There are big things on the horizon in the galaxy far, far away. This year’s Star Wars Celebration was a veritable cornucopia of exciting news, from the freshly released Ahsoka trailer to new movie announcements. For instance, we learned that longtime Star Wars producer Dave Filoni will be helming a movie set during the same era as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka: after Return of the Jedi but before the prequel trilogy.
Filoni was one of the creators of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series. Many of the characters in these new Disney+ shows, like Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze, were introduced in those animated series. So it makes sense that Filoni would be the one to bring them to the big screen.
It’s also sounding like we could see characters from The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, making Filoni’s movie some kind of Avengers-style team-up. Entertainment Weekly brought this up to Filoni and The Mandalorian co-creator Jon Favreau, and they didn’t deny it.
Dave Filoni is figuring out which Star Wars characters to include in his movie
“We’re in the right area code,” Filoni said. “We are definitely in the right space. I think it’s going to be a clamoring of characters saying, ‘How do I get in this picture?’ And that’s what Jon and I have been figuring out.”
Helming a Star Wars movie has been a long time coming for Filoni. He was famously brought on by George Lucas to oversee Clone Wars all the way back in 2008, and has gradually built up a sterling reputation with fans of the franchise. He’s now one of the most influential figures in Star Wars.
“I think for a long time, as I’ve learned to work in this galaxy, it’s a long play,” Filoni says. “And if things go right, you get to do more of your story. Things I think have broken in a good way for us, and people have enjoyed the characters that we’ve been making. So certain opportunities came up the further we went along.”
Why setting Star Wars films and shows after Return of the Jedi was the perfect decision
So why did Filoni and Favreau set all these shows (and the upcoming film) during this particular era of Star Wars? “Growing up with the original [films], Return of the Jedi was the end,” Filoni explained. “But then you’re always like: But what happens next? And then when Episode VII was set so many years later, when I was a kid, I never would’ve thought it would’ve been that much later, but it made sense. It created an opening where you go, ‘Wow so a lot of the things that we knew before are probably in there. How do we excavate that?'”
Part of the solution was to take cues from Star Wars novels which had already explored this period. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, they decided to excuse most of these novels from the official canon. This made some sense, since those books were written by many different writers in varying degrees of communication with each other; at times the books contradicted one another. But with Favreau and Filoni bringing in characters like the villain Thrawn from Timothy Zahn’s iconic book Heir to the Empire, it seems that these non-canon sources are being mined for this new era of Star Wars.
“When I was younger, we didn’t have movies, but there were comic books, there were novels, things that are encompassed in the [expanded universe] or Legends,” Favreau says. “Clearly, there are decisions that have to be made to fit it all together, but for us, I think one thing we’re in agreement about is that the characters — as special as they are — the story has to drive what characters are.”
"We joke that it’s like we’re playing with action figures, like, ‘What’s in the box? Let’s play with what’s in the box!’ And that’s what you do when you’re playing and you’re a kid.As we are getting deeper and deeper into this, you start to have to really map things out and figure out what that story is, and then have those characters fulfill what their growth cycle is and what their mythic hero’s journey is. Those things have to fit together well. Otherwise, it won’t feel like Star Wars.That’s always been George’s base. He’s a student of Joseph Campbell. How does it fit into the narrative that has the hero’s journey? And so as we have more and more characters line up, you have to figure out how those characters are arcing and if it feels ultimately like a Star Wars story."
Star Wars: Ahoska is due out on Disney+ this August. As for Filoni’s film, we’ll be keeping an ear to the ground for more updates.
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