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The upcoming issue #134 of Star Wars Insider has appeared online, including the interview with Supervising director Dave Filoni. In that interview many new details about season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars were revealed. Here are some of the things we can expect this season: 1) The death of an original character. That’s right season 5 will feature the death of character introduced to the galaxy for the series, but who could it be? Hondo? Cad Bane? Savage Opress? Captain Rex? Or could we finally see the ultimate fate of Ahsoka? 2) Criminals and The Underworld. The Black Sun crime organization, featured frequently in the EU, will be making an appearance. In addition Hondo Ohnaka will be returning along with other “rogues”. 3) An R2-D2 Adventure! This will be “Artoo’s biggest contribution to the war effort” according to Filoni who also said “it’s definitely not a fairy tale” referencing las season’s poorly received duology Mercy Mission and Nomad Droids. 4) More Embo action. We see Embo a c ouple of times in the leaked season 5 trailer and Filoni confirms that we’ll be seeing more of him as well as his pet Marrock, who made a cameo in the season 4 episode Revenge. 5) Onderon! That’s right the planet from the Tales of the Jedi comic series will be visited at some point during season 5.
In addition we also learned the titles for the first seven episodes:
A War on Two Fronts
The Soft War
An Old Friend
The Rise of Clovis
Crisis at the Heart
Visual effects supervisor Joel Aron and Dave Filoni, the head honcho of The Clone Wars came back to Star Wars Celebration VI Saturday morning for one more panel to talk to fans about what they saw in the Season 5 premiere Friday night, and oh yeah, that crazy new trailer.
As the pair sat down with David Collins on the Valencia Theater stage, Filoni proclaimed right away how excited he was to hit 100 episodes this year.
“We sit with George at the ranch for a week or two and write about 3 outlines a day, and then just get those stories out there,” said Filoni.
Aron and Filoni said that despite the addition of technology, the time to make each episode continues to grow as they continue to add more detail and characters.
“The Lucasfilm philosophy is ‘dare to be great, challenge yourself.’ The fans demand it, they want to see something epic every week, and we have to deliver on that,” said Filoni. “That’s a LucasFilm tradition that we have to carry on.”
The series moves to Saturday mornings at 930am this fall, a change from its Friday night slot that they hope makes it even more of a family viewing experience.
A new clip showed a brand-new lush jungle planet with Ahsoka and some natives trying to take on a massive invading droid force. The visuals had the audience literally gasping.
“Wow, we’re giving a lot of stuff away here!” exclaimed Filoni after the clip. Collins started to geek out a bit over the new fauna and flora of the planet and the technology showing brand new ships and droid components. Filoni loved that even Collins, an accomplished voice actor and music designer for LucasFilm and LucasArts, could get so excited over the new clip.
“In Season 5, Anakin comes up with the idea to start training the insurgent groups who are trying to get out from under the thumb of the separatists. These new rebels will work with individual Jedi to try to come to arms and drive away the droid armies on their own. This is all borne of Ahsoka’s relationship with Lux, who it turns out is from Onderan,” revealed Filoni.
Aron next divulged that they are revealing Anakin’s personal quarters in the Jedi Temple for the first time. Filoni said the room will have many knick-knacks, a lot of droid parts and tools, the same things he might have been playing with as a kid.
“It does answer one big question: how much does Obi-Wan really know about Anakin and Padme, and what’s going on there,” teased Filoni.
Another new clip showed Anakin, in his room, tooling around with a droid. Obi-Wan walked in and started discussing Anakin’s feelings for Padme, with Obi-Wan talking about his own feelings for Satine. A poster of Anakin’s big podrace from Episode 1 was a nice easter egg for fans, with Ben Quadrinaros on the poster, which drew laughs and cheers from the fans.
“As an animated series, I think there’s a perception in this country that it’s for comedic purposes, to make you laugh, and I’m thrilled that we now have Detours to do that, they’re doing a fantastic job.
“But to keep these dramatic moments real and accurate, we had to update the way that we animate. I think we’ve gotten to the point on our show that we can tell these types of shows and give you this kind of information.”
Collins asked about Anakin’s gleams of the Dark Side in Season 5 versus the past.
“Matt Lanter and I were talking about that, we think that Anakin is mostly just much quicker to anger as the war has gone on,” said Filoni. “They continue to get more and more beat down, felling that pressure bear down on them. Anakin has a lot less patience. He has a few key things that keep him in place, like Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and Padme. Matt’s performances this year are just fantastic, and I hate to jump ahead, but his performance in the season finale is just incredible.”
Ahsoka is “getting older, wiser, understanding what Anakin says to her and making her own decisions,” said Aron. “They’re master and apprentice, but ultimately she’s his friend, she’s his little sister at this point,” Filoni continued. “She understands more than anyone when he gets angry now. She gives hi a little more leeway there.
“Of all the decisions I’ve had to make as Supervising Director, casting Ashley Eckstein has been the best. The way that she’s handled the performance and the way that she’s reached out to fans: 34% of the Clone Wars fanbase is girls! A lot of that is due to her efforts.”
New images were shown off with things like “Episode 505 Outer Rim Meteor Field” and new shuttles. The season will feature an early arc where R2D2 and a compliment of Republic Droids have to go on a mission – all by themselves.
“We re-drew R2 this year. We had to redesign him, update his model and update his textures a great deal to get him closer to what you know from the live-action,” said Aron. Filoni said the mission has R2 and 3 other astromechs and a pit-droid taking on an infiltration mission. “It’s R2 on a true military mission for once.”
The droids, accompanied by a diminutive frog-like alien named Gascon, drop out of hyperspace and directly into a storm of comets. R2 and the other astromechs go into the perilous environment to try to fix the broken ship. Filoni said that even George Lucas just saw this clip “a few weeks ago.”
Filoni and Lucas both thought there were great opportunities for the droids and taking them “into that grand sense of wonder. It’s fun, those are the episodes that you sit down, the whole family will watch those and this is Star Wars.”
There’s also an episode based on the art of Moebius called “The Void” coming this season, an example Filoni gave of the way things vary greatly.
Some new characters like a rebel named Gregor and a diner chef, oh, and a REPUBLIC COMMANDO were shown off in images. The commando’s helmet has a bunch of hashmarks on it, marking his kills.
“Dee Baker does a phenomenal job of playing all of the Clones! You forget that it’s one guy doing all of those. It’s always a big challenge, he gets exhausted doing it, but yeah, Republic Commandos! We have so many types of clones coming your way. We hear the fans saying they’re loving the clones and the clone stories, so we’ll have many more,” announced Filoni.
Filoni revealed that to help Dee Bradley Baker keep all the personalities separate, there are three parts to a triangle, there’s Rex at the top, the very militant guys to the right and the very green ones to the left.
“We used to record him, where he’d do one voice all the way through, then the next character. Now he just has a conversation with himself!”
Going back to a new clip featuring the droids, they’re now backed up by the Republic Commando from the images. He moves and shoots more efficiently than your run of the mill clones and is actually the stylish rebel named Gregor from the same images! Huge applause for the clip as Gregor takes down tons of droids with ease.
Filoni said of the tickmarks on his helmet, “I play ice hockey, have for decades, and put the tickmarks on there for the goalie of the Boston Bruins,” though he’s actually from Pittsburgh and a fan of their teams.
“Fans love it when the Clones have those distinguishing figures, and find interesting things,” Filoni added.
Gregor’s history will all be revealed in his episode, as well.
Mustafar and the Black Suns fortress was shown off, as well as a Falleen Black Sun leade, from Shadows of the Empire.
“They’re a dangerous group of intergalactic gangsters,” teased Filoni. Their new Frigate was shown off as well. Lom Pyke, a new race of crime lords involved with Kessel Spice smuggling was also shown.
Aron, who came from ILM, still has access to the database of assets there, so he actually used the exact backdrop of Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith and used that in the Clone Wars. To show off how well it works, they showed another new clip.
It’s a baffling clip, with Savage, Maul, and Death Watch Mandalorians going to meet with the Falleen. Maul seems to have more regular legs now, something he’ll need after the season premiere.
Filoni talked about one of those butt kicking ladies of the show, Bo Katan, “for the girl that wants to get out there and kick butt with the boys! This was something that comes full circle, man, I’d love to see this character walking around a convention,” and he brought up an amazing cosplayer who has already made her full armor.
Another clip shows Obi-Wan in full Mandalorian armor being led away by jailers. Bo Katan and another in blue start to take them on, and she quickly dispatches 3 Mandalorian warriors with ease. HUGE applause.
And then, a huge surprise guest, Filoni introduces him as “their biggest fan,” George Lucas!
Filoni asked George why he wanted to come to animation.
“We were kind of taking a chance in making a dramatic animated series, which is kind of in a never never land of animation here,” started Lucas. “We’re also making a younger-skewing show that we’re developing, and of course Detours which is way out on its own.
“We can do things in animation that are very hard to do in live action.”
Filoni asked Lucas about the big Rancor that fans brought to the show, and he said “I loved that Rancor.”
Filoni said he would love to take it home but won’t fit in his office. A fan yelled, “get a bigger office” and George Lucas deadpanned “No, I don’t think so!”
Lucas talked about bringing Darth Maul back next.
“In a feature you’re very restricted by a story and storyarc. In animation we can go ‘why don’t we go way over here!’ And we did four episodes with nothing but droids. Then we did the same thing with Darth Maul and bringing him back. He’s one of my favorite characters and we killed him right away. But it’s been a lot of fun to have him and create his brother, and the witches of Dathomir.”
Filoni said, “I have something, a rare thing, something YOU haven’t seen,” to Lucas, introducing the new 3 minute trailer they showed to fans at the premiere last night.
Huge applause for Lucas and for the trailer alike. Standing Ovation, and thus ends the panel.
Filoni began the panel by noting that the series would pass its 100-episode mark this season, and the applause that followed was our first indication that this was a crowd that was very happy with how the series has been progressing (and very interested in seeing more of it).
Filoni first showed the audience many pieces of concept art for the planet Onderon. Aron commented that Onderon feels to him like an old Roman city. The planet also has a jungle on its outskirts, a feature that Filoni said presented a challenge for their team. His team, he said, has spent a lot of time over the past four seasons improving how they depict jungles. They want the trees to sway as gunships fly overhead and they want the ground to look as damp and lush as it's supposed to be. Aron talked about some of the lighting tricks that his team uses to make the trees look like they're swaying.
Digital Stage host David Collins asked the pair if they were building more models per episode or if they were just getting better at making a select few models. Aron said that the model count keeps rising, and Filoni noted that both the rate and quality of model creation have increased tremendously. "Everybody wants this to be great," Filoni said. "We are not satisfied just making a show."
Filoni then showed the first Season 5 clip. It featured a rebel group of Onderon beginning their attack on the Separatist occupation force. These rebels were wearing helmets reminiscent of Roman centurions, flying pteradactyl-like beasts, and riding creatures that looked like reptilian horses. The focus of the clip seemed to be one particular woman named Stila, who led the rebels from a sniper position. Ahsoka Tano and Lux Bonteri (the latter of whom, Filoni revealed, was born on Onderon) assist the rebels in their fighting.
After the clip, David Collins, who had never seen it before, remarked on its "tribal influences," noting in particular an allusion to iconic Easter Island imagery. Filoni and Aron shared a laugh at Collins' stunned observations, having both seen the clip many times before.
"We introduce the concept of these ... pockets of rebels [in Season 5]," Filoni said of the clip. "The Jedi have realized ... that the clones, at the end of the day, to a lot of populations, have come to be a symbol of imperial tyranny as much as the droids have." To rectify this problem, Filoni explained, Anakin Skywalker came up with the idea of training rebels to fight their own insurgent battles on their home planets. Those people winning back their homeworlds would stand on stronger feet when they reclaimed that territory than would clone troopers, Filoni said.
Next, Filoni showed the audience various pieces of concept art depicting Anakin quarters at the Jedi Temple. Part of Season 5's focus on intimate character focus will involve going into the personal living quarters of the main characters, and Filoni had The Chosen One's room decorated appropriately. Concept art showed mechanical knick-knacks including battle droid heads, with Filoni explaining that he thought Anakin would try to download Separatist data from their brains in his spare time. According to Filoni, "We pillage the movies constantly for any time of information" that can fill out these kinds of domestic scenes. His team, he said, constantly pulls out costumes and props from the Lucasfilm Archives to check them for elements that they can incorporate into the series.
The second clip that was shown took place in Anakin's quarters. Obi-Wan entered the room and told Anakin that Yoda thought his (Anakin's) judgments regarding shifty Senator Rush Clovis were clouded. The man can't be trusted, Anakin replied defensively. He angrily reminded Obi-Wan that Clovis almost got Padme killed. Obi-Wan then began discussing Anakin's rather obvious feelings for Padme, telling him that it was natural to have such feelings (he even mentioned Satine) but that Anakin must remain only friends with Padme. It is essential that he make the right choice, he told his former apprentice. Anakin, with barely contained fury, replied that he understood his responsibilities. Obi-Wan countered that no matter what kind of interactions Padme and Clovis had, Anakin had to stay away. Anakin, somewhat self-consciously, replied that Padme and Clovis' relationship was simply business. "Then we should have no problems, should we?" Obi-Wan said back, before leaving the room as the clip ended.
When the applause had subsided, Filoni noted that to sustain this kind of very personal, very close-up scene, "we had to update the way [Anakin and Obi-Wan] could be animated." As an example, he pointed out "the subtle little crinkle in the eye letting you see how Anakin is reacting to what Obi-Wan is saying." Collins wanted to know if Ahsoka has been picking up on the changes that the audience has been seeing in Anakin, particularly as exemplified in the most recent clip. Aron replied that as she gets older, she becomes more perceptive, but also more independent and able to think critically. Filoni added that Ahsoka "would support him and back him up in all things," and that she gives him more leeway and trust -- and he has more patience with her -- than at the start of their relationship. Filoni also took that opportunity to praise Ahsok voice actress Ashley Eckstein for championing female fans and geek girls. He revealed that 34% of The Clone Wars' audience is women and girls.
Oh yeah, and before I move on from this clip, I should probably mention that Anakin had a podracing poster featuring Sebulba and Ben Quadinaros in his room. Yes, Ben Quadinaros finally made it into The Clone Wars, albeit indirectly. Kyle Newman can sleep peacefully now.
Droids will play an important role in a story arc that takes place next season. Filoni said that kids have always understood R2-D2. He believes that droids make great protagonists because they can be so expressive. The droid arc focuses on a team of astromechs and a pit droid led by a tiny alien general who infiltrate the Separatist fleet to get an encryption module. Filoni called this story arc "one of our best adventures of all time." Aron added that R2-D2's textures were updated for this season, and the animation team found a way to make his main light phase between red and blue like it does in the films.
A fourth clip was then shown, this one depicting the droids in their shuttle as it traveled through hyperspace. They were forced to drop back into realspace because of an ice comet storm impeding their path. One of the comets hit their ship and they lost power. The clip ended as the droids headed to the back of the ship to conduct repairs.
"This is way far out there," Filoni said of the droid footage. George Lucas just saw it a few weeks ago and it won't air anytime soon. Filoni said he enjoyed doing the R2/3PO adventure duology last season and that droid-centric episodes evoke a "grand sense of wonder."
More character models were next, including a mysterious general about whom Filoni was careful to say nothing and a yellow-tinged Republic Commando whose appearance generated huge applause (the character does not appear to be from an existing squad like Delta or Omega). Collins took the opportunity to ask Filoni how he and clone army voice actor Dee Bradley Baker kept the clones separate during recording sessions. Filoni replied that he and Baker made a triangle of personality types for reference. Rex constituted the central personality type, the man whom all clones aspired to be like, while the other personality types reflected excesses of certain traits. This triangle helps Baker find the right vocal nuances for each clone he voices.
The fourth clip that was screened was from the same story arc as the third. It showed the Republic droid infiltration squad approaching Separatist battle droids, being ordered to halt, and continuing to roll past as a Republic Commando popped up from cover and cleared a path by expertly blasting the CIS droids to rubble.
Filoni said that this material, being from the droid arc, was "far out," but then teased that the fifth season would have something "even better" than the Republic Commandos. He next showed the audience more concept art, including a Black Sun fortress (Filoni stressed that Xizor would not appear), a character model for a Falleen lieutenant, a still frame from an episode with the Falleen, and a model for a new species involved in spice smuggling on Kessel. He also revealed that the animation team had referenced Episode III for an animated depiction of Mustafar.
In the fifth clip, Pre Vizsla, Darth Maul, Bo Katan, and Savage Opress landed on Mustafar. Death Watch commandos filed out of a transport. A Falleen Black Sun agent approached the party and Maul requested an audience with the syndicate's leader. This was quickly followed by a sixth clip, in which Bo Katan rescued Obi-Wan from imprisonment on a Death Watch planet by kicking major butt.
t this point, Filoni brought a fan dressed in an excellent Bo Katan costume onstage to compliment her on her hard work. After she sat back down, Filoni told the audience that he wanted to bring out their show's biggest fan, who turned out to be...George Lucas himself!
Lucas told the audience that Darth Maul was one of his favorite characters and that he had had long discussions with the writers about how to bring him back. "It's been a lot of fun to have him" and Savage and the witches of Dathomir, Lucas said. The Maker chatted with and poked fun at Filoni and Aron for a few more minutes before the panel ended and fans stood up to digest what they had just seen.
xwingyoda wrote:That new trailer looks amazing !! Like you I wonder if Palpie will kill both Maul and Savage or just Savage
Good to see the Headhunter in action and what is that new Gunship ? So sexy !!
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