The latest episode in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has already been coined by many fans as the best episode in the series. The Phantom Apprentice saw Ahsoka Tano and Darth Maul finally meet, and a confrontation at the end of the episode allowed the fallen Sith Lord the opportunity to propose an alliance with the fallen Jedi padawan. Although Ahsoka initially accepted Maul's offer, his revelation that he orchestrated the Siege of Mandalore to lure and kill Anakin set off the Chosen One's former student, and the tools for greater powers engaged in one of the best duels in the show's history. It was revealed by Dave Filoni at Star Wars Celebration Chicago that the original Maul himself, Ray Park, was recruited to perform motion capture for the fight, and we now have the chance to see the work that was put into bringing this fight to life.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Filoni wasn't kidding when he said he wanted this fight to be epic. There have been a number of great lightsaber battles in The Clone Wars over the years, but the motion capture work done for this fight adds an element of realness that we had never seen in animation before. Ray Park puts so much time and dedication into refining his craft, even going into the little details to amend Maul's fighting style to account for his age and mechanical legs. He still brings the speed and athleticism that we saw in The Phantom Menace and, as Sam Witwer noted, it really does look and feel like Maul in this fight.
Lauren Mary Kim did excellent work performing Ahsoka's end of the fight, seamlessly taking her dual wielding fighting style and integrating it into something real. Filoni truly is pulling out all the stops for this arc, going the extra mile to give Star Wars a cinematic end to The Clone Wars.