See never-before-revealed art and learn behind-the-scenes secrets from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
Dave Filoni, executive producer of Star Wars Rebels and Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group came together on the first day of Star Wars Celebration Orlando to give a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most beloved animated characters, ships, and storylines from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and beyond. Here are 11 of the most revealing insights and surprises from the panel, as well as sketches and concept art shown throughout.
1. Savage Opress (and George Lucas) were instrumental in resurrecting Maul from the dead. Once he had seen the other son of Dathomir in his animated glory on The Clone Wars, Lucas approached Filoni about adding Maul to the cast, complete with spidery legs. “I’ve got an idea and you’re going to love it,” Lucas told him. “Oh...that so seldom lines up,” he joked. After seeing The Phantom Menace, he — like many fans — had assumed Maul was never going to heal. “It’s over. He’s cut in half. How does that work?” Filoni told Lucas of his idea for resurrection. Lucas’ advice? “I don’t know. Figure it out.”
2. Filoni is a fan of cosplayers — including the 22 clones and rebels that marched out in the middle of the panel. The panel showcased maquettes, rough sketches, and complete artist renderings to explore the origins of some of the saga’s favorite animated characters. But Filoni was clearly tickled by the fans who had put their own real-life spin on his creations.
When the cosplayer portraying Captain Rex removed his helmet, he revealed tufts of bleach-blond hair. “Oh! You’ve got the hair,” Filoni exclaimed.
Seeing his characters come to life is always a rewarding experience, he said. The dream - “To draw something on a piece of paper and a year or so later to have it walk up and say hello.”
3. Cad Bane is responsible for the origins of a certain bounty hunter’s dented helmet. In a never-before-seen clip from Star Wars: The Clone Wars shown during the panel Thursday afternoon, Bane and Boba Fett have an Old West, quick-draw-style gunfight that ends with both bounty hunters flat on their backs. It was a fitting choice for a character that was originally envisioned as a gunslinger in the style of Lee Van Cleef 's “Angel Eyes.”
Although there’s no way to know if Bane survived the showdown, Boba Fett lived but was forever marked. The scene closes with a curl of smoke coming off the fresh blast mark on his now empty helmet as it rolls away, reminiscent of his father Jango Fett’s fatal encounter with Mace Windu.
“If we had a little more time, we’d tell you what happened to Ahsoka and Cad Bane,” Filoni joked at the end of the hour.
4. The recent Star Wars Rebels episode “Twin Suns” was originally 35 minutes long. Showrunners were forced to leave extraneous scenes on the cutting room floor, choosing to pare down the lead up to the final duel between Maul and Obi-wan Kenobi with a tight focus on Ezra’s journey on Tatooine. “I kept as much [Sam] Witwer as I could because Sam will call me,” Filoni joked. That meant some scenes with Kanan and Hera were on the chopping block. The audience groaned. “Not like that, like you want,” Filoni said. “It was about their side of the family. And Zeb was there, too.”
To fit the essentials into 21 minutes, Filoni also ditched plans to include hauntings from Maul's past on his journey, like a vision of Satine and an apparition of Savage. The Nightbrother even made it to the design phase before Filoni thought better of it. In an already lengthy episode, time couldn’t be spared to explain Savage’s origins and creators couldn’t risk alienating new fans who would be confused by his sudden appearance. “This is going to sound strange, but no one’s going to know who this is,” Filoni said. “If Rebels is all you know...You can’t take for granted that people know what it is.”
“This episode is so stripped down,” Hidalgo said, but by eliminating the nonessentials, it made the core story even stronger.