February 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Netflix to show final season of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'

This image provided by Netflix shows Yoda in a scene from an episode of the sixth season of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.' (Netflix)

San Francisco — Netflix’s Internet video service is coming to the rescue of “Star Wars” fans left in limbo by the abrupt cancellation of “The Clone Wars,” an animated television series that fills in the gap between the movies “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.”

The sixth and final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” will be shown exclusively to Netflix subscribers in the U.S. and Canada beginning March 7 as part of a licensing deal announced Thursday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company has already pledged to spend about $3 billion this year on licensing video as it tries to expand its audience of 48 million worldwide subscribers.

A significant chunk of that money is being earmarked for video that can only be seen on Netflix. One of the company’s most popular exclusives, the Emmy-award winning political drama “House of Cards,” returns for its second season on Friday.

The resurrection of “The Clone Wars” will finish the story that was still unresolved when Lucasfilm ended production of the series last spring. The series aired on Time Warner Inc.’s Cartoon Network from 2008 to March 2013.

Besides showing all 13 episodes of the sixth season, Netflix’s video-streaming service gained the exclusive rights to the director’s cut of previous seasons in “The Clone Wars.”

Walt Disney Co. bought the “Star Wars” franchise as part of its 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm.

Netflix Inc. has been cultivating closer ties with Disney while increasing its spending on licensing rights as part of its efforts to attract more subscribers to its $8 monthly service, which delivers video to Internet-connected TVs and other devices. Disney previously struck an agreement with Netflix that allows the Internet video service to show the next wave of “Star Wars” movies shortly after they leave the theaters. That deal begins in 2016; “Star Wars: Episode VII” will be in theaters December 18, 2015.

Netflix is emerging as a popular alternative for TV series canceled by broadcast and cable networks. The company revived the critically acclaimed comedy “Arrested Development” last year and plans to bring back the mystery “The Killing.”

The Detroit News contributed.