Yesterday Lucasfilm announced that Season Four of The Clone Wars will premiere on Friday, September 16th. Clear off space on your DVR!
An extended teaser trailer accompanied the news, featuring about thirty seconds or so of new footage mixed into the prior version. Overall, the emphasis of the trailer remains on the battles for Mon Calamari and Naboo, as seen previously. The new footage gives the first glimpses of stories that were teased at the recent San Diego Comic-Con panels, including a bit more of the Mandalorian Death Watch in the wintry cold and some shots from a showdown between battle droids and Nightsisters – and their respective leaders, Grievous and Ventress – that has a suitably creepy environment for the fight. The visuals and brief clips of dialogue also strongly suggest that the comics storyline that has been turned into television episodes is the Slaves of the Republic arc by Henry Gilroy, head writer for Season One. [August 18: Dark House Star Wars editor Randy Stradley confirms it officially.] Time to pull out and reread the collected edition, available in the handy digest size.
Just the other day, Katie Lucas had tweeted that she’s written four episodes for this season. No hint yet from her of what they’re about, but Dave Filoni did tease that we’ll find out more about Savage Opress and his brother. Given that Ventress played a major role in Katie’s trilogy last season, perhaps the Ventress-Nightsisters storyline is hers this season, as well. I can’t wait to find out.
Recently The Clone Wars Magazine, in an article called Ones to Watch in Season 4, teased “the most likely candidates for big returns and epic storylines this Fall.” The characters mentioned were Cad Bane, Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Pre Vizsla, and Savage Opress. So far, all but Chewie have been confirmed, either in the trailer or at Comic-Con.
We’ve heard for a while that Season Four will, even more than last season, consist mostly of multiple-episode arcs. So far we know about battles on Mon Calamari, Naboo, and Umbara; a storyline featuring Ahsoka, Lux, and Death Watch; another involving Anakin, Ahsoka, and his difficult emotions toward slavery; the follow-up to the Nightsisters trilogy; and what seems to be another Threepio-and-Artoo buddy adventure. Although I’m sure there’s more to be revealed – perhaps even something as big as the Chewbacca appearance at the end of last season – it’s exciting to realize that we already have a pretty good sense of the thrills in store for the audience starting in just a few more weeks.
Finally, I think it’s worth mentioning how many female characters of note we see in the trailer. While Anakin has been central to TCW since the beginning, it’s clear the writers know they have to weave a story beyond just gradually moving him along his descent toward the dark side. Really, it’s Ahsoka’s character arc that creates the beginning, middle, and someday the end of the story TCW is telling. Filoni and his writers have taken a time period that was originally heavily male-centric and given female characters like Ahsoka, Padmé, and Ventress important roles. That’s very good for the young ladies in the target age demographic – and for everyone else. TCW has become a great illustration of the idea that, when it comes to female characters, it’s not how many but who and what they do.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.