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Star Wars: The Clone Wars recap: Most Political Series on TV?

Supervising Director Dave Filoni chats with EW about season 3, while “Pursuit of Peace” shows us that Galaxy Far, Far Away’s military-industrial complex.

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Clone Wars Padma
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Current Status:
99 minutes
Wide Release Date:
Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Anthony Daniels
Dave Filoni
Warner Bros.
George Lucas
Animation, ActionAdventure

“Pursuit of Peace” represents the halfway point of Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ third season. It’s also the last episode to air this year. But never fear, Padawan readers! Like James Bond, Clone Wars will return—and hit the ground running in January with an epic new storyline about Darth Maul’s brother Savage Opress and the Nightsisters of Dathomir, witches who could rival Bellatrix Lestrange for sheer, cackling nastiness. Since we’ve reached the midpoint of the season, though, we decided to check in with supervising director Dave Filoni about the season so far and, though always in motion is the future, what lies ahead.

EW: I’m amazed at how political some of these season 3 episodes are…

DF: This season has allowed us to go into much greater detail with the Star Wars universe itself. In “Heroes on Both Sides” there are big political overtones, where, as an adult, you see the machinations of greed within the Republic Senate, but, as a kid, I think the big thing you take away is that there are these people like Lux and Mina Bonteri who are Separatists but aren’t villains like Grievous. There are heroes on both sides. The kids are challenged with that point of view, just like Ahsoka is challenged with that point of view.

EW: Until now, we’ve never really seen any humanity on the Separatist side. They’ve all been archvillains like Dooku, Grievous, and Ventress, so it’s been refreshing to see some Separatists might really have legitimate grievances with the Republic…

DF: When you consider that Dooku said the Senate is corrupt, well, he’s right. But he’s also a liar and a double-crosser, which his supporters don’t know yet. And even the Jedi are being exploited [by the Republic’s leader, Palpatine] to a level, where, either they don’t perceive it, or they’re unwilling to recognize it. In Revenge of the Sith, the idea that they would implicate the Supreme Chancellor as an enemy of the state is a really difficult one for them, because, to them, he’s a Sith, so it’s automatic. But I’m not certain it would be so clear for the people of the Republic. Ordinary people would be like “Palpatine’s a Sith? Well, my job is still good, so what does that matter to me, Jedi guy?” It puts the Jedi in a compromising position that I think Palpatine uses to his advantage.

EW: Likewise, until “Heroes on Both Sides” we had never seen Dooku in his role as a political leader.

DF: Well, it starts to explore the duality that all Sith learn. He has a public face, which is Count Dooku, and his private, hidden face, which is Darth Tyranus. So we’ve seen mostly Darth Tyranus on the show when he’s committing his atrocities, the same way Palpatine’s really Darth Sidious. That duality is something he’s learned from his master. He’s playing the same game for the Separatists that Palpatine’s playing for the Republic.

NEXT: Kate Capshaw’s unexpected influence on The Clone Wars. And here come the Nightsisters!