This week in Galactic Hunter Video Theater, it's more fun we found from YouTube! I have no idea why it's up there, but the now woefully out-of-print Clone Wars 2003 Microseries is something you really ought to see. Seriously, this is must-watch stuff here. From Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack), the series spanned three very brief seasons over the course of about two hours. The first 20 episodes were about three minutes each... which was negotiated up from George Lucas' initial pitch of one minute per episode.
Given the supremely short nature of the bulk of the original 20 episodes, the first two seasons from 2003 and 2004 made up only an hour and had more in common with the movie trailers than the prequels themselves. In other words: lots of action, not much dialogue, and no wiggle room to disappoint anybody. These are also the first televised appearances of General Grievous and Asajj Ventress, to name a few. The third season (in the second video below) had five 12-minute episodes, and the narrative ties in directly to the opening crawl of Revenge of the Sith. After several years of the CG-animated series from 2008-onward, there may be a few canon issues but hey - this is supposed to be fun! Enjoy the show, until the videos are pulled.
Oh, and here's a fun fact. Genndy Tartakovsky's latest project is Hotel Transylvania, which is in theaters now and is performing quite admirably. It lacks his trademark edge, at least in terms of visual oomph, but the free market has spoken! Apparently, it's a hit!
Above, seasons 1 and 2 which were collected on a single DVD. The sequence of episodes on the DVD differs slightly from how they aired and a few edits were made. Below, the five season 3 episodes.
The series' place in the current continuity is tough to pinpoint. Based on things like Anakin's haircut, it would be safe to assume that the 2008-present CG-animated The Clone Wars series takes place in a span of time after episode #21 during season 3 of the Tartakovsky series. There's probably some wiggle-room in here, or just plain denial, but it's either the continuity sticks it here, or you have to really just take a big step back and accept the entire Star Wars Expanded Universe for what it is. And that's an entire industry of licensed merchandise which happens to contain a fun narrative surrounding three films which probably have more ancillary fiction than absolutely necessary. I always saw the 2003-2005 series as sufficient, and while I enjoy the current CG-animated The Clone Wars series I can't deny that the obsessions of prequels in stories from a galaxy far, far away is sucking us all down some weird spiraling drain where things are over-explained and rarely advanced... although I guess there are only so many adventures aging heroes can go on these days.