On Friday night, Lucasfilm hosted a screening of the final season five arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars for fans and the crew of the show and their families at their main campus in San Francisco. Combining the last four episodes (including the premiere of ‘To Catch a Jedi’ and ‘The Wrong Jedi’), the audience was treated to a special presentation of the story, and was followed up with a question and answer session with Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter, moderated by Pablo Hidalgo. Also in attendance were Sam Witwer, the voice of Darth Maul; and Charles Murray, who wrote the story arc.
After a quick intro from Dave Filoni and producer Cary Silver (with Filoni officially accepting Bonnie Burton into the 104th Wolf Pack), they got the show started. Similar to other screenings where they have shown an entire story arc, this version included some extra scenes that didn’t fit into the original episodes, and perhaps also helped to tie the whole story arc together. As a bonus treat, Dave announced that the opening had been made for the screening: which was having The Clone Wars logo enter with the Star Wars theme music as if it were a Star Wars movie. Also, classic Star Wars wipes were used between several scenes that I hadn’t noticed before.
My spoiler-free review of the episodes: Holy cow! This is some of the best this show has ever done – with story, with animation and sound, everything. There is really something to seeing this show on a big screen that makes it so much better than watching it on a TV. But even without the Lucasfilm theater experience, this story will blow you away. We’ve already seen a fantastic scene with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano at the end of ‘The Jedi Who Knew Too Much’, where their relationship changes with Ahsoka asking her master to trust her as she leaps into the maw of Coruscant. That’s just the start of some great character bits, with Matt Lanter and Ashley Eckstein (and several others) bringing the characters to life in a powerful way. And there’s some awesome action. And some stuff I didn’t expect at all. I’m sure there’s only so many ways I can say that this is amazing, but it truly is.
Before the Q&A started, Pablo answered two important questions that might have been on people’s minds: No, they weren’t going to take any questions on Episode VII or other non-TCW topics, and there is no official announcement yet on if/when/how Season Six (and later seasons) will be broadcast or otherwise enjoyed by the public.
The Q&A obviously covered a lot of the key stuff from the story arc, so I won’t talk about it until after all the episodes have aired. If you’re looking for hints for what happens, go back to see my write-ups from the USO screening for some of the questions and answers from that – part I and part II. If you want something not spoilery, Dave Filoni talked about the influence of his pets on the show, and when asked if he got a motion picture budget to make a Clone Wars movie, he’d spend most of it on hockey pants or crew jackets with rocket packs. This screening was Matt Lanter’s first time seeing the completed episodes, and he was pretty amazed by the final results on screen.
Thanks to Lucasfilm for hosting such a fantastic event. After seeing this screening and the USO screening, I really believe that The Clone Wars is best seen on the big screen, and LFL should keep that in mind for the fans, and fans should seek out any opportunity to watch it cinematically – like at the next Celebration they attend?