Star Wars: The Clone Wars has returned from one of cartoon history’s strangest hiatuses to finish out the story that Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm started back in 2008. Now, in Season 7, the journey of Rex, Ahsoka Tano, and more iconic characters will come to a close, resolving at least their parts to play in the acclaimed animated series. But with more than five years between seasons, things will certainly look and feel a bit different in Season 7, even though it features familiar faces that we’ve been waiting to reunite with for the better part of a decade.
In a chat with io9, Filoni talked about the return of The Clone Wars and his plans for the final season. He addressed the new, updated visuals for Season 7, how he decided which story arcs to resolve in the final 12 episodes, and just which characters he felt deserved a fitting resolution. We speculated just how many of the “new” episodes would actually be new and how many would be finished versions of previously released unfinished eps; luckily Filoni clarified that picture as well.
Fans of the original series, especially those who watched the unfinished episodes, will notice quite the improvement in the visuals and animation of the new season. Filoni spoke about that and more:
“[H]ow do we make the show better … [n]ot just in terms of surprises in the story itself, but in terms of the way the show looks, the way the show moves, the design of the characters, the visual effects rendered in the episode, everything has to be looked at and [asked] ‘Can we make it better?’ And what does it mean if we make it better as far as how it fits with the rest of the show?”
In between the sixth and seventh seasons of Clone Wars, Filoni kept himself busy with little projects like Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, and The Mandalorian. In no surprise, all of that experience helped to shape Filoni’s editorial eye, but it may surprise you to learn just which series had the biggest effect on his work:
“[A]s far as editing goes, back into Clone Wars…I feel that the cut of the episodes is much sharper. The pace is better. Mandalorian definitely taught me a lot about the filmmaking process that I’ve taken back to Clone Wars now.”
Filoni also clarified the three major arcs in this final season, which have been the subject of much speculation: We’ve got “The Bad Batch” up first, which is the arc we’re currently in. Next is the highly anticipated arc that centers on Ahsoka Tano and reveals what happened between leaving the Jedi Order and, eventually, popping up on Star Wars Rebels. Then, in closing, we’ll see the “Siege of Mandalore”, which likely ties into The Mandalorian and its associated lore. Here’s how Filoni wrangled all of that:
“I really took [those three stories] apart and looked at it as, ‘This is the end of the show now,’ and, ‘How do all 12 of these episodes tell that story of the end of The Clone Wars in a significant and satisfying way?’ … Looking at Clone Wars, it’s pretty clear to me to say that Rex and Ahsoka are kind of the backbone of it. Yes, there are characters like [Asajj] Ventress that, in the end, play a significant role and have an arc. But I wouldn’t say that this series was fundamentally about her. She’s one of the storylines. But in the stories that we were able to choose, I knew Ahsoka needed to be a significant part of that story and so did Captain Rex. So the arcs really work out to be a portion about Rex, a portion about Ahsoka and a portion that brings them together. And that kind of flows in a nice way.“