The Art That Inspired Ahsoka and Darth Vader's Epic Duel in Star Wars Rebels

The long-awaited clash between fallen master and former apprentice was the crowning moment of Star Wars Rebels’ second season—and it’s fascinating to see just how long producer Dave Filoni has been planning Anakin and Ahsoka’s heartbreaking reunion through his sketch book.

Part of an extensive interview with Filoni at looking back at season two ahead of the show’s return to TV, these sketches were first shown publicly at this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, as part of a panel exploring Ahsoka’s untold past between Clone Wars and Rebels. But now we can see them the earliest stages of Filoni’s ideas for the fateful encounter up close, in glorious detail.


Fun fact: At that Celebration Panel, Filoni revealed that in initial stages one of these moments would’ve been Ahsoka’s death—Vader running her through as she leaps on the Sith Lord and slashes his helmet open, revealing to her Anakin’s scarred visage as she dies. Thankfully that was quickly dropped!

The most interesting of all these sketches. though, is this third one, that reveals just how long Filoni has been planning this duel: he sketched this in the last days of Clone Wars’ production, as the series was wrapping up. We might have got a new, older design for Ahsoka when we finally saw it, but the shot was pretty much right there in the episodes, all those years later:


The full interview is well worth checking out.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!