Back in 2018, Lucasfilm surprised and delighted attendees at that year’s ComicCon with the news that it would return to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. On Wednesday it released a new trailer for the animated series’ final season, which airs on the Disney+ streaming service beginning February 21. Set before Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the 12-episode season will (hopefully) wrap up the adventures of fan-favorite Jedi Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan learner.
Like most of my colleagues, signing up for Disney+ wasn’t a particularly hard decision; the eight-part series The Mandalorian has been more than worth the price of entry. But Disney wants people like me to keep sending it $6.99 a month, and that means fresh content, no matter how totes adorbs we all find Baby Yoda.
In fact, I’m currently in the middle of rewatching the first seven seasons of The Clone Wars, except this time in actual chronological order rather than the inexplicable “let’s just show episodes at random because who cares it’s just a cartoon” order that Cartoon Network chose when airing them between 2008 and 2013. (Note: the first seven series are still arranged in that bizarre mashup on Disney+, but this handy page over at starwars.com will help you straighten it out.)
Season eight of The Clone Wars is also a return for the most badass of all the Sith—old spikey head himself, Darth Maul—with what promises to be a truly epic lightsaber fight with Tano, per Supervising Director Dave Filoni:
Ahsoka and Darth Maul will have an “epic” lightsaber duel—and the Sith Lord actor himself, Ray Park, helped bring it to life. As much as the Obi-Wan versus Maul fight in Star Wars Rebels was brief, Dave Filoni was determined to make Ahsoka’s battle with the Sith Lord a big one. “This one had to be among the best [duels], if not the best, we ever did,” Filoni said. To achieve this, he went to someone who’s actually been in a lightsaber duel. Filoni called Park, and the actor, who played Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Solo, performed motion-capture for the sequence. “When you see Maul fighting, it’s going to really be Maul fighting,” Filoni said.
Now, I’ve gotten excited about new animated Star Wars content before, only to get burned; the racing-inspired show Star Wars: Resistance is an unwatchable mess (in my opinion, of course) with characters that repeatedly make terrible decisions, a trait shared by the annoying Ezra Bridger in Star Wars: Rebels (also overseen by Filoni). But I’m going to go out on that limb again, because Ray Park was probably the best thing about the entire three-film prequel series, and I want to see him wield that double-sided saber one more time.
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