Sansweet next moved the subject to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The smash hit series is now running in 166 countries, and translated into nearly 30 different languages. Sansweet reminded the audience that, in addition to a compilation of four episodes being released on DVD in March, this year will bring the entire season in a deluxe boxed set complete with value-added bonus material (and a Blu-Ray release!). Sansweet explained that the audience at New York Comic-Con selected, via their applause, some of the bonus material that ended up on the DVD, and screened the winning piece — a “Show Reel” made very early from rough concept art and paintings that helped explain what The Clone Wars could be.
But that was the past. Fast-forward to the present — and future — of the series. An edgy preview of the March 20th season finale then screened — clips of a bounty hunter-filled episode called “Hostage Crisis,” which introduces a new character — Cad Bane. Supervising Director Dave Filoni took to the stage next to discuss the evolution of Bane.
“That one gets pretty violent,” warns Filoni of the episode. “We wanted to get a bit more intense in some of the episodes of the series, so if you have really little kids, there’s stuff that’s pretty intense. Nothing that you don’t see in Star Wars, normally.”
The inclusion of bounty hunters is new ground for The Clone Wars series. But the directive to include Bane came from George Lucas. At first, early artistic explorations were based on the character Durge. “It was going to be a different version of Durge. Henry Gilroy and I discussed different ways of bringing him into the show.” The character underwent significant style evolution, before Lucas gave the specific direction of referencing Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and For a Few Dollars More.
In his research, Filoni then came across a vintage image of a bounty hunter with a wide-brimmed hat, done for the original trilogy.
“Something you notice about George after a while is that he’ll mention a name like ‘Mace Windu’ in a  version of Star Wars, and then it pops up in 1999. So, this, I guess might have been an idea George had for the character Cad Bane way back when, and now finally he’s getting around to bringing him to the screen in The Clone Wars.”
Lucas’ additional directive was that Bane be a Duros alien, like those seen in the cantina in Episode IV. After some sketches by Filoni, the design of Cad next went to Kilian Plunkett. “Kilian is a fantastic artist, and I got to pick from the best of what he does.”
Filoni describes Cad Bane as an older bounty hunter at the top of the game since Jango Fett is no longer around. “Cade Bane has a lot more looser moral content than Jango ever had. He’ll shoot you dead, unless you offer him more money, and he might not and shoot the person who hired him dead.”
Filoni next previewed another bounty hunter, this one based on a fishlike alien Senator design illustrated by Iain McCaig for the prequels. This character is now Robonino, a small brightly colored fish-faced bounty hunter that is part of Bane’s posse. Filoni also showed images of fan-favorite hunter Aurra Sing, who also appears in “Hostage Crisis.”