Animation chat rooms are buzzing with the news that Cartoon Network has partnered with Lucasfilm Ltd. to create STAR WARS: CLONE WARS, an interstitial series of 20 animated shorts that will begin airing this fall and continue into 2004. This was part of an overall announcement Cartoon Network made when it unveiled its new 2003 programming slate February 20, 2003.STAR WARS: CLONE WARS continues the saga where the theatrical feature STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES left off as an epic civil war pits the old Republic against the separatist movement led by the Dark Side. The two- to three-minute episodic shorts will introduce new characters in continuing the Jedi saga, and will be produced by SAMURAI JACK creator Genndy Tartakovsky at Cartoon Network Studio. "Genndy Tartakovsky and the team at Cartoon Network are tops in their field," said Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing. "Their work on SAMURAI JACK shows that they can tell an epic story in a unique way, lavishing equal attention on dramatic battle scenes as well as the dramatic development of the characters." Cartoon Networks creative team will work hand-in-hand with Lucasfilm in the venture.