There's no question that the Star Wars galaxy is back and and bigger than ever. Nearing almost exactly four years since Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, we've had a new animated series (Star Wars Rebels), the first saga film of a new trilogy (The Force Awakens) and we're just months away from the release of the very first spinoff film (Rogue One), which just had a trailer drop today. Let's also not forget that principal photography on Episode 8 has wrapped, the Han Solo spinoff is well into pre-production, and Season 3 of #StarWarsRebels has just begun.
With all of the future Star Wars projects planned, there is one storyteller who has been in the fold well before the Disney days and who perfectly fits the job qualifications for helming the next live-action film: Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni. Here are four reasons why the Lucasfilm veteran should direct the next Star Wars spinoff.
1. Learning Under The Original Jedi Master Himself, George Lucas
In many ways, Dave Filoni was as close to being a real-life jedi padawan as one could be. He worked directly under George Lucas on Star Wars: The Clone Wars for seven years! If you want to think of this in collegiate terms, let's just say he attended George Lucas University long enough to earn two degrees in Starwarsology.
Jokes aside, Filoni has often shared how his experiences under Lucas transformed his career as a storyteller.
If you've seen any behind the scenes featurettes on The Clone Wars, many times they show George Lucas conducting story meetings with the creative team which Dave Filoni was closely involved with as a supervising director. Lucas taught him all the tricks of the trade in terms of how he personally approached storytelling within the Star Wars galaxy. In a past interview with starwars.com, Filoni put his experiences on The Clone Wars into perspective:
"The filmmaker I am today is dramatically different from where I started, and that’s all because of George and his patience when teaching me, being a mentor, not getting frustrated when I wasn’t really getting it right. Just taking the time to teach all of us how to do this the way that he did it, and at times, I hope, get close to that effervescent magic that is Star Wars."
2. From Padawan To Master: The Success Of Star Wars Rebels
There's no question that when it comes to Star Wars animation, Dave Filoni has become a master. It was even recently announced that he will now oversee all future Star Wars animation projects across Lucasfilm — but things weren't always so certain.
In 2012, George Lucas officially retired from the Star Wars galaxy after selling Lucasfilm to Disney. Star Wars Rebels would be one of the first Star Wars projects in the new Disney era of Lucasfilm without any direct oversight from Lucas. In other words, series creator Dave Filoni and his team were on their own. So after two completed seasons in the books and a third just beginning, how has the show stacked up? To put it modestly, pretty fantastic.
Many have praised the animated series for preserving the original tone of Star Wars which is loved for appealing to both children and adults alike. Since the first season, the show has really matured over its first few years, with many of the story elements and themes clearly inspired by George Lucas.
Even with all of those elements, Dave Filoni has managed to craft new stories, characters, and worlds that are both unique within the wider Star Wars galaxy, and at the core, still remain familiar. Overall, Star Wars Rebels fits very comfortably within the canonical universe but also moves the needle forward. This is all due to Filoni's time spent under George Lucas and his own creative talents as a storyteller.
3. Live Action Learning: Spending Time On 'Star Wars' Sets
As of now, Filoni has never directed any live-action films, but he has spent time on the sets of The Force Awakens and Episode 8. When asked on the Rebel Force Radio podcast (27:23) if his visit to the set of Episode 8 was for business reasons, he declined to comment. However, he did elaborate on what the experience was like visiting the set: "It was just a great experience and Rian is incredibly gracious to have me there...it was really educational for me."
While it is completely possible that his visits to the live action sets were simply for his own enjoyment, his comments also suggest at the very least, that he was learning some tricks of the Star Wars live action trade from Rian Johnson and J.J Abrams. This would only help, if the moment ever came about for him to direct a live-action film.
4. A Star Wars Fan At Heart
Of all the qualifications I've mentioned so far, perhaps the most important is the fact that Dave Filoni is a Star Wars fan just like you or me. While it's true that simply being a fan doesn't guarantee a masterpiece, it certainly seems to help at least within the Star Wars galaxy.
Millions of fans have enjoyed The Clone Wars and Rebels, which can be attributed to Dave Filoni's skills as a storyteller and love of Star Wars since childhood. On an interview with The Star Wars Show, he recalled some of his earliest memories:
"There was nothing like it, I cant even describe to you how different it was, how unique it was in every aspect of its creation. The characters, the way the effects were, I mean everything just stuck with you."
We now live in a time where fans are telling their own stories within the Star Wars galaxy. J.J. Abrams did it on The Force Awakens and Gareth Edwards will become the newest member of that group, along with Phil Lord and Chris Miller to come. But of all the current directors that Lucasfilm has turned to for its Star Wars films, none has been fortunate enough to work directly under George Lucas within that universe and gain a really intimate knowledge of how to tell those stories.
So far, Lucasfilm has struck gold with all of its creative artists and now would be a perfect time to give Dave Filoni a shot at his own live-action spinoff. Might I wishfully suggest an Obi Wan spinoff?
Who would you like to direct the next Star Wars spinoff? Post your thoughts below!