Dave Filoni Previously Admitted That George Lucas Did Not Want Ahsoka To Survive Order 66, Later Claimed It Was Lucas’ Idea For Her To Survive
Star Wars: Ahsoka writer Dave Filoni previously admitted that George Lucas had no intention of keeping Ahsoka alive after the execution of Order 66.
As part of Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ The Wrong Jedi featurette Filoni matter-of-factly states, “I don’t think it’s a mystery that I’ve always been a bit more in the Ahsoka lives camp and then George has been very full on in the Ahsoka dies camp. I think I’ve said that before if not revelation for you.”
He then went on to explain his choice to expel her from the Jedi Order was indeed done to keep her alive, “So, I thought expelling her from the Jedi Order is a good movement towards that end. And we stand on that bold, new frontier for her. Things have changed. She is not the same character.”
Interestingly, Filoni would seemingly change this story as the years went on. In an interview with StarWars.com following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm discussing the first season of Star Wars Rebels, Filoni detailed how he and George discussed Ahsoka surviving Order 66.
He said, “This is something that George [Lucas] and I talked about. When Order 66 is called and Ahsoka survives it, she has a moment where she reaches out into the Force and she looks for Anakin’s presence. She could feel Anakin’s presence in the Force, no matter where she was in the galaxy.”
“It’s not like a metal detector — she couldn’t just go right to where he was, but she would get a feeling that her friend is still safe and alive. When she reaches out after Order 66, she doesn’t get that. It’s gone, and so she believes him to be dead,” he added.
He then contrasted this with Ahsoka discovering that Darth Vader is indeed Anakin Skywalker, “When Ahsoka reaches out with Kanan to see who Vader is, that’s different. She digs in and she’s so close to him physically, flying after him, and strikes into his consciousness.”
“It’s almost like realizing something that’s so jarring you can’t handle it. Like Force feedback. She gets knocked out because, I believe, in a flash of a moment, she sees this truth that there’s a layer of hate. An angry, horrible being, and then underneath it is Anakin Skywalker,” Filoni explained.
He went on, “But when Ezra asks her, “Do you know who or what he is,” she wouldn’t necessarily say yes she does. She is open to the idea that there’s something about this Darth Vader that’s familiar to her, but she’s not ready to name him Anakin Skywalker yet. She has to do a search.”
“That’s why she’s saying there are questions, questions that need to be answered. In the very next episode she starts a kind of long exploration of who Darth Vader is and, specifically, where does he come from and what does it all mean and can it be true. Her unconscious mind knows it’s Anakin; her conscious mind cannot accept that Anakin could be this horrible person,” he concluded.
After this explanation, Filoni declared that it was indeed Lucas’ idea to have Ahsoka survive Order 66.
He told StarWars.com, “The conversation I had with George about Ahsoka was mainly pertaining to Vader, and what would she know, what wouldn’t she know, because it was George’s feeling that she survived Order 66. So I made sure to discuss with him his feelings on that, and then I’ve made choices since then.”
“That’s kind of the world that we all live in now as Star Wars creators,” Filoni stated. “We have to make our choices based on where we’re at in the shows that we’re doing. But her being a Fulcrum-like agent, a part of building this rebellion and stuff, was never something we really discussed in detail.”
He then admitted that Ahsoka becoming Fulcrum did not really have anything to do with Lucas, “It was really something that [executive producer] Simon Kinberg and I developed along with [Season One executive producer] Greg Weisman when we decided that Ahsoka could play this Fulcrum character.”
Filoni then gave himself much of the credit, “Originally, I was thinking Ahsoka was much more of a passive player. That she wasn’t a combatant as much. I later changed my mind and thought, ‘We really need to see the warrior in her in this volatile time.’ We’re always evolving the characters and their stories to try and get the best thing possible.”
As for George Lucas, he admitted back in October 2020, “I kind of lost control of Star Wars, so it’s going off in a different path than what I intended. But the first six are very much mine and my philosophy.”
What do you make of Filoni changing his story regarding George Lucas’ thoughts on Ahsoka?