When ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Faced Censorship

“This Star Wars: The Clone Wars Scene Too Graphic for Cartoon Network”

After Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith hit theaters in 2005, many fans thought the saga had come to a close. However, Dave Filoni’s animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars not only brought the galaxy far, far away back to life but also developed more mature themes that resonated with older fans. Surprisingly, the show managed to air on Cartoon Network despite frequently featuring adult content. Yet, in the third season premiere, there was one moment that proved too intense for the censors.

The third season of The Clone Wars starts with a two-part storyline exploring the backstory of clone troopers Echo and Fives. In “ARC Troopers,” Asajj Ventress, a dark side Force user, faces off against clone soldiers. Ventress cornered a trooper named Colt, who was guarding precious DNA samples on the planet Kamino. These samples contained the genetic information of Jango Fett, essential for creating clones. Ventress brutally impales Colt and kisses him before he falls to the floor. This level of violence was unusual for a show on Cartoon Network, known for more kid-friendly programming.

Cartoon Network broadcast a version of the episode that removed the kiss, likely to meet the channel’s content standards. Subsequent releases of the episode on various platforms, such as DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, and Disney+, all included the uncut scene. The version available for rental on iTunes followed the Cartoon Network broadcast version, omitting the kiss. While it’s not explicitly stated, it’s likely that Ventress’ seductive and violent actions pushed the boundaries of Cartoon Network’s “TV-PG” rating.

This moment was significant because it portrayed Ventress as completely immersed in the dark side of the Force, setting up her later betrayal by Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. Despite the initial intent for The Clone Wars to be family-friendly, the series evolved to tackle mature themes and became a beloved part of the Star Wars franchise.

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