'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' season 5 trailer: Maul, Mandalorians, and one angry, lightsaber-wielding Darth Sidious -- EXCLUSIVE

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3. A huge campaign on Onderon that may be the beginning of the Rebel Alliance
This is the first time we’ve met the leader of the Onderon rebels, Steela, who’s fighting for her planet’s independence from the Separatists—and maybe also from the Republic. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that this storyline may set up elements of the Rebel Alliance.

4. The return of Asajj Ventress as a villain?
We see a mysterious masked figure wielding two crimson lightsabers throughout much of the trailer, only at the very end to see that it’s in fact Asajj Ventress who’s taken to obscuring her face. In the Season 4 finale, Ventress, long a nemesis of the Jedi, and of Obi-Wan Kenobi in particular, teamed up with Obi-Wan to fight off Maul and Savage Opress. Was that the beginning of a beautiful friendship? Considering how relentlessly she pursues Ahsoka with her twin blades, I’d guess not.

5. More scum and villainy!
Filoni says the Clone Wars animation team has been coordinating with the designers behind the upcoming LucasArts videogame Star Wars 1313 about the look of the Star Wars galaxy’s criminal underworld. “We wanted to be on the same page, since some of the settings of The Clone Wars and 1313 overlap,” Filoni says.

6. Never count out a droid.
The Lucasfilm Animation team recognizes that all ages watch The Clone Wars. The youngest Padawan viewers of the show have been huge fans of the storylines involving R2-D2 and C-3P0, and it seems like they won’t be disappointed this season. Threepio is AWOL, but Artoo appears to be tasked with a daring mission along with several other astromechs to infiltrate a Separatist battleship and steal an encryption matrix.

7. Clone Commandos.
We’ve seen plenty of clone troopers and their more highly seasoned brethren, the Arc Troopers. But finally the clone commandos, the true black ops forces of the Republic, are going to take the spotlight. They gathered a huge following from Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando novels, though the Clone Wars series has differed largely with the canon established in those books.

8. Anakin shows more of his dark side.
When a Season 2 storyline called on Padmé Amidala to be betrayed by an old flame, Filoni considered having her former lover be Paolo, the boyfriend Natalie Portman’s Padmé describes to Anakin in Attack of the Clones. “We thought that would be a great way to link up with the movie,” Filoni says. Ultimately, he chose to have that character in Season 2 be somebody else. However, there seems to be a boyish, dark-haired dude in Padmé’s Coruscant apartment in this trailer. A boyish, dark-haired dude who Anakin promptly Force Chokes. Lucasfilm hasn’t confirmed who that character is, but could it be Paolo?

9. Mark II Tech!
Showing that The Clone Wars is now closer to Revenge of the Sith than Attack of the Clones, Season 5 will introduce the Grand Army of the Republic’s Mark II tech, including upgraded clone trooper helmets and the Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor starfighters Obi-Wan and Anakin pilot at the beginning of Episode III. The shroud of the Dark Side is falling!

10. You don’t mess with Darth Sidious.
Who else got chills at the site of Darth Sidious cackling beneath his Sithly hood? We’ve seen so much of Palpatine as the placid politician that it’s a major thrill to see him dive deep into his Dark Side persona, pulling out two red lightsabers to challenge Maul and Savage. “Remember, there can only be two,” Sidious says, referring to Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, stipulating that there should be only a Sith master and an apprentice at any given time. “And you are no longer my apprentice.” If Maul resents Sidious for abandoning him, Sidious resents his former apprentice every bit as much for the challenge he now represents to his ultimate endgame. Only Dooku knows Sidious’ alter ego as the Republic’s Chancellor…and probably Maul too. Could Sidious be worried that Maul might even expose his true identity? The only solution to this problem is a heavy dose of Force Lightning.

Will you be tuning in when Season 5 starts on September 29? In the meantime, be sure to get all caught up on where the galaxy stands by reading my Clone Wars recaps.

More from EW.com:
All Clone Wars recaps
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars': First look of Darth Maul in Season 5 — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Season 5 trailer: Darth Maul, Death Watch battle over the galaxy — EXCLUSIVE
10 Mash-Up ‘Star Wars’ Helmets


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