Filoni Talks Season Four Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns for a fourth season tonight with a two-episode premiere at 8:00 pm on Cartoon Network. This season is called "Battle Lines," and the struggle intensifies in the latest 22-episode cycle of the CG-animated saga from creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation in Singapore. In the first two episodes of this three-part story arc, "Water War" and "Gungan Attack," the inhabitants of the watery world of Mon Calamari find themselves on the brink of a civil war. The Jedi soon realize they will need the help of a powerful and amphibious ally to stop the war and drive out the Separatist invaders. As always, I got a rundown from supervising director Dave Filoni.
Bill Desowitz: What's going on this season?
Dave Filoni: Well, this year's our best. I know I probably say that about all the [seasons], but I think we've clearly seen a progression with each season, not just the look but the stories we've been able to do. And it's really been a refining process each season, and this one front to back is the best. We've been able to do everything we want visually and storywise.
BD: Right off the bat, you've got exciting underwater action, and the animation is vastly improved.
DF: Well, my whole thing with making Clone Wars is that it will be something that lives up to expectations from year to year to year. And in 20 years, people will decide to watch and it will still be exciting to watch and have beautiful animation. Kids love the action and the big heroes and big battles, and that's where you get the "Battle Lines" moniker. But there's also a lot of fun with more comedy between C-3P0 and R2.
BD: What's the story arc this season?
DF: Last season we really developed Ahsoka's character. She's at a point now where she's more on a par with Anakin. She's still in the assistant mold but is more experienced now that she can handle herself to a bigger degree. So we see her a lot stronger; we see more of the Palpatine [influence] on Anakin as we get to the second half of the season, when he starts to become the Palpatine of later and the Jedi don't necessarily trust Anakin. We see a lot of turmoil with Rex in what it means to be a soldier; we introduce a whole bunch of new clones and Rex starts to look like the grizzled veteran. And two of my favorite story arcs are Ventress and Savage Oppress. Ventress, who has been an evil character, is definitely challenging and questioning her morality. You'll find that we have several threads that we pick up each season. And we tell different stories about all of these characters that aren't implicitly connected but keeping it moving forward. Each week you almost don't know what you're gonna see.