The most recent episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The Phantom Apprentice,” showed a conversation between Maul and Ahsoka that fans had no idea even happened. That’s obvious since this season is just premiering, but it’s more so the context of it all, especially Maul’s proposition to Ahsoka. Should she have taken it? Would Ahsoka have gone to the Dark Side if she had chosen differently? Some of the stars and creators spoke about it, and it’s surprising where the story could have led. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 10, Season 7].
Maul’s side might have actually been the better one for Ahsoka to choose, Sam Witwer said
In a recent “Clone Wars Download” video on YouTube, Sam Witwer — the voice of Maul — talked about the massive significance of this moment with Maul and Ahsoka. Fans know that these two meet up roughly 15 years after this moment in Star Wars Rebels, and things aren’t really hostile between them. Although he does still try to gain power in some way through manipulation.
However, this time around, he tries to appeal to Ahsoka and have her join his efforts against Sidious. Ahsoka is nearly swayed if it wasn’t for his vision about Anakin, which she couldn’t accept as truth. But what really makes this scene stick out is the fact that Maul’s proposition might have been the best option for Ahsoka.
“What Clone Wars does, it sets up a ‘Join me’ scene where, really, the good guy — or good girl — should say yes, possibly,” Witwer said. “That was the really fun riff we have there is that we haven’t seen a ‘Join me’ scene where the bad guy actually has the better plan.”
Star Wars “Join me” scenes are abundant. There’s Darth Vader asking Luke to join him, father like son. Or Kylo Ren begging Rey to let go of the Light Side and the rebels, to join him to rule the galaxy. And let’s not forget Padmé’s emotional plea to her husband Anakin after he proposes rule over the galaxy, as well. This surprise “Join me” scene between Maul and Ahsoka is so different because the audience knows Ahsoka’s side is about to crash and burn.
The audience knows that Order 66, the Jedi Purge, is right around the corner. Maul hinted to it multiple times and Ahsoka can probably sense the impending doom through the Force. This is why, unlike all those scenes mentioned above, Ahsoka does actually accept, at first. She knows the Jedi are clouded by the Dark Side, and, honestly, their own delusions, as she’s very aware of.
Filoni explained that Ahsoka and Maul have a lot of similarities
Dave Filoni, who is the supervising director and executive producer of the show, also said that Ahsoka can sense the truth in Maul and knows just how closely their experiences line up. This also plays a part in whether she joins him or not.
“I think a villain is most compelling when they’re largely telling the truth,” Filoni said in the video. “I think for Ahsoka, she’s trying to balance the fact that she knows the Jedi are a bit blind to what’s going on. She knows they’ve made a lot of the wrong moves. She knows Maul was also ostracized by Darth Sidious. There is a lot of similarities between the two of them.”
Filoni points out that, between their similarities, and the fact that Ahsoka feels like an alliance could take Sidious down, she agrees to join him. Maul is the “lesser of evils” at this point, and the best choice as Witwer pointed out. However once she snaps out of it and her emotions take over thanks to her ties to Anakin, she wins their duel because of what she’s fighting for.
“I always felt that Star Wars fights were all about the values of the two characters that are fighting,” Witwer said. “And that’s what determines how the fight goes. Maul is not at his best when he’s fighting to save the galaxy, and Ahsoka is at her best when she’s fighting to save her friend.”
Ashley Eckstein, who voices Ahsoka, said that this sequence had “some of the most difficult scenes to record” for her because Ahsoka is so alone. She relies on her instincts and emotions in the end.
Could Ahsoka have swayed closer to the Dark Side if she went with Maul? Dave Filoni isn’t sure
Filoni does point out that, even though Maul and Ahsoka share a lot of similarities and he’s telling the truth, Ahsoka also has to take into consideration who she’s dealing with. Maul isn’t known to be the most trustworthy, and fans know how he tries to take Ezra as an apprentice in the future. Ahsoka definitely can sense that thirst for power coming from Maul and how it could negatively affect Ahsoka’s morals.
“Of course, the concern there has to be that Maul’s actually seeking power for himself and power’s intoxicating,” Filoni said. “And once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny. So as she gains greater power, how does she know the limit to whether she’s making the right decision or the wrong decision? And Ahsoka’s choice, Maul’s offer, is all part of that bigger opera of the battle between being selfish or selfless.”
Filoni said in the past that Ahsoka is on a path of selflessness, very similar to Qui-Gon Jinn’s story. We know she takes this route, but had she chosen Maul’s, what could have happened? We’ll never know, but it’s very interesting to ponder.
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