With the launch of the series premiere of The Mandalorian came Dave Filoni’s live-action Star Wars directorial debut. But he’s a veteran when it comes to Star Wars storytelling.
Vanity Fair‘s Anthony Breznican recently wrote a feature on Filoni, the man who runs Lucasfilm animation and who was essentially George Lucas’s apprentice. He’s a brilliant storyteller, and Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy told Breznican that she consults Filoni on all their storytelling:
“There isn’t a thing that we do in the storytelling space that I don’t check with Dave. What I find about Dave is you don’t just sit down and have a discussion about plot or review characters inside the Star Wars world. You end up having meaningful, thoughtful discussions about what it is we’re trying to say inside the storytelling. He has a lot of empathy.”
That’s pretty awesome that Kennedy consults Filoni on everything they’re doing telling Star Wars stories; I’m sure that the level of involvement and consultation varies depending on the project, but nonetheless it seems that Filoni is quite involved in the creative side of Lucasfilm. As well he should be. He helmed The Clone Wars, Rebels, and now Resistance and through it he proved that he ‘gets’ Star Wars better than pretty much anyone not named George Lucas. Filoni has such a knowledge of the Force, the Jedi and the Sith, and what makes Star Wars, well, Star Wars! He’s the apprentice to Lucas, a proven storyteller, and a student of Star Wars.
Kennedy knows Star Wars in her own right, but she is also among the best and most accomplished filmmakers in movie history, serving as producer to tons of very well-received and successful movies. She’s a longtime friend of George Lucas and was his personal choice to take over Lucasfilm, and she has overseen a tremendous era of Star Wars storytelling that is as strong as ever right now. She’s leading the company and producing tons of material, and she’s consulting with her creatives – like Filoni – on the stories they tell. That’s a brilliant combination.
And I’m really excited that Filoni is now getting his chance at live-action Star Wars too. There are rumors that he probably has another animated show in the works (since Resistance is ending with season two), but he also has been interested in doing live action material. So Kennedy sent him to the sets of previous Star Wars productions, and then Filoni partnered with Jon Favreau to create and executive produce The Mandalorian. Filoni directed the pilot episode, but he also directed a midseason episode too. And considering how much I loved the pilot, I can’t wait to see what the storytelling from Filoni and Favreau will produce the rest of the season!