Dave Filoni is perhaps the most well-versed and well-learned pupil of Star Wars at Lucasfilm (a company filled with those kind of people), but while his talents have flourished in animated projects, he didn’t have experience on the live action side of things.
So he went to Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy, herself one of the most accomplished and successful producers in film history, and expressed an interest in live action work. Upon hearing this, according to the Los Angeles Times, Kennedy put together a program that had Filoni shadow directors such as J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.
This meant a lot to Filoni, who said, “I think it says a lot about how she looks at a long game and works patiently to achieve goals and find success, not just for the projects, but for people as well.”
That long game has begun to pay off with The Mandalorian, with Filoni paired with another accomplished director in Jon Favreau. The show, which is Filoni’s first official foray into live action Star Wars, premiered to much critical acclaim. Filoni serves as an executive producer and director, and he has worked very closely with Favreau to run the show.
I don’t know where all of this will lead to, but I think it’s really cool that Kathy Kennedy has been so receptive and intentional about developing Filoni after he expressed interest in live action stuff. She’s had Filoni learn from Abrams and Johnson, both of whom directed massively successful Star Wars films, and then obviously work with Favreau on The Mandalorian. While Filoni continues to oversee Lucasfilm animation, he’s broadening his horizons.
And while some fans probably just think they should give Filoni a film already, I think this is far and away the best route to take; they’re letting him get acclimated to live action, and then they’ll see where it goes from there! But I think this is another sign that Dave Filoni will continue to tell Star Wars stories, and maybe in different formats too, and I think that’s a good thing. Just like it’s a good thing that Lucasfilm has someone like Kennedy running the show.