Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni talks Rogue One connection, possibility of directing live-action movie

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When it comes to fleshing out the new Star Wars canon outside of the movies, few people have done more than Dave Filoni. The animation director/producer/writer helmed the 2008 CG animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and would also go on to act as showrunner/creative director on the animated TV series of the same that followed it.

When Clone Wars eventually came to an end six seasons later, Filoni transitioned into the same top role on Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm and Disney’s new CG animated TV series that fleshed out the events in the gap between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. And while Rebels got off to a slightly rocky start its become must-watch viewing for Star Wars Rebels… so of course its coming to an end with its next season.

To be fair, this was expected as the show has been inching its way closer to the very well-known events of the Original Trilogy. But what’s in the future for Filoni? With his work being so well received, many fans would love to see him possibly taking the reins on one of those planned live-action Star Wars standalone movies. While there’s nothing anywhere close to official in this regard (yet), the showrunner did reveal to ComingSoon.net that he would definitely be eager for the job if it was presented to him.

I’d be crazy to say I’m not interested in that. I don’t want to say that would be the ultimate, because I really enjoy the stories I’m telling now and I would never undercut them by saying they’re something less. I think the craft we do and the work we do in these series is tremendous and the artists we have working on them are amazing. But I can’t help but be curious about this live-action world and what I see there and the tremendous opportunities that are around me.

It is very interesting to me, I respect the craft that it is, it’s a different style. I’ve been observing and learning a lot about it to see how I would do (it) and if it fits with my creative vision for things or would I encumber the process. I don’t do things like that unless I feel like I do have a real ownership and mastery of it, I just think it’s disrespectful to the crew that you would work with, who would obviously be tremendous professionals and I wouldn’t want to hinder them in any way. You know, we’ll see. In some circles you find you’re a master and in some circles you’re still a Padawan, we should always be learning, all of us. Always be learning.

I would love to see what Filoni could do with a big budget live-action movie. There are times in Rebels (and in Clone Wars) where you can feel that the action is being held back slightly by the limits of making a weekly cartoon, and I would be intrigued to see Filoni given a much bigger toolset to play with.

As for Rebels, with the show’s fourth and final season now heading closer to the events of the movies, and specifically Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you will start to see some overlap. Filoni elaborated to IGN:

Now that Rogue One is out, it opens up a lot of possibilities for us to tell these stories. We can go to Yavin now. We can start to deal with the way things worked out in the film and include ideas that are happening prior to that. The look of the background rebels really shifts to being more of the kind of drab military colors that you see in Rogue One. The Phoenix group of Rebel soldiers are kind of petering out.

So they’re redistributed into Mon Mothma’s group on Yavin and Dodonna’s group. You see a restructuring of certain cells, and certain cells get destroyed. And that’s true of the ships as well. So there’s lots of little, neat, detail level things that happen when our characters are heading into season 4 and are absorbed into the kind of pre-Rogue One era, which I thought they did beautifully in the film.

Taking it even further, we’ve already had the Rebels characters sorta-kinda pop up in the live-action movies as droid Chopper can be seen at the Rebel base on Yavin 4 in Rogue One. This is also where you can hear a call out for “General Syndulla”, which obviously refers to young Rebel leader Hera Syndulla. You can even see her ship, the Ghost, flying with the Rebel fleet in the final battle above Scariff. But just because those characters were there in Rogue One, doesn’t mean you’re going to see those events play out in the final season of Rebels itself, as Filoni explained to /Film.

I don’t think that would be right. It would be to hinge this series end on a battle we’ve already seen the outcome of in a feature film. It would be a little bit repetitious, anticlimactic. I think as an initial impulse it sounds great. But the more you think about it, you go hmmmm I don’t know, it would kind of taper your expectations and the tension would be cut quite a bit. I like our ending. And I love that battle. I think it would be neat to see that battle one day from the Ghost’s perspective because we know the Ghost is there, but we don’t know who is in the Ghost. So that’s kind of a good question that needs to be answered.

I have a feeling that while we won’t be getting that question answered in Rebels, it may just pop up in another format. Hera and erstwhile Jedi Kanan Jarrus have already featured in a couple of novels and comic books, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see their, and the rest of the Rebels crew’s contributions detailed in something down the line.

Last Updated: April 25, 2017

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Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • I would support him making a live action Star Wars Stories film.

    • Original Heretic

      High budget Star Wars series?
      I haven’t sold my left nut in a while. This seems like a worthy cause.

  • Admiral Chief

    SQUEEEEEE

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