Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy needs its own version of The Clone Wars

Adam Driver is Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Adam Driver is Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER /

Star Wars’ sequel trilogy was not well-received by many fans, due in no small part to the uneven tone and lack of a coherent direction for the story.

The fact that Leia, Luke and Han never once appeared together on screen in all three movies certainly didn’t help the situation regarding the sequel trilogy, but giving the saga an animated series like The Clone Wars or Rebels might actually help redeem those films.

In the late 1990s, Star Wars fans were excited by the announcement that there would be new feature films. Many years had gone by since the release of Return of the Jedi, so they were practically drooling with anticipation for the new movies – and it really is hard to blame them.

Reality was a much different story. The Phantom Menace didn’t exactly make fans or critics happy. But while there were some legitimate complaints, fans were too hard on the movie. It did have some bright spots. The same can be said about the two movies that followed it.

Revenge of the Animation

Eventually, an animated series set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith called The Clone Wars was produced. By adding greater detail to the story, providing Clones and Jedi with stronger identities, and giving Anakin a real chance at being an good Jedi, the prequel movies actually became more watchable.

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The Clone Wars helped develop important aspects of the narrative that were largely glossed over in the movies. This was by necessity as the films tried to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. The Clone Wars, on the other hand, has seven seasons to work with.

Star Wars: Rebels expanded even further on those stories. Set just before the events of a A New Hope, Rebels in part bridged the gap between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy. It also followed up on some characters and plotlines from The Clone Wars.

Combined, these series totaled 11 seasons of television that helped make the story laid out in prequels more relevant and engaging. What the sequel trilogy needs is its own animated series, not counting Resistance, of course.

Star Wars: Resistance

Disney produced two seasons of a show called Resistance. The short lived series was set roughly six months before the events of The Force Awakens. A young pilot named Kazuda Xiono was tasked with learning more about the First Order by going undercover as a major refueling station. It featured cameos and recurring roles by several characters, primarily from the sequel trilogy.

Critics seemed to be behind the show but fans never really connected with it. A big problem was the animation style, which was a huge departure from previous series and didn’t fit the Star Wars vibe. Fans also didn’t appear to be engaged by either the new characters or the story, possibly because the era it covered wasn’t especially interesting.

All of that being said, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still an opportunity to tell an engaging story set during the sequel trilogy. The issue is, as always, when the show is set and who the story focuses on. There are a lot of options to work with.

Star Wars: Something Better Than Resistance

It might make more sense to set the show between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Due to the completely different narrative goals of the directors, there is a huge gap in the story that needs to be filled in at that point.

In particular, characters like Rose Tico, Supreme Leader Snoke, Maz Kanata, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and DJ need further growth. Building a deeper backstory for all of them and connecting them back to the main story would be huge for making the sequel trilogy relevant.

Star Wars, Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens..L to R: BB-8, Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley)..Photo: David James.. ©2016 Lucas Film Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

That series could also bring in Rey, Finn and Poe. All three of these characters had huge potential that the sequels failed to capitalize on. But there’s also another opportunity to delve into the period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

The evolution of Ben Solo into Kylo Ren was only given cursory coverage in the sequels. An animated series would open the door to exploring his fall as well as Luke’s failure to reboot the Jedi. Other aspects of that era could be detailed through this series.

These are the kind of stories related to the sequel trilogy that fans might be more responsive to than what they got in Resistance. The Clone Wars gave the prequels context while Rebels connected them to the original trilogy. An animated series could do the same for the sequel trilogy.

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Would you like to see the Star Wars sequel trilogy get its own animated spin-off? Let us know in the comments below!