Spoiler Warning: This article contains plots details about Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars titled “Victory and Death” aired on Disney+ early today and finally brought the animated series that began in 2008 to a close. The series, which was created by George Lucas and helmed by producer, writer, and director Dave Filoni, has long been praised for its boldness in exploring complex themes and for enhancing the Prequel Trilogy.
In the years following Filoni's work alongside Lucas on The Clone Wars, Filoni has worked on Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Star Wars Resistance, and now The Mandalorian. Since The Clone Wars was revived on Disney+ after its premature cancellation in 2013, Filoni has been committed to giving the show a proper ending. Instead, Filoni and his team have exceeded expectations and produced some of the best Clone Wars episodes of the entire series.
In an interview with ET’s Ash Crossan, Dave Filoni shared his thoughts on ending The Clone Wars, the motion capture lightsaber duel between Ahsoka and Maul, the possibility of seeing Ahsoka's character in a new medium, and whether or not he will direct a live action film in the future.
When asked about the challenges accompanying concluding the series which ultimately had to end with Revenge of the Sith, Filoni shared the following:
"When I went to do the finale -- and I always wanted it to be right alongside Revenge of the Sith -- I had to go back and remind myself of all these moments and make sure that we're not violating anything, that we're not changing the outcome of anything, that things are happening in the right sequential order…
People don't know but some of the original versions that we batted around with this story didn't always have it coinciding with Revenge of the Sith. That's just story evolution. There are many things that happen along the way."
Filoni was also asked about the now-famous duel between Maul and Ahsoka which was performed via motion capture with Ray Park, the actor who played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
"...I wanted to find a way to make this last one more special than it had been. Just watching Ray perform, there's a speed there and an intuitiveness that is hard to replicate. So we all went down to the mo-cap stage at Lucasfilm and Ray came in and Lauren [Mary Kim] came in and delivered a fantastic performance.
Ray was so fast at certain spins and stuff that it would break the tracking. It just couldn't track him. The lightsaber would fly out of his hand, virtually, because it couldn't keep up with him. It was a really fun time...I had the floor taped off with all those girders that they were balanced on and I said, 'You can only step on these lines,' and that just gave this really precarious sensibility. But once you have that virtually, [director Nate Villanueva and I] could take the camera and go under the virtual floor and do all these up angles and get shots that would have been very hard for us to get otherwise. It was just an awesome experience, and I'm glad that people seem to have really enjoyed it."
Regarding the appearance of Darth Vader in the final scene of the show, Filoni said,
"That's an idea that I've had for a very long time. As I went over different ways to end the show, that was always one of the options I had…
I wanted to draw a full arc for him where if you've never seen Star Wars, you hopefully will be able to understand that the young man that Ahsoka is very good friends with, that's like a brother to her in the beginning, that the villain Maul says, "Hey, he's going to turn out to be this bad guy," in the end you see that, well, that was actually unfortunately true."
Filoni also shed a little light on the meaning behind Ahsoka's lightsabers.
"I mean, I know why I did that and what it means, but I don't like to explain too much. I love for the viewers to watch stuff and come up with their own theories -- and they frankly come up with better things that I intended. But it's a way to have his character expressed without violating anything that happened in the films. It doesn't change anything about Vader. But it helps bridge into the work we did in Rebels, and you can see that whole arc."
When asked whether he would like to see Ahsoka in a live-action project, Filoni, true to form, didn’t confirm any of the rumors.
"A character like that, they can live in any medium. It's just about telling stories. So if there's a good story and a good reason, then she could take shape or take form in any medium."
FIloni also shared how The Mandalorian's second season was spared from COVID-19 delays.
"I will say that we are working away. We're pretty fortunate. We're in a really good position to do the work we're doing, so Jon [Favreau] and I are just all in on it at this point."
Finally, Crossan asked a question most Star Wars fans have been wondering for awhile: Will Filoni direct a live action movie? He said,
"I don't like getting involved in something until I feel like I can really command the medium. Like I said, there's a lot of people involved that are really depending on you for your answers and your knowledge and it's such a different thing. It's such a large scale. I think I've been prepared well by George [Lucas], by Kathy [Kennedy], by Jon [Favreau]…
First I look at, what stories do I have to tell? Then I ask, well, what medium? Is this an animated thing? Is this a live-action thing? How much of this story do I think is going to translate and where is it going to be best? I gotta tell you, I personally loved those four Clone Wars episodes at the end. I think they're some of the best stuff I've ever been a part of, and it doesn't matter to me that they're live action or not. To me, they're just pure Star Wars."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Hearing Filoni's thoughts on different elements of the series' final episodes shows how much he cares about the story, its characters, and it complimenting the Prequel Trilogy and Star Wars Rebels. His decision to use motion capture in the Maul and Ahsoka duel and how he went shooting it also showed that he's pushing the boundaries of animation while also crossing over into other mediums. However, it's refreshing to hear that he's doing so for the sake of the story, not just because the technology is there.
Lastly, it's telling that Filoni didn't deny the possibility of directing a live action movie and stated that he's been well prepared by those he's worked with. This could mean Star Wars fans will see Filoni helming a live-action project beyond The Mandalorian in the near future.