“Why Clone Wars Season 6 Wasn’t Completed (& What Was Cut)”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars was not the kind of TV show one would expect to get canceled. Not only was this animated program garnering widespread praise from diehard Star Wars fans and casual viewers alike, but multiple future seasons of the show were in various stages of development. While The Clone Wars was only still airing season 5, its cast and crew were already hard at work on season 6, 7, and 8. However, all of that hard work poured into dozens of future episodes was put on a shelf once the show was suddenly canceled in March 2013.
It was an abrupt demise for a program that had long promised to keep producing new adventures for as long as possible. Considering just how wide of a storytelling scope Star Wars: The Clone Wars ended up carrying, it certainly seems like they could have lived up to that promise. This animated TV show run by Dave Filoni explored the expansive conflict that took up the timespan between Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. While most episodes centered on lead characters Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano, the show received praise for the way it also shifted the focus onto side characters, chiefly clone troopers, that were never given the spotlight in the Prequel Trilogy.
The Clone Wars may have been widely well-liked, there were a number of reasons for its abrupt cancellation. For one thing, the cancellation emerged as one of the mandates from Disney after the company bought the Star Wars franchise per their Lucasfilm acquisition. Disney was now looking to make their own new stories set in the Star Wars universe, with a heavy emphasis through the Sequel Trilogy on tales set in the post-Return of the Jedi time period. The Clone Wars, making use of long-existing Star Wars characters set in the middle of the Prequels, didn’t fit that creative approach.
The fact that The Clone Wars aired on Cartoon Network, a station owned by Disney rival WarnerMedia, only gave Disney further incentive to can the show. Though Disney had promptly put The Clone Wars on ice, there were still plenty of completed episodes lying around waiting to be seen. These were eventually released onto Netflix in March 2014 under the banner of “The Lost Missions.” However, these 13 episodes were not the only Clone Wars content impacted by the show’s cancellation. An assortment of uncompleted multi-episode Clone Wars story arcs meant to air during the shows sixth and seventh seasons were in various stages of development when The Clone Wars was suddenly shut down.
Over the years, these uncompleted episodes have been released to the public in a variety of forms. The four-episode Crystal Crisis on Utupau saga was released online in September 2014, another multi-episode arc referred to as The Bad Batch was put online in April 2015. These incomplete versions of unaired episodes of The Clone Wars were not the end of the show’s story, though, as it was eventually revived for a final season to air on Disney+ in February 2020. It’s unclear how many, if any, of the unfinished episodes will make their way into this concluding season of The Clone Wars, but at least now, the show can get a resolution on its own terms rather than having to live with an abrupt Disney-mandated cancellation.
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