When The Clone Wars was released there were two types of fans. The movie fans and those who delved deeper into the Expanded Universe. The former would’ve been thrilled with anything based on the movies. The latter naturally expected it would follow the foundational rules that all the other media had too. In Doctor Who, this is what the Doctor called a ‘fixed point in time or space’. There was plenty it could do without altering this and the movie and TV fans would never have noticed.
Many fans figure that since The Clone Wars began before the Disney buyout that it fits with the Expanded Universe. Some clung to the promise that the conflicts would be sorted out later (as it became increasingly difficult to do). Others grabbed a Role Playing Game guide that said it might’ve been in universe propaganda. Most fans recognize that at the very least, anything made after season 6 can’t be even put into the Expanded Universe in controversial fashion because it was written post buy out and designed to lead into the Rebels TV show.
It’s no coincidence that in the end, when Disney abandoned the Expanded Universe they took in The Clone Wars. They ignored other material, including other made for TV stories like the Ewoks. No, only the movies and the Clone Wars came in.It fits in an alternate universe. It fits in their universe because their was no backstory to trample (although it does have some issues even with the movies.)
Did George Lucas consider the Expanded Universe canon? He never even used the word even regarding his movies. But he didn’t have to incorporate it into his movies. He chose to and he didn’t contradict it when he did. And he took time out to consult with the authors when they were writing these stories. He hired continuity editors to maintain the timeline. Read more on that here. (Coruscant’s name, Aayla Secura, Quinlan Vos are just a few examples). And even Filoni flat admitted George Lucas intended Ahsoka to die in a video. You can find it easily on Youtube.
- The Contrast
- The Witches of Dathomir
- Asaaj Ventress
- Quinlan Vos
- Jedi Padawan Barriss Offee
- Jedi Master and Council Member Evan Piell
- Boba Fett, Jango Fett and their Mandalorean ties.
- Mandalorean Culture
- The Clone Army
- Aurra Sing
- Jabba and The Hutts
- Darth Maul
- Anakin Skywalker
- The Clone Wars TV Didn’t have to conflict with the Expanded Universe
- George Lucas’s Input
The Witches of Dathomir
The Witches of Dathomir were established in Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton as humans. When a female fallen Jedi was sent there, she had many daughters (the planet already did have some people), still young when they died. A force sensitive culture of women was born, where the males were considered slaves. Dathomir was wild but lush, with blue purple skies and varying landscapes of cliffs, jungle and desert. They tamed and rode the rancors. The world was wild, but their powers strong enough to repel even the Jedi when their ship crash landed there. In spite of this lack of specific Jedi training, their own methods usually held them mostly to the light.
Due to the Witches this planet was interdicted in the Old Republic, mostly avoided even by the Jedi. Few escaped offworld. But then there were the Nightsisters. Cast out for practicing the Dark Side of the Force, they usually were marked by the bruises of broken blood vessels. Some marked themselves with white paint and were of very pale skin, and painted themselves with facial markings. This continued until Luke Skywalker followed Han, and Leia there on a rescue mission, where he helped defeat the Nightsisters. Kirana Ti, one of the witches, would become on of his first Academy students.
The TV nightsisters did borrow their look from the comics versions of the original Nightsisters. Mother Talzin was actually concept art for a Sith Witch and the picture appears in a Star Wars Insider history of the Sith long before the TV show. But the resemblance ends there. Dathomir is red and brooding, not lush and varied. The males are Zabrak known as the Nightbrothers. The entire point of the matriarchy on the planet was that the men were rarely Force Sensitive. It’s even been suggested the Nightsister’s power doesn’t come of the Force at all.
This show also altered the origins of two major characters to be from Dathomir, Ventress and Maul.
By accepting this story into the expanded universe it causes a direct contradiction with later books in the timeline when referencing the planet and characters involved. They have to attempt to juggle opposite descriptions of both the world and it’s people.
Ventress’s was first revealed in both Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars microseries and the Republic comic, The New Face of the War. She was born on Rattatak and became the prototype for the species in both comics and Star Wars the Old Republic. All bore her pale skin, dark markings and aggressive nature. Asaaj’s parents were killed by the Warlord’s that ravaged her world. She was saved by the Jedi Ky Narec, who crashed there and assumed dead. Sensing her skill he trained her as a Jedi. They battled the warlords and were on top when he was murdered. Orphaned again and enraged, she turned to the Dark Side and went on a murderous rampage. Eventually she found her way to Dooku & repeatedly clashed with Kenobi and Skywalker in the Clone Wars. She succeeded in killing many Jedi. Ultimately she made one mistake too many, Dooku and Grievous abandoned her on the battlefield. She was brought onto a Republic medical shuttle for aid by Kenobi, who felt she was not entirely lost. She woke and forced the pilots to flee. She was not seen again.
It’s been reported that Dave Filoni wanted to completely alter Ventress for TCW. He did make her a Nightsister but failed his attempt to abandon the Rattaki connection due to Katie Lucas (George Lucas’s daughter) saying she enjoyed the story and successfully blocking him. This completely alters the entire Rattataki species as she was the basis for both their look and attitude.
In this version of her story, Dooku actually tries to kill her rather than abandon her, in order to please Sidious. Her home with the Nightsisters has been wiped out by Sidious so she turns to bounty hunting.
While I don’t plan to delve into post Disney canon, it’s clear he intended to continue this route, also continuing to undermine Quinlan Vos. (See more under Quinlan Vos below.)
The character was inspired by one man in the background of The Phantom Menace on Tatooine. John Ostrander and Jan Duursema sought to make him into more in Dark Horse comics Republic series.
Quinlan Vos was a Jedi who walked near the Dark Side. Trained by Master Tholme on his home of Kiffar, his disapproving Great Aunt, Sheyf Tinte’s dismay. Her people had powerful Psychometric powers (ability to read objects) and wanted him to remain. She hired Anzati assassins to murder his parents, then had him ‘read’ a medallion to help the ‘investigation’. The trauma of a close encounter with their deaths left him terrified.
Tholme took him from their to Coruscant to train, where he was a Jedi in good standing until his memory was stolen by spice (drugs) forced on him by criminals. Recovered and retrained, he led the spy movement among Fringe elements during the war, going undercover to infiltrate the Separatists. This took him too close to the Dark and he fell, though still convinced he was loyal to the Republic. He was saved by the love of his Master Tholme, Former apprentice Aayla Secura, and his beloved girlfriend Khaleen Hentz.
Now in the role of General, he was assigned troops to Boz Pity (as mentioned in Revenge of the Sith) and finally Kashyyyk. Barely escaping the massacre of Order 66, he returned to Nar Shaddaa and found Master Tholme, Traa Saa waited with his new wife, Khaleen Hentz and their newborn Kortos Vos.
In the Clone Wars we see a Quinlan Vos who in face resembles the original. But in attitude he is very different. His attitude resembles a carefree hippie not the dark brooding man who has seen too much. (No offense to hippies, but Vos wasn’t one originally.)
The Disney story Dark Disciple was originally planned for the series before the buyout and cancellation. It directly contradicts the Expanded Universe events. There is no Khaleen Hentz and in their story they kill off Tholme and have him in love with Asaaj Ventress. John Ostrander himself called them out, pointing out the huge list of ‘acknowledgements’ didn’t name either he or Jan Duursema who created the original character and named him. While it was obviously an alternate universe version every other contributor was named. (Source)
Jedi Padawan Barriss Offee
Introduced in the background of Palpatine’s office in Attack of the Clones, she is clearly a full adult. The book Approaching Storm has her on the mission with her master as well as Padawan Anakin and his Master Kenobi. She and Anakin were in the same approximate age group. During their diplomatic mission to convince the Ansionians to say in the Republic and not join the Separatists, her rare gift of Force healing is revealed.
Barriss has some adventures as a padawan in the Clone Wars comics, and the Microseries. But her test is in the Medstar Duology. She is sent to the war zone of Drongar ostensibly to aid in the field medical hospital (AKA RIMSOO). The battle is over a valuable plant, Bota, which is considered a miracle cure. Most of the staff are working hard to save lives. But there are a few corrupt personnel and at least one spy to ferret out. But it is the Bota itself and it’s amazing secret property, an ability to enhance the Force that makes the true temptation. Her test here is what makes her a Jedi Knight.
Once knighted, she took a padawan to train of her own until she was killed when the Empire hunted down the Jedi.
The Barriss in the Clone Wars has the same markings and Master as the one in Attack of the Clones. However she has been de-aged so she is a teenager that is a contemporary of Ahsoka instead of Anakin. She is never shown has having healing skills. Ultimately this Barriss turns to the Dark Side. Angry at the Council over the War, she commits a terrorist bombing and frames Ahsoka for the crime. This is all the more tragic as Ahsoka once saved her life.
This one is a case of why didn’t they just make a new character? Barriss was obviously not a teenager. It’s clear in the movie and the visual guides even if you completely ignore the Expanded Universe.
Jedi Master and Council Member Evan Piell
Even Piell is first seen in The Phantom Menace as part of the Jedi Council. He has an arc in the comics where it’s revealed he received his scar battling Red Iaro terrorists on Lannik in support of the lawful ruler. On Malaster he and others go to try and negotiate peace between the two groups. But the Prince has proven too arrogant, a far cry from the parents that Piell aided. His own people have now turned against him and join the Red Iaro. The Jedi save the Prince, but fail in the peace mission. Even Piell is also known as having saved Adi Gallia’s Corellian parents at one time.
Evan had a padawan, Jax Pavan, newly knighted before Order 66. Both Evan and Jax survived “flame night” as it became known and ended up on Coruscant. Piell sought to aid other Jedi and refugees in escaping. Jax was just trying to survive, until the clone troopers caught up with Master Piell. He was fatally wounded but the troopers were also killed when Nick Rostu, a friend of Mace Windu, stepped in. He passed his message and mission to to Rostu to give to Jax. Jax’s trilogy begins here. However the fourth book tries to incorporate The Clone Wars into it’s telling in spite of the inconsistencies.
Evan Piell appears in Citadel, Counterattack and Citadel Rescue. Captured by Separatists, Anakin and Obi-Wan lead a mission to rescue him and retrieve his intel on the Nexus Route Coordinates. Here we have the conflict between to be Grand Moff Tarkin who wants the routes for Palpatine, and the Jedi who are to give them to the Council only. The critical thing here is that they killed off Evan in direct conflict with the Coruscant Nights trilogy where he survives Order 66 and passes his mission on to Jax Pavan. Without this there is no trigger for Jax to even know about the mission, let alone pursue it.
Boba Fett, Jango Fett and their Mandalorean ties.
While The Empire Strikes Back sources say he wore Mandalorean armor, the original Marvel comics gave his backstory as a Mandalorean Protector even before Return of the Jedi. While one of the short stories trod on forbidden ground by laying his backstory (which obviously was prequel era) it also gave a code compatible with the Mandaloreans.
When his true history was revealed in Attack of the Clones, Dark Horse comics leaped at the chance and took the former information of the short story “Last One Standing” in Tales of the Bounty Hunters to create “Jaster Mereel” a Mandalorean who adopted Jango Fett when his family was murdered by Death Watch. How Jango lost his clan is also told. He then became a bounty hunter. The details of how he came to be chosen as the basis for the clone army in video game “Bounty Hunter.” These comics led to the further fleshing out the short cultural information on these warriors from Tales of the Jedi and Knights of the Old Republic into it’s own series, Republic Commando. The Clones, come of Jango’s genes, trained by him and his chosen instructors, were taught the Mandolorean language and code.
Comics and young adult stories tell the tale of the relationship between Jango and Boba.
Boba’s drive to slay the Jedi who killed Jango Fett is similar in this to the Young Adult series. But there is no reference to his being a Mandalorean. In fact, the entire Mandalorean culture is changed so that they deny Boba and Janger were ever Mandalorean.
This made a bit of mess with any future books such as the Bounty Hunters Code as it tried to account for it with the Expanded Universe version. Trouble is it just doesn’t fly at all.
Ancient Mandaloreans were a species. But as they grew extinct they passed on their culture to others. It became a mixed lot of humans and other species. They all shared common culture, loyalty, clan bonds and above all, the belief that strength was found in battle. In spite of having a homeworld they were nomads. They went to war often and more than once were found with the Sith. Even after they lost the Mandalorean Wars to Revan, with their precious Beskar’gam armor and Basilisk war droids, they sought battle as individual mercenaries. The Mandalorean’s successes rose and fell over the years.
By the time Jaster Mereel, Journeyman Protector and sometime leader of a clan came on the scene the code of honor was often left aside for the pure mercenary greed. Seeking to change this made him enemies that led to Death Watch murdering him. Eventually they caught up with the rest of his followers, though in the end Jango Fett had his revenge. Boba, his clone, was meant to pass on the Legacy. And eventually he would.
The two worlds most associated with this nomadic group are Mandalore itself and Concord Dawn. Both worlds have farms, lush environment and a decently advanced civilization.
The Mandaloreans in the Clone Wars are total pacifists living in domes. They are all human, all pretty much blond haired and blue eyed. Their world is said to be devastated by long ago war and led by a Duchess instead of the Mandalore.
They outright deny either Jango or Boba Fett are Mandalorean, which is no surprise given the culture is totally opposite what was spawned by the stories they inspired and were inspired by.
Filoni claims that Lucas made the decision about the Mandaloreans. The trouble is (again) the man isn’t a credible witness. He has tried to take credit for things he didn’t invent (Maul’s legs were from Infinities stories – ie what ifs) and seems very clever at blaming George Lucas for what people don’t like and taking credit for what they do.
The Clone Army
In the movie the Kaminoans make it very clear the clones have been genetically modified to be obey any order, no matter what. (If the Kaminoans caught aberrations in behavior, they apparently were not merciful according to the Republic Commando novels) While some are allowed more independence to serve in special roles, they are bred only for battle. While some gradually grew to become more independent and had doubts, their training kicked in and according the original Battlefront 2 game (told from the clone armies POV) they didn’t hesitate to follow Order 66 and kill their former Generals. Only a few disobeyed, and most paid with their lives. Clones considered a ‘brother’ who was disobeying orders an aberration.
In the Clone Wars it’s revealed the clones have ‘chips’ in their heads to force them to turn on the Jedi. This is directly contradicting the Expanded Universe in that some clones did disobey, thinking it must be a mistake. Perhaps someone had infiltrated their com network.
It also makes no sense in terms of the scale of the war. We see a massive war in the movies and where there is war, there are injuries and medics. The Clone Army needs time to grow (as the Kaminoans told Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones), a minimum ten years per clone. They can’t afford to lose any due to not treating injuries. So how is it the medics treating an injured clone saw the chip and said hey, what’s this?’ It should have been a common occurrence. Someone would’ve noticed and triggered the Jedi to investigate. As busy as they were, any clues as to those involved in the armies creation were of interest. Nor does it work to say medics are all droids and could be programmed not too, they aren’t centrally programmed like the Separatist droids. It also still doesn’t fit the Expanded Universe. Look under the Barriss Offee entry to confirm there were organic beings among the Doctors and nurses.
Aurra Sing was first seen in The Phantom Menace watching the Boonta Eve Podrace. But mere months later she is revealed in Republic comics to be far more than your average assassin or bounty hunter. She was a former Jedi padawan nicknamed Nashtah , taken captive by pirates and abandoned by her Master, known as the Dark Woman. Anya Kuro was so determined to have no attachments she gave up even her name, so she believed it to be the will of the Force to let the challenging apprentice go.
It was a costly mistake. First taken by pirates, then captured by a Hutt who loaned her to Anzati assassins. They implanted her with a device to feel others fear and trained her to be a cold blooded killer. And her favorite targets were the Jedi. She especially wanted to reencounter her former Master. Like Grievous she took the lightsabers of those she killed as trophies. She was still dangerously skilled at using one.
During the Clone Wars she was finally stopped by Aayla Secura. (Jedi: Aayla Secura comic) She was sent to prison but years later was released to trouble the galaxy again.
Aurra claimed her mother human and her father a mystery, a woman (Aunnanna) on Nar Shaddaa resembling her helped Master Windu and Depa Billaba at one point and told them she’d given a child to the Jedi. It was hinted at but remained unconfirmed if this was her mother. (Emissaries to Malastare)
Aurra is never shown to wield a lightsaber in the show and their is no sign or indication of her previous Jedi training.
According to interviews their were episodes filmed, then cancelled of her being killed in Season 6 which would’ve directly contradicted her appearance after the rise of the Empire.
Ironically if one were to choose a character to alter into a Dathomiri witch, Aurra would’ve suited better than Asaaj. Equally skilled with a lightsaber, equally pale of skin, she was strong in the Force but very little was known of her family history.
Jabba and The Hutts
The Hutts are filled out in great detail in the Han Solo trilogy by Ann Crispin. George Lucas always insisted that his alien species in the movies make sense. Even if their origins weren’t shown, they needed to have something. IE Mon Calamari are from a water planet. Other’s are from desert or so on. In the same way, Hutts are worms and in real life, they are hermaphrodites. That means they internally have both sex organs and don’t need another partner to reproduce.
Jabba’s “Aunt” Jiliac had a child and this affected the Hutt’s intelligence. Instead of putting all ‘her’ attention to the Clan’s business welfare, she was easily distracted by the child. Meanwhile she was involved in a plot to kill the head of Clan Besadii, Aruk. Aruk’s son Durga killed Jiliac in a traditional battle of revenge. This battle didn’t kill the huttlet still in the brood pouch. It was Jabba that finished this task, hating the Huttling for causing the fortunes of the Tiure clan to fall.
Hutts are extremely long lived (hundreds of years) and never stop growing. It takes a lot to kill a Hutt. There are Hutts that have lost half a head and kept going. It’s terribly difficult, though not impossible, to kill one. There were mutants among Hutts (Jabba’s father and his ‘beard’ for instance.) Mutations were usually looked down on, as was Durga the Hutt’s birthmark which others used to try to deny him clan control. Very few Hutt’s in history have been Force sensitive, and those known were barely so. These include Beldorion and Mika the Hutt. The majority of Hutts were immune to Jedi Mind Tricks.
The families of Hutts were mostly gangsters, their clans known as Kajidics. Their own homeworld of Varl was long since destroyed and they moved on to Hutta (or Nal Hutta) and quickly altered the planet to their liking (in a way most sentients find appalling.) In older era’s, Hutts did more than battle in finance and criminal enterprises. They also were conquerors of territory at one point in history.
While the criminal business side of the Hutts is shown in this, it completely ignores the hermaphrodite nature. Jabba is not shown as his Aunt Jiliac was, a Hutt in the female cycle caring for the Huttlet in a brood pouch. (Even though it may be able to live outside it.)
n fact, Jabba as a young Hutt would’ve probably had to have the Huttlet before his aunt Jiliac according to this timeline. It takes 200 years for a Hutt to mature. The fact that Jabba’s huttlet isn’t mentioned therefore in the Hutt Gambit is a contradiction, especially given that Jiliac (his Aunt) is then pregnant and Jabba proves to have a passionate hatred of Huttlets and vows to never get pregnant.
The even bigger point here though is that the Huttlet wouldn’t be mature by the time we see him in the Original Trilogy. Hutts are not trusting creatures. Jabba would not trust his Huttlet to another yet, he isn’t there in the Palace or the Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi.
Dengar was a professional swoop racer on official circuits as a teen. But he got tired of being shown up by a kid on the unofficial tracks, Han Solo. He was badly injured in a match race with him when Han slammed his swoop down on his head and sent him flying (likely by accident). Imperial medics rebuilt him, but at a cost. As they operated on his brain they burned away most emotion leaving only those they deemed useful. He became a bounty hunter and an imperial assassin nicknamed “Payback”. He harbors a personal desire to catch up with Solo and get revenge, or at least answers.
In this Dengar is a bounty hunter from the start. Han Solo isn’t even a teen (neither is Dengar most likely) so this doesn’t fit his timeline. The bandages on this Dengar’s head can’t be to hide Imperial medical scars as there is as yet no Empire.
Ryloth was tidal locked, one side always frozen, the other always facing the sun. The Twilek inhabit caverns beneath the surface. There is only a narrow region in between that lies in twilight which is safe to travel in. But even that isn’t always safe. Heat storms rise up off the sunward side and it can be fatal to be caught in the open.
Those travelling on the surface are usually seeking a new home, defeated by another clan, or members of the head clan. When one member of the head clan dies the others are cast out to allow for a new one to be formed.
Ryloth is shown to have regular seasons. The battle on world is entirely in the open air. While in theory this might just mean they are in the Twilight Zone it doesn’t take into account the frequent heat storms. The locals have simple buildings there as if they live freely outside with no concern for this common and deadly phenomenon. They claimed it was a retcon but it again it contradicts earlier stories drastically and was totally unnecessary.
In the Expanded Universe, Darth Maul was taking from Iridonia by Palpatine as an infant and trained from birth. He is not given, so far as he knows, but taken by Sidious. His training is abusive, brutal. All he knows is being a Sith. He does not know what name he was born by.
Maul is relatively quiet but deadly. He knows to fail his Master is pain. He destroys most of Black Sun so it won’t interfere with his Master’s plans. He chafes to get his first chance to murder Jedi. His Master is the center of his world. He does at least respect Jedi for the challenge they represent.
In early interviews (if one can dig them up and they haven’t vanished into lost cyberspace) Lucas apparently made sure Maul couldn’t return, that was the point of bisecting him even before he fell down the hole.
Nonetheless there are at least two “Infinites’ (not canon in the Expanded Universe) tales featuring his return. In one he was a clone to test Vader. Another he was a cyborg with machine legs. (Sound familiar?)
This Maul’s beginning is altered. This is part of the ruination of Dathomir, that now instead of coming from Iridonia and being basically kidnapped he is given. Suddenly this Maul has a brother. Suddenly Dathomir has ‘nightbrothers’ where before all the natives were more or less human and males lacked the Force.
He also inconveniently is alive. Why Lucas agreed to this I don’t know. Perhaps he changed his mind. But it diminishes Obi-Wan’s hard won victory in The Phantom Menace against the man who murdered his Master. It diminishes Maul himself, who was man raised as a weapon and never really had a chance to be anything else. Maul was a ‘this could’ve been Anakin’ had Palpatine found him first. There would’ve been no real hope for redemption there.
Worst by doing this it provides a contradiction in the Expanded Universe, where his original backstory is repeatedly referenced in stories before hand but later stories are ‘tainted’ by this new version. This is sadly true of the Darth Plaguies book that while good in most areas, forces this in. This shouldn’t have been the case, they simply don’t fit in the same timeline.
It’s almost certain Lucas had to approve this, but its not so certain whether he knew how much he was allowing it to contradict. It would be a literal impossibility to squash previous media of his apprenticeship during the war from his late in the war knighting to a mere two weeks in. The most disconcerting thing is the movie Anakin and the TCW one bare little resemblance. Even if you ignore the Expanded Universe, he certainly should match the movies.
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin is shown as competent but tormented by his emotions. Fear for his Mother, romantic love for Padme, these are things the Jedi discourage. He disobeys orders to stay on Naboo to protect the Senator (though she agrees to go with him), fails to save his Mother and slaughters an entire tribe of Sandpeople who were responsible. When ordered to stay (again) he lets Padme decide she’s going after him (again, he wants to do it but she makes sure he has a loophole). While he has excellent control of himself in the execution arena, he starts to lose it again as they pursue Dooku. Only Obi-Wan’s intervention “You will be expelled from the Jedi Order! What would Padme do in your place!” stops him letting the Sith flee for his beloved Padme. Still emotionally out of control he rushes Dooku instead of following orders. Instead of stopping Dooku and the war right there, he and Obi-Wan end up fighting separately instead of as a team. Anakin pays by losing an arm.
The Expanded Universe gives him room to grow by having his final Knighting late in the War, in year three.
He has faced horrible trials, for instance, months on Jabiim where Obi-Wan was missing and assumed dead in an endless battle. When he was ordered out he was forced to not only leave his fellow orphaned padawans to certain death, but also choose who of the fighters would be evacuated, the natives or the Clone army. It was an impossible choice. It also shows the fall out Anakin still suffers of his actions with the sandpeople. We see both his heroism and his weakness and how he grows to maturity.
Sent to Nelvaan searching for Dooku, he finds himself in the middle of a prophecy of a ‘ghost hand’ that would free the people. There world was frozen and Champions had been sent of the natives but none returned, until few males (the very old, the very young) were left. As Anakin journeys into the frozen volcano he is affected by the gases and sees the paintings on the walls move. A warrior defends his mate with a spear against an enemy. The enemy takes his hand. At first he bravely fights but eventually he turns into that enemy ending with a pattern of Vader’s helmet. It’s a vague disturbing vision and he has no time to sort out it’s meaning before continuing the mission.
There is nothing wrong in and of itself with this other version of Anakin. But its timeline doesn’t make sense even regard to the movies. The timeframe is moved up with Anakin knighted a mere two weeks after Attack of the Clones. The young man who was so shy and awkward at expressing his love to Padme, whose bravado was shattered by his Mother’s death and the loss of his arm is instantly a confident space ‘jock’ apparently fully in control of his emotions. There is no room for him to mature between Attack of the Clones and this version. It’s not the kind of growth that happens in two weeks. Nor should he have the kind of training to be a General. This was a challenge for any Jedi (“We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers.”) But at least a Knight with years of experience has something to go on. Anakin had barely gone on his first solo mission!
There is no way to fit the many months of war where he is a padawan shown in the comics, games, microseries and few novels into that two weeks. So they don’t fit in the same ‘universe’. Granted a couple of The Clone Wars novels came out early on in the series attempting to reconcile it. But this attempt was soon abandoned.
Finally there is the padawan. While both Obi-Wan getting a padawan on knighting makes some sense, Ahsoka being given to Anakin right after he is knighted in spite of disobeying orders does not. It doesn’t make sense later either since the Council seems flat out determined not to trust him due to his relationship with Palpatine.
In addition this version has him not only face Dooku repeatedly, (in spite of the implication in Revenge of the Sith that he has not) but also temptations similar to what is in Revenge of the Sith. He passes them all. While we do see some Dark Side tendencies, it’s very watered down.
In this version where Anakin gets hints of the future, he, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are taken by a mysterious man to a place called Mortis where he rules over some mystical Force realm. The daughter is representative of the light side, the son of the dark. The aging ‘Father’ wants Anakin to take his place as the only one who can keep them in balance. The Son shows Anakin a vision of him falling and destroying what he loves, leading Anakin to (ironically) side with him to prevent it. The Father takes the memory from him. This is otherwise an excellent story, but there is no subtly here as compared to the Nelvaan one which is vague enough he knows it means something and can ponder it but not see it coming.
The Clone Wars TV Didn’t have to conflict with the Expanded Universe
The sad thing about The Clone Wars being dragged into the Expanded Universe (or vice versa) is that it didn’t have to happen. It could’ve stood alone, but it also could’ve invented amazing new characters, cultures and planets instead of overwriting the old. Rumor has it Filoni was foiled from altering Durge and instead created Cad Bane. So instead of a ruined Expanded Universe character we got a great new one. Instead of ruining a different Jedi, they created Pong Krell to fall to the Dark Side. This was an excellent character.
There were also many relatively unexplored characters. While the other media did explore Anakin and Obi-Wan’s adventures, they weren’t the sole focus, leaving room for more. And it’s also worth noting that after Disney’s reboot, its the only thing created before hand they brought into their canon. Even on Wookiepedia it has a straight ‘canon’ notation, not “legends’ which is where they mass dumped the expanded universe in with all Infinities content.
Rumor has it Dave Filoni wanted to alter Durge but wasn’t allowed. Cad Bane is the result. An all new awesome character instead of a mutated version of an expanded universe one. A Duros bearing a wild west gunfighter look he is dangerous even to a Jedi and has taken steps to protect against some of their attacks.
Pong Krell was a Besalisk Jedi Knight who turned to the Dark Side during the Clone Wars, and arranged for his two divisions of Clone Troopers into a fight with each other. Through the literal fog of battle, each thought the other was buying Separatists.
You can take a look at the original Clone Wars Multimedia project timeline here.
George Lucas’s Input
While some insist George Lucas was “more involved” in The Clone Wars TV show this is also untrue. His name is only listed as Executive Producer, not writer in the credits. Dave Filoni is out there repeatedly claiming it and I don’t doubt he had input for some episodes. But he hired continuity editors to deal with that aspect . Given the evidence that Hidalgo and others were pushing for a reboot, it seems possible they wouldn’t have told him if it did, or that it was so extreme it couldn’t be adapted.
There are supports you can remove renovating a house (or an expanded universe) that deal with mere decoration, making a room smaller. But others are support beams. Remove those and it crumbles. . It’s true Lucas could override the expanded universe. But there is no way to know if he intentionally did so.
Filoni has admitted ignoring George Lucas’s directives (Lucas told him to kill off Ahsoka) and trying to claim an expanded universe creation was his to start with (I believe that was Darth Maul and the fancy mechanical legs, which came of Tales and Visionary stories). As Filoni has proved an unreliable witness, only Lucas’s word will be trustworthy. And he rarely gives interviews. This article suggests Lucas trusted Filoni to maintain the continuity, and was only involved in giving out ideas.
We’d have big milestone meetings with Dave, myself, him and whoever the artist was for whatever we were working on, and he’d give us notes and thoughts…he trusted Dave in terms of knowing the characters, being true to the universe, and taking care of continuity issues with vehicles and planets and that sort of thing. He didn’t really need to get involved from that point of view.”Catherine Winder, producer, The Clone Wars, IS ‘STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS’ THE RETURN OF GEORGE LUCAS THE AUTEUR? by Larry Carroll, MTV.com
It’s also worth noting that Lucasfilm had a continuity editor long before the famous (or infamous) Leeland Chee, the Holocron Keeper. Chee was hired to put it in a database. But even before that it was maintained, beginning in a humble notebook. Lucas didn’t need to be aware of all of it. He hired someone else to do it for that purpose.
As for the claim that George Lucas only had input on The Clone Wars TV show, not the Expanded Universe, this is proved wrong by various interviews with authors and game developers. You can see some of the interview quotes here and here.