Whether you were on the side that truly respected Star Wars: The Clone Wars or the side that didn’t favor it, no one can deny the impact it had following Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in 2005. The Clone wars series, despite the criticism, revitalized and kept the momentum of the Star Wars franchise going for six years by bringing new content and stories from that galaxy far, far away to our own television sets. Along the way, it built a much needed bridge between Episodes II and III, and as it continued to construct the universe from that era, it also won a few Emmy Awards. A major shift followed, however, when the vision of Star Wars turned to the highly anticipating sequel trilogy. Thus, The Clone Wars ended and plans for a new series went underway–a series that is not replacing The Clone Wars, but instead, continuing the storytelling process for another untapped time period. The Clone Wars stories that had been developed were put on hold and the remaining episodes premiered on Netlifx, leaving fans with many unanswered questions.
Lucasfilm, however, never discards anything. Everything is always kept for potential future use on another project, such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars Legacy. Legacy aims to bring content from the much beloved animated series to the fans by means of other media. We witnessed this recently with Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Darth Maul — Son of Dathomir, a four-part comic book series that adapted four unfinished Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode scripts. Though the comic raised more questions about Darth Maul’s future, it remains a prime example of how content originally drafted for a television series could transform and become another medium. This conversion happened once again when Del Rey Books announced a novel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 based on a never-before-seen arc with Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, entitled Star Wars: Dark Disciple, written by Christie Golden.
For some time, we only had Dave Filoni’s sketches from the writer conferences to extract information about Dark Disciple. That is, until a book summary was released in late August.
The last story never told in The Clone Wars television saga: A tale of trust, betrayal, love, and evil starring the hugely popular ex-Sith/never-Jedi female bounty hunter, Asajj Ventress! A tale written but never aired, now turned into a brand-new novel with the creative collaboration of the Lucasfilm Story Group and Dave Filoni, Executive Producer and Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels!
When the Jedi decide to target Count Dooku—Darth Tyranus—himself, they turn to his ex-apprentice, Asajj Ventress, for help in getting close to the slippery Sith Lord. But when unexpected sparks fly between Ventress and Quinlan Vos, the unorthodox Jedi sent to work with her, the mission becomes a web of betrayal, alliances, secrets, and dark plotting that might just be the undoing of both Jedi and Sith—and everything in between!
To start off, we have a snippet of undeveloped animation that appeared in the Legacy video with Dave Filoni and the rest of the Lucasfilm Animation crew. In one instance, Vos is attempting to use the Force on a snake-like creature (an Anacondan, perhaps). Then, we see Ventress using her goggles and flying through city streets, presumably on Pantora. The footage shifts to Count Dooku and Grievous on, what I imagine, is Raxus, and finally, we see Dooku and Ventress (in her ball gown) at an event of some kind. The concept art for the arc also includes a mining village on Mustafar, city views of Pantora, and a landing platform on Raxus.
Based on the concept art of the Pantora by Jackson Sze, the planet is depicted with two moons (one significantly smaller than the other) and a bright red sun. Ventress also appears in the first promotional image of the novel in her new garb, holding a yellow lightsaber, with two moons in the background. Additionally, the Dave Filoni sketch seen further above portrays Vos on a planet with a bright red sun in the background, the same red sun seen in the two concept art for Pantora. It seems Pantora will be the primary location for the operation Ventress and Vos conduct in order to get closer to Count Dooku.
Raxus in Star Wars: The Clone Wars was the capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It was the location of the late Separatist Senator Mina Bonteri’s home, mother of Lux Bonteri. On the left, we see the Bonteri home with cathedral-like architecture and orange-colored trees and shrubbery. On the right, the concept art for Dark Disciple bears the same features. In an earlier statement, I mentioned that Dooku could be on Raxus and the assumption was made based on the architecture that surrounded him as he stood with General Grievous in the undeveloped footage seen further above.
We had written several scripts for her story. The next one was the one where she was going to cross over with Quinlan Vos. An author could take some of these ideas, very complex ideas from Ventress and her character, and just expand on these ideas in an intricate way that I was never going to have time to do on a TV series. It has kind of all of the classic elements of Star Wars that we’ve come to expect: love, betrayal, sadness, revenge.
Dark Disciple will debut summer 2015.
Lucasfilm also gave the core community of fans the unfinished story reels of four episodes that make up the “Crisis Crystal on Utapau” arc. Obi-Wan and Anakin investigate the death of Jedi Master Tu-Anh on Utapau. There, the two uncover a Separatist weapons deal, leading them to be captured by the dealers who also possess a crystal of unlimited power. Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to escape with the crystal, but ultimately, must prevent it from falling into General Grievous’ hands.
Written by Daniel Arkin, the arc held onto that familiar sense of adventure and humor that Star Wars is known to portray. It also had a handful of classic references to A New Hope. The most significant reveal, however, was the giant kyber crystal. The crystal, according to Yoda, had been used in the past as a dangerous weapon, “Out of the stories of old, this crystal comes. Long ago in forgotten times when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were of unimaginable power. Always at their heart a kyber crystal was. Just like the one you describe…A warning this is. Powerful the Sith Lord has become with great designs for our destruction. If find one of these crystals he can, another he will seek.”
Darth Sidious (and perhaps Darth Vader, since the “another he will seek” part cut right to Anakin at that point) probably did find another crystal and incorporated it into the Death Star. When charged by external energy, the crystal emits lasers of great magnitude, as seen when the dwarf spider droid shot at it with its blaster cannon. Funny enough, in the earliest draft of A New Hope, the kyber crystals also played a similar role. According to this arc, however, it is heavily implied that the giant crystal could be the force behind the Death Star’s superlaser weapon. That said, could we see the reappearance of kyber crystals of that magnitude in the sequel trilogy? After all, there are rumors of a device with the potential to wipe out entire solar systems. How else would these weapons be powered to do such disastrous deeds?
Whether it’s a novel or unfinished episode, I hope the stories from Star Wars: The Clone Wars continue to appear in other forms of distribution. With the relationship Disney recently established with Netflix, my dream is to see more content appear as an animated mini-series or movie. There are so many possibilities, and it is my sincerest hope that we get to see these stories one way or another.