Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
The creative mastermind behind much of The Clone Wars and Rebels is certainly more than capable of getting behind the camera of a Star Wars standalone film.
Dave Filoni knows Star Wars. That actually may be a bit of an understatement. Filoni, who served as supervising director on both The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, doesn’t just know Star Wars – he gets Star Wars.
Filoni has worked on Star Wars for over a decade now, but his relationship with the franchise didn’t begin when he directed the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars feature film that spawned the now beloved television series. He reportedly attended the Revenge of the Sith premiere dressed as one of his favorite characters: Jedi Master Plo Koon. That’s right: Filoni is one of us. He’s an avid fan who makes his profound love for the franchise felt in every Star Wars project he works on.
Dave Filoni could also essentially be the heir apparent to the creator, George Lucas, himself. The Clone Wars was developed and released prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, so Lucas was the primary mastermind behind the series. The series’ depth and success speak volumes to Lucas’ storytelling abilities, which for many, failed to shine through in Episodes I-III. Right beside Lucas, though, throughout the continuing development of The Clone Wars, was Filoni.
Filoni was able to create so much content while simultaneously learning the ways of the Force from Lucas. The close relationship between both creators profoundly impacted the success of The Clone Wars, not only as a television series but as a source of so many extraordinary Star Wars stories.
We also have Filoni to thank for Ahsoka Tano, the character that he developed and built for years. Despite initial negative responses to her debut in the 2008 The Clone Wars film from fans, Filoni stuck with Ahsoka, and she’s now one of the most beloved characters in the entire galaxy far, far away. In fact, she’s also one of the longest living characters in the Star Wars universe.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and The Clone Wars was unceremoniously canceled (millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror), Filoni moved on to his next challenge: Star Wars: Rebels. Some fans refused to accept the fact that The Clone Wars was no more and that Rebels was now the primary animated series.
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Others claimed the show, due to its presence on Disney XD, felt too immature and childish when compared to previous animated content. Despite this adversity, Filoni pushed on and helmed four seasons of Rebels, which, as a series, gave fans some of the best Star Wars content since the original trilogy.
In fact, both The Clone Wars and Rebels feature content that rivals that of any live-action Star Wars film. Both series have countless, intense action sequences that manage to be classically Star Wars. The episodes Landing at Point Rain and Darkness on Umbara from The Clone Wars showcase battle sequences that may even top the battles from any of the films.
Filoni, however, doesn’t only know how to do action. He gets the Force. The Clone Wars and Rebels have both delved deeply into the mystical energy field that binds the galaxy together. The Clone Wars Season 3 Mortis story arc, in particular, deals with the Force and how vital it is that it remains balanced.
More recently, the penultimate episode of Rebels, A World Between Worlds, connects the entire galaxy, and subsequently all Star Wars content, together in a way that’s so satisfying, it’ll have you on the edge of your seat.
So, what does all this mean?
As Sheev Palpatine once said, I must be frank. Filoni shouldn’t direct a live-action standalone Star Wars film. He needs to lead a live-action standalone film.
He has proven again and again through his personal fandom, his work in animation, and his overall knowledge of the galaxy that he is more than capable of telling a compelling, new story that doesn’t just fit comfortably within, but rather magnificently shapes the franchise.
Disney, please get Dave Filoni, the heir apparent to Lucas himself, a camera and a director’s chair.