Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TCW Seasons 6/7 Concept Art - Anaylzed

Something big and extremely cool recently happened. After the official end of The Clone Wars this month, Dave Filoni released several concept art drawings of arcs that would have been seen in Season Six, Seven, and onward. Here is what he stated on the blog after posting these:

"I guess my intention here is to encourage you all to dream, to imagine, not just what these stories might have been, but what the possibilities are for other new stories which have never been told before. And maybe the person who tells those stories will be you. I hope you have enjoyed what was, and what yet might be, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…"

Dave Filoni also said, "I love theories, and I am sure you will have many after seeing these images."

I decided that I am going to write out my own theories of these images, because that's exactly what Dave Filoni wanted us to do. So for the past week I have been writing this out to analyze these drawings for you guys. (I am saving my favorite one for last, just so you know.) If you agree or disagree with any of my theories, or wish to elaborate or suggest anything else, feel free to let me know in a comment. I would love to discuss these drawings with any other fans who are game! OK, here we go...!

This drawing appears to be what would have been a continuation of Darth Maul's story following the Season Five episode "The Lawless". We see Dooku and Maul side by side, which might suggest they are of equal rank or status. This could also mean Sidious is using Maul as a "secret" apprentice of some sort, in some way that does not violate the Sith Rule of Two (which states there can only be two Sith in existence at a time), but also puts Maul's skill to use. Maul might end up being some sort of executor for Sidious' "dirty deeds", doing work that is too low for Dooku but is still connected to Sidious' ultimate plan. Also, look at Dooku and Maul's expressions...Dooku looks a bit jealous or wary of Maul, which makes sense. Dooku probably does not trust Maul and wants him dead. Meanwhile, Maul is obviously in deep torment, again, which also makes sense considering what happened to him in "The Lawless". Most important is that Sidious is standing above both of them. He is in control of them, and they are both ultimately Sidious' pawns. Of course, we'll get to see how Maul's story actually pans out in the "Sons of Dathmoir" comics coming out later this year, which is the same story we would have seen in later TCW seasons.

We see a lot more characters in here too. On the left we have Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aayla Secura, Mace Windu, and Plo Koon. I think this means these Jedi would all have had significant roles in this arc. All if not most of them would duel Dooku and/or Maul at some point. Obi-Wan would probably have the biggest role of all four, as he might feel a personal sense of responsibility to eliminate Darth Maul as he should have done over ten years ago. Meanwhile, on the right, we have members of Death Watch who are still bearing the armor decoration they painted on when Darth Maul became their new leader. Since they are on the opposite side of the Jedi, this might imply they are going to be dueling the Jedi at some point, or at least are the "enemies" or "bad guys" of this story. I think this means there are still Death Watch members who are loyal to Darth Maul and are obedient to his will...which doesn't really match up to what the Mandalorians are all about, but maybe they are some sort of Death Watch "rogues" who were banished from the order after Darth Maul was defeated by Sidious.

But what sticks out to me most about this drawing is Quinlin Vos on the bottom. We see him twice; once, below Dooku and Maul, and again apparently dueling Maul. Quinlin Vos is one of the most interesting EU Jedi I have read about...he goes very dark and almost turned to the Dark Side at one point, and still is considered to be a risky sort of Jedi to deal with. I have always seen Vos as being a conflicted character but who ultimately chooses good...almost like a more aggressive version of Anakin, if you will. Unfortunately, Vos only appeared once in The Clone Wars in the episode "Hunt for Ziro", and he was made out to be more of a comic relief then. This story definitely would have taken Vos' EU story and intertwined it with Maul's. First, Vos is enveloped in Sidious' "cloak" as much as Dooku and Maul are, but he is also standing below them. This could mean Vos at one point joined Sidious, but since he is not an actual apprentice, he is a lower rank than both Dooku and Maul. Also, the fact that he is dueling Maul on the bottom could mean two things: 1) they are training or having a bit of a squabble, or 2) this is a serious to-the-death fight. Is Vos training Maul, Maul training Vos? Are they fighting because Sidious can only accept one of them? All of this with Quinlin Vos leads me right to the next drawing...

In the top image we see what looks like has been a duel between...Quinlin Vos and Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan is possibly knocked down, and Vos is about to either finish him off or walk away. In "Hunt for Ziro" Obi-Wan and Vos were working together, so it makes sense that they would be paired up a second time. Here, though, they are obviously on different sides. Whatever is going on here, my bet is that Vos has reluctantly turned Dark Side, which stirs concern in the Jedi Council. There could be a few things going on. 1) Vos is now working for Dooku or Sidious, 2) Vos and Maul are in a bit of rivalry with each other, 3) Obi-Wan is trying to bring Vos back to the Jedi Order. If the last one is true, I imagine this story would have seen a lot of foreshadowing of the events in Episode III, making it even darker.

In the middle drawing, Vos is carrying Asajj Ventress, who is either dead or unconscious. Ventress was previously Dooku's apprentice, but he was ordered to kill her and now Ventress is a rogue living on her own. If Vos is now filling the same role Ventress once had, there could be some sort of conflict between them. Either that, or Maul's previous conflict with Ventress has brought her back into the fight. Then something bad happens to Ventress...one of the three - Dooku, Maul, or Quinlin Vos - kills her or knocks her down. Could this be the moment where Vos snaps and turns good again, carrying Ventress' body back to the Jedi Temple for a proper burial? If so, why would Vos bother to carry her body in the first place? Is Asajj Ventress so close to redemption at this point that she could be considered "good"? If so, her death could be the ideal wake-up call for Vos.

The final drawing shows Maul in a black cloak. There is not much to speculate from this, but perhaps we can assume Maul is doing some sort of meditating all on his own. Or this could be a cloak he uses to go undercover at some point? I really can't say for sure. But that about wraps it up for my thoughts on the Maul/Vos drawings...

These two drawings appear to be set on Kashyyyk, the homeworld of the Wookiees. I have a feeling this is an arc that would have gone more into Chewbacca, who we saw in Season Three but his story was never continued after that. Maybe we would have seen Chewbacca go back to Kashyyyk and begin training to become a warrior. This makes sense because when we found Chewbacca in Episode III he was on Kashyyyk and already a fairly skilled fighter. In addition, we also met Chewbacca's friend Tarfful in Episode III. That makes me pretty certain that Tarfful would have made an appearance in this arc. I also think that Yoda would have had a role in this arc, and here is why I think so. In Revenge, Yoda made a remark that he has "good relations with the Wookiees"...but never once in TCW did we see Yoda working with the Wookiees at any given point. This was probably the arc that explained how Yoda came to form an alliance with the Wookiees...learning about their culture and customs, possibly teaching them skills or allying them with the Republic, and of course befriending Chewbacca and Tarfful. I can see those two Wookiees going on some sort of adventure with Yoda in the Kashyyyk wilderness, an experience which would bond them and keep them close until the events of Order 66 when they parted ways.

Overall, we might have had more establishment of Chewbacca and Tarfful's stories, Yoda's relations with the Wookieees, more on Kashyyyk and the Wookiee culture, and connections to their involvement in Episode III. It would have been a neat thing to see, as I have always thought Kashyyyk was a cool planet that needed more love, not to mention seeing Yoda, Chewbacca, and Tarfful together. Maybe we'll see this story the same way we'll see the Darth Maul story, through comics, but until then we can just speculate...

As for these drawings, I had to do a bit of research to see what they're about. The figures in the top picture appear to be Mon Calamari (the same species as Admiral Ackbar). From what I'm gathering, they might be taking one of their political leaders to a city. Seeing how The Clone Wars was big on introducing characters from The Original Trilogy (Chewbacca, Moff Tarkin, Dengar, and Greedo, to name a few), this arc might have introduced a younger Ackbar. The third drawing down mentions a character named "Tikkes", who was a Senator of Mon Calamari. Interestingly enough, Tikkes left the Republic to join the CIS, and was later assassinated by Darth Vader on Mustafar, so we probably would have gotten more on his story. Whatever is going on, I think it would have been another story that was mostly political-based. Considering what we already know of this Tikkes, I imagine there might have also been hints at the political intrigue that led to the downfall of the Republic and the birth of the Galactic Empire, but that is just mere speculation. It looks pretty cool that they would be using a sea creature's tail for transportation, plus the design for the city looks stunning. Other than that, I cannot say much about what I think is going on in these drawings, other than that I'm sure we would have seen Ackbar and lots of Mon Calamari.

This drawing...I obviously can't tell much of what is going on. The speeder is from Naboo as shown by the caption beneath the drawing. But that is most definitely Padme, so this means she would have had another arc. It probably would have had more political intrigue, but since we're talking about either Season Six or Seven, I have a feeling this arc might have had stronger connections to events from Episode III. Maybe we would have started to get a stronger idea of what was going on in the Senate leading up to the birth of the Galactic Empire. In addition, there might have even been something involving the deleted scene from Episode III that famously discussed what would become the birth of the Rebel Alliance. Of course, this is all mere speculation. But seeing how the writers of TCW addressed Order 66 in a Season 6 arc, it doesn't seem like a stretch to say they would add more to the political intrigue happening in Episode III with this arc.

These drawings look awesome! Can I say it? This would have been an amazing arc! It looks like Ahsoka and Bo-Katan are in cahoots with each other. What does this mean? First, it could imply that Ahsoka has decided to seek refuge on Mandalore, and soon finds herself involved with Death Watch. Second, Ahsoka deliberately went to Mandalore to either aide or fight Death Watch. My third speculation is that Bo-Katan somehow forged a friendship or alliance with Ahsoka outside of Mandalore, since this drawing doesn't necessarily mean they are on Mandalore at all. The ending of the Darth Maul arc from Season 5 left everyone wondering, what happened to Mandalore and Death Watch? They lost their political leaders, Death Watch was in control, and everything turned into chaos with the fall of Maul and Savage. It's pretty safe to assume this arc would have at least explained more about the aftermath of that arc. We might have seen more character development in Bo-Katan, learned her story and such. It's quite possible that she is now in control of Mandalore, or at least Death Watch. Since Bo-Katan was not unwilling to help Obi-Wan in the same arc, it doesn't seem like a stretch to also assume Bo-Katan is willing to be Ahsoka's aide, ally, or friend. Again, this leads back to how these two met in the first place. Basically, either Bo-Katan needs something from Ahsoka, or Ahsoka needs something from Death Watch...I'm thinking the latter is more likely. But anyway, in the second drawing we see Ahsoka is in contact with the Jedi Council! I think this is very interesting. Does this mean big things are happening on Mandalore, and Ahsoka is calling to the Council for help? If Anakin and Obi-Wan get involved there would obviously be some awkward moments between the three, which would be both tragic and comedic.

I love speculating what could be going on here. I hope that whatever is happening, we will get to see how Ahsoka's story plays out later on. For me personally, I don't mind if this means she appears in Rebels, Episode VII, the live-action series still under production, or some other form. But now that she has left the Order, the door has opened to all kinds of possibilities for Ahsoka's fate. I can't wait to see what becomes of her. Okay, one last drawing and then we get to my favorite ones...

Spoiler from Dave Filoni: Echo is alive! Hurray! It was never confirmed if the explosion Echo was caught in killed him or not, but now we know that he survived and eventually made his way back to rejoin another unit. I never had that much of a connection to Echo, but I was a bit saddened when he died. To know he's back I know has made many people happy. I hope this means Echo's story is not finished yet either. What I would really like to see is how clones like Echo, Captain Rex, and Cody were affected by Order 66 and afterwards. Did some of them become elites in the Imperial army? Did some go rogue and join the Rebels? Who knows? I think it would be cool to see the clones have their own exclusive story played out in a book series somehow. 

Of all the drawings Dave Filoni showed us, however, these were my favorite by far:

It's Cad Bane and Boba Fett in cahoots!! (Going to try to keep calm here as I write this...) In the top drawing, they are almost certainly on Tatooine, as revealed by the sand dunes and the twin suns. What I am really interested in is the hut village they are seemingly walked away from. Is this some sort of temporary establishment for a gang of bounty hunters to hide out in? Is it the home of some innocent farmers they recently conned? Or could it even be a Tusken Raider village? Interestingly enough, neither of the two are wearing their full gear. Cad Bane is missing his hat, coat, and holsters, and Boba is not wearing his helmet. This could imply two things: 1) they are indeed hiding out with some other bounty hunters, and left behind some of their gear to take a walk and discuss things, or 2) they recently sneaked out or escaped from the Tusken Raider village they were originally being held captive in, which would also imply why they are missing some gear. Either seems reasonable to me, but both mean that they are definitely partners of some sort. Which begs the question as to how and why they partners in the first place. Did Cad Bane hire Boba to help him on a job, or is it the other way around? Did fate and circumstance force their paths to intertwine, and now they are forced to help each other out? Did Boba need to find a new mentor and chose Cad Bane? If you know me you know the last speculation is my favorite, but of course I can't say for sure which one is the most likely.

The bottom drawing is even more interesting. Once again, this looks like Tatooine, although it could easily be another system, but I'm not going to try guessing. From left to right, we have the following bounty hunters: IG-88 (or some other assassin droid), possibly Boba Fett (the lad in this drawing looks a bit too young to be Boba, but it's still possible), Cad Bane, Bossk, another young Human (according to this one's bust and shape, I'm pretty sure it's a female), and Embo. Let me repeat that if you didn't get it right...Cad Bane, Bossk, Embo, and possibly Boba Fett are all working together. This drawing is literally oozing with epic bounty hunters awesomeness. It appears Cad Bane is once again the leader of the operation, as he is walking at the front. Boba Fett and the Human girl are on his right and left, which implies two things: 1) Bane is sort of protecting them, keeping them at his sides to watch over them, or 2) he is instructing them and keeping them at his sides so they can learn from his every move...teaching them "the stuff", so to speak. Bossk is leading the rear, so he is probably the "muscle" of the team, not letting anyone straggle behind and watching their backs. IG-88 and Embo flank the left and right, so they are the team's main defenders and maybe the "scouts" at times.

To be honest Embo is one of my favorite bounty hunters, so to see him in action with my all-time favorite is very exciting. They did get to be allies in the Deception arc, but that was only one episode and it was barely half of the episode length, plus they weren't exactly fighting side by side anyway. This drawing implies that they are allies again, and it looks like this time they get more action together. You cannot possibly fathom how much I want to see Bane and Embo as partners. Here, we also see Bossk, who as we know was still alive in Episode V, so no matter what would have happened in this arc he and Boba's lives were insured. Bossk is loyal to Boba, and will probably choose to be on Boba's side over anyone else's, at least that is my interpretation of their relationship at this part of their story. Could that close bond between Boba and Bossk have some say in how this arc would pan out? Can't say for sure. It is also interesting to note that there is a young Human girl pictured here as well. This also begs a lot of questions...first of all, why is this girl here in the first place? Is she a friend of Boba's? (aww...) Maybe they're more than friends, I don't know...Boba was a father by the age of sixteen, after all. Did she join because one of her parents was a bounty hunter and knew someone in this team? Did she join on her own free will? Was she simply hired because she has the capability to keep up? Or, is someone on the team looking after her as a sort of mentor or caretaker? If the last one is the case, I'm thinking it is either Bane or Embo who is taking care of her. Bossk doesn't seem like that type of character and already has his hands full with Boba anyway. If Bane or Embo is actually taking care of a young girl, well, I see a lot of character development coming. Especially when you consider that Bane had no qualms with kidnapping innocent babies for money...so why would he stoop to looking after this girl? But she is walking alongside him in the drawing, so it's possible. Or she could just be a tough little cookie who doesn't need anyone looking after her. I don't know which one I love more.

One more thing. What on earth could this arc be about in the first place? Let me spell out a couple ideas. First, it could easily be an arc that only functioned to throw fan-service at the audience, a chance to see a bunch of bounty hunters in action. Cue banters, foreshadowing, action, and badassery galore. It would be sort of like the episode from Season 4 where we got to see Boba, Bossk, Dengar, and Asajj Ventress working together, an episode which only had minor character development for Ventress, and otherwise was just bounty hunter overdose. Which isn't entirely awful at all, but I always appreciate when a little more effort is put into a story's purpose in the overall canon. However, if this arc truly did function as a means of connection TCW to the films, or even the Prequels to the Sequels, I sense we would have seen Boba take another step towards becoming the best bounty hunter of his time. Does Cad Bane become his mentor, and thus set Boba up to eventually take the title, or worse? As you can see, in the top drawing again, Boba is wearing what appears to be his father's armor modified to fit him. We can't tell from here, but it might have already been recolored as well. This arc very well could have explained the next step in Boba's story, and how it affected other bounty hunters as well. And that being said, this means we might have seen some character deaths. After all we don't know the full story of how Boba became the best during his time, so did this mean he had to eliminate superior bounty hunters along the way? Again, Boba, Bossk, and IG-88 (if that is IG-88) are insured, so that means Cad Bane, Embo, or the young girl could be killed off. Maybe Boba pulls a Judas Iscariot and betrays Bane, kills him, and gets even closer to becoming the best. Or he kills Embo too...does Bossk help? What does the young girl do about this? Whose side would she pick? But, of course, this could have gone about without any character deaths at all. But either way I think this would have been an awesome, wonderful arc I could have sank my teeth into. Maybe they didn't show it with the other "Lost Missions" because they want to use the story in "Rebels" or some other form, or they want to change the story altogether. Who knows?

I'm just going to sit here and wait for any more news. To wrap this all up, thank you Mr. Filoni for letting us see these amazing drawings, and for inviting us to offer our own theories and speculations. I look forward to seeing what happens to these stories, and which ones we will be able to see in the future. Whatever happens I believe it will be very exciting and a lot of fun.

Thank you all for reading this incredibly long and rambly post, and may the Force be with you!!!

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