Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to San Francisco, CA provided by Disney. However, typos, misspelled words and opinions are 100% mine.
Dave Filoni was on hand to talk about his television series, Star Wars Rebels. As part of my recent #RogueOneEvent Disney press trip, I got to sit down and chat with Dave Filoni and get his thoughts on producing this animate Star Wars television show, how it ties in with the overall Star Wars universe, and what it means to him to be a part of the Star Wars family.
Chatting with Dave Filoni About His Corner of the Star Wars Universe
Dave Filoni isn’t your average producer of a television show or film. Of course, almost all producers are passionate about their shows or movies, but the thing about Dave is that he’s a true Star Wars fan, so he brings a lot of deep, sincere love of the universe and the stories that it has to tell to his production approach. As a fellow Star Wars buff, I love this. I love to see a real commitment to and excitement about a project that only comes with really being immersed in it.
Dave Filoni and How Star Wars Rebels Fits Into the Star Wars Universe
Of course, we all wanted to know Dave’s thoughts on how his little piece of the Star Wars universe fits in to the overall Galaxy Far, Far Away. I absolutely adore his response, because it’s exactly the way I feel about what’s been done with Star Wars most recently.
“It’s all one big story,” he said, talking about how it all fit together, and how the characters and events can span between a live action movie and an animate television show.
“I always feel strongly about them going off and making their choices,” he said of the characters and their adventures. “I did Saw for the part that I had to do him. And CLONE WARS set him up, but I was excited that anybody could see where that went. So if anything, you’re more involved, and that’s a huge plus. ‘Cause you get to see it. But at the same time, it’s like you’ve seen it and you’ve read it.”
Dave Filoni on His Part of Building the Lore of the Star Wars Universe
One of my favorite things about how Star Wars has been approached is the way the films and the television lore coincide. They’re not stand alone, which I love. I want it to all tie in together, and Dave helps make that happen. When asked about his thoughts on his contributions to the franchise, his answer was quite humble.
“A good story doesn’t need me,” he said. “The Star Wars universe was great before I got there. It’ll be great long after I’m gone.”
For Dave, it’s all about giving us an experience akin to “Behind the Music”. It’s sharing stories of characters that we love, even if they aren’t directly tied to a movie or certain plot line.
“I think it’s telling the stories that’s been long overdue. That the great part,” he went on. “And it’s fun when you have a tie-in, but I like it when it’s more of a wink. It’s not something that was ever missing. If it was important, they would have done it.”
Dave Filoni on Having Forest Whitaker on Board Star Wars Rebels as Saw
I have to say, I am loving that Forest Whitaker is voicing Saw in Star Wars Rebels. It adds immensely to the continuity of the Star Wars universe. I would be thrown if I saw Forest as Saw in the film and then heard a different actor voicing him on Rebels.
When asked about his thoughts on in, Dave said, “It’s a huge benefit to us. We have an attitude about the characters, which is if the person that kind of originates the role – the person, especially on screen – we want a much continuity for the audience as possible.”
I love that, because I hate a lack of continuity. HATE IT! Forest is even in on the animation end of it, as well. He’s on the animation team!
Dave Filoni on the Power of the Fans
Fans play a huge role in the decision making in the Star Wars universe. From Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to Star Wars Rebels, each and ever person involved knows that Star Wars fans are some of the most devoted – and picky – of any genre.
When asked about his thoughts on having big stars on board an animated show like Star Wars Rebels, Dave said, “When we say the character’s gonna continue, they would absolutely like to continue being the character. They don’t really care what form it’s in.”
And teaser, Forest might not be the only be name we see on Rebels.
“They’re always incredibly gracious and super fun to work with,” Dave said. “It might not be the last one you see in that regard on Rebels.”
Dave Filoni on Keeping the Tone of Star Wars While Keeping it Kid-Friendly
You may have heard some reviews saying that Rogue One: A Star War story was a bit more violent than other Star Wars films. Well, not more violent so much as more dark. While that may be true, I think it was vital to the story to tell it the way that they did.
We asked Dave his thoughts on keeping the tone of the struggle of good versus evil while keeping the show kid-friendly.
“My whole goal is never to take that experience away from kids – is to involve everybody [kids and adults] in it, to make a place where the best compliment we can give for the series is that it’s something that the family watches together.”
Dave went on to talk about how Star Wars Rebels can sometimes get a bit dark, but that it always comes back around to being a show for the entire family, adults and kids, alike.
“Things get dark at times,” he said, “but you always have to monitor that. Fairy tales have frightening moments in them. Otherwise, when you shine bright and things are good all the time, it doesn’t shine as well.
“But that’s what you want – kids to be afraid of the bad guys because they’re evil,” he said, “and recognize that. And so I just always think of those stories I had as a kid and those relationships I had. And I try to make something that’s not as much for myself but for my younger self, but my older self will still watch it and be like, ‘That’s cool.’ It’s a delicate balance.”
Dave Filoni on Working Directly with George Lucas
Of course, we had to ask Dave what it’s like to work with the father of the Star Wars universe. According to Dave, it’s a constant learning experience. He takes it all in and uses it going forward, taking full advantage of working with one of the masters of film. One thing he said really stood out, because I’ve felt it before when I’ve interacted with my blogging heroes.
“You’ll never notice as many mistakes as you have made until you are sitting next to the person you need to show it to,” he said. “So we’d edit an episode all over and over and over again, and he’d come and sit down with my editor, and I’d be like, ‘Ohhhhh… Why didn’t we fix that?'”
He went on to talk about how George Lucas’ famous saying, “Dare to Be Great” influenced him. “In Star Wars, as with everything, fear is the root of everything that is failure and jealousy and greed and evil,” he said. “My real education is in The Force. That was the biggest education.”
Dave Filoni Brings Magic to the Small Screen with Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels is an outstanding show. I am quite impressed with the way it captures the feel of the struggle between the Rebels and the Empire – even getting dark at times – while balancing it with a kid-friendly vibe that ensures the entire family can watch it. Much of that is owed to producer, Dave Filoni, and his drive to create a show that’s more than animated fan service.
Dave Filoni brings us an animated show that is committed to giving us the full Star Wars experience with quality writing complete with all the Star Wars feels, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Catch Star Wars Rebels every Saturday at 8:30 PM ET on Disney XD. You will NOT be sorry!
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