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'The Clone Wars' kept the 'Stars Wars' flame alive; now it's streaming toward its finale

(CNN)Before "The Mandalorian," there was "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," the animated series that carried the banner on television, keeping the characters alive and setting the qualitative standard for the franchise.Now after an extended hiatus that followed Lucasfilm's acquisition by Disney, the series returns for what's being billed as its seventh and final season, adding further ammunition to a new quadrant of the studio's universe on the streaming service Disney+.The "Clone Wars" episodes again occupy the timeline between "Star Wars" prequels "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith," but will inch closer to the latter based on previews of the season. Once again, part of the focus is on more peripheral characters -- including the C ...