The final episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars is only days away. 12 years of storytelling and character building have been leading up to this point, and the only person with all 12 years of experience with this show is Dave Filoni. Entertainment Weekly sat down with the man himself to reflect on the show and what it has given us over the last 12 years.
You can find the full interview here, but I have picked out some of the better questions to feature below.
EW: There are so many lingering Mandalore questions, from why the Empire targeted Mandalore to why their tribalistic rules changed. To what degree will your bridge the gap with what we know from The Mandalorian?
Dave: Those are really interesting questions, and fascinating and valid. But I don’t know if the job of this story is to bridge that. This story should be about what these characters need and what their wants are. There might be things that shade in certain directions; I’m sure people will see connections that I don’t see. It wasn’t like one of the primary goals. There are touchstones with everything, Jon [Favreau] worked on Clone Wars with me, he was a voice on it, so he’s aware of it. I’ll bring those things up, and we talk all the time. You make what connections you can to make it feel like the big, vast galaxy that we would like it to be. There are little things, but mainly more within Clone Wars itself and probably more likely to reflect on Rebels, because the Rebels time period is closer in proximity to the end of Clone Wars.
EW: It’s been reported that George chimed in on these final episodes, such as the creation of the Bad Batch. What’s something we’ve seen that he had a specific comment about?
Dave: That’s largely been taken out of context in people’s enthusiasm. George and I still talk, and I’ll ask him some things. But he’s just really enjoying watching them. What’s in play are things we had discussed years ago. The Bad Batch were series of stories we had written in story meetings with him, and the Trace and Rafa arc were adapted off of outlines from then. These last four episodes were probably the least developed of what we had done.
There are elements that were always the same. Like the Siege of Mandalore. We knew Ahsoka went there to confront Darth Maul. I even had versions of those stories. Because The Clone Wars process got stopped, I didn’t think we ever would finish it, but because we finished it, when you make a story real and watch it, there’s still a lot of notes and revisions that need to go on, and dialogue changes and scene changes and a lot of work. He hadn’t really seen anything until you’re releasing it here. I respect him so much, and having worked with him, I just always want make sure I’m getting it right. So I check in with him time to time. If I’ve had success, it’s really because he was teaching us and took the time to teach us. He was teaching what he thought made this work and what didn’t. One little mistake can ruin a lot of things. So hopefully I got it more right than not.
EW: We’re now at a point where we’re so close to the ending of Revenge of the Sith, and The Clone Wars has deftly avoided showing scenes from the prequels. I’m wondering how you avoid that in these final episodes while making your show still feel complete when it comes to honoring its key characters.
Dave: I have to be aware of what’s happening in time and space around the story I’m telling, given that we are so close. But I don’t have a lot of desire to tell any of those scenes necessarily again — unless it’s from the point of view of the characters that we need to see it happen. So it’s just a challenge not getting something chronologically out of order. Luckily I’ve watched those movies a lot, so I think it all works out. But yeah, I did some fun things there.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is to have the end of Clone Wars be this coinciding story that frames where some of these people that weren’t in the films are. Because I think that alone is a valid question: Where were these guys? Ahsoka seemed like she was important, so was she invited to join the Sith? Where was Rex? I felt like that needed an answer because they were, after so many episodes and stories, obviously such a big part of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s life. If there’s a big enough important enough thing going on at the same time, you go, “Yep, I get that they were busy.”
Make sure to tune in for The Clone Wars finale on May the 4th on Disney+!