Star Wars fan-favorite Dave Filoni almost didn’t make it to Lucasfilm.
It is amazing how set-in-stone history is. You almost forget about the myriad of ways things could have turned out. Star Wars has a rich tapestry of history, ranging from various filmmakers and storytellers across decades. And one such storyteller who has resonated with fans is Dave Filoni. Over the course of several years, he’s become the mastermind of the entire Clone Wars conflict in the Star Wars universe. So embedded is he in the franchise, that he recently made his live-action debut in The Mandalorian.
In a new documentary series, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Speaking with the other Mandalorian directors during a roundtable, Filoni opened up about how he got his start at Lucasfilm Animation. As it turns out, he very nearly blew it with a producer at the studio.
“I almost didn’t get the job [at Lucasfilm Animation] because I thought it was a practical joke,” Filoni revealed. “I was working at Nickelodeon and somebody called from Lucasfilm animation and I was like, ‘There is no Lucasfilm Animation.’ And I thought I’d just been so excited about Revenge of the Sith coming out and talking about it all the time that the guys from Spongebob were just busting my chops over Star Wars. And so I thought it was just a prank call. It was this producer, who I’d never heard of from *air quotes* “Lucasfilm Animation.” They were doing *air quotes* “The Clone Wars.” And I’m being like ‘Ugh.’ Because you get so tired of being picked on that you’re just like, ‘This is the Spongebob guys, I know it is.’”
Filoni continued: “And I say, ‘Oh, you’re doing the Clone Wars, but you kind of already did that, right?’ And I’m talking like that. And she’s like, ‘Well, this is going to be computer animation and a whole new series,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t do computer animation.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, you’ve been recommended to us by George.’ I’m like, *in a saracastic voice* ‘Really. George recommended me.’ This is the way I’m talking…and I said look, ‘I gotta ask you. Who put you up to this?’ She’s like, ‘Excuse me?’ ‘Is this Spongebob?’ And then she says, ‘Is this Dave Filoni?’ I said, ‘Yeah?’ ‘Are you working on Avatar: The Last Airbender?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah.’ ‘Well, you’re the guy.’
“And then I realized,” Filoni laughed, “and it just clicked, and I literally said, ‘You have no idea how “the guy” I am. I’m so the guy. I have a Jedi costume I’m making in my garage right now.’ She later told me she wanted to hang up right then and there, but she’d already made the appointment, so she kept it.”
Luckily for Star Wars fans that this meeting didn’t turn out too badly. From there, Filoni had to go through rounds of meetings before he finally locked down the job. Hilariously enough, Filoni didn’t think he’d be getting the job, and as George Lucas himself looked through his portfolio, Filoni could only think of one thing.
“When I’m in line for Revenge of the Sith,” Filoni recalled, “I could outclass any nerd there, because I’ve been a room with George Lucas. My cred for my opinion has just shot up.”
Of course, Filoni did get the job and the rest is history. Will he continue on to do a live-action Star Wars film at some point? I think it is very possible. But the future of the franchise is still one big question mark, so we’ll have to see what ultimately happens.
What do you think of Dave Filoni and his Star Wars story? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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SOURCE: Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian