Although the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films might not go down as George Lucas's best films, they did spawn a collection of expanded universe material that went on to impress fans. Two of the most important were Star Wars: Clone Wars and the later CGI animated series The Clone Wars. These two television shows essentially showed two versions of the Clone Wars, filling in the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Although they were depicting more or less the same events, they differed wildly from each other both in content and tone.
Now, Reddit user onex7805 has suggested that this difference between the two shows could be explained. The Star Wars fan theory argues that the first show is a true telling of the Clone Wars while the later series - if you can wrap your mind around this - is actually propaganda put out by the Republic to make them look better during the conflict. As a Star Wars Reddit theory it has already garnered plenty of attention thanks to its compelling arguments, all of which have been outlined below.
The Original 2003 Series Isn't Considered Canon
Star Wars: Clone Wars was broadcast originally back in 2003. It consisted of two volumes of short animated pieces spread across three seasons that were later adapted into two feature length films. The work of Genndy Tartakovsky, the show won critical acclaim for its telling of the conflict that ravaged the Star Wars universe between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The series is no longer considered official canon to the overall franchise and is now classed as part of the Legends brand, which includes much of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
2008's The Clone Wars Gave Fans Much Wanted Character Details
Following on from the success of Star Wars: Clone Wars, LucasFilm decided to make a longer and more fleshed out television series. It did not involve Genndy Tartakovsky in any way, although some of his ideas were used and artists referenced the appearance of characters from the first show. In total, there were 121 episodes produced, each 22 minutes long, across a total of six seasons. The Clone Wars was not as well received critically as its predecessor but was immensely popular with fans thanks to the fact that it went into greater detail about the Clone Wars conflict and how the major characters were involved.
The First Show Was Effectively Used As An Extended Pilot Series
As George Lucas had not adapted any of his Star Wars material into a television series for almost a decade, he used the original Star Wars: Clone Wars as a way to test the water. Using it as an extended pilot would allow LucasFilm and broadcasters to see if there was sufficient interest from fans in an in-depth telling of a story that was largely left out of the main films. After seeing the success that it had it became clear that there was an appetite for a longer more complete television series.
Of The Two Shows, Star Wars: Clone Wars Was Much Grittier
Although both shows are essentially telling the same story, they do it in two very different ways. Star Wars: Clone Wars concentrated more on getting into the gritty detail of the actual battles. It had a much darker tone, able to delve into the dire consequences of the war and be more dramatic in how it portrayed characters such as General Grievous as violent and sadistic. This is in stark contrast to the more lighthearted approach of The Clone Wars. The later series was more focused on character developing and telling arcing stories rather than on demonstrating the sheer destruction of war.