How The Clone Wars Changed My Life

The Clone Wars is coming back tomorrow. I still can't believe that it's actually happening! Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a huge part of my life when it was airing on Cartoon Network from 2008 to 2013. The Lost Missions were released on Netflix in 2016 and I really thought that would be our final goodbye to this show that meant so much to me. When it was announced at San Diego Comic Con in 2018 that the show was returning for one final season on Disney+, my heart almost exploded from pure joy. I burst into tears immediately and shouted because I just couldn't contain my happiness. Over the years, I've often thought about how different my life would be if The Clone Wars never existed or if I had never discovered the show. It sounds silly to say, but The Clone Wars truly changed my life. This is my story and letter of gratitude to anyone who has ever worked on the show, contributed to this legacy, or fought for it to come back for a seventh season. 

2007 Clone Wars crew shirt gifted to me by animator Jahkeeli.

When I first discovered The Clone Wars, it must have been right at the end of the first season or the beginning of the second season. I can't remember the exact date, but I think it was around 2010. I grew up in a household that always had the Star Wars movies playing on our TV. My older brother was the token Star Wars fanatic of our family and he watched The Clone Wars each week when it premiered. I joined him for a few episodes, but didn't fall in love with the show until one day he called me in the living room and said, "Savanna! Come here! There's a new character in the show that I think you will really like." That character was Cad Bane. He's a Western inspired gun-slinging space cowboy and I fell in love immediately with his smug behavior. Ever since then, I sat down with Chase each week and we watched the new episode together. I was hooked.

Many of my art projects in college were inspired by my favorite characters in The Clone Wars.

I started blogging about the show in 2011
. From sharing my weekly episode reviews to interviewing cast members, I was sharing anything and everything I could about The Clone Wars. During this time I was also camping out every weekend of Disney's Star Wars Weekends event in the summer so that I could meet my favorite voice actors and actresses from the show. I met Ashley Eckstein, the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, in 2010 and instantly looked up to her as a role model. I attended my very first Star Wars Celebration in 2012 where I got to meet other fans of The Clone Wars that I had met online. It was the most amazing experience!

My very first time meeting Ashley Eckstein at Star Wars Weekends.
My mom and I with the voice of the clone troopers in The Clone Wars, Dee Bradley Baker.

Fast forward to 2017. The Clone Wars had come and gone. I had met so many amazing people because of this show and really found my friends through this animated TV show. I formed friendships with some of the cast and crew members, kept up with their lives, and felt like a part of my life was over when the show was cancelled. I graduated from college in the spring and found a job posting online from Her Universe, the fashion company that Ashley Eckstein started in 2010. I applied, went through a few months of interviews, and ultimately got the job. Here I was working for a company that blossomed from The Clone Wars. Ashley felt called to start this brand because there was a gap in the market for Star Wars clothing that was made specifically for women. She couldn't find anything to wear after she became a member of The Clone Wars cast, so she stepped up to the plate and filled that hole in the market while also creating an incredible community of Star Wars fangirls.

My first day of work at Her Universe with Ashley in her amazing office.

I worked for Her Universe for about a year and eventually moved on to close the gap of a long distance relationship and get married. My husband Shaun and I first met because of The Clone Wars back in 2012 at Celebration through a group of mutual friends. We were all cosplaying as our favorite characters from the 104th Wolfpack Battalion, a specific group of clone troopers from the show. Since I was not tall enough to fit in clone armor, they made me an honorary padawan so that I could still cosplay with the group. It was a great weekend and for several years after that event, Shaun would stay in touch and join us for special events at Disney or conventions in Florida any time he could take a vacation from his job in Seattle. Our friendship grew because of our love for The Clone Wars. To this day, our house is covered in collectibles from The Clone Wars and we couldn't be more excited to watch the new season together as husband and wife (along with our dog Rex, named after Captain Rex from the show)!

Our Wolfpack cosplay group! Shaun is the first trooper on the left with my brother next to him as a Jedi.

Our wedding in 2018.
It's wild to me that nine years after I created my first blog that was mostly centered around The Clone Wars, I'm still here talking about it on a blog. The characters that were introduced in this show have inspired me for a decade of my life now and their stories have helped me through some of the more difficult times in my life.

If you ever had a hand in making this show, I just wanted to say thank you. Whether you were a line producer, a script writer, a voice actor, an audio engineer or anything in between, thank you so much. Without the work you did to make this show a reality, I'm really not sure what my life would be like right now. My friendships, my marriage, and my career have all been shaped by this animated television show and I truly couldn't be more grateful.

Supervising director of The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni. Probably one of the most humble people I've ever met.

Our dog Rex with his namesake, Captain Rex.

This was taken on the day that Lucasfilm announced the show would be returning for one final season. Shaun custom painted those Ahsoka clone figures!

Comments

  1. My house loves the Clone Wars, too. In some respects, it's my favorite part of the Star Wars universe. I am glad you got so much out of the series (what riches! A husband, a cool dog, and the inspiration for all kinds of cool art).

    I'm mildly jealous of your time with Ashley. She's an amazing talent and brilliant entrepreneur.

    Please keep on sharing your love of things Star Wars. I love your attitude and what you bring.

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