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Star Wars: The Clone Wars shows first trailer of return

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Apr 14, 2019, 5:26 PM EDT

Since Genndy Tartakovsky piqued Star Wars fans' imaginations back in 2003, the Clone Wars have always been a ripe period for storytelling in the world's canon. Then came Dave Filoni's Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2008, and excitement hasn't died down since, even if the show ended years ago. That's helped by the fact that it's coming back now that Disney+ has ordered 12 new episodes of the show to help boost its burgeoning streaming service, and now we know a lot more about what's to come.

SYFY WIRE got to glimpse the sneak peek at the show's Star Wars Celebration panel, which was led by Dave Filoni and some surprise cast guests, including returning voice actors like Sam Witwer, Tom Kane, James Arnold Taylor, Matt Lanter, Matthew Wood, Dee Bradley Baker, and Ahsoka Tano herself: Ashley Eckstein. Filoni has already had a big day, helping to show off the first footage of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, but Clone Wars is his baby.

Opening the panel was some footage setting up the history -- and future of the Clone Wars. Oh, and the Bad Batch.

The footage showed off a huge battle where the clone rejects/specialists just wiped out millions of battle droids, spider droids, and everything else fans could imagine. The ragtag group of imperfect clones are fan favorites and favorites of Filoni -- so it makes sense that the first look at the series' return would feature the team. Another clip, with unfinished animation, documented Anakin and Ahsoka dealing with the aftermath of the latter's departure from the Jedi Order. The clones salute her with a new paint job: They're ready for her to be back.

Filoni explained that the show was revived thanks to the persistence of his animation partners -- and even then he was hesitant going back, simply because it's such an emotionally taxing and technically difficult show to create. Star Wars Rebels, for instance, is a much smaller undertaking. Clone Wars has hundreds of droids facing down its heroic clones. However, with enough key players returning to the new season, this undertaking seemed possible.

Eckstein found out that she'd be returning when she was in line at Disney World. She got a text from Baker, which said, "You won't believe what Dave just told me." Following some garbled texts, the avoidance of a potential trap, and a Jedi promise, Baker told her the news: a finale, 12 episodes. Witwer discussed how he harped and harped on Filoni about the Siege of Mandalore -- to no avail -- until Filoni's wife hinted too closely at a revival. That was a year ago. Now he's read the script about it and he's "shocked."

The clones themselves are getting a facelift with some new technology, which is just as well since the new episodes are going to be very clone-centric -- as fans might guess. These episodes were even partially created back before the show was even revived, making it as authentic a part of the canon as any of the show so far. Ahsoka will also be meeting two sisters -- Trace and Roffa -- who live in level 1313. Another clip showed the heroine riding a speeder into the area, crashing it after some Attack of the Clones action, and landing right next to Trace.

The panel closed with a full trailer -- which integrated all the previous clips plus more of Ahsoka grappling with her Jedi decision, living down in 1313, and culminating in a scene of her fighting Darth Maul. Yeah, she's got her lightsabers back.

Fans can find out more when Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns on Disney+.

You can find all of our Star Wars Celebration coverage here.