Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Now that you’ve seen the Star Wars Rebels season two finale “Twilight of the Apprentice”, you’re probably wondering what the heck happened. I was at the premiere of the finale and Star Wars Rebels executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg were on hand to answer questions after the screening. Hit the jump to find out what they said regarding the epic ending and your other Star Wars Rebels season 2 finale questions.
Obviously, spoilers for the season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels follow.
Is Ahsoka Tano Still Alive?
The season finale of Star Wars Rebels season 2 ends with the epic confrontation of Darth Vader and his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano, leading to a very ambiguous moment where we don’t know if Ahsoka survives or not. I loved the entire episode up until this moment. Not because I thought Ahsoka shouldn’t die — all the Jedi must die before A New Hope begins and her character has very little left to do character arc-wise (unless she joins Vader). I’m also not bothered by cliffhangers — I love serialized television and endings like Empire Strikes Back. But the ending felt more like a cop-out than a cliffhanger. And certainly, if this is how Ahsoka dies, it’s lame that we don’t even get that dramatic moment of really seeing it.
Anyway, you probably are here for the answers and not my opinion, so let’s get to it. When asked whether Ahsoka Tano is dead or alive, Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni gave the following answer:
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. Like how strong is your faith. What do you believe? What did you see there in the final moments? ‘Cause I know what happened for sure. And I think that it would be just cruel and rob you of your own independence if I said blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, it’s like I didn’t put an image of Vader like dragging her head along at the end. That’d be horrible. That would be like I couldn’t even get off this lot if that happened. And yet I didn’t have a Loth cat come up and purr at her ankle as she picked it up and said “close one.” So neither of those is an acceptable outcome. So I never answered your question. But nebulous. Nebulous with complete certainty as to what happened in my own mind and now at conventions I’ll be plagued with what people– which is fine. I can deal with that. ‘Cause interest is good. ‘Cause it means we keep making the show. So that’s fine. Fair enough.
Executive producer Simon Kinberg says he knows the answer to the question so he couldn’t rightfully answer it outright, but agreed with Filoni that “it’s up to your imagination and then eventually you will learn one way or another.” Kinberg says it all started when they discussed the possibility of whether or not to bring in Clone Wars characters to Season 2:
That would mean the show and one of the sort of responsibilities we felt was if we were bringing in these characters, we’d have to give them really dramatic arcs. They would have to have as dramatic stories as our main characters. And certainly this at least ending for now was something that we talked about throughout the process of working on the season and knew we were gonna end this way, this season.
Both Ahsoka Tano voice actor Ashley Eckstein and Ezra Bridger voice actor Taylor Gray choose to believe that Ahsoka is still alive, although neither were let in on the truth when they recorded the episode. In fact, neither of them even knew what happened in the ending until they saw the premiere this week. Eckstein explains the process:
Well obviously I knew the lines I recorded. And that was pretty much it. I’ve been giving Dave an incredibly hard time because we’ve known each for 10 years now and we do you say ugh? But he’s always told me everything. Always the storylines ahead of time. And nobody believed me out there, but I didn’t know. And wow. I don’t even have much to say. I’m still processing it. It was so beautiful and so amazing. And I do have a million questions but now that I’ve seen it, you have to be forced to answer.
And Filoni explains that he didn’t let them in on the later events because they shouldn’t know:
But you couldn’t know what happened because Ahsoka didn’t know it was gonna happen to her. So if you knew what was gonna happen, it would make your performance false. So I couldn’t tell you ahead of time that was what happened to you. ‘Cause it wouldn’t make any sense.
And even after seeing the episode, they, like you, both stars are still unsure of what went down in the end. Filoni said:
I can tell her, but we won’t tell you. Unless of course she is truly dead, which then there’s nothing more to tell. And she would know that she’s dead so she’d just be dead.
And Eckstein admits whether or not Ahsoka is alive or dead, she trusts Filoni with the character:
And I’ve always said that no matter what happens with Ahsoka, I trust Dave. So whether she lives or dies, he’s always gonna do the right thing for the overall Star Wars story. And so whatever that may be, I promise him I’m always fine with it. And of course I became so attached to her and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her, but he once told me that if Ahsoka and Vader faced off, it wouldn’t be a good thing for Ahsoka. So and that was several years ago. And so I always had that in the back of my head. It’s like okay, I trust Dave. I want her to live. I want her to live. But oh it’s not gonna be good for Ahsoka. So I was just so nervous. And then I would get photos on my phone of Ahsoka with her head chopped off that Dave and Henry would send me from recording sessions. Like ha-ha, have a good day.
Later in the post-screening Q&A, Eckstein jokingly asked Filoni “So I wanna know, am I reprinting the Ahsoka Lives T-shirt or am I pirating the Ahsoka’s Dead T-shirt?” Filoni laughed and responded with the following:
I think what’s great about this… Again, it’s kind of like you can sell two shirts. This is what I do. I help her out all the time. What you do is you sell this shirt for like the optimists, right? And then you sell a new shirt with just all you have to do to take that design add a question mark. And that’s all you have to do. It’s a really inexpensive thing. You can even take like back stock you have of additional shirts that can’t sell and you can just like boom, put a question mark on it and it’s a whole new shirt. It’s a brand new shirt. You can sell that one, mark it up.
Hit the next page to hear what they say about Ezra Bridger’s possible turn to the dark side and more.