These are the absolute essential episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to watch before Season 7 arrives

Ahsoka and Captain Rex lead troops in a battle.
Ahsoka and Captain Rex lead troops in a battle. (Image credit: Disney)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (available on Disney+) is one of the longest-running and critically successful Star Wars series ever made, and much to the delight of fans, it's returning for a seventh and final season in February. However, a lot of folks either haven't seen the show or don't remember what happens in it that well. If that's you, don't worry, for we have compiled a definitive list of every essential episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that fans should watch before Season 7 arrives.

S3E1: Clone Cadets

Clone Cadets.

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

We're kicking things off with the first episode of Season 3, which is a prequel episode that occurs before the rest of the show chronologically. It follows "Domino Squad," a group of clone cadets in training, and the episode is a great introduction to the clone troopers in general. The troopers the story focuses on are important later in the show, so keep them in mind.

S1E5: Rookies

This installment picks up where the first episode left off, further developing Domino Squad and introducing one of the new battle droids that will appear throughout the show.

S1E9: Cloak of Darkness

This episode serves as an excellent introduction to Asajj Ventress, an agent of Count Dooku that will grow into a nuanced character down the line. It's also a great introduction to Ahsoka Tano (Anakin's Padawan learner) if you chose to not watch the original Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie (we don't blame you, it isn't good).

S1E10: Lair of Grievous

This is an intriguing episode that fleshes out General Grievous, one of the show's recurring villains.

S1E11-12: Dooku Captured and The Gungan General

This wacky arc features Count Dooku, Anakin, and Obi-Wan all being captured by a pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. As Jar-Jar Binks attempts to rescue the Jedi, chaos ensues. This arc is worth watching since it provides some genuinely funny moments, and also because Hondo returns later down the line.

S1E19-21: Storm over Ryloth, Innocents of Ryloth, and Liberty on Ryloth

Innocents of Ryloth.

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

This three-episode arc further develops the clone troopers while also tackling the themes of freedom and liberty. It's a great story arc that highlights what the Republic is fighting for in the Clone Wars.

S2E1-3: Holocron Heist, Cargo of Doom, and Children of the Force

This arc is primarily centered around the bounty hunter Cad Bane. Aside from offering an eye-opening look at some of the schemes of Darth Sidious, this arc also helps the audience get to know Ahsoka better.

S2E5-6: Landing at Point Rain and Weapons Factory

This two-episode arc takes place on Geonosis, as the Republic is forced to invade it again after the Separatists took it back from them following the events of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Landing at Point Rain is one of the most action-packed episodes in the whole show, and Weapons Factory introduces Barriss Offee, a Jedi Padawan that develops a friendship with Ahsoka and becomes significantly more important later in the series.

S2E12-14: The Mandalore Plot, Voyage of Temptation, and Duchess of Mandalore

This story arc introduces Mandalore and the different Mandalorian political factions to fans. This arc is important since the show will return to Mandalore later, and fans of The Mandalorian in particular should definitely check these episodes out.

S2E20-22: Death Trap, R2 Come Home, and Lethal Trackdown

Lethal Trackdown

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

This three-parter focuses on Boba Fett and how he worked with bounty hunters to try and get revenge on Mace Windu for killing his father. It's a good story to watch to understand where Boba is during the Clone Wars after Attack of the Clones, and he'll pop up later down the line, too.

S3E2: ARC Troopers

This episode returns us to the men of Domino Squad as they participate in defending against a Separatist invasion of Kamino, led by both Asajj Ventress and General Grievous.

S3E10-11: Heroes on Both Sides and Pursuit of Peace

This pair of episodes are Padme-focused and delves into the more political side of the Clone Wars. Sickened by the prolonged fighting between the Separatists and Republic, she attempts to find a way to broker peace between the two groups.

S3E12-14: Nightsisters, Monster, and Witches of the Mist

This arc primarily focuses on further developing Asajj Ventress' character beyond just being one of Count Dooku's pawns. It also introduces a special Dathomirian Nightbrother that will return soon.

S3E18-20: The Citadel, Counter Attack, and Citadel Rescue

This three-parter sees members of Domino Squad team up with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and more to pull off a high-stakes rescue at a Separatist prison. Tarkin, a famous character from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, also meets Anakin here for the first time.

S4E7-10: Darkness on Umbara, The General, Plan of Dissent, and Carnage of Krell

Carnage of Krell

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

This four-part story encompasses the Republic's invasion of Umbara. It's one of the darkest tales in the series, but raises important points about the value of a soldier's life. It also happens to have some of the best animation in the whole show, making this arc an absolute must-watch.

S4E14: A Friend In Need

This installment has Ahsoka encounter the Mandalorian Death Watch organization, further developing the Mandalore plot and introducing the audience to Bo-Katan Kyrze, an important Mandalorian that returns later in the show, as well as in Star Wars: Rebels.

S4E19-20: Massacre and Bounty

This pair of episodes returns Asajj Ventress to the spotlight, continuing the character development begun in her last arc and thus, seeing her search for a new identity.

S4E21-22: Brothers and Revenge

Darth Maul returns in these episodes, and together with his powerful brother, he tries to exact revenge on Obi-Wan. However, things don't go as planned.

S5E2-5: A War on Two Fronts, Front Runners, The Soft War, and Tipping Points

A War on Two Fronts

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

Saw Gerrera, a notable character from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order gets an origin story here. He, alongside his sister Steela Gerrera and their comrades, rebel against the droid armies occupying their homeworld of Onderon.

S5E1 and 14-16: Revival, Eminence, Shades of Reason, and The Lawless

After retreating and gathering their strength, Darth Maul and his brother make their move to capitalize on the fractured state of Mandalore and attempt to take it for their own. This arc is extremely important to see, as the new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is confirmed to be following up on it.

S5E17-20: Sabotage, The Jedi Who Knew Too Much, To Catch a Jedi, and The Wrong Jedi

This emotional four-parter sees the Jedi Order make a grave mistake regarding judgement of Ahsoka, leading to some of the show's saddest moments.

S6E1-4: The Unknown, The Conspiracy, Fugitive, and Orders

The Unknown

Source: Disney (Image credit: Source: Disney)

This intense story arc follows Domino Squad member Fives as he attempts to uncover the reason behind why his comrade, Tup, killed a Jedi in the middle of combat. This arc does a good job of explaining how Order 66 eventually came to be.

S6E10: The Lost One

This solo episode takes a deeper look at how the clone army was created before the war, providing closure to the mystery introduced in Attack of the Clones.

S6E11-13: Voices, Destiny, and Sacrifice

The final arc on our list features Yoda going on a personal adventure to investigate dark visions he sees in the Force, hoping to get answers to his many questions.

Your thoughts

What do you think of our list of essential Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes? Are there any that you think we missed? Which episode is your favorite? Let us know.

The seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is slated to kick off on February 17 on Disney+.

Brendan Lowry