After that amazing finale to the second season of “Star Wars Rebels,” fans are going to have some questions! Well thankfully Dave Filoni was able to shed some light on some of the big events that took place in “Twilight of the Apprentice,” in an interview he did with IGN from the season finale premiere this past Monday.
You can read some of what Dave Filoni said about Ahsoka and Vader, Maul, and some very cool new information on a “Clone Wars” story arc that never got finished, in a portion of the interview below.
Spoilers from “Twilight of the Apprentice” below:
IGN: Let’s start with the ending. I’ll just go there… Ahsoka’s totally alive, right?! That’s her walking away in the cave?
Dave Filoni: Is that what you saw? That’s so interesting. That’s so good. You know I think it says a lot about who you are, which is great. You’re an optimist, and I think that that’s strong, I think that that’s strong. [Laughs] It’s an interpretation. I mean, the thing for me in this moment in time with this story – and I was pretty clear about this from the beginning in that Rebels is not Ahsoka Tano’s story, nor is it Darth Vader’s story, and we worked really hard to bring those characters into the story. But ultimately, I have to service Ezra and Kanan, and the crew of the Ghost. So a lot of that episode is portrayed through their eyes, and especially Ezra’s, as he witnesses this kind of titanic thing happening.
It’s just so easy – especially in that situation – it’s so easy to have Ahsoka and Vader take over the show. And I think evidence of that is that even though they don’t encounter each other until act three, you immediately get the dynamic of what’s going on. I would say that – while I’m not a huge fan of being tremendously ambiguous as far as what happened – I would say that this is the one case where I think it’s alright with Ahsoka to leave things a bit open-ended. You wondered what happened to her before, but you knew she walked away. Now she kind of leaves in a state of conflict. I would just say that there are probably – and I’ll give you this as we go back a ways – there are probably more stories to tell with Ahsoka Tano, but I would not believe that that would happen necessarily on Star Wars Rebels. I’ve been wrong in the past, but I think that she has served the part of the story that she needed to for our characters here. Then we’ll have to see. I do like the character a lot, obviously, and I think that she’s developed her own kind of fan base within the Star Wars universe. So, you know, I think there are still more stories to be told. I think there are stories to be told prior to Rebels with her. I think there are a lot of stories that happen right at the end of Clone Wars that we’re unaware of yet.
You know, I think the thing that I’ve learned is that the character has a lot of strength to be on her own, doing things. And perhaps that means she’s still alive. I don’t know. There are clues to the actual answer in what I think throughout, I will say that. And some kids at the [finale] screening were shooting pretty close to the mark, or at least were decoding the [clues] that I have left for them. It’s one of those mysteries then where maybe, beyond hope, maybe there is a future, but we’ll have to wait and see.
IGN: Here’s where I weave back for a second into the “Did she live or not?” arena. We all know Vader can’t be redeemed until Return of the Jedi, so that’s the sadness about this encounter. We know she can’t make him change in this scene. My optimistic interpretation: If he did leave her alive, maybe it’s because there’s that core. Luke said he could feel there was still good in him.
Without giving me that answer, was it interesting wanting to stay true to who Vader is – and here he’s at his worst – while also having those echoes of who he once was? You brought in Matt [Lanter] to do the voice, intermixed with James Earl Jones, which was amazing. Was it about including everything we knew about this character in this encounter?
Dave Filoni: Absolutely. As far as how Vader would treat Ahsoka and react to her, I base that interaction – the attitude, if not the dialogue – on my conversation with George about how that would go. I asked him pretty pointedly, “How would this conversation go? How would he feel about her?” We both agreed that the one thing that Ahsoka can’t represent in any way is any path of redemption for Vader, or the hope that that’s there because Luke is the only one that’s going to be able to make that happen. And that’s the story that we see. It was our belief that we could have this moment, but it’s not even a moment of hesitation for Vader. Because he says then, “You will die,” and he means it. He is going to destroy her, and the reason that is, is that she has knowledge of him as a good person. She represents and is a vessel for everything that he once was, and he finds such pain in that, and hatred, and anger. He doesn’t want to face what he’s become, but he just wants to destroy anything that reminds him of that former self. He doesn’t even talk about Anakin in the movies, at first, and if he is that person. “That name no longer means anything to me.” So we have to establish that Darth Vader and the destroyed character of Anakin. The moment you see it reach out in hope is when he says her name finally, and you hear the voice of Anakin. That’s the only thing, is beyond this horrible person is this trapped person inside that calls to her.
I believe that also in that moment, she realizes that, what can she possibly do for him? Her strength as a character saying, “I will not leave you. Not this time. I’m not going to abandon you, I’m going to see how this plays out, here and now.” Whatever that means, that maybe that show of kindness and strength towards her old friend helps.
Honestly, and you’re the first person I’ve told this to, I have already been looking for ways to – in whatever form – play out what happens once that door closes. I just think it’s too compelling and too interesting, and while it might not be something for Ezra’s story, or Kanan’s, it would be interesting down the line if I got to show everybody what happens once that temple closes. I think what we’ve created is an interesting point in Star Wars history and time, and time will tell if we ever actually get to see that. I do believe that Vader – and why he’s fighting her at the end, which was important – is that he wants to destroy her. So she’s really kind of stuck. And perhaps even in that moment herself thinks, “Well maybe this is the end for me.” We’ll have to wait and see.
IGN: Speaking of history, you mentioned this at the screening, but the fact that Ahsoka and Maul had met before… It’s funny, going into this episode, I was trying to remember. I thought, “Okay, on The Clone Wars, did Anakin and Ahsoka meet Maul?” And I was trying to remember all the times we saw Maul. And, of course, Ahsoka did not meet him on The Clone Wars, but you noted they would have in a storyline you didn’t get to finish, but were referencing here. Is this one of those stories you’d like to tell another time with Ahsoka?
Dave Filoni: That was somewhat of a challenge, but I kind of just put it to my mind as if I was writing this and we had never made Clone Wars. And I was thinking, “Well, I know these characters have met, so they have to act like it.” I laid out for Sam and Ashley how that episode arc actually went. It was easy because we had actually written the episodes, so I know how they go. As you can imagine, Witwer was a rapt audience and just wanted to soak all of that in; all that goodness in. It was important for them because I never know when we’ll actually get to go back and do things. So I want to make sure that points in the timeline that I know happened – even if they haven’t been committed to a TV series, or a film yet, or a comic book, or what have you – that it’s represented so the continuity will all hook up much later. Kiri Hart always knows, and we’ve gone over it and I’m like, “I do believe that these things happened.” So everybody’s like, “Cool,” and we now how to proceed.
They got a bit of the story, it was really an epic confrontation and it is a decent spoiler…
It is the last story arc of the Clone Wars TV series that we were doing, was this story about Ahsoka and how she crosses with Maul. What was significant about that was that it was the story that was really going to draw her possibly back into the Jedi Order, because the motivation around this conflict with Maul was her knowing the personal history between Maul and Obi Wan, who was their dear friend. So she was caught up in that, and basically she says point, “The last time I saw Anakin, he was rushing off to save the Chancellor.” She was actually planning with Obi Wan and Anakin the capture and attack that would get them Maul, because she had figured out where he was towards the end of the Clone War. But before they can go through with this plan together, Obi Wan and at one Anakin get called away to Coruscant to save the Chancellor, which leaves her with Rex – and some other exciting characters – to basically go and deal with Darth Maul, once and for all. That’s kind of a good brief of what that was about.
Some great info as usual from Dave! And I think I can speak for all fans when I say that that story arc from the “Clone Wars” that Dave talked about in the interview, and got hinted at on a few episodes this season, needs to get told in some form really soon, as it sounds awesome!
Be sure to check out the full interview with Dave Filoni over at IGN, where he shares some more great information on what happened with Kanan and Ezra in this episode, the Inquisitors, and even the voice we hear in the Sith temple.