Clone Wars vs. The Clone Wars

Why Do All Clone Wars-Era Stories Have the Same Title?

The Clone Wars take place over a mere three years -- between 22 BBY and 19 BBY -- and yet the Clone Wars era it has become the most densely populated time period in the entire Expanded Universe. Each new release seems to bring more contradictions and inconsistencies. Was Anakin knighted in 19.5 BBY, as in the novel Jedi Trial, or earlier, shortly after Attack of the Clones, as to make more time for The Clone Wars?

How does Ahsoka fit into the timeline?

The contradictory events and jumbled timeline certainly make the Clone Wars era confusing, but there exists an even bigger problem: why does everything have the same title?

Clone Wars vs. The Clone Wars

First there was Clone Wars, a series of 2D-style (i.e., traditional) animated shorts which ran from 2003 to 2005 on Cartoon Network. At that point, there hadn't been a Star Wars animated series since 1986, so there wasn't much to confuse it with. You could just say "Clone Wars" or "the Clone Wars animated series" and your meaning would be clear.

But then Lucasfilm had to go and make another Clone Wars animated series in 2008, this time, using 3D-style CGI ... and call it The Clone Wars. So now we're stuck with either using Clone Wars and The Clone Wars on their own, with the risk that casual fans might not know there were two series, or forced to use unwieldy phrases like "the CGI-animated series The Clone Wars" or "the first Clone Wars series."

(For the purposes of this article, at least, the first series will be clarified as Clone Wars (2D), and the second, The Clone Wars (CGI).)

The movie that kicked off said CGI-animated series was, of course, also called The Clone Wars. But perhaps The Clone Wars: The Movie isn't too difficult to specify -- at least until Lucasfilm makes another one.

The main problem with the Clone Wars film is that, as a feature film, it might be expected to be helpful in resolving canon; but in terms of the in-universe timeline it functions only as the starting point for The Clone Wars (CGI).

Clone Wars Books & Comics

The animated series aren't the only ones fighting for the Clone Wars (or the The Clone Wars) title. Around the time of Clone Wars (the first animated series), several novels were published with the subhead "A Clone Wars Novel." Though the books -- including Shatterpoint and Yoda: Dark Rendezvous -- are only loosely connected, the books are known informally as the Clone Wars series.

And let's not forget the earliest comics in the Clone Wars era. Although they were part of the ongoing series Star Wars: Republic, Dark Horse released them in trade paperback form under the title -- you guessed it -- Star Wars: Clone Wars. But the comic series that was actually tied in with Clone Wars (2D), using the same artwork style, was instead titled Clone Wars Adventures. Unless you're talking about the photocomic for Clone Wars (2D), made using images from the show itself, which was also titled Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Thankfully someone had the good sense to title the tie-in comics for The Clone Wars (CGI) Tales from the Clone Wars.

The webcomic tie-in, on the other hand, was just The Clone Wars again -- as is the ongoing tie-in novel series.

(The?) Clone Wars Video Games

Finally, the video game tie-ins for The Clone Wars (CGI) all have The Clone Wars in their title, followed by a colon and something more specific. Don't confuse them, however, with the video game titled The Clone Wars, released all the way back in 2002 to tie in with Attack of the Clones.

But the game called Clone Wars Adventures breaks the pattern again. An MMO tie-in to The Clone Wars (CGI), it neither fits the same pattern of the series' other tie-in video games nor has anything to do with the Clone Wars Adventures comics.

How Do We Keep Things Straight?

Using the same titles for different Star Wars series is nothing new. For example, we had the 1985 animated series Droids, a 1986-87 tie-in comic series by Marvel also called Droids, and a 1994-97 Droids comic series by Dark Horse, which starred R2-D2 and C-3PO despite not having much to do with the show.

The problem with titles in the Clone Wars era is essentially the problem with the Clone Wars era as a whole: an overabundance of media. When you run out of unique titles for unrelated series, it's probably a good sign that you should fix the timeline you have before adding anything new.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Hill, Amelia. "Clone Wars vs. The Clone Wars." ThoughtCo, Feb. 20, 2016, Hill, Amelia. (2016, February 20). Clone Wars vs. The Clone Wars. Retrieved from Hill, Amelia. "Clone Wars vs. The Clone Wars." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 12, 2017).