Dave Filoni Interview
We recently had the opportunity to put a few questions to the CGI series' director
Hi Dave, and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Firstly, how much creative freedom do you have to craft the stories you want to tell and to introduce new characters? Does George Lucas have much input, or are you left to your own devices so long as it doesn’t conflict with established continuity?
George is very involved in the stories, and he has a great deal of input when it comes to characters. The Star Wars universe is his, ultimately, and we are following his lead. The great thing about working on a Star Wars TV series is that we have more time to focus on side characters—characters that may have only had a few seconds of screen time during the live-action films. But then again, we have so many stories we want to tell, and only 22 episodes per season. We bank ideas—and characters—for future seasons, but we keep coming up with more as we go. There’s definitely no shortage of material, and we work very closely with George to make sure it fits into his canon.
Speaking of George Lucas, is there any chance that he will appear in an episode of the show (perhaps a cameo from Baron Papanoida)?
Always in motion is the future, but right now we have other stories to tell.
Season two features a new bounty hunter called Cad Bane, who’s already given the Jedi plenty of trouble. Can you tell us a little bit about the character’s origins and his design (is the hat a happy coincidence)?
Ha! Yeah, the hat’s just a coincidence; he’s not based on me. Actually, he is based on Lee Van Cleef’s character from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. George likes incorporating genre influences, and westerns have always played a very influential role in the Star Wars universe. As far as bounty hunters go, Boba Fett has always seemed kind of like man with no name to me, so it makes sense to have the other side of the coin.
Will we see more bounty hunters in upcoming episodes (perhaps Durge, or a young Boba Fett)? Will any other familiar faces make an appearance this season (or even beyond)?
As I said before, always in motion is the future. I will say, though, that bounty hunters have always played a major role in the Star Wars Saga.
The introduction of Ahsoka as Anakin’s Padawan allows for an interesting master-apprentice dynamic similar to that of Obi-Wan and Anakin in Attack of the Clones. Ahsoka is absent from Revenge of the Sith, but does this mean that Anakin will have to deal with the loss of his student during the course of the show, or do you have other plans for the character?
I definitely have plans for Ahsoka, but we are focused on telling stories in the here and now. And from a production standpoint, the show just keeps getting better and better, allowing us to tell different kinds of stories. That evolution affects the kinds of stories we’re telling now, which certainly affects the kinds of stories we’ll tell in the future. So, yes, I do have clear ideas for Ahsoka’s future, but those ideas are also evolving with the series itself.
On a similar note, how difficult is it to craft suspenseful episodes given that we all know the character’s ultimate fates from the film series? Is the movie continuity restrictive, or are you unencumbered by such things due to the events of the series occurring between films?
There are plenty of surprises. We’ve only seen a very specific perspective on the galactic civil war. But, for example, we all assumed that Anakin never had a padawan of his own, but that was before we were introduced to Ahsoka Tano.
Is it difficult to create a series that appeals to younger audiences without alienating Star Wars’ core fan base? How have you found fan reaction to the series as a whole?
We are just focused on telling great stories. And we’ve got George guiding us, making sure that we are on the right path, telling stories appropriate for Star Wars.
Looking back over the entire run of the show thus far, do you have a favourite episode? Similarly, is there any one character that you are particularly fond of?
I do have a favourite episode, but it’s one that hasn’t been seen yet, so I can’t say any more!
Finally, can we look forward to any hidden features on the forthcoming boxed sets? Perhaps a ‘1138’ style Easter egg?
My crew is made up of Star Wars fans, and there are lots of references to the original films and to Lucasfilm history. You’ll have to see how many you can catch.
Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Dave, and we wish you the best of luck with the show and for the future.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from the 16th of November courtesy of Warner Home Video.
Editorial by Chris Gould
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