Both the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels series became beloved by fans and integral pieces of lore for the galaxy far, far away, with both shows being the brainchildren of producer Dave Filoni. Another similarity is each series kicked off with initial episodes being compiled together for kick-off events, with Rebels‘ first two episodes being referred to as the “Spark of Rebellion” while initial plans for Clone Wars were compiled for a theatrically-released film that essentially served as the series’ pilot. Whether or not an animated Star Wars feature film could ever come to fruition, Filoni knows that fans appreciate the medium as much as a live-action adventure.
“I think the one thing that we’ve been able to achieve with the Star Wars animation we’ve done is that the people, the fans really accept it as part of the story, and the medium doesn’t matter to the vast majority of them,” Filoni shared with ComicBook.com. “Where sometimes people look at animation and think of it as something other, or something different than the rest of the story.”
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio mandated that the official Star Wars canon consisted of the six live-action films and The Clone Wars, confirming that the medium wasn’t as important as much as the quality of storytelling. Filoni pointed out that in the early stages of the series, George Lucas put that emphasis on the storytelling above all else.
“George always treated the animation we did as part of his story, and he was just telling it with this different paintbrush now,” the producer pointed out. “I think the fans have really latched on to that, but I think it’s something that we’ve done, and we’ve tried to challenge ourselves to be great and push ourselves to try to meet that high level of the Star Wars films, dating all the way back to the originals. And when I see Dennis Muren in the hallway walking by, or Bill George, or any of the team that’s worked on the originals, or John Knoll, who’s worked on the prequels, I feel the responsibility to all of them. You know, Lynne Hale. Howard Roffman, when he was here. The legacy employees. That we continue to tell great stories,and make them high quality in Star Wars because that’s what we’ve always tried to do as a company.”
Rebels may have ended earlier this year, but fans will be getting the all-new animated series Star Wars Resistance this fall and the final season of The Clone Wars on Disney’s streaming service next year. Whether we’ll ever get a feature-length animated film that’s unrelated to a TV series is a mystery, but Filoni knows his time with Lucasfilm has already led to some surprises.
“It’s been great for me, and I never thought I’d do computer animation,” Filoni admitted. “I started in 2D, so my world has just kind of grown and grown, and it’s all thanks to being a part of Lucasfilm, really.”
Between movie theaters, TV networks, and streaming services, Lucasfilm has many avenues to deliver audiences Star Wars stories with each platform being as respected as one another.
Stay tuned for details on the future of Star Wars animation.
Star Wars Rebels Season Four is available now on Blu-ray. Star Wars Resistance debuts this fall and Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns next year.
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