The Clone Wars mastermind Dave Filoni talks about his plans for his solo Ahsoka TV series, suggesting that it is “definitely driving toward a goal”. Dave Filoni has offered a glimpse of what the story will be like for his upcoming Ahsoka series starring Rosario Dawson. First introduced into Star Wars canon for the 2008 animated The Clone Wars movie, which preceded the series of the same name, Ahsoka Tano is the padawan learner of Anakin Skywalker. Initially dismissed by audiences and critics as somewhat annoying, her character’s development over the course of the Clone Wars series would ultimately lead her to become one of the most beloved parts of the franchise, and she would eventually reappear in the animated Star Wars: Rebels series. In 2020, Ahsoka would finally make the leap from animation to live-action, appearing in season 2 of The Mandalorian played by Dawson. It was also revealed that Filoni, who was responsible for helping create the character along with George Lucas, would be heading up his own solo live-action series with her character as the central focus. It is widely expected that the show will pick up after the finale of Rebels, which depicted an older Ahsoka setting out in search of the young Jedi Ezra Bridger and the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn with whom he had disappeared into unknown space.
Most recently Filoni spoke with Vanity Fair about his hopes for the series, and what fans might come to expect from Ahsoka’s solo outing. Teasing that the series is “definitely driving toward a goal”, he describes the series as “a continuous story” as “opposed to being little singular adventures”. Ahsoka is a continuous story. It is definitely driving toward a goal, in my mind, as opposed to being little singular adventures. That’s what I want the character to be doing, and I think that’s what fans want now. They have such a relationship with her.
Just one in a slate of new live-action Star Wars adventures, Filoni’s Ahsoka series sets itself apart from other shows such as The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi given its central figure’s unique origins. While fans of the animated series undoubtedly already know the character well, Ahsoka has so far only appeared twice in live-action and is largely an unknown quantity to fans who have only ever seen the films. Introducing her more fully, and revealing her as the former pupil of Anakin Skywalker, to those portions of the fandom without overwhelming them with exposition will certainly require some carefully crafted story-telling. Is clear, however, is that Filoni already seems to have a clear end-point in mind for his beloved character. Given her voice was one of the dead Jedi heard by Rey in the climax of Rise of Skywalker, it can be safely assumed that she will not live on far enough to see the events of the sequel trilogy unfold. As to whether Filoni plans to show how Ahsoka meets her fate remains to be seen, but whatever he has planned, it will certainly be exciting to learn more about the upcoming Ahsoka series.
David Cronenberg Insisted on Being Cast in Jason X
Jason X screenwriter Todd Farmer reveals that Videodrome director David Cronenberg insisted on being cast in the movie and rewriting his dialogue. The screenwriter of Jason X revealed that David Cronenberg, who had a small role in the movie, insisted that he be cast and even rewrote some of his dialogue. 2002’s Jason X is the tenth movie in the long-running Friday the 13th franchise, following the hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees as he is frozen at the futuristic Crystal Lake Research Facility and thawed off to wreak havoc on the Grendel starship in the year 2463. The cast of the film, in addition to Cronenberg, includes Kane Hodder, Lisa Ryder, Melyssa Ade, Chuck Campbell, and Lexa Doig, who has most recently been seen in yet another slasher franchise entry: SyFy’s Chucky season 1.
One of the strangest elements in the very strange movie is the fact that the cast includes Cronenberg at all. Although he has over three dozen acting credits, including a seven-episode stint on the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery, he is best known for his directorial work, especially in the body horror genre with films like 1986’s The Fly and 1983’s Videodrome. For fans at the time, it was quite a surprise to see the renowned filmmaker in the role of Dr. Aloysius Wimmer, a Crystal Lake Research Facility employee who wants to study Voorhees’ regenerative powers. For the 20th anniversary of Jason X, The AV Club sat down with one of the key figures in the making of the film: the screenwriter, Todd Farmer. Farmer revealed that Jason X director Jim Isaac was a former effects specialist who frequently worked with Cronenberg. When Isaac asked to use Cronenberg’s effects team, the director agreed on the surprise condition that he would be cast in the movie. Farmer was then informed that “Cronenberg’s rewriting all of your lines,” which secretly thrilled him. Jimmy wanted us to use Cronenberg’s effects team, which was Jimmy’s effects team. And so he’d gone to David out of respect and said, “Do you mind if I use the guys on this?” And Cronenberg said, “I don’t mind at all, but you have to cast me.” What kind of confidence does it take for Cronenberg to say, “Yeah, I want to be in the tenth installment of the Friday the 13th franchise.” I remember I was I was stuck in a hotel room with Dean Lorey.
Cronenberg’s involvement in Jason X is that it came at the tail end of his involvement in the horror genre. He would follow up his performance with 2002’s Spider, but after that, the director mostly transitioned to lurid dramas including 2014’s Maps to the Stars, which features Robert Pattinson. Indeed, he more or less completely stepped away for two decades, a hiatus he is now breaking with his upcoming film Crimes of the Future.
Jason X certainly wasn’t responsible for Cronenberg’s horror hiatus, but it’s an interesting bookend to his career as a master in the genre. It’s not a well-regarded entry in the franchise, nor would it have been at the time. However, Cronenberg had helmed an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series in 1988 so perhaps he felt a kinship with the franchise even in its later years.