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Star Wars: The Clone Wars is quickly approaching its conclusion, as the highly anticipated “Siege of Mandalore” story arc is now halfway finished. While fans are undoubtedly curious about what lies ahead in the next few chapters, they’re likely still reeling from the past few episodes. One of the most memorable moments from the latest installment, “The Phantom Apprentice,” was the climactic lightsaber duel between Ahsoka Tano and Maul.
Some may be under the impression that the sequence was produced like many of the show’s countless lightsaber battles. However, it turns out the cast and crew of Clone Wars had to do a lot more to execute this particular fight.
In a newly released featurette, Star Wars: The Clone Wars creator and executive producer Dave Filoni along with members of the cast and crew broke down the process of creating the duel. Interestingly, Ahsoka and Maul’s confrontation marked the first time the show has utilized motion capture for lightsaber combat. The decision to use this method was born out of a desire to create a scene that felt visually fluid.
The process also allowed Dave Filoni and his team to enlist the services of original Darth Maul actor Ray Park, who provided the movements for his character. For more insight into the process, you can check out the video for yourself:
Although the process has used in films for years, motion capture has become more prevalent in TV series and videos over the last decade or so. Its power has been demonstrated in multiple big-budget productions, which is probably why Filoni and company opted to use it this time around. Plus, one can imagine the show has received a boost in its budget since it first began, allowing motion capture to become an option.
The impact of the technology on Ahsoka and Maul’s skirmish was instantly noticeable. Even though the Clone Wars team has done a nice job of creating lightsaber duels in the past, this was noticeably smoother, despite being more intricate than others.
Star Wars fans also have to love the fact that Ray Park was brought back to reprise the role of Maul, at least from a physical standpoint. It serves as both a nice nod for the fans and a great way for Park to truly complete his journey as the character.
As Dave FIloni mentioned in the video, “The Siege of Mandalore” is intended to serve as a conclusion to Ahsoka, Maul and Captain Rex’s stories in The Clone Wars. The four-part series finale also overlaps with the events of Revenge of the Sith, which adds an additional layer to an already-emotional tale. So you can bet things are only going to heat up in the last pair of episodes.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is currently streaming on Disney+.