The following post does contain spoilers so if you have not yet watched Star Wars Rebels Season Finale Twilight of the Apprentice, then 1-shame on you and 2-stop reading and 3-go watch it on Disney XD.The Season Two Finale of Star Wars Rebels was an emotionally epic story that brought different generations of Star Wars characters together. The meeting of these characters brought several amazing lightsaber battles but the one fans will be talking about all summer was the duel between Master and Apprentice: Darth Vader vs. Ahsoka Tano.
The long awaited duel between these two characters and the final moments of the show leaves us fans not only heavy hearted, but also with many questions. I was very fortunate to attend an advanced screening of the season finale which was followed by a Q & A with Producer/Director of the finale Dave Filoni and Producer/Writer of the finale Simon Kinberg. Halfway through the questions actors Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger) and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) joined in.
Here Dave Filoni talks about the tone of the season finale:
“We all went in knowing it was going to be dark. And just so you know, this is fair me to say before we get going here, that when this story got pitched out in the writer’s room we were all excited. And you can vouch for me on this (looking at Kinberg). I was sitting there and I said, ‘Look I have to say this. I know it’s exciting to pitch this really dark stuff. It sounds great here in the writers room and it’s awesome and it’s powerful. And yet a year from now you’re gonna be in a theater with a bunch of kids and families and they’re gonna have a good Star Wars feeling and it’s a totally different thing because the dark side is intense.’ This is a cautionary tale here. ”
Both Kinberg and Feloni knew from the start of the season how they wanted to end the finale:
Kinberg: “This ending is something we have talked about throughout the process of working on the season. And we knew we were going to end this way this season.”
Feloni: “Yeah and with Vader, you can’t bring Vader in to challenge Ezra and Kanaan. He’s just not gonna be that interested. You had to have a character that he was personally invested in. Once we had a personal story that would be the foundation of it, it made a lot more sense to tell the story. Plus Ahsoka could interact with Ezra and Kanaan and you get a more complete tale.”
Feloni speaks here on the subject of Darth Maul and another way the episode could have gone:
“There was actually a really ultra-fan uber nerdy way to begin this story arc. Ahsoka wasn’t even in it. We were going to do an episode from Vader’s point of view and he was hunting people. And you would think it was the crew of the Ghost, and only at the last moment would it be revealed that he was actually hunting Darth Maul.”
Ashley Eckstein talks about her character Ahsoka and what would happen if she ever met her Master Annakin again as Darth Vader:
“I have always said that no matter what happens with Ahsoka I trust Dave (Feloni) and whether she lives or dies, Dave is always going to do the right thing for the overall Star Wars story. But he once told me that if Ahsoka and Vader ever came together and faced off, it wouldn’t be a good thing for Ahsoka.”
And when asked about the fate of fan favorite Ahsoka, Dave Feloni had this to offer:
“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. How strong is your faith? What do you believe? What did you see there in the final moments? I know what happened for sure and I think it would be cruel to rob you of your own independence and said. I didn’t put and image of Vader dragging her head along at the end. That would be horrible. And yet, I didn’t have a cat come to her and purr at her ankle as she picks it up and says, ‘Whew. Close one.’”
The audience was definitely split as to each individual’s interpretation of the fate of Ahsoka, but that is what makes what Feloni and Kinberg accomplished great. For now, only they truly know what happened, but it’s more fun to choose sides and shirts. When Ashley Eckstein asked if she should reprint her line of “Ahsoka Lives” shirts, Dave Feloni offered selling two versions: “Ahsoka Lives” and “Ahsoka Lives?”
Did Ahsoka survive? What will become of the discovered Sith Holocron? How will Kanaan function now without his sight? And what was with Ezra’s eyes? The only way we are going to get any answers is by waiting for Star Wars Rebels to return Fall 2016.