The second episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian released on Friday, and much like the first episode, this one put Dave Filoni squarely in the limelight.
The episode was entitled “Legacy” and focused on the legacy of George Lucas and Star Wars, so there was plenty of nostalgia in this one. The first half of the episode was largely focused on a roundtable conversation hosted by showrunner Jon Favreau with Kathy Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), Dave Filoni (Executive Producer and Director on The Mandalorian, as well as head of Lucasfilm Animation), Hal Hickel (Animation Director), John Knoll (ILM Visual Effects Supervisor), and Richard Bluff (Visual Effects Supervisor). The six of them discussed their initial experience with Star Wars and the genius of George Lucas, taking time to talk about the numerous innovations he had.
For example, Kennedy said that when she came into the company, she was astounded to discover that they had over 126 patents – new technology that Lucas had created!
This first part of the episode is fantastic for any Star Wars fan, but especially for those who want to gain a deeper appreciation for just how much of a visionary George Lucas was with his work on Star Wars.
Then in the second half of the episode, the roundtable of directors (which we saw in the first episode as well) discussed Star Wars and Lucas’s storytelling. This conversation, between Favreau, Filoni, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Taika Waititi, spends a lot of time discussing the scene with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, for example. And they discuss Star Wars’s impact on them.
But then, for the final seven minutes, it’s all Dave Filoni. Speaking to the other directors, Filoni goes on an epic explanation of some of the larger themes of Star Wars. In this, he explains the Duel of the Fates – the famous lightsaber duel from The Phantom Menace featuring Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi versus Darth Maul. Ever wonder why it’s called Duel of the Fates? Filoni explains how Lucas frames it so that it’s the duel for the fate of Anakin Skywalker. So with Qui-Gon losing, Anakin is left without a father figure, a theme that runs throughout the saga until Return of the Jedi, where Anakin returns and becomes the father figure he never had.
My description can’t do it justice, though, as for seven minutes Filoni lectures on Lucas’s vision and storytelling and the larger theme of Star Wars being about family. And then, to wrap it up, Filoni gave a reminder to his fellow storytellers:
“And it’s something that [Lucas has] reiterated most times I’ve seen him, after we’ve been making things without him, is remember to make these stories hopeful. Remember to give that to kids, because they really need it. And so that’s just something to keep in mind.”
Filoni, of course, worked very closely with George Lucas as the two of them developed The Clone Wars, and so in that sense Filoni is basically the apprentice to Lucas. That shows in numerous different ways, but a part of that is just how well Filoni understands Star Wars on a deeper level.
I could listen to him talk about Star Wars all day, and I’m so glad they let him continue on uninterrupted for seven minutes at the end of this episode. I’d love to get as much of Filoni discussing Star Wars as we can, and so that’s been the biggest highlight of this series so far for me.