Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Entire Timeline Of The Star Wars Animated Series Explained

Star Wars is one of the most well-known franchises ever created. With 11 theatrical films to its name, it encompasses a vast variety of star systems, characters, events, and alien races. 11 films can't explore everything within its sprawling universe, however — and given the passionate fandom Star Wars has spawned, gaps don't go unnoticed. To fill in these missing chunks of storytelling, the creative minds behind Star Wars have released a number of animated series, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and most recently, Star Wars: Resistance. These series are thrilling adventures unto themselves, full of innovative animation and nitty-gritty detail. However, given the massive scope of the saga they take place within, the exact details of their stories, characters, and events can get a little murky. We're here to help, with this timeline of the Star Wars animated series.

New friends and enemies

Virtually the entirety of Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place in the three years after the events of Attack of the Clones, leading up to and even coinciding with the events of Revenge of the Sith. This should mean that the chronological order of the episodes is easy to follow, right? 

Well, not so much. This is where things get tricky. All of the story arcs from the first two-and-a-half seasons of Clone Wars were not released in chronological order. To keep things simple, we've divided Clone Wars into two parts: Before and after the events of the season three episode "Nightsisters." 

Many of the story arcs in this first part of the series are self-contained, but their implications are huge and lasting. Anakin Skywalker gains an apprentice named Ahsoka Tano, who ends up being pivotal to the Star Wars story. Mandalore also makes its debut in this part of the series, as does its ruler, Duchess Satine Kryze. The Mandalorians also make their entrance in the form of the splinter group Death Watch, as does the legendary Darksaber. Finally, two clones, Echo and Fives, who serve under Captain Rex and eventually become elite troopers, are introduced. All three are critical to the series' over-arching story.

Witches and plots

Post-"Nightsisters," Clone Wars' story takes off like a TIE fighter. Character arcs take darker (and weirder) turns, Revenge of the Sith is foreshadowed, and a whole lot of characters introduced in the first part of the series meet their unfortunate ends.

The action begins when Count Dooku is ordered to let his Sith assassin, Asajj Ventress, die. However, she survives and heads to her home planet of Dathomir, which is inhabited by powerful Force-wielding witches known as the Nightsisters. She recruits some of them for an assassination attempt on Dooku's life, but they fail. Afterwards, Dooku goes to the witches' leader, Mother Talzin, in order to find a new apprentice. That new apprentice ends up being Savage Opress, who is used by Ventress in another unsuccessful bid on Dooku's life. In the aftermath, Talzin sends Savage on a quest to find his brother ... who he doesn't know is Darth Maul.

The Father, the Daughter, and the Son

The latter half of season three contains an arc in which Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka go to a strange place called Mortis. Mortis is a dreamlike realm within the Force itself where time and space have no meaning — some believe it to exist beyond the bounds of reality entirely. Its three inhabitants, the Father, the Daughter, and the Son, are exceptionally powerful Force-wielders. The trio bring Anakin into their realm for complex reasons that all relate to his unique nature as the Chosen One. 

Two major events happen within this arc, in addition to the heavy-duty worldbuilding it contains. First, Ahsoka dies, but is almost immediately brought back by the Daughter, who, having been mortally wounded, uses the last of her strength to save the young Padawan. The Daughter ends up serving as Ahsoka's spirit guide in the form of an owl later on in Clone Wars and Rebels. Second, Qui-Gon Jinn comes back as a Force ghost. 

Elsewhere, Echo dies on a rescue mission. Both Rex and Fives are hit hard by the loss, and it ultimately influences many of Rex's actions in the final season of Clone Wars.

Pong Krell's secrets

The fourth season of Clone Wars picks up right where the second half of season three left off. This season is a gritty, complex adventure that features some of the best storytelling in the entire series. 

One especially stellar Clone Wars storyline begins on the planet Umbara, also known as the "Shadow World" for its complete lack of sunlight. What begins as a fairly standard invasion starts to go awry when Anakin is replaced with another Jedi named Pong Krell. Unlike Anakin, Krell cares little for the lives of his troops, and this causes tensions between him and the clones. After Krell orders Captain Rex's unit to kill other clones, Rex decides to take everyone he can and arrest Krell. He succeeds, and after learning of Krell's plan to betray the Republic, Rex decides that the best course of action is to execute Krell for treason.

Brothers reunited

Savage Opress' search for his long-lost brother ends up shaping Clone Wars is a major way. First off, it is on this quest that Savage learns who his brother is: The one and only Darth Maul. When Savage finds him on the decrepit planet of Lotho Minor, he is a raving scavenger, compensating for his missing legs with a monstrous, six-legged apparatus. After Savage brings him back to Dathomir, Mother Talzin restores Maul's sanity and gives him some new legs. Maul then sets in motion a plan to get revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi who ruined everything for him. After luring Obi-Wan into a trap, Maul and Savage proceed to beat him senseless and very nearly kill him. However, the brothers come up short due to Asajj Ventress freeing Obi-Wan after failing to collect a bounty on Savage's head. This is not the last time Maul tries to get his revenge on Obi-Wan, however.

Rebellion on Onderon, revenge on Florrum

The fifth season of Clone Wars is arguably the most pivotal, as it sets events in motion which shape the rest of this series and the later stages of Rebels.

Season five explores the rebellion of Onderon, a jungle world. This storyline contains the introduction of Saw Gerrera and his sister Steela, who act as leaders of the rebellion. With the surreptitious backing of the Jedi Order, their rebellion succeeds. Steela, however, dies in the final battle of the Onderon Civil War, leaving Saw to help run the new government. Although this is the only appearance of Saw in Clone Wars, it is fascinating to see his rebellious ways take shape, long before they came to figure in Rogue One's storyline.

Meanwhile, Maul and Savage continue to plot against Obi-Wan, luring him and another Jedi named Adi Gallia to the planet Florrum by taking control of some of Hondo Ohnaka's pirates. Hondo is a minor recurring character in Clone Wars who happens to have a history with Obi-Wan, so when he and Gallia show up, both parties join forces. Although the two brothers manage to kill Gallia, Obi-Wan finds the strength to defeat them both and remove some of their limbs, forcing them to flee.

Crisis on Mandalore

Maul and Savage eventually wind up in the care of Death Watch, a Mandalorian splinter group who claim to uphold Mandalore's warrior culture. They repair the brothers' limbs and form an alliance to get revenge on Obi-Wan and take control of Mandalore. Both parties cooperate long enough to create a large crime syndicate to take control of the planet. However, infighting leads to Maul becoming the ruler of Mandalore and owner of the Darksaber. 

Obi-Wan is then lured to Mandalore, where he is captured by Maul. Maul executes Duchess Satine, who had been close to Obi-Wan, in order to make Obi-Wan "share [Maul's] pain." Obi-Wan is then rescued by Satine's sister and ex-Death Watch member Bo-Katan, who tells Obi-Wan to get the Republic involved in the burgeoning civil war. Darth Sidious then shows up and defeats the brothers, killing Savage but sparing Maul.

The last arc of this season sees Ahsoka framed for a terrorist attack. While she is cleared of all charges, she becomes disenchanted with the Jedi order in the process, and ultimately leaves it. This sets up her role in Clone Wars' final season.

The truth about the inhibitor chips

The last two seasons of Clone Wars are absolutely packed with key events which shape the remainder of the series and the events of Revenge of the Sith.

The very first arc of season six centers the clone trooper Fives. One of the troopers in his unit, Tup, randomly kills a Jedi Master, an act as shocking as it is mysterious. Having been informed of this by the Separatist commander, Count Dooku realizes that the Jedi might discover the hijacked chips implanted in the clone troopers, and thus the mechanism by which the Sith plan to execute Order 66. After Tup and Fives are sent to Kamino to investigate what happened, Dooku orders the Kaminoans to withhold the truth of the chip from them. Accordingly, the Kaminoans claim Tup's actions are the result of a virus. However, Fives is able to launch his own investigation, and discovers the truth about the inhibitor chips.

Tragedy and triumph

Fives is able to secure an audience with Chancellor Palpatine to present his findings on the hijacked inhibitor chips. Although it is not shown on screen, it can be assumed that Palpatine reveals the full purpose of the chips to Fives, because Fives is next seen trying to kill him. Palpatine frames Fives as an assassin, forcing him to flee to Coruscant. Fives manages to set up a secret meeting with Anakin and Rex, but he is killed before he can blow the lid off the plot. This is as close as anyone gets to discovering Order 66 before it is executed.

The final arc of season six explains how Jedi become Force ghosts. This mystery is explored through Yoda, who is drawn to Dagobah by the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. Yoda is able to pass a series of tests, which allow him to receive training from Qui-Gon that will preserve his spirit after death. Not only is this cool, it sets up a scene in Revenge of the Sith in which Yoda explains to Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has some particular training for him.

The Bad Batch

Nearly six years passed between season six and season seven, but boy, was it worth the wait. The seventh season might just be the very best Clone Wars season of all, with the final four episodes being some of the best Star Wars content ever made, period.

The first story arc of the seventh season features Captain Rex working with Clone Force 99, an experimental unit of clones more commonly called the Bad Batch. Each member of the group possesses a unique mutation that grants them an exceptional skill, which they use to uncover the location of a Separatist strategy algorithm. It turns out that Echo survived his apparent death back in season three, and was partially turned into a machine by the Separatists to learn about Republic strategies. After Rex and the Bad Batch work with Anakin to free Echo, they turn the algorithm on the Separatists and win a major victory. Echo then joins the Bad Batch himself, setting up their role as the main characters of the upcoming Disney+ series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

Order 66

Ahsoka reunites with Anakin en route to Mandalore. While they, Obi-Wan, and Bo-Katan are planning how to take back the planet and arrest Maul, the Separatists capture the Chancellor, forcing Obi-Wan and Anakin to go rescue him. Eventually, Rex, Bo-Katan, and Ahsoka take control of Mandalore, and Ahsoka is able to corner Maul. He reveals that the Republic is about to fall, and offers Ahsoka a chance to join him against Sidious. Ahsoka initially accepts the offer, but goes back on it upon hearing Maul's claim that Sidous is trying to turn Anakin to the dark side. After a fierce lightsaber duel, Ahsoka manages to subdue and capture Maul.

While transporting Maul back to Coruscant, Darth Sidious executes Order 66, which causes all of the clones, including Rex, to turn on Ahsoka. Before the programming fully takes over, Rex instructs Ahsoka to "find Fives." After freeing Maul as a distraction, she learns about Fives and the truth of the inhibitor chip. Ahsoka is then able to capture Rex and remove his chip, bringing back his free will. The two manage to escape the Star Destroyer before it crashes into a moon, and are able to fake their deaths. Ahsoka leaves behind one of her lightsabers, which Darth Vader finds years later.

The crew of the Ghost

Although Star Wars: Rebels is an entirely new show, it brings back characters from Clone Wars as well some from the original trilogy, thus bridging the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

Rebels begins roughly 15 years after the events of Clone Wars on the planet Lothal. A young boy named Ezra Bridger gets caught up in a robbery by the crew of the Ghost. After seeing Ezra pull off an impossible leap, the crew decides to let him participate in a rescue operation. When the operation goes awry, one of the crew, Kanan Jarrus, reveals himself as a Jedi, and they manage to escape. Afterwards, Ezra learns he is Force-sensitive, and Kanan agrees to take him on as his apprentice. The Empire then dispatches an Inquisitor (a dark Jedi which absolutely no one expected) to deal with the Ghost crew.

Eventually, Kanan is captured by the Empire, and the Ghost crew launches a rescue mission. They succeed, with Kanan managing to defeat the Inquisitor and blow up a large ship. It is then revealed that Ahsoka has been feeding the Ghost crew information about previous adventures, and will now work with them. The first season ends ominously, with Darth Vader arriving on Lothal to deal with the rebels.


The second season of Rebels begins with the Ghost crew trying to help an Imperial official defect from the Empire. It turns out to be a trap set by Vader, who effortlessly beats Kanan and Ezra, which forces the Ghost crew to flee Lothal. Vader tracks them back to a rebel fleet, which he mostly destroys. Although the Ghost is able to hold him off, Vader and Ahsoka realize each other's presence, causing Vader to send two additional Inquisitors after the Ghost crew. Ahsoka then sends the Ghost crew to recruit Captain Rex, who eventually joins the Rebellion.

After some additional hijinks and the acquisition of a base hidden from the Empire, Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka all head to the desolate planet of Malachor to learn how to defeat the Sith. After Ezra gets separated from the others due to the presence of a third Inquisitor, he is found by none other than Darth Maul. The duo acquire a Sith holocron, and rescue Kanan and Ahsoka from the Inquisitors. Maul convinces the three to help him gain knowledge from Malachor's Sith temple. But after dispatching all three Inquisitors, Maul betrays Kanan, slicing out his eyes. Ahsoka goes to rescue Ezra from Vader, and ends up facing her former master in combat. Ezra, Kanan, and Maul all escape, while Ahsoka's fate is left unknown.

A new way of seeing

Six months after the battle on Malachor, Ezra leads the Ghost crew on a mission to rescue Hondo Ohnaka from an Imperial prison. In exchange for the rescue, Hondo gives the rebels the location of some Y-wing bombers. Meanwhile, Kanan has cut himself off from the Force, and Ezra has begun to drift closer to darkness. Kanan responds to the call of a mysterious being known as Bendu, who helps restore Kanan's connection to the Force, allowing him to see. After this, Kanan joins Hera Syndulla, a Twi'lek revolutionary, in rescuing the rest of the Ghost crew from a reconnaissance mission gone wrong. Grand Admiral Thrawn is brought in to destroy the rebels, but spares the Ghost instead, in order to deduce the location of the rebel base.

A key event in Rebels is the start of the Mandalorian rebellion. After a run-in with Maul, Mandalorian Sabine Wren comes into possession of the Darksaber. Another Mandalorian ally explains that the Darksaber is a symbol of the leader of the Mandalorians. After some initial reluctance on Sabine's part, Kanan and Ezra train Sabine on how to wield it. Afterwards, they convince her mother, the leader of Clan Wren, to rebel against the Empire, using the Darksaber as proof that Mandalore can stand on its own.

Fated battles

Throughout the third season of Rebels, Maul searches for Obi-Wan Kenobi. He uses Ezra's desire to destroy the Sith to further his quest, and is eventually able to track Obi-Wan to Tatooine. This forces a thrilling final confrontation between Maul and Obi-Wan, which results in Maul's death.

Eventually, Thrawn is able to deduce the location of the rebel base. However, Imperial operative Kallus, now a double agent, is able to get a warning off to the rebels, which allows them to mount a defense. Due to the Imperials blocking the rebels' escape, Ezra Bridger is sent to sneak through the blockade and bring back reinforcements, which he does in the form of Mandalorians. Although the rebels lose a number of ships, they are able to escape thanks to Ezra's efforts, the Mandalorian forces, and to the critical arrival of Bendu, who sacrifices himself in an absolutely gargantuan show of power.

Difficult choices

The season four two-parter, In the Name of the Rebellion, plays a key role in tying Rebels to Rogue One. Saw Gerrera is certain the Empire is developing a super weapon, which turns out to be the Death Star. Although he isn't able to stop its production, he does manage to delay it.

Meanwhile, back on Lothal, Thrawn is developing his own weapon: An indestructible TIE fighter. After Ezra and Sabine manage to retrieve a flight recorder, the Rebel Alliance authorizes Hera Syndulla to launch a strike on the TIE fighter factory. It goes horribly, with Hera captured and almost every other pilot killed. The Ghost crew launches a rescue attempt, which succeeds through Kanan sacrificing his life. After some soul-searching, the remaining Ghost crew members head to an abandoned Jedi temple, where a portal to all of time and space is available. Ezra enters it and saves Ahsoka from her duel with Vader, but they get split up after Palpatine uses Sith magic to attack them. Ezra then seals the portal shut so no one can use it again.

The remaining rebels on Lothal then hatch a plan to take the planet from the Empire. They triumph, but Ezra and Thrawn are taken by beings known as the Purrgil, leaving their ultimate fates unknown. The series ends with Sabine and Ahsoka leaving to find Ezra.

Star Wars Resistance

Star Wars: Resistance takes place during The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and isn't connected with either of the previous animated series. Resistance focuses on a young pilot named Kazuda, who is recruited into the Resistance as a spy. He is charged with keeping tabs on a station known as the Colossus and figuring out who works for the First Order. Eventually, the First Order attempts a takeover of the station, but Kazuda and its inhabitants manage to get it flying and escape. However, one of Kazuda's friends, Tam, decides to join the First Order after learning Kazuda works for the Resistance.

The second season picks up right where the first left off, with the Colossus fleeing the First Order and attempting to meet up with the Resistance on the planet D'Qar. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen, as they arrive at the planet after the First Order has driven the Resistance away. After some more running, the First Order catches up with the Colossus. Tam takes the opportunity to defect from the First Order after seeing what they are capable of, but gets captured. Kazuda is able to rescue Tam, and the Colossus members are able to blow up a Star Destroyer. The series ends with its heroes celebrating with drinks at a tavern.