- "Like fire across the galaxy, the Clone Wars spread. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine enlists the Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin, to lead an assault on Muunilinst, a Separatist stronghold. As the Jedi prepare to lead the Republic Army to this new battlefront, Anakin must say goodbye to his secret love, Padmé Amidala. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin prepare to lead an assault on Muunilinst."
- ―StarWars.com summary
"Clone Wars Chapter 1" is the first episode of the 2003–2005 award-winning animated microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars. First aired on Cartoon Network on November 7, 2003 and released online on the Cartoon Network website and StarWars.com, the episode served as the pilot episode for the series. The episode ran over three minutes and filled a five-minute television slot. "Chapter 1" was directed by famous animator Genndy Tartakovsky and written by Tartakovsky, Darrick Bachman, Bryan Andrews, and Paul Rudish. The episode featured both computer animation and traditional animation, with characters stylized after the actors who portrayed them in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002), though it featured none of the original film actors as voice actors for their characters. The episode was later released on DVD with the rest of Season One and Season Two on the Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One collection. The pilot helped usher in a massive multimedia project that produced numerous comics and novels, a video game, action figures, and short stories. The show would later go on to inspire the 2008 computer-generated television show Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- "Like fire across the galaxy, the Clone Wars spread. In league with the wicked Count Dooku more and more planets slip. Against this threat, upon the Jedi Knights falls the duty to lead the newly formed army of the Republic. And as the heat of war grows, so too grows the prowess of one most gifted student of the Force."
- ―Yoda's introductory narration
Jedi Grand Master Yoda explains the situation of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the rebelling Confederacy of Independent Systems. Battles rage across planets such as Dantooine, Dac, and many others. Members of the Jedi Order such as Yoda, Shaak Ti, Saesee Tiin, Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, Kit Fisto, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi lead clone trooper forces into battle across the galaxy, the Quarren Isolation League pledges its support to Count Dooku and the Separatist Droid Army, and Anakin Skywalker's abilities in the Force continue to grow.
Yoda, Kenobi, and Skywalker have a meeting with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in his suite on the Republic capital of Coruscant. Kenobi informs the Chancellor that the InterGalactic Banking Clan has built huge hidden factories on the planet Muunilinst and is producing massive droid armies and warships, going on to state that they must act quickly. Palpatine concurs, but asks who would be available to lead the mission, seeing as Windu was fighting the Battle of Dantooine. Yoda suggests Kenobi lead the mission, and Kenobi states his army is ready and able to leave immediately. Palpatine then suggests Skywalker take command of Kenobi's space forces during the battle due to his exceptional skills, but Kenobi feels Skywalker isn't ready for the responsibility, and Yoda states that a Padawan's place is with his master. The Grand Master admits Skywalker is powerful, and begins to make another statement, but he is interrupted by Palpatine, who decides for the group that Skywalker will indeed go, much to Yoda's and Kenobi's frustration.
Kenobi's forces begin loading into several Acclamator-class assault ships and preparing their V-19 Torrent starfighters as the Jedi considers the challenge ahead, doubting even his old master Qui-Gon Jinn could have prepared someone for it. Young Skywalker enters his Azure Angel and takes off with the rest of Kenobi's army, waving goodbye to his secret love Padmé Amidala.
- "Lucas was interested in doing an animated project, but they even told us, they said, like, George wanted our interpretation of it, to a degree."
- ―Genndy Tartakovsky
George Lucas approached Genndy Tartakovsky regarding his interest in a Star Wars animated show to bridge the gap between Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005), partially due to the lack of action figure sales Hasbro Inc. was experiencing under the Star Wars brand. Telling Tartakovsky that he wanted the animator's own interpretation, to a degree, Lucas felt it was important that the team leave their own signature on the saga by coming up with their own stories. They decided on dividing the story up into twenty three-minute episodes of one continuous story with a few sidetracks. Regarding animation, the team decided to stylize the look of the film actors from Attack of the Clones, but without being too close to the original. The idea the team came up with for the main title was that of a transmission sent out from the galaxy that people on Earth were able to pick up on their television sets.
The first scene of the chapter, with Yoda riding a creature across a desert into battle, was the first idea Tartakovsky thought of when asked about Star Wars. One of the most difficult aspects of animating the show was attempting to create massive armies. The team decided to use computer-generated imagery for the ships in order to properly handle complicated moves, but went ahead with traditional animation on the rest. So as to avoid making the computer-animation stand out, the team decided against over-rendering the non-traditional parts. In order to correctly showcase large battles and scenes with Jedi, Tartakovsky studied the battle scenes from the films, comparing those with the fighting styles of samurai. The team also decided against covering Skywalker's mechanical hand, as they felt it looked more impressive to have the golden hand visible. In order to create Kenobi's large army, the team took single clones and multiplied them using computer programs.
Initially, Tartakovsky was worried about the voice acting for the episodes, though this concern did not last, as he regarded the actors as extremely talented and was pleased with how they portrayed the characters. The team was able to "cartoon up" the voices, making the process more enjoyable for the team, rather than long and enduring. The thoughts of Kenobi regarding his master were added in later in the process than usual for voiceovers since the team thought it would be interesting to have Kenobi reflect back on Qui-Gon Jinn.
"Chapter 1" aired on the Cartoon Network on November 7, 2003, running over three minutes long and filling a five-minute time slot, and was released on the Cartoon Network website and StarWars.com as the first installment of Season One in the twenty-five-episode microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars. The chapter was included in the Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One DVD released on March 22, 2005. It was also collected in the Star Wars: Bonus Lightsaber Action DVD released as a bonus disc with specially marked Hasbro Inc. Revenge of the Sith lightsabers.
- "While it's an incomplete story with some faults, Clone Wars is an interesting experiment in filling in the blanks between episodes of the film series. Just as The Matrix sequels had the cool The Animatrix DVD and Enter the Matrix videogame, and The Chronicles of Riddick spawned the animated Dark Fury DVD and the Escape from Butcher Bay game, we're likely to see more and more of these franchise extensions. Hopefully they'll be as ambitious as Clone Wars."
- ―IGN review of Volume One
According to Tartakovsky, the first twenty episodes were well-received, though there were complaints about the short length of the chapters. IGN reviewed the Volume One DVD positively, giving it a 10/10 for video quality and a 7/10 overall. The reviewer took issues with some of the cohesiveness issues with the story, the sudden and detail-less introductions of new characters, and the three-minute-episode format.
As the pilot episode for Clone Wars, "Chapter 1" started a massive multimedia project that produced not only the television series, but numerous comics and novels, a video game, action figures, and short stories. The show would later go on to inspire the 2008 computer-generated television show Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One ("Director's Commentary" and "Hyperspace Commentary")
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Photo Comic