Dave Filoni is a name very familiar to Star Wars fans after shepherding much of the franchise’s multimedia for slightly more than 15 years, beginning with the animated series The Clone Wars to this summer’s live-action Ahsoka. Now Filoni, who mentored under Star Wars creator George Lucas himself, has been promoted as Lucasfilm’s Chief Creative Officer where he will help craft the future of Star Wars going forward.
Filoni got his start in animation as a storyboard artist on various animated series until he took his hand at directing several episodes of the fan-favourite Avatar: The Last Airbender. He then moved to Lucasfilm where he worked under Lucas on the creation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, ultimately showrunning it alongside Lucas. After Lucas sold the company to Disney in 2012, Filoni stayed on and began developing the next animated series in the galaxy far, far away Star Wars Rebels.
From there his work only grew as he added new elements and characters into the franchise, even bringing in characters from the former Expanded Universe like Grand Admiral Thrawn into the canon proper. He eventually transferred over to live-action projects where he and Jon Favreau brought the first live-action Star Wars series ever to Disney’s streaming service with The Mandalorian (where he made a cameo as an X-Wing pilot), followed by its spin-offs The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka.
In his new role, Filoni will work alongside Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and head of development Carrie Beck to develop further Star Wars films and television series. “Now I’m what’s called chief creative officer of Lucasfilm,” Filoni told Vanity Fair. “In the past, in a lot of projects I would be brought into it, I would see it after it had already developed a good ways… In this new role, it’s opened up to basically everything that’s going on. When we’re planning the future of what we’re doing now, I’m involved at the inception phase.”
Filoni elaborated more on his new role and how his previous Lucasfilm roles will help future filmmakers shape more stories in the sci-fi saga. “To truly help filmmakers, it was really important for me to experience it firsthand. I can also lend a perspective on the challenges that telling these stories will present. I feel more capable of actually being helpful outside of just saying, ‘Well, Jedi are like this, and Sith are like this…’”
“I’m not telling people what to do,” Filoni continued, “But I do feel I’m trying to help them tell the best story that they want to tell. I need to be a help across the galaxy here, like a part of a Jedi Council almost.” He also recalled all his work over the decade plus at Lucasfilm, even getting a joke in relating himself to the saga’s wise age-old Jedi Master. “Literally, hours now of Star Wars storytelling I have done… See… I even phrased that like Yoda.”
Filoni already has work to do as this year’s Star Wars Celebration announced Filoni would direct a feature film that would tie together The Mandalorian, Ahsoka and other Star Wars properties. While a second season of Ahsoka hasn’t been announced yet, Filoni did tease what its finale will mean for Star Wars on the big and small screen now that Grand Admiral Thrawn has returned to the galaxy.
“I’m setting up what seems to be a larger conflict with the Imperial remnant. That conflict can’t just mirror what we’ve seen before. It has to take on a different shape. It can’t just be the Empire versus what looks like the Rebellion, or even the Republic. It has to be visually different.”
What do you think of Filoni’s promotion? Are you happy to see him have a larger role in developing Star Wars stories? Let us know on our social channels at @flickeringmyth…
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.