“Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the beloved animated series, is not only saved — it’s alive and well. In a panel today at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, Dave Filoni, supervising director on the series, actors Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), Dee Bradley Baker (Rex and all the clone troopers), Sam Witwer (Darth Maul), and more of the cast discussed the return of the show — and offered a glimpse of what’s to come when it debuts on Disney+. Here are 9 things we learned, along with many of the images shown, including concept sketches from the original production of the show, new character designs, and stills from upcoming episodes.
1. Ahsoka and Darth Maul will have an “epic” lightsaber duel — and the Sith Lord actor himself, Ray Park, helped bring it to life. As much as the Obi-Wan versus Maul fight in Star Wars Rebels was brief, Dave Filoni was determined to make Ahsoka’s battle with the Sith Lord a big one. “This one had to be among the best [duels], if not the best, we ever did,” Filoni said. To achieve this, he went to someone who’s actually been in a lightsaber duel. Filoni called Park, and the actor, who played Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Solo, performed motion-capture for the sequence. “When you see Maul fighting, it’s going to really be Maul fighting,” Filoni said. […]
4. Completing “The Siege of Mandalore” was special for Filoni. Many of the story elements stem from ideas hatched by Filoni and George Lucas. “It’s been very important for me to keep the DNA of what we were doing alive in this whole thing, that it feels authentic to Clone Wars.” Filoni noted that the arc was a challenge, as the scale is massive, but he’s happy with what they’ve achieved. “It’s something fulfilled that I never got to do, and I feel really good about this one in particular.”
5. Maul is getting a makeover. The villain’s new look takes some visual cues from his appearance in Solo. […]
8. The influence of George Lucas is still felt. Filoni mentioned Lucas throughout the panel, crediting him as a great mentor and giving him the ultimate credit for why The Clone Wars resonates. “In reality, the reason why it works is that I was taught by the master,” he said. “That you guys like any of this at all, it just shows you how George really knew what he was doing, and laid a foundation that was so alive.” […]