as the Invasion of Theed and the Battle of Naboo. However, the real tension begins with the Separatist Crisis, a series of debates in the Galactic Republic that are referred to in Attack of the Clones, and began about two years prior to the start of that film. By the beginning of Attack of the Clones, many star systems had seceded from the Republic. The tension caused by this secession eventually led to the outbreak of war.

The war is engineered by Senator Palpatine to facilitate his own rise to power and the formation of the Galactic Empire. He plays both sides against each other — as a Republic Senator (and later Chancellor) advocating more centralized powers to keep the Republic together, and as the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Sidious, by advising the Separatists. The Clone Wars thus become the first of two major civil wars in the Star Wars galaxy, the other being the Galactic Civil War featured in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983).


The origins of the Clone Wars began 32 years before the events of A New Hope (the first film produced in the series). The opening of the war, referred to in the prequel trilogy as the Battle of Naboo, is portrayed in The Phantom Menace. The Trade Federation, a major galactic trade organization secretly controlled by the Sith, blockaded the planet Naboo and demanded the capitulation of the world by its Queen, Padmé Amidala. Queen Amidala refused and requested help from the Republic, the group responsible for governing the Star Wars galaxy. The Republic responded by sending two Jedi ambassadors, Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, to help free the world. After a few small skirmishes, including an assassination attempt by a Sith warrior named Darth Maul, the Jedi and Naboo military liberated the world with the help of the native Gungans, represented in the film by the computer-animated character Jar-Jar Binks.

Shortly after these events, the Jedi Dooku resigned his commission and returned to his homeworld of Serenno. Unbeknownst to the Jedi Council (the "ruling body" of the Jedi), Dooku had fallen under the control of the evil Sith master Darth Sidious. Dooku and Sidious arranged for an army of clones to be produced by the Kaminoans under the name of the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. This is portrayed as a mystery during the rising action of Attack of the Clones.

By this time, the Republic was facing internal opposition as several thousand worlds seceded. The Republic Senate proposed the Military Creation Act, with allowed for the development of a large military. While most senators supported the act, it saw great opposition from Padmé Amidala, who by now was the senator for Naboo. The act never came to a vote, due to the discovery of the Confederacy of Independent Systems' military force on Geonosis and the subsequent Battle of Geonosis, which saw the loss of numerous Jedi Knights and the bounty hunter Jango Fett. Chancellor Palpatine, the head of state of the Republic, was quickly granted emergency powers by the Republic Senate. He used these powers to raise the Grand Army of the Republic, a large military force made up of clone troopers illicitly commissioned by Dooku and Sidious. The Battle of Geonosis marks the end of Attack of the Clones.

During the in-universe time period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, conflict between the Republic and the Separatists increased and expanded, which is chronicled in an extensive Multimedia campaign. During the early months, Dooku seizes control of a weapon called the Dark Reaper (seen in the video game and Boba Fett: Crossfire). After several years, the Republic begins the Outer Rim Sieges, which is also primarily chronicled in the multimedia campaign and Revenge of the Sith, the third film in the trilogy.

Three years after the Battle of Geonosis, Revenge of the Sith, opens with the CIS' attempt to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine on the Republic capital world of Coruscant. The Chancellor was rescued, due to the efforts of Jedi Master Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

During this point in the timeline, the Outer Rim Sieges were in full swing. One of the key battles of the Outer Rim Sieges was the Battle of Utapau, depicted in Revenge of the Sith. The Separatist leader, General Grievous, was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi in this battle. Other Outer Rim skirmishes — such as the Battle of Belderone — occur in the animated series and several novels.

Meanwhile, battles continued to rage all across the Star Wars galaxy. The Jedi, who were the commanders of the Republic military, were scattered across the galaxy at battles as diverse as Mygeeto, Felucia, and Kashyyyk (the latter being commanded by the Jedi Master Yoda, a main character in the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi).

It was during this part of the story that Anakin Skywalker fell prey to the dark side. Stumbling into a duel between Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine, Skywalker slashed Windu's lightsaber arm off, allowing Palpatine to kill Windu. He was soon renamed Darth Vader and completely fell under the sway of the dark side.

Palpatine dispatched Skywalker to Mustafar to kill off the rest of the CIS leaders, while he himself issued Order 66, an order for all the clone troopers to execute their Jedi commanders. The few survivors of the Great Jedi Purge included Yoda and Kenobi. With the extermination of the Jedi and the Confederacy leadership, Palpatine marks an end to the Republic, thus creating the Galactic Empire. Revenge of the Sith then undergoes its climax with personal battles between Yoda/Palpatine and Kenobi/Skywalker. A geonosian named Gizor Delso escaped Darth Vaders Elimination ofthe separatist leaders and went on to reopen a mustafar droid factory to create a new droid army nad restart the clone wars. He was eliminated along with his army by a contingent of the 501st unit of the Imperial army.


Like all themes within Star Wars, the Clone Wars borrows from multiple mythical, literary, and historical influences and parallels. Writers and critics have debated over which parallels are most prominent or consistent.


In the Star Wars timeline, both the Clone Wars and its results are portrayed as the process which shifted the Galactic Republic from a democracy to a dictatorship. In a 2002 TIME Magazine interview, Star Wars creator George Lucas explains:

"All democracies turn into dictatorships—but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea. What kinds of things push people and institutions in this direction? That's the issue I've been exploring: how did the Republic turn into the Empire? … How does a good person go bad, and how does a democracy become a dictatorship?"

Lucas answered those questions in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In Attack of the Clones, Palpatine orchestrates the Separatist movement (and the Clone Wars that followed) to worry the citizens of the Republic, thus forcing the senate to grant him emergency powers. According to character Obi-Wan Kenobi, these powers increase as the Clone Wars extend into a search for General Grevious, who replaces Count Dooku as Separatist leader. During Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine declares himself Emperor by blaming the Jedi for the Republic's problems, resulting in a Jedi purge via Order 66.

Comparisons have been made between the political aspects of the Clone Wars and the events leading up to World War II. Radio host Clyde Lewis' article on historical similarities in Star Wars claims that Palpatine's tactics parallel those of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany; both leaders used wars and scapegoats to manipulate society's emotional state, thus providing the leadership with support and power. This viewpoint was also expressed in an editorial on the Clone Wars Unofficial Website. Another writer compares the Clone Wars with World War II in general, basing his argument on the fact that Lucas was born during the baby boomer generation, and the dark times featured in the original trilogy rival the dark, uncertain Cold War. Lucas, however, cited in multiple interviews that one of his primary influences for the political backdrop behind the Clone Wars (and all of Star Wars) was the Vietnam/Watergate era, when leaders embraced corruption for what they thought was the best course of action.

There is a variety of opinions on the historical parallels between the political aspects of the Clone Wars and the War in Iraq. In claiming that the Star Wars galaxy under the deceitful Palpatine parallels the modern issues of the United States, an editorial on states that "[Star Wars] establishes first the generally agreeable premise that it's right to overthrow oppressive government, before bringing into focus something more discomforting – that the corrupt tyranny referred to is our own". Additionally, an article from AlterNet claims that "like Palpatine, the Bush administration has been able to feed on people's fears to gain more power". However, in an interview with Kiro 7 News, Star Wars producer Rick McCallum explained:

"George is a product of Vietnam, not a product of Bush. [The political aspects of the Clone Wars] has been in the context of every script I've ever read—every draft—way before Bush became president…"

Lucas claims, however, that he could see political parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Nevertheless, he states that "When I wrote [the backstory/Clone Wars], Iraq didn't exist".


The Clone Wars involve parallels to the American Civil War in many respects. The Confederacy of Independent Systems shares a similar name to the Confederate States of America; it also seceeded from the Republic, much like the south seceeded from the Union. Like Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Count Dooku was respected by his enemies, and had he survived, he most likely would have been accepted by them.

Order 66 — one of the major events at the conflict's conclusion in Revenge of the Sith — features several real-world parallels. Order 66 also echoes the destruction of the Knights Templar order, another order of protectors who were raided by the secular forces such as King Philip IV's. In addition, the ultimate (and secret) order to begin their dissolution was given by a trusted leader—the Pope, in the case of the Knights Templar (the Knights Templar, like all monastic orders, ultimately derived its authority and permission to exist from the Pope; the Jedi order existed independently of the office of Supreme Chancellor, but were about to be brought under its legal umbrella in Revenge of the Sith, instead of deriving its existence from the Old Republic in general, and its legislature specifically).

Star Wars

A portion of the vehicles developed by the Lucasfilm graphic designers, including the AT-TE and the AT-XT walkers, were created to enhance the technological continuity of the Clone Wars in relation to the Galactic Civil War, the central conflict in the original trilogy of Star Wars films. Other examples of technological continutity is displayed at the Battle of Coruscant, in which ARC-170 starfighters were designed with S-foils, much like those seen in the ship designs of the original films.

In the original trilogy, the Clone Wars are only referenced in A New Hope. Lucas stated that he first designed a backstory which preceded the original film trilogy — the events surrounding the Clone War era.

Retrieved from ""