There's an increasingly small subset of Star Wars fans that still love to rail against the prequel trilogy. While some arguments are valid (some of the dialogue was undoubtedly dry, some of the scenes disconnected, and CGI for several major environments just wasn't quite there yet), people who dismiss them out of hand are missing the many additions to Star Wars mythology and character work that the prequels provided. It's something that Star Wars Rebels showrunner and staunch prequel supporter Dave Filoni tries to get across to fans, and says absolutely makes today's stories, in Rebels and on the big screen, much richer.
When ComicBook.com discussed the growing idea of "balance" in the Force in today's Star Wars stories, from Kanan's training with the Bendu to Ezra experimenting with dark side techniques to Ahsoka's clear-bladed lightsabers and even Kylo Ren/Ben Solo's affinity with and straddling of both sides of the Force, Filoni went back to the prequels.
"I think it works into what the struggle is. You want to achieve this balance or you want to become ... I think it's a natural part of it, and really the introduction of this idea of balance comes from the prequels," Filoni told ComicBook.com. "That's where the prophecy of the chosen one and 'the one who will bring balance,' as quoted by Mace Windu, really comes from. So, I find that very interesting because the prequels add a tremendous amount of depth to all these things, especially ways of the Force. The people, I don't think realize that that's where it comes from, but it's not something that's natural to the original trilogy. It's something that stems from the prequels, which added a tremendous amount to what we know about Star Wars."
Filoni says that the truest separation between light and dark sides of the Force comes not in the technique, but in the intention.
"One of the fundamental things to always understand about the light side and the dark side of the Force and the intentions that drive those things are willingness or will to be selfless or selfish," he said. "From those two key points of starting grow out either in enlightenment of selflessness or greed and fear and anger and hate, and you just go spiraling down and down and down, but those are the building blocks that George [Lucas] would always talk about and I always keep trying to come back to in everything I do because if you work from that point, then actually you can tell a story with the Force."
So, you can expect the Force and its exploration to continue to be central to modern Star Wars stories, whether that's in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rebels, or beyond. And you have the prequels to thank for that.
Come back tonight for detailed spoiler-filled interviews with Dave Filoni about the recent past and upcoming future of Star Wars Rebels, and follow @LucasSiegel on twitter for all the latest Star Wars news and insight.
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Star Wars Rebels returns tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD, or anytime on the Watch Disney XD website and app.