Supervising director Dave Filoni, producer Cary Silver, and Lucasfilm writer Pablo Hidalgo showed seven clips and revealed and astounding amount of information about the upcoming season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Season 4, subtitled Battle Lines, will emphasize and magnify the scope and battles that the last part of Season 3 ended on. "Lots of explosions, lotta boom," said Filoni.
The first clip showed Kit Fisto and Ahsoka diving underwater to take part in a battle between the Mon Calamari and the Quarren, leading to the reveal that the first three episodes of Season 4 will take place underwater. Filoni noted the game changing aspects of doing portions of the season underwater, saying, "We had to create the entire civilization of Mon Calamari. That was the hard part - shooting the cameras like they were scuba cameras."
Admiral Ackbar will be present in Season Four, but will be known as Captain Ackbar. Filoni joked about Ackbar's internet meme status, saying, "We debated including a scene in Season 4 with Anakin saying, ‘If we make this move, it will be a trap.' And Ackbar says, ‘What is that?"' Filoni went on to say that Anakin then explains to Ackbar why the situation is a trap, with the famous scene in Return of the Jedi becoming an "ah-ha!" moment for Ackbar when he gets to use the word.
New clone trooper armor was also shown off, including scuba trooper gear, with Filoni looking forward "to seeing the 501st guys walking around in flippers." The clone armor will be upgraded to its Phase II version for Season 4, however, Commander Rex will keep the Phase I armor and modify it with parts of the more disposable Phase II armor, as Rex fears that the Republic is moving in the direction of using clones in a disposable manner. Season 4 will see Rex take part in an intense, clone-centric arc on the planet Umbara, a planet where the sun never shines, with the clones fighting humanoid enemies for the first time.
The number of assets for use in the series has been increased as well, with a clip showing the Z-95 Headhunter, the precursor of the X-Wing, in battle. A low resolution clip showing the Nightsisters in action against a group of battle droids followed, with several members of the audience dressed as Nightsisters joining Filoni and Silver on stage.
The biggest announcement of the panel came in a clip showing Ahsoka being captured by members of Death Watch led by a female Mandalorian. It was then revealed that this new character is voiced by Katee Sackoff of Battlestar Galactica and 24 fame.
After the clips, the interview went into a rapid fire question and answer session yielding the following revelations about what does and does not lie ahead for the Clone Wars series:
Will there be any other animated projects other than Clone Wars? Silver said there are "few things in the works" in regards to additional animated series involving the Star Wars universe, at which point Seth Green popped up and joined the panel. Green has been rumored to be working on an in-universe animated series with a comedic bend for some time.
Will we ever see a young Han Solo? Dave Filoni says, "No. Not unless George really insisted on it. I don't want to be the guy who defines that. I think the fans deserve to imagine what he would be like; it's not for me to do.
Will Obi-Wan and Ahsoka ever realize that Anakin and Padme are married? "We'll get into how much other people know, particularly Obi-Wan, in the series. We will address this in the future of the show."
When will Ahsoka die? "I've done eight different endings for her. I'll be talking to George about it soon," said Filoni.
That an ominous ending to a panel if I've ever heard one. In the meantime, enjoy a teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm.