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‘The Clone Wars’ starts third season

Fri., Sept. 17, 2010

Ahsoka Tano, the young apprentice, or Padawan, of Anakin Skywalker in the animated series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
Ahsoka Tano, the young apprentice, or Padawan, of Anakin Skywalker in the animated series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

Series will explore ‘heroes on both sides’

Dave Filoni, supervising director of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” promises lots of character development in its third season of the animated series, which begins tonight on the Cartoon Network.

“In the opening scroll of 2005’s ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,’ it says, ‘There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere,’ “ Filoni said in a recent interview.

“I can say that this season, we’re going to get into that a lot more. I think it’s a necessary point of the clone wars. And the audience will have a much better understanding of what the clone war really is when we’re done with Season 3.”

In the series, the good guy Jedi commanders – Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker – and their clone troops fight against the ’droid armies of the evil renegade Jedi Count Dooku.

Other major characters include Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice, or “Padawan,” Ahsoka Tano, and the clone leaders, Captain Rex and Commander Cody.

It was filmmaker George Lucas’ idea to create Tano.

“George came right in and said, ‘I want Anakin to have a padawan. We’re going to use this girl here, we’ll call her Ahsoka,’ ” Filoni says.

“It was just something he wanted to explore. We see her evolve and mature.”

Filoni points out that there was always a strong female presence in the clone wars. He cites Duchess Satine Kryze, who is faced with an almost impossible task of reforming a warlike society on Mandalore.

“She is the elected ruler of what was a warlike society that is trying, for its own survival, not to be what they were – to fight against this instinct to be warriors,” he says.

Filoni, 36, was introduced to science fiction and fantasy by his parents at a young age. His earliest memory of the original “Star Wars,” at age 4, was “sitting in the back of our car, pretending to shoot the other cars like they were TIE fighters. My brother was Han and I was Luke.”

He played with a Death Star Space Station set with foam blocks and a crank to make the trash compactor work. “That was the big movie franchise of my childhood,” he says.

Filoni is very fond of the clones, especially Captain Rex, who reports to Anakin Skywalker.

“Rex, to me, is the other pivotal character in that we don’t know what happens to Rex,” he says. “We hit right off the bat with the clones this year and I’m very happy with it.”

He and Lucas have discussed going further into the individual personalities of the clones.

“Anakin factors into that with Rex because he’s different for a Jedi, so you have to think that his clone commander, his captain, would be different by being a friend of his,” Filoni says.

“In fact I would say, that for the audience, they almost identify the most with them. They don’t have a magic sword or powers that are going to be out there save themselves. They’re out there on the front line, giving their all.”

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