Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels had a number of amazing story arcs and continuing plot elements that further deepened the history, world-building, and overall mythology of the franchise. Sometimes, however, it is too difficult to find all the episodes necessary to gain a clearer understanding of the stories and theme being told. Today, I hope to begin alleviating some of your frustration by providing you with episode guides to story arcs, themes, and character developments, big & small, found in The Clone Wars and Rebels.
These guides are entirely opinionated, so if you think I missed something or would like to share your own thoughts, feel free to message me anytime on Discord or Twitter. Look out for more upcoming guides and let’s hope we can update those existing guides once Resistance premieres.
Episode Guide: Mysteries of the Force
A guide to viewing and discussing the mysteries & beliefs of the Force within the Star Wars mythology
The Mortis Trilogy
The middle of The Clone Wars Season 3 provided fans with the most divisive piece of Star Wars content until The Last Jedi. The story, coming directly from George Lucas with assistance by Dave Filoni, explores the duality of the Force, the interpretations of the Chosen One prophecy, love & family, predestination v. free will, and freedom vs. subjugation. It is by-far one of the most complex story arcs in all of Star Wars, leaving both the audience and in-universe characters pondering, as with Dorothy, whether the events on Mortis were real . . . or just a dream.
CW 315 – Overlords
CW 316 – Altar of Mortis
CW 317 – Ghost of Mortis
The final four episodes of The Clone Wars series center around Grand Master Yoda as he begins to discover hidden truths concerning the Force and life after death. The arc introduces the concepts of the Living Force and Cosmic Force, as Yoda attempts a pilgrimage, spurred on by the remnant consciousness of Qui-Gon Jinn, to converse with the ancient Force Priestesses who hold the secret to retaining one’s consciousness after death. The four-part arc also provides a brief history of the Sith, while exploring the concepts of one’s inner darkness, self-sacrifice, and hope.
CW 610 – The Lost One (introduction)
CW 611 – Voices
CW 612 – Destiny
CW 613 – Sacrifice
Mysteries of Lothal
The plot involving the phenomena on Lothal spans the entirety of Star Wars: Rebels. Beginning in Season 1, Kanan and Ezra discover a lost Jedi Temple hidden under the surface of Lothal. In Season 2, Ezra and Kanan, along with Ahsoka Tano, return to the Temple with the intent of discovery a way to defeat the Sith and are prompted to visit the planet Malachor. Ezra’s return to the temple in Season 4 reveals more mystical properties of the Temple, as well as the powerful connection between the Force and the planet itself. The Jedi Temple on Lothal is revealed to be a gateway into a dimension through which the Cosmic Force is ever-present.
The plotline of Lothal greatly references many of the story arcs depicted in The Clone Wars, including the Mortis Trilogy, Maul’s Return, the Trials of Ahsoka, and Yoda’s Journey. Additional references are made to Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One, Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi. The themes of this elongated story arc include the preservation of Life, selflessness vs. selfishness, overcoming temptation, love & loss, the power of nature, failure & success, and coming-of-age.
Rebels 110 – Path of the Jedi
Rebels 218 – Shroud of Darkness
Rebels 221 – Twilight of the Apprentice pt. I
Rebels 222 – Twilight of the Apprentice pt. II
Rebels 406 – Flight of the Defender (first appearance of the Loth-wolves)
Rebels 407 – Kindred
Rebels 409 – Rebel Assault (sets up the events of Jedi Night and A World Between Worlds)
Rebels 410 – Jedi Night
Rebels 411 – DUME
Rebels 412 – Wolves & A Door
Rebels 413 – A World Between World
WAIT, WAIT! Josh, what happened to the Bendu? The Nightsisters? Or any of the episodes that take place in and around the Jedi Temple on Coruscant? Believe me when I tell you that I wanted to include them in this guide, but some of those topics deserve their own guides or play a role in a much bigger story arc.
Episode Guide: The Mandalorian Way
A guide to viewing and discussing the Mandalorian culture during the Rise of the Empire and early years of the Rebellion.
Crisis on Mandalore
The Crisis on Mandalore represents a fairly significant story arc through the Clone Wars, centering on themes such as political neutrality, ethnocentrism, ethnic nationalism, pacifism v. aggression, revolution, and survival. This story arc reimagines the Mandalorian culture and its people as a civilization that brought itself to near-extinction due to constant strife and in-fighting. It also explores the difficulty of neutrality during a period of war and how ideals may shift during the most desperate of times. As the capable Duchess Satine Kryze struggles to maintain peace across the Mandalorian System, rivals and hidden enemies attempt to drag Mandalore into the Clone Wars and dismantle its government for their own.
CW 212 The Mandalore Plot
CW 213 Voyage of Temptation
CW 214 – Duchess of Mandalore
CW 305 – Corruption
CW 306 – The Academy
CW 414 – A Friend in Need (introduction of Bo-Katan Kryze)
CW 514 – Eminence
CW 515 – Shades of Reason
CW 516 – The Lawless
Clan Wren of House Vizla
The following episodes follow the life of Sabine Wren during the early years of the Rebellion against the Empire. This story arc, which reveals the personal history and emotional struggle of Sabine, directly coincides with the attempted liberation and renewed civil war on Mandalore. Through a series of events, Sabine finds the legendary Darksaber within her possession and endeavors to face her past and her people to help save the Mandalorian way of life. The beliefs of the Mandalorian people are also greatly expanded upon throughout these episodes, including their social hierarchy, history, ethics, and cultural identity. Primary themes include love & family, the preservation of history & culture, respect & honor, and the embracing of pain.
Rebels 208 – Blood Sisters
Rebels 213 – The Protector of Concord Dawn
Rebels 307 – Imperial Supercommandos
Rebels 315 – Trials of the Darksaber
Rebels 316 – Legacy of Mandalore
Rebels 401 – Heroes of Mandalore pt. I
Rebels 402 – Heroes of Mandalore pt. II
GREAT NEWS! The Clone Wars animated show is returning for 12 final episodes in 2019. We already know that some, if not, most of the episodes will focus on the Siege of Mandalore which took place concurrently with the events of Revenge of the Sith. Already confused? Maybe go check out the Maul: Son of Dathomir comic and Ahsoka novel to gain some insight into what was happening to Mandalore during the final months of the Clone Wars.
There will be more guides coming soon!
About the Author
Joshua Sosa is a New Yorker, born and raised, who has guest hosted on different podcasts such as Focused Fire Chat – A Destiny Lore Podcast, The Tolkien Road, and also even Echo Base. He also contributes to The Lore Network, a cross-cultural blog under the umbrella of Focused Fire Chat. As a self-proclaimed mythology-in-training, with a B.A. in Classical Studies from CUNY Hunter College, Josh spends of his time writing notes and ideas pertaining to comparative mythology & storytelling with hopes of one day publishing scholarly essays.
Josh has an interest in a number of different franchises including Star Wars, Tolkien’s Legendarium, J.K. Rowling Wizarding World, A Song of Ice & Fire, Godzilla, Doctor Who, Westworld, and much more. He is both an avid reader and gamer, with a somewhat “home-body” disposition, who enjoys his coffee, Chillhop Lo-Fi jazz music, and some good anime. You can find Josh on Twitter @chattingmyth or on the Random Chatter Discord server @Josh[Demigod]. Feel free to message him whenever you want to discuss myth and storytelling in Star Wars or other forms of storytelling.