What are the Clone Wars in Star Wars? And what really caused the event? Well, let’s find out!
The Clone Wars is one of the most important events in the entire Star Wars franchise. It is also the subject of more than one Star Wars series as well as an entire Star Wars movie, Attack of the Clones (shout out to the prequel trilogy). It sees clone troopers pitted against Star Wars droids in a war that shakes up the hierarchy of power in the galaxy and has far-reaching consequences.
But how did the Clone Wars go from being a throwaway line from Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope to a major event that led to the downfall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire and Emperor Palpatine? Your search for answers is over because we’re here with a guide to everything you need to know about the Clone Wars, including what started it, who was involved, and how it ended.
What started the Clone Wars?
The Clone Wars began with the climactic battle of Geonosis.
Supporting Mace Windu and his Jedi were the clone troopers: genetically engineered soldiers who were each cloned from the DNA of Star Wars bounty hunter Jango Fett by the alien scientists on Kamino.
This marked the first all-out battle between the Galactic Republic (led by the soon-to-be-Emperor Palpatine) and the Confederacy of Independent Systems (also known as the Separatists). The war had been brewing for a long time and was really a proxy war between the Jedi and the Sith, manufactured by Palpatine.
The reason why a conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Separatists had been overdue was because the Separatists (led by Count Dooku) had been pulling planets away from the Republic increasingly aggressively, and this was escalating friction between the two factions.
This was intentional because the conflict was designed to give Emperor Palpatine more power through the Emergency Powers Act (as expected from one of the best Star Wars villains of all time) and establish the foundation for the destruction of the Jedi with Order 66.
Who was involved in the Clone Wars?
A whole host of Jedi and Sith were involved in the Clone Wars.
Yes, that’s right: whether it’s Yoda or Emperor Palpatine, Mace Windu, or Count Dooku, every major player had their role in the Clone Wars.
Every Star Wars character involved in the Clone Wars:
- Emperor Palpatine
- Mace Windu
- Count Dooku
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- General Grievous
- Anakin Skywalker
- Ahsoka Tano
- Clone trooper commanders (e.g., Rex and Cody)
- Separatist leaders (e.g. Nute Gunray and Wat Tambor)
The Jedi, in particular, were enlisted as commanders of the clone trooper army, with many Jedi Knights and masters leading their own battalions as generals. Their Sith counterparts, Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku, and General Grievous, on the other hand, worked more in the shadows. Aside from the occasional duel, they mostly orchestrated events from the background, using their droid armies to do their bidding instead.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, we get a much more in-depth look into the Clone Wars and see a lot of the important battles that took place within it before The Revenge of Sith, with a focus on other Star Wars characters like the clone troopers themselves and their missions.
How did the Clone Wars end?
The Clone Wars ended when Obi-Wan Kenobi killed General Grievous.
After the Battle of Coruscant and the death of Count Dooku, General Grievous became the leader of the Separatist armies. He fled to Utapau to consolidate and take commands from his master Darth Sidious, and the Separatist forces were on the back foot.
However, he was pursued by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who dueled with the Cybernetic Star Wars alien, eventually managing to defeat him. This left the Separatist armies leaderless, effectively bringing the Clone Wars to their end.
For more on Star Wars, check out our guides on how to watch all of Star Wars in order, and everyone in the Star Wars cast. We also have information on the Andor season 2 release date, the Ahsoka release date, and all the new Star Wars movies heading our way.
Or, if you are done with franchises, here are our lists of the best science fiction movies and the best movies of all time. We also have an article breaking down all the new movies coming out this year.