Star Wars is at its most powerful when one piece of the galaxy touches a completely separate piece of the galaxy, in those moments when your emotions and nostalgia from one movie or book are drawn upon in another. It’s a delicate balance, and no one wants to overdo it, but Dave Filoni has a pretty good grasp.
One of Filoni’s latest crossovers came in the penultimate episode of The Clone Wars, “Shattered,” as Ahsoka Tano tries to comfort an ailing Captain Rex while she searches for the chip that’s making him carry out the directive to kill all Jedi, Order 66.
Ahsoka puts her hands on Rex’s head and quietly repeats the phrase “I am one with the Force, the Force is with me,” which audiences first heard from the spiritual Chirrut Îmwe in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There’s no real connection between Chirrut and Ahsoka, save for their belief in the Force, but having her utter those words gives the phrase even more power than it already had.
In an extensive interview with Nerdist, Clone Wars executive producer Filoni, who also wrote that episode, explained the choice to reference the film.
It was a very tricky thing to explain and justify this chip that’s in their heads, and it should be difficult to find otherwise why isn’t everybody removing them? And I needed to rely on an arc that maybe you had seen and maybe you hadn’t seen. I didn’t have a lot of time to do all of this. What I came up with was this idea that because she is connected in her own way to Rex and they’re good friends and that she cares about him, that she needed literally to get inside his head and maybe to open up his mind. I really enjoy—I think it shows homaging other things and paying dues to other people and projects within Star Wars. I really felt that ‘I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me’ was a line that resonated from Rogue One. It just popped into my head in this moment as something that could really work well to connect the two. As we were performing the scene it became this great moment where Dee [Bradley Baker] and Ashley [Eckstein] started saying it together and so you get the unity, the bond that’s happening there.
Then we animated it so it almost looks like his words are coming out of her mouth. It’s just a way of doing it to say she’s in there and allowing him to open up his mind and it reveals the problem to her, to the world. Those were the elements that influenced the making of that scene. It’s one of my favorite moments. You have to feel it. You have to believe it and feel it, otherwise it’s not going to work. You can have all the logic in the world and try to explain everything, but if the audience by that point wants it to be found and feels that moment, then it will work.
So the idea...just popped into his head. And being that few people know or understand Star Wars like Filoni, he went with it. It also makes all the sense in the world. Not only is Ahsoka an excellent, selfless Force user, she’s a student of the galaxy. She’d surely know all about the Guardians of the Whills, their beliefs, phrases, and more, just as she does about gangster planets and leaders.
We highly recommend reading the rest of Nerdist’s deep dive with Filoni. He talks about the intentions of Maul, navigating the tricky waters of Revenge of the Sith, and tinkering with the final scene of the series, among other topics.
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