Those who tuned in yesterday to the Season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels were treated to an epic clash between Jedi, Inquisitors, Sith Lords, and Darth Maul. Geeks Of Doom was invited earlier this week to the hour-long premiere of the episode, where we sat with fans and journalists to get the low down on what exactly happened during “Twilight of the Apprentice,” and what could possibly happen next for the Disney XD animated series. Plus, we learned a few geek things that could pique your interest.
Check out here below what executive producer and creator Dave Filoni and executive producer Simon Kinberg had to say about the Season 2 finale and that future of Star Wars Rebels.
Obviously, spoilers for Star Wars Rebels….
1 – Only Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg Know What Happens To Ahsoka Tano.
Though the fight between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader reached an epic climax, audiences didn’t get to see the final outcome of that battle. Instead, they saw a scarred Vader walk away from the Sith Temple, leaving some to believe that Ahsoka had perished. However, audiences never saw her body, leaving many to wonder whether or not she really did die, which would be a really dark theme for a major family channel like Disney XD to explore:
I think that right now what’s important is it’s really a moment for you as a fan and for me to see more of what you’re made of. Like how strong is your faith. What do you believe? What did you see there in the final moments? ‘Cause I know what happened for sure. And I think that it would be just cruel and rob you of your own independence if I said blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, it’s like I didn’t put an image of Vader like dragging her head along at the end. That’d be horrible. That would be like I couldn’t even get off this lot if that happened. And yet I didn’t have a Loth cat come up and purr at her ankle as she picked it up and said “close one.” So neither of those is an acceptable outcome. So I never answered your question. But nebulous. Nebulous with complete certainty as to what happened in my own mind and now at conventions I’ll be plagued with what people – which is fine. I can deal with that. ‘Cause interest is good. ‘Cause it means we keep making the show. So that’s fine. Fair enough.
Kinberg said he knew the answer to this question, but would not get into spoilers. Instead he offered the “it’s up to your imagination” answer and that we will learn about what happened to Ahsoka one way or another. Both Ahsoka Tano voice actor Ashley Eckstein and Ezra Bridger voice actor Taylor Gray choose to believe that the fan-favorite part-time Jedi is still alive, even though the voice actors didn’t know of her fate.
But Eckstein said she puts her trust in Filoni:
And I’ve always said that no matter what happens with Ahsoka, I trust Dave. So whether she lives or dies, he’s always gonna do the right thing for the overall Star Wars story. And so whatever that may be, I promise him I’m always fine with it. And of course I became so attached to her and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her, but he once told me that if Ahsoka and Vader faced off, it wouldn’t be a good thing for Ahsoka. So and that was several years ago. And so I always had that in the back of my head. It’s like okay, I trust Dave. I want her to live. I want her to live. But oh it’s not gonna be good for Ahsoka. So I was just so nervous. And then I would get photos on my phone of Ahsoka with her head chopped off that Dave and Henry would send me from recording sessions. Like ha-ha, have a good day.
2 – Ahsoka Struggles With The Fact That Anakin Skywalker Is Now Darth Vader.
It’s obviously not going to be easy for the former apprentice to fight her master and friend, but it is something that Ahsoka must do now that Skywalker is gone.
Ahsoka doesn’t want to believe that Anakin would be capable of becoming Darth Vader. And when we were talking about the possibility, George [Lucas] and I talked at length about Order 66 and Ahsoka and what happened. And we had it all figured out. One of the key elements is that her whole life once she’s trained by Anakin, when she’s at peace and calm and looks into the Force, she can sense the presence of her friend. This is something that occurs. When tragedy strikes someone, you’ll read an article about someone that tells something bad happened to their parent or their sibling and they call on some of these habits. And you have this connection between people. She’s always looked at the Force and been able to be confident that he is there. When Order 66 happens, she reaches out to the Force and he’s gone. There is no Anakin Skywalker. So just like there is nonexistence of so many Jedi, she assumes he’s dead. So when she encounters Darth Vader at the beginning of Rebels Season 2, she looks into this dark void and at the center of it she gets hit by something that’s so familiar. It’s overpowering. That it just shocks her back and she goes unconscious. Her unconscious mind is completely aware that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker. Her conscious mind can’t handle it. She just cannot accept that truth. So she spends the whole season basically coming to grips with that fact, which we see in the Jedi Temple. That this is the truth. Once she understands the truth that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker, she is faced with the same problem Luke Skywalker faces, which is Luke says, I cannot kill my own father. And she cannot kill this person that was her dear friend. She cannot do it. But nor will she leave him and abandon him. She feels like she did before, ’cause she feels guilt because if he became this terrible, dark person that’s done all these horrible things, she feels like she is in part responsible because she could have been there and prevented it. That’s not necessarily true. But tell her that. So that’s, those are the type of things she’s dealing with.
3 – So What Is The Deal With That Crossguard Lightsaber?
There were many Easter Eggs that could be seen throughout the final two episodes, most notably a crossguard lightsaber that ignited a green glow. But that’s all the crossguard lightsaber really amounts is a nice Easter Egg. For Filoni, he wanted it to be there to be a nod to those who worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s a very big challenge to make Star Wars on any level. And the pressure that the Episode VII team had faced to try to bring that to life I thought was huge. I thought that J.J. and his team really did a great job and I really liked where they were their most daring with things like BB-8 and the cross guard saber, because we hadn’t seen that before. And I love Star Wars I haven’t seen before. ‘Cause I always like to point out to my design team like I didn’t know there were Walkers on snow until I saw them. I didn’t know there was a city in the clouds until I saw it. The Empire Strikes Back did not try to just be A New Hope and neither did Return of the Jedi. So I love those elements in those movies that they did. They came up with this lightsaber that caused this big stir among fandom. And it’s always great when something does that. And Kylo Ren was really fascinating to me because he seemed to be a student of history, especially Sith history and Jedi history.
4 – The Dark Side Calls To You.
As we saw throughout the final two episodes of Rebels Season 2, Ezra is compelled to learn the ways of the Dark Side from Darth Maul, who has his own issues with the Sith Lord. Though Ezra and a now-blinded Kanan survived the events, they appear to be traumatized after they were forced to leave Asokha behind to duel with the more powerful Darth Vader. As the music swelled towards the end, we saw Ezra’s eyes glow red. Here’s Filoni’s explanation as to whether or not we will see Ezra be taken into the Dark Side.
Is Ezra susceptible to the dark side? I said, yeah, of course. Everybody is. You don’t have to be a Jedi or a Sith to be susceptible to the dark side. The dark side can be, you know, one of the politicians in the Senate that seizes things for his own greed and power. It can be Hera if she decides to be a TIE fighter pilot and rip things up and do things for her own. When you make it very simple for yourselves in your storytelling. If you’re being selfish and self-motivated and doing things to gain power for yourself, evil, Sith. Selfless, for others, even sacrificing your own life, you can be more powerful than you can possibly imagine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, good. The Jedi in the Clone War unfortunately are far to the center and that’s why they fail and that’s why they lose.
5 – The Temple Is The Shining Example Of The Juxtaposition Of Light And Darkness.
The structural design of the Sith Temple has a deeper meaning. In fact, it was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the first and most popular part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy.
I was obsessed with light. The light and the dark had to like be in everything about this episode. So there’s a couple things. I was diagramming, I was sending you drawings. I was doing all these drawings and saying, Simon, check this out. Now that I’ve drawn this, maybe you’ll put something here. And I like to see what he comes back with. And then I’ll draw, oh that’s cool and I’ll draw something off that. And I try to do it for the writers when I can. Just to give them images to feed off of. But I wanted this kind of like Dante’s Inferno kind of concept where there’s like the sky right, which is the light and heaven that descend to the clouds. And they reach like a plane of glass where you see their inverted reflections in it. And the you don’t realize that this is hollow. When you crack that, you fall through and then I was really interested in this idea that what became the light sky became darkness. And stars. But it’s actually beyond. It’s like that old way that the Greeks looked at the sky and thought there were pinholes in the sky, in the night sky. So I wanted to play those kind of ideas. And then we’d get these kind of pillars of light so that is the combative level where light and dark are kind of intertwined and in conflict. And then when you go below that, you get into the underworld. You kind of get into the world of the dead and Maul for all intents and purposes is dead. So he’s kind of the walking dead underneath the Earth there until he can be lifted up and what lifts him up is the youth and hope and opportunity that carries him up the staircase. So that a little bit too you see them going up and then the other stuff going down. Which is a little bit a clue for what’s happening at the end. I don’t like to do a lot of those type of puzzles. I don’t like to do things that are really abstract all the time. But this was an episode where it could be abstract, because the explanation of everything is in the coding of every scene. Every environment is intentional with this. Ezra’s in a pillar of light when he meets Maul. To join Maul and help him he has to leave it. And none of that is arbitrary. I tell my storyboard artists, absolutely nothing we do is arbitrary, we are controlling every frame, every moment has to be designed, and so the team does a great job at thinking on that level.
It was revealed in November 2015 that Disney XD had ordered a third season of Star Wars Rebels, which will premiere later this year.