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The Clone Wars & Star Wars' Exploration of Genre

The Clone Wars is an awesome show. Obviously. There's a million things that I love about it and I'm sure a million more that you do. One of my many, many favorite things about it is how it explores a variety of tropes from all different genres, while still maintaining its place in the Star Wars galaxy.

I think what is probably the most obvious example of The Clone Wars dipping its toes across genres would be with the Zillo Beast arc! Even named similarly to Godzilla, watching the Zillo Beast storm over Coruscant is very reminiscent of the classic monster movie, films like Godzilla or King Kong. While still obviously connecting to the storylines of Star Wars (and you know, having lightsabers and stuff), in a lot ways these episodes feel very much like your classic monster film, just merged with the galaxy far, far away in such a perfect way.

Another fairly obvious example is the influence of Westerns. While it's no secret that the Western genre has heavily influenced Star Wars (especially very recently with shows like The Mandalorian), those influences show up in The Clone Wars as well. The easiest example is definitely Cad Bane. He's even got the hat! His character repeatedly shows up to spin his gun and just be the rough-voiced, dueling villain just like you might find in a lot of classic Western films- and it makes him so, so cool.

Finally, I have one of the arcs that I love even if everyone seems to dislike, or at least forget about. The Nomad Droids arc is an excellent bit of escapist fantasy merged with Star Wars! From the direct homage to the novel Gulliver's Travels to the general idea of our most beloved droid pair being whisked away into a world even more whimsical than the galaxy far, far away that we're most familiar with, C-3PO and R2-D2's Wizard of Oz-esque adventure is joyful and definitely reminiscent of classic stories (like Alice and Wonderland) where characters are dropped (sometimes literally) into an unfamiliar, magical land to go on a wonderful adventure, only to return to the world they know afterwards, but changed for the better.

These are just a few ways that The Clone Wars experiments with Star Wars as more than just the regular space fantasy stories we know from the standard storyline. There are plenty more, a few of which I'll elaborate on next week!

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