The Clone Wars Marathon: Road to Catalyst

In the new novel Catalyst by James Luceno the first part of the story takes place during the Clone War and beyond. What this opens up is references to not only the movies, but the TV show The Clone Wars. Having binge-watched the TV show numerous times, I concocted a list of essential story arcs that make a wonderful companion piece to the novel!

At 27 episodes long this is a good chunk of storytelling… and it is only a slice of The Clone Wars storytelling pie! So sit back and grab some Onderon popcorn and Lando’s favorite hot chocolate, as we ride this marathon train to Catalyst!

Return to Geonosis

Episodes Include: Senate Spy (S2E4), Landing at Point Rain (S2E5), Weapons Factory (S2E6), Legacy of Terror (S2E7), Brain Invaders (S2E8)

Geonosis is front and center in this story arc. Whispers of Poggle the Lesser returning to his homeworld to create a secret droid factory. War flies free as the Jedi and Republic invade to retake the planet. However, there are secrets left to unravel as it slithers into the minds of the oppressors. How far will Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker go to save his comrades? How this arc relates to Catalyst would be giving away spoilers to the novel, but know this– Poggle’s story is not over yet…

The State of Coruscant

Episodes Include: Heroes on Both Sides (S3E10), Pursuit of Peace (S3E11), Senate Murders (S2E15)

How the war changed the landscape on Coruscant is the focus in this story arc. Neither side of the conflict is all truly evil. However, even the best of intentions can lead to lethal results. Even the most secure planet in the Republic is in danger! How this arc applies to Catalyst is seeing the war through the lens of the citizens of Coruscant. The tension. The self doubt. Whispers and murmurs…

Inside a Jedi Prison

Episodes Include: The Citadel (S3E18), Counter-Attack (S3E19), Citadel Rescue (S3E20)

It is no secret that Tarkin is in The Clone Wars TV show. This story arc centers around his introduction to the series and his dedication to the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. This story does not directly factor into Catalyst; however, it is mentioned. In addition, this arc starts to show the clashing between the Republic and Jedi Order. Who is really in charge?

The Stain on Umbara

Episodes Include: Darkness on Umbara (S4E7), The General (S4E8), Plan of Dissent (S4E9), Carnage of Krell (S4E10)

The brightest light casts the darkest shadow. If the movies show the hopeful side of war, then this arc buries it deep in desolation. How this story arc fits into Catalyst is showing the consequences of manipulation and self-interest. The Republic is invading Umbara, but who are they really fighting? Who is leading the Clones to victory or defeat? What happens, when communication is lost on the battlefield? This arc echoes the themes that appear in the novel.

Liberation of Onderon

Episodes Include: A War on Two Fronts (S5E2), Front Runners (S5E3), The Soft War (S5E4), Tipping Points (S5E5)

This story plays an important role in not only Catalyst but the movies themselves! Civil war on the planet of Onderon erupted as the Confederacy of Independent Systems is appointed leadership. A move that struck a chord, with the Jedi Order. However, the Republic cannot interfere. We are shown the blurred lines the Jedi cross in their attempt at defending the peace. By defending freedom! Yet, how can you instill freedom by teaching others how to fight back, with violence? This story introduced the Freedom Fighter Saw Gerrera, who becomes an important character in Rogue One.

Lightsaber Rituals

Episodes Include: The Gathering (S5E6), A Test of Strength (S5E7), Bound for Rescue (S5E8), A Necessary Bond (S5E9)

Life is not always how we imagine it to be. Our expectations can dictate our reality. No one person sees the world the same. As is this story arc that expands our understanding in obtaining a kyber crystal to be used in lightsabers. How the Jedi understand the crystals, and how they teach their younglings play an important role in Catalyst. Not everyone views the crystals the same in the novel…

Deception Crystallized on Utapau

Episodes Include: A Death on Utapau, In Search of the Crystal, Crystal Crisis, The Big Bang (Found here on Star Wars main site.)

These episodes may be unfinished, but play a pivotal role in Catalyst. The Separatists have obtained a gigantic kyber crystal! To what end do they intend to use it? This arc shows how the Jedi deal, with the crystal, and how disastrous a tool it can be. In Catalyst, this story arc comes into play. Though, it may not be what you expect…

Before You Go

These story arcs from The Clone Wars are only part of the story. Were there any story arcs that I missed? Let me know in the comments section! I hope that this guide will be helpful filling in the blanks if you missed or needed refreshing on these moments in the overall story. As always, may the Force be with you!