Dave Filoni spearheaded The Clone Wars for the past 12 or so, since it premiered in 2008 as a feature film. It was all based on George Lucas’ creation — Star Wars — and Lucas was also at the forefront, writing the stories with Filoni. Now in Season 7, Filoni is the executive producer and supervising director of the series. And he brought some of the best scenes to the franchise. It was also the first time fans saw Order 66 from Ahsoka and Rex’s side, and it was important that Ahsoka stayed true to herself and her bond with the clone troopers she was so close to. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7].
Dave Filoni had the tough task of figuring out how Ahsoka responds to Order 66
In the final “Clone Wars Download” episode on Star Wars’ YouTube channel, Filoni gave some insight into why it was tough to write Ahsoka’s reaction to Order 66 happening around her.
“For me on this show, I was in a very strange situation. Since The Clone Wars first began airing, kids loved the Clone troopers,” he noted. “They loved Captain Rex and they were very fond of these characters. So, here you are in this situation where there’s this massive betrayal. And in the film, the Jedi, like Yoda, just cuts down Gre and does what he has to survive.”
Even though most of the Jedi shown on-screen in Revenge of the Sith died from their clones, Yoda sensed it and beheaded his. That made sense in the context of the movie because the clones aren’t individualized like they are in the series. But as he said, in the series, the clones have names, backstories, and histories with Ahsoka and other Jedi.
As Ahsoka describes, she won’t kill clones
“But I thought a really interesting element here was, well is Ahsoka really gonna do that?” Filoni said. “And what does that say to the audience if she was to just start cutting down all these old friends of hers? That we’ve shown in the previous episodes, they all mean a lot to each other and they all think very highly of her.”
When the ship is going down, and Ahsoka and Rex are cornered, she’s still steadfast in her resolve not to kill any of the clones. “You’re a good soldier Rex. So is every one of those men down there,” she says to him. “They may be willing to die. But I am not the one who’s going to kill them”
This proves why Filoni is right, of course. It’s not like Ahsoka to turn on friends like that, even if they’re mind-controlled. Even though Jedi aren’t allowed attachments, Ahsoka would never do such a thing. Especially when we saw her company all painted their helmets like her Togrutan markings, to show allegiance to her. She grew up in war, fighting alongside these men. She wouldn’t hurt them.
Rex’s reaction was also a tricky situation
Once Ahsoka took out Rex’s inhibitor chip, he remembered everything and knew that they were a lost cause. Even though they were his brethren, Rex knew they couldn’t persuade the clones. And he didn’t see a way out without harming them.
“It’s a terrible situation, for Rex too. These are Rex’s brothers,” Filoni said. “These are people he has led for years if they’ve survived enough battles. And he hides a lot of his emotions behind his helmet. But we understand that this is a very intense thing for him.”
The moment when Rex is crying as Ahsoka takes off his helmet is one of the most striking this season, and in the series. He’s so torn about what to do and is ready to sacrifice his heartache for their safety. It really shows the toll of the war and posits the clones as the biggest victims of it all.
‘The Clone Wars’ was never going to have a happy ending, so it was all about how to do it right
Just like when the prequels came out, audiences knew what the endgame was with the story. Fans knew that The Clone Wars had to lead into Revenge of the Sith, since that shows how the wars end for the Jedi, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and the rest of the main characters. But the main ones on the series, like Ahsoka and Rex, never got a proper ending. For Filoni, he had to figure out how to make this sad ending work.
“I always knew the end of the show was gonna be difficult. Because it doesn’t end on the most uplifting of notes,” Filoni said. “But it’s how this part of the story has to go. It’s what happens to the galaxy, and through this intense time for the characters, I think the most important thing is that they stay true to each other and they trust one another and they let go of their fears to overcome the situation.”
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