Dave Filoni was quietly promoted to Executive Creative Director at Lucasfilm last summer, a company rep confirmed to Variety.
The Lucasfilm website was just updated this week with the new job title for Filoni, and he is now listed among the senior leadership for the entire company, on the level with studio vice presidents. And one thing is for sure: Star Wars fans aren’t going to miss it. So the news began making waves on social media and the internet, with people understandably assuming that Filoni had just been promoted. It’s unclear why it took so long for Lucasfilm to update their website, but it turns out that Filoni has actually had the position for close to a year now.
Filoni’s new job title is officially listed as “Executive Producer / Executive Creative Director,” so it sounds like Filoni is helping to oversee the creative side of the entire company, which is a pretty big deal. Also sharing the title of “Executive Creative Director” among the Lucasfilm senior leadership are Doug Chiang (also a VP) and John Knoll (also the Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for ILM). That’s fantastic company to be in. Chiang was instrumental in creating the look of both the prequel and sequel trilogy, and he currently “oversees designs for all new Star Wars franchise developments including films, theme parks, games, and new media.” Knoll also has a long history with Star Wars, working as the visual effects supervisor for the prequel trilogy, but most notably was the one responsible for pitching the idea for Rogue One, for which he not only was visual effects supervisor but also was an Executive Producer and received a story credit.
But Filoni is the most well-known amongst Star Wars fans of that group, serving as the storytelling apprentice to George Lucas now turned master. He was the showrunner for The Clone Wars and Rebels, as well as the Executive Producer and creator of Resistance, The Bad Batch, and Forces of Destiny. He was previously the head of all Lucasfilm Animation (it’s unclear if he still serves in that role or not; Athena Portillo is listed as Vice President of Animation Production). More recently, thanks to Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy, Filoni has explored live-action directing more and more, leading up to him partnering with Jon Favreau as Executive Producers, directors, and writers on The Mandalorian. The duo of Favreau and Filoni is also overseeing a number of spinoff live-action series, including The Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic, and Ahsoka – the last of which we know is also written by Filoni.
So in one sense, this promotion is nothing new. Back in November 2019, Kennedy said that she consults Filoni on all the Star Wars storytelling that Lucasfilm does, and since then Filoni has seemingly been involved in every significant Star Wars project, whether animation or live-action. That’s not to say he will always be that involved in every Star Wars project, but this promotion comes as no surprise. And no, it doesn’t signify any sort of shift at the top of Lucasfilm; Kennedy is the one who promoted Filoni, after all, and “fans” who want Filoni to replace her don’t actually realize what they want. Kennedy is running the studio. Filoni is helping to oversee storytelling. And that’s a perfect setup.
I’ve long been on record as saying that I don’t think there’s any storyteller at Lucasfilm who understands Star Wars like Dave Filoni does, and basically everything he touches turns golden. He’s a brilliant creative storyteller, and so I’m thrilled to hear that he’s becoming more and more involved not just in certain projects, but in every Star Wars story Lucasfilm does.