Top 10 Ways All the Star Wars TV Shows Connect



Top 10 Ways All the Star Wars TV Shows Connect

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
In case you're having trouble connecting the dots, here are the ways all the “Star Wars” TV shows connect. For this list, we'll be looking at the various narrative threads, plot elements, objects and characters that create a sense of cohesion between the various “Star Wars” television series (as well as the films). Our countdown includes Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Anakin's arc, and more!
It’s a big galaxy, but the Force ties it all together. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ways All the Star Wars TV Shows Connect.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the various narrative threads, plot elements, objects and characters that create a sense of cohesion between the various Star Wars television series (as well as the films). Please note, we’re only including shows that are officially canon, so don’t expect to see any “Lego Star Wars”, OR Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Star Wars: Clone Wars”.

#10: Filling in the Gaps

The Star Wars films are the pillars of the franchise, but as the timeline grows, fans have ever-more questions about the time between films. Thankfully, the long-format, episodic nature of TV allows creators to really flesh out the galaxy far, far away. Set between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” takes a deep dive into its titular conflict and the many players involved. “Star Wars Rebels” sheds some welcome light on the state of the galaxy in the lead up to “A New Hope”. “The Mandalorian” reveals life on the outer rim between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order. And “Resistance” precedes and overlaps with the events of the Sequel Trilogy.

#9: C-3PO & R2-D2

Jedis come and go, but these droids are a near constant presence in the franchise. C-3PO and R2-D2 were logical staples of “The Clone Wars” animated series, but, more surprisingly, they were also central to the “Star Wars Rebels” episode “Droids in Distress”. R2 later popped up again in the season 2 episode "Blood Sisters". C-3P0, for his part, managed to land himself a voice cameo in the pilot episode of “Resistance”. Leia Organa has also made appearances in both the aforementioned series. It’s a small galaxy after all! Given the plot and setting of “The Mandalorian”, it seems unlikely that they’ll have a cameo. But then again, they do have a knack for popping up where you’d least expect them!

#8: Obi-Wan: Allies & Enemies

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story spans more films and series than most. He got plenty of screen time in the prequel trilogy, but “The Clone Wars” animated series invited us to get to know him more personally, even giving him his own love story. Later, towards the end of the show, his trademark sense of humor is all but gone; he’s exhausted. It’s the sort of development that requires seasons worth of content to achieve. Among the few Jedi to survive the Great Jedi Purge, Obi-Wan is largely absent from“Rebels”, instead being relegated to Tatooine. But, in an episode that felt like a real gift to fans, “Rebels” brought Obi-Wan back to conclude a story that began in “The Phantom Menace”.

#7: Captain Rex

The Galactic Republic uses clones instead of droids, but it wasn’t until “The Clone Wars” animated series that they felt like real people. Throughout the show, we actually get to know a number of individual clone troopers. And wouldn’t you know it… they have their own personalities! Of the various memorable clones, Rex is the one who stands out most, especially when it comes to creating a sense of continuity. He’s a reliable commanding officer under Anakin, and a friend to both the Jedi and his padawan throughout the Clone Wars. We also get to catch up with him in “Star Wars Rebels”. Best of all, the “Rebels” finale epilogue even places him in “Return of the Jedi”!

#6: Mandalorian History & Culture

Who could’ve predicted that a character with mere minutes of screentime in the original Star Wars trilogy would make such an impact?! With his distinctive armor, Boba Fett inspired the development of a unique and complex warrior civilization. There isn’t much room to get into the history and culture of the Mandalorians in the films, but The Clone Wars dedicated numerous multi-episode arcs to them, even exploring the historic “Siege of Mandalore” - the same battle that our protagonist in “The Mandalorian” lived through. In “Star Wars Rebels”, Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren is a central character. Of course, with Star Wars’ first live action series, we’re now getting even more insight into this diverse group’s culture and creed.

#5: Darth Maul

There’s no keeping a fan-favorite character down. Though he was bisected in “The Phantom Menace”, this breakout dark side force user got a new lease on life in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. It took him from supporting villain to one of the franchise’s most complex. Not only did we learn about Maul’s backstory in “The Clone Wars”, but he also got a brother, Savage Opress. After serving as a major wildcard throughout that galactic conflict, Maul returns in “Star Wars Rebels” older, wiser, but no less dangerous. In fact, his plotting in “Rebels” is arguably more devious than ever. After adding even more layers to his character, “Rebels” brings Maul’s epic story to a fitting conclusion.

#4: The Darksaber

The first season of “The Mandalorian” wasn’t short on big moments, but it saved one of its very best for last. While the darksaber might not mean much to viewers who’ve only ever watched the films, it’s a highly coveted item within the Star Wars universe. First introduced in the Clone Wars episode “The Mandalore Plot”, this ancient and utterly unique lightsaber was created by the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi. It’s seen as a weapon of great symbolic power to the Mandalorian people, and has changed hands multiple times throughout the various shows. After being wielded by Pre Vizsla, Maul, Sabine Wren and later Bo-Katan Kryze, it somehow wound up in the hands of Moff Gideon, as revealed in “The Mandalorian”.

#3: From Rebellion to Resistance

When “The Force Awakens” was released in 2015, you may have found yourself asking… “why the name change?” Well, the Rebel Alliance existed to overthrow the Empire and establish a New Republic, and, however short-lived it may have been, they succeeded. The Resistance, founded by Leia Organa, came together in the face of the New Republic’s ambivalence towards the First Order. The organizations might seem similar in purpose, but the “Rebels” and “Resistance” shows help to flesh out the history of the respective groups and clarify how they differ from one another. In “Rebels”, we see how disparate groups come together to form the alliance, while “Resistance explores the inner workings of the organization that fought back against the First Order.

#2: Anakin’s Arc

Of the many criticisms leveled against the uneven prequel trilogy, Anakin’s fall to the dark side is among the most universally frustrating. The character feels, in general, under-developed, but his transformation into Darth Vader, in particular, feels rushed and somewhat unnatural. Thankfully, “The Clone Wars” animated series is given ample opportunity to flesh it out and provide far more insight into his decline. It also gives us more time to get to know Anakin, making his eventual fall all the more devastating. Like Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, Darth Vader also resurfaces in Rebels. His face-off with his old Padawan makes for one of the character’s most emotionally-charged moments to date, animated or otherwise.

#1: Ahsoka

A character created for “The Clone Wars” animated series, Ahsoka Tano has proven hugely popular. While she may have rubbed some fans the wrong way when she debuted as Anakin’s immature young padawan, she’s now a fan favorite and arguably the glue that holds “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” together. Ahsoka’s story was central to “The Clone Wars” and, much to the delight of fans, she was brought back, older and wiser, to play a prominent supporting role in “Rebels”. And in news that almost seemed too good to be true when it was announced, Ahsoka’s finally making her jump to live-action television in the second season of “The Mandalorian”. Proving that fancasting can come true, she’s set to be played by none other than Rosario Dawson!