• Star Wars’ animated shows have become so popular that the franchise’s live-action series have begun to rely on and highlight characters from animation.
  • Star Wars has a total of nine released TV series, six of which are currently part of canon, with more upcoming animation in the works.
  • The Clone Wars, one of the most influential shows in the Star Wars franchise, helped redefine famous characters and changed the audience’s perception of the clones.

In the past decade, Star Wars has become well-known for its fantastic animated tv series. In fact, Star Wars’ animated shows have become so popular that the franchise’s live-action series have begun to highlight, cameo, and rely on characters from animation. The Ahsoka series—beginning on August 23rd—marks a big moment of recognition for the animated side of Star Wars, as it will be the first limited series devoted to a character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Nevertheless, Star Wars has been dabbling in animation since 1985 and has a total of nine released tv series thus far.

Since 1985, Star Wars has also produced several micro-series and animated shorts, such as Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars and Forces of Destiny. As far as the full-length animated series are concerned, six of Star Wars’ nine animated series are currently part of canon. And with The Bad Batch season 3, Tales of the Jedi season 2, and the second half of Young Jedi Adventures season 1 all on the way, Star Wars has no shortage of upcoming animation. However, while many of Star Wars’ animated shows have received critical acclaim, others have fallen by the wayside.

9 Droids

Star Wars Droids C-3PO R2-D2 Auction

Star Wars: Droids first released in 1985 alongside its sister series Star Wars: Ewoks, marking the beginning of the animated Star Wars franchise. Droids was set between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and starred Anthony Daniels as the voice of C-3PO alongside R2-D2. While the animation in Droids was nothing spectacular, the series did feature a few notable cameos, such as Boba Fett and IG-88. Each episode followed the droids as they adventure across, and while the series may not have been successful, it did help begin to expand the Star Wars franchise beyond just the movies.

8 Ewoks

Star Wars: Ewoks aired alongside Star Wars: Droids in 1985, and while it didn’t feature any major Star Wars character cameos, it starred well-known Ewoks such as Wicket W. Warrick and Master Logray. Each episode mainly dealt with the Ewoks and their rivalry with the Duloks, another sentient species on Endor. Overall, the series showed a more light-hearted and wholesome side of Star Wars. Despite no longer being canon, some elements of Ewoks have snuck their way back into Star Wars canon, and both Droids and Ewoks can still be viewed on Disney+.

7 Resistance

Star Wars Resistance Season 1 Finale No Escape

Star Wars Resistance is one of the few animated projects set after Star Wars: The Force Awakens and during the sequel trilogy. It mainly follows Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono who joins the Resistance as a pilot to spy on the First Order. It also featured cameos from notable sequel characters such as Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, and Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux. While the live-action side of Star Wars hasn’t referenced much from Resistance, Kaz’s father Hamato Xiono makes an appearance in Ahsoka. And given Disney’s interest in exploring the New Republic Era, more easter eggs and references to Resistance are likely to come.

6 Young Jedi Adventures

Yoda and Kai Brightstar - Star Wars Young Jedi Adventures

One of the more recent additions to Star Wars’ animated franchise, Young Jedi Adventures began as a series of shorts but was then expanded to a fully-fledged series. It’s notable for being the first Star Wars series set during the High Republic era. Young Jedi Adventures follows three Jedi Younglings: Kai Brightstar, Lys Solay, and Nubs—along with their pilot friend Nash Durango—as they explore the galaxy and train to become Jedi. With a far more child-friendly tone than grittier series like The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch, Young Jedi Adventures is the perfect Star Wars introduction for kids.

5 Tales of the Jedi

baby ahsoka

Tales of the Jedi carries on a similar animation style as The Clone Wars, without the need to tell stories specific from the Clone Wars itself. The first season consisted of six episodes, three of which followed Count Dooku’s fall to the dark side, while the other three showed several snapshots from Ahsoka Tano’s journey in Star Wars. Due to popular demand, Tales of the Jedi has been renewed for a second season. Given the series’ unique position of not being shackled to a specific era or character, writer Dave Filoni has a lot of freedom as to where and who Tales of the Jedi focuses on next.

4 Visions

Star Wars Visions Umbrella Lightsaber

Star Wars: Visions is one of the only noncanonical series Disney has worked on. For Visions season 1, Lucasfilm worked with seven different Japanese animation studios to provide a fresh and exciting view of the Star Wars galaxy. Later, Visions season 2 expanded Star Wars’ horizons even further by including episodes done by animation studios from around the globe. Each episode of Visions is steeped in a unique cultural appreciation of what Star Wars means to people around the world, making this collection one of the most unique in the Star Wars franchise.

3 The Bad Batch

Star Wars The Bad Batch Team

In a way, The Bad Batch serves as a sort of sequel to The Clone Wars. With a darker tone than most of Star Wars’ animated features, The Bad Batch follows a group of exiled clone troopers as they make their way through the galaxy and fight the Galactic Empire’s abuse of the clone army. The series exists to help bridge the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, while also expounding upon the fate of the clone army. With the final season of The Bad Batch set for 2024, the series may lead to an all-out war between the clones and the Galactic Empire.

2 Rebels

Star Wars Rebels promo art featuring the new main cast.

Star Wars Rebels is beloved by fans of both original trilogy and The Clone Wars. While Rebels season 1 began with a more light-hearted plot line than The Clone Wars, it grew into a more serious series as it went on. Not only does the show feature a plethora of cameos from The Clone Wars, such as Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex, but it also shows characters from the original trilogy like Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian. Furthermore, Rebels boasts some character development with its original characters that rivals some of The Clone Wars’ best stories.

1 The Clone Wars

Ahsoka Tano vs. Maul in The Clone Wars

The Clone Wars is one of the most influential shows—not just for the animation franchise—but for Star Wars as a whole. Not only does it boast rich characters and stunning visuals, but The Clone Wars teaches powerful lessons in each of its episodes. It helped redefine many of Star Wars’ most famous characters, and single-handedly changed the audience’s perception of the clones in general. While it often followed several characters, it mainly focused on developing Ahsoka Tano, who has now been given her own live-action series. All in all, the Star Wars animation franchise would not be what it is today without The Clone Wars.

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