Top 10 Moments From the Star Wars Animated Series



Top 10 Moments From the Star Wars Animated Series

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
The animated “Star Wars” shows have had some truly jaw-dropping moments! For this list, we'll be going over some of the most notable bits from animated shows in the “Star Wars” franchise. Naturally, there will be spoilers. Our countdown includes Order 66 from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020), Ahsoka vs. Darth Vader from “Star Wars Rebels” (2014-18), General Grievous's Debut from “Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003-05), and more!
The animated “Star Wars” shows have had some truly jaw-dropping moments! For this list, we’ll be going over some of the most notable bits from animated shows in the “Star Wars” franchise. Naturally, there will be spoilers. Our countdown includes Order 66 from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020), Ahsoka vs. Darth Vader from “Star Wars Rebels” (2014-18), General Grievous’s Debut from “Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003-05), and more! If there’s a “force-ful” cartoon “Star Wars” moment whose presence you missed on our list, tell us in the comments!

#10: True Colors

“Star Wars: Visions” (2021-)

“Visions” has some fantastic episodes, but one of the most universally praised is “The Ninth Jedi.” Set in the far future - or closer to the present based on the “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” dynamic - it brings so many cool ideas to the table, including lightsabers that change colors based on the wielder. This plays into a brilliant twist. At a meeting of potential new Jedi, eight Force users arrive. At first, only one, Ethan, activates a lightsaber, which turns blue. However, when the others activate their blades, they turn red, revealing that most of them are Dark Side users. This well-executed reveal, as well as the ensuing battle, helped an already standout episode be that much more enjoyable.

#9: Order 66

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

While anyone who’s seen “Revenge of the Sith” knows about Order 66, the brainwashing directive for clones to kill their Jedi commanders, seeing this again still hits hard. After Ahsoka senses Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side through the Force, Rex receives a transmission to execute Order 66. While he manages to resist it briefly, he still turns on his young friend. Ahsoka fleeing the loyal clones who’ve fought by her side for years is both an excellent action scene and a heartbreaking one all at once. While the slaughter of the Jedi is tragic, “The Clone Wars” makes it clear that it’s equally awful for the clones forced to do it.

#8: Mace Windu vs. Droids

“Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003-05)

The original “Clone Wars” animated series can sometimes be overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be because of scenes like this! While battling against droids on Dantooine, Mace Windu is separated from his lightsaber by a huge, shockwave-creating ship. Using only the Force and his bare hands, Windu takes on huge swaths of battle droids by himself. The choreography is among the most creative and badass in the entire franchise! Windu caps off the scene by leaping up into the enormous ship and bringing it down from the inside. The little boy who witnesses all this will probably never stop telling this story, and we’ll never stop revisiting this amazing setpiece.

#7: Kanan’s Sacrifice

“Star Wars Rebels” (2014-18)

“Rebels” may have a reputation as being one of the more “kid-friendly” “Star Wars” animated series, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have darker and more tragic moments. During a mission to rescue Hera, Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus tries to get her out via a fuel depot. After Hera’s declaration of love, the Empire fires on the depot, igniting the fuel, just as their transport arrives. In order to save the woman and crew he loves, Kanan uses the Force to hold back the explosion and pushes Hera away when she tries to save him. It’s among the more noble and emotional deaths in “Star Wars.”

#6: Ahsoka Leaves the Jedi

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

After Ahsoka is framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she goes on the run. While Anakin stands by his apprentice and fights to expose the culprit, the rest of the council gives in to pressure to expel her from the order. This scene begins on a seemingly positive note, with Ashoka getting welcomed back to the Order after she’s been proven innocent. Except, Ahsoka declines the invitation, feeling betrayed and wanting to find her own path. A beautifully rendered moment sees Anakin relate her feelings to his own, foreshadowing his own break from the Jedi. It’s a quiet, sad moment, but it feels momentous, both for the characters, and the series as a whole.

#5: Obi-Wan & Maul’s Final Duel

“Star Wars Rebels” (2014-18)

Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi have a long history together, with plenty of animosity from both sides. Here, the former Sith Lord finally catches up with the Jedi on Tatooine. Fireside in the desert, Maul berates Kenobi for living in squalor, but Obi-Wan counters that Maul has nothing either. Maul then discerns that Obi-Wan is there to protect someone. The duo then draw their lightsabers and have a tense standoff, before a brief clash of blades, which results in Maul’s death. As he lays dying, Maul asks Kenobi if he’s protecting the Chosen One, which he erroneously confirms, giving his old foe a last, new hope. It may not be a complicated fight, but its impact and gravitas are top-notch.

#4: General Grievous’s Debut

“Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003-05)

General Grievous, the cyborg droid general, corners some Jedi in a downed Republic ship and, rather than kill them with his army, offers them warriors’ deaths. Grievous then proceeds to take on half a dozen Jedi by himself! Grievous’s mechanical body allows him to use his lightsabers in then-heretofore unseen ways – spinning them rapidly, wielding them with his feet, and even attacking from the ceiling! He even kills several Jedi and leaves two of the survivors sorely wounded. He may take a lot of Ls throughout most of the franchise, but General Grievous made a terrifying first impression.

#3: Ahsoka vs. Darth Vader

“Star Wars Rebels” (2014-18)

When Ahsoka showed up in “Rebels,” the idea of this confrontation entered fans’ heads. But when it finally happened, it surpassed all expectations! In a Sith Temple, Darth Vader has Ezra Bridger cornered when Ahsoka appears. She expresses disbelief that Vader and Anakin can be the same person, and promises to do a very un-Jedi thing and avenge the man her former master was. Their battle is fraught with emotion, as well as excellent atmosphere and music. It concludes, initially anyway, with Ahsoka exposing Vader’s face and him speaking to her in an unaltered voice. She also promises not to leave her friend again, despite his promise to kill her. While not the best animated fight, it’s still an all-time great.

#2: Ahsoka vs. Maul

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

When Ahsoka meets Maul on Mandalore, the villain proves surprisingly persuasive. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, but not for us, Ahsoka doesn’t believe Maul’s claims that Anakin has been groomed to be Sidious’s apprentice and engages him in battle. And what an epic fight it is! Given that it’s achieved partly through motion capture, the choreography feels grounded yet extremely well-done. The fight ranges from a throne room to support beams high above the city, and concludes with Ahsoka capturing the Dark Side user. The music, dialogue, and action all throughout are all elevens out of ten. While “The Clone Wars” continues for a couple episodes after this, if the show had ended with this fight, it would have gone out on a truly colossal high.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

A Funeral for the 501st, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

Good Soldiers Follow Orders & They Were the Best

Krell vs. Clones, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

A Dark & Atmospheric Fight Against a Rogue Jedi

Geonosis Assault, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

This Puts the “War” in “Clone Wars”

The Destruction of Tipoca City, “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” (2021-)

The Clones’ Home Sinks Beneath the Waves

Hosnian Prime Is Destroyed, “Star Wars Resistance” (2018-20)

Starkiller Base’s Destruction Gets a Lot More Personal

#1: Anakin’s Vision of the Future

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14; 2020)

Animated shows have foreshadowed Anakin’s destiny several times. Although his cave vision in the 2D “Clone Wars” series is quite good, we elected for the distinctly less subtle occasion from the followup. On the realm of Mortis, Anakin seeks to stop the Son, a personification of the Dark Side…maybe. To persuade him, the Son shows Anakin his future. We see glimpses of Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side, as well as his actions after the rise of the Empire. It all culminates in a looming Vader helmet. Perhaps fittingly, Anakin makes a similar choice as his future self, joining a powerful villain in the name of peace. It’s the past, present, and future of “Star Wars” wrapped up in one moment!