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Coming back to the stories and characters of The Clone Wars after such a long time away must be a challenge for Dave Filoni, his cast and crew, but if the first two episodes of the final season are anything to go by, they’ve done an admirable job and Filoni discusses that and other topics with EW.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you produced the first six seasons, the pace of production was pretty quick. But for this season, you had years to look back and reflect on the story. As you were looking to bring back these first few episodes was there anything you really wanted to go back and update?

DAVE FILONI: If you go back to the original series, what we put out in 2008, it’s such a dramatic leap. But then you realize it’s been 11 years since that show first aired, which is kind of striking for me that it’s been so long. So there should be dramatic improvements, visually. I think that facial animation, the fidelity of the expression — things like that — we were able to improve in the animation itself. I really feel looking at this show now, it’s kind of how George [Lucas] and I envisioned it to look in the beginning. We just didn’t have the tools necessary to actually realize it then. But over time with a lot of training, you know, like any good Jedi I learned my way.

One scene that’s a little different from the original story reel of “The Bad Batch” is that it originally opened with a longer extended sequence between Mace, Anakin, Rex, and Cody. In the final version, you added a pretty touching scene between Rex and Cody talking about a lot of the fallen clones. What was the decision to add that scene in there?

I just thought the story was really dragging in the beginning. I felt like there was a whole lot of exposition, one too many scenes where they’re saying what they’re going to do instead of just doing it. And then I wanted to add a better sense of personal stakes to the story. You know, part of the consideration I had to make when doing this was, how do people even know who Echo is? I’m imagining a lot of people will just watch these 12 episodes and maybe not go back and watch the previous, you know, over 100 episodes where Echo plays a moderate role.