Vanity Fair has dropped an intriguing article about Dave Filoni’s new Chief Creative Officer role at Lucasfilm and how it will allow him to influence new Star Wars stories moving forward. The article also dives into the Ahsoka series and features insights from the cast that have not been previously shared due to the strike.
Filoni’s New Role at Lucasfilm
Dave Filoni has taken on the role of Chief Creative Officer at Lucasfilm, giving him a more involved and expansive role in the development process of Star Wars projects. He explains:
“Now I’m what’s called chief creative officer of Lucasfilm. In the past, I would be brought into it, I would see it after it had already developed a good ways.”Dave Filoni
Collaboration with Kathleen Kennedy and Carrie Beck
Filoni will work closely with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and producer Carrie Beck to oversee the creation and development of future Star Wars shows and movies. He emphasizes his involvement at the inception phase, stating:
“When we’re planning the future of what we’re doing now, I’m involved at the inception phase.”Dave Filoni
Filoni’s Approach to His New Role
Filoni clarifies that his role is not about dictating what others should do but rather helping them tell the best stories. He likens his responsibilities to being part of a Jedi Council, saying:
“I’m not telling people what to do, but I do feel I’m trying to help them tell the best story that they want to tell.”Dave Filoni
Hayden Christensen’s Return as Anakin
Hayden Christensen reprised his role as Anakin Skywalker in the Ahsoka series, offering a chance to explore how Darth Vader reckons with his history in the afterlife. Christensen played the role with a deliberate sense of uncertainty, and Filoni emphasizes that the focus is on Ahsoka’s perspective on Anakin.
“That’s the beauty of how the episode is constructed, in my opinion. Inevitably, the audience has to question what it is they’re watching. Is this really the World Between Worlds? What is the World Between Worlds? Is this actually the spirit of Anakin Skywalker, or is this all in Ahsoka’s subconscious and we’re just going down the yellow brick road as she’s drowning and fighting for her life? I think that the episode provides a few really good clues, but it doesn’t spell it out for you.”Hayden Christensen
Filoni argued that he prefers to let fans debate if Anakin was really in the WBW, or if Ahsoka was cooking it all up, but he want on to explain that the whole segment was about Ahsoka and not Anakin, because George already resolved his story.
“My feeling about Anakin is that George resolved everything about Anakin. I don’t think I have anything to do there. I’m not trying to add anything to that,” he says. “Everything Anakin’s involved with is about her. It’s about her point of view on Anakin. It’s about what Anakin taught her. He’s there in more of an Obi-Wan role that we saw in the old movies.”Dave Filoni
Hayden also elaborated on how Anakin seems to be able to float between light and dark now, and how fans have speculated that he saved her from dying, which is what he bent the knee for back in Revenge of the Sith.
“There’s a lot there to unpack, potentially. I was getting to play a version of this character that I hadn’t before, and that was the all-knowing, all-powerful Jedi master who could wield both sides of the force—light and dark—at will, and maybe has the power to save Ahsoka’s life, which also is very interesting because that’s the power that he was trying to achieve when he pledged himself to the dark side.”Hayden Christensen
Darth Vader’s Legacy in Ahsoka
The article discusses how Ahsoka explores the legacy of Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker. It delves into Ahsoka’s journey and her questioning of whether she can trust and pass on what she learned from Anakin. The series examines the complexities of forgiveness and the impact of Anakin’s fall from grace on those who admired him, so Rosario Dawson elaborated on that:
“She had a very particular idea of him, the Jedi order, and who she was in all of that for a very long time until that image was shattered. The point we graduate to here is, yeah, he did some terrible things, and he also did some really great things. And it’s always up to you how you choose the direction. She can look back at her own life. She’s gone through some hardships that could have been the moment that turned her dark. She didn’t go there. So I think she’s starting to trust herself.”Rosario Dawson
Sabine Wren and Echoes of Vader
Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who plays Sabine Wren, discusses her character’s parallels with Anakin and the internal struggle she faces. The article explores how Ahsoka opens up the Star Wars world to a new generation of fans by simultaneously embracing tradition and forging new storylines.
She also shared how Ahsoka was reminded of Anakin through Sabine:
“Part of the reason Ahsoka originally had issues trusting Sabine was because I reminded her so much of her master in some ways, in terms of the internal struggle I was going through,”Natasha Lie Bordizzo
Opening an Entirely New Galaxy
Ahsoka innovates by expanding the Star Wars universe beyond the familiar galaxy, introducing new characters like Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn in a different galaxy. Filoni explains his decision to throw these characters far afield and the potential for other storytellers to explore these new realms.
“If they were in the Star Wars galaxy—the old Star Wars galaxy that we know—I think somebody would’ve found them. There’s too many starships, there’s too many people traveling. You get a signal out, and I think you could have found them if they wanted to be found. I had to really throw them far afield.”Dave Filoni
Dave also discussed how his new broader universe will factor in the future of the Mandoverse timeline and the shows that inhabit it, which will also include his crossover film.
“I’m setting up what seems to be a larger conflict with the Imperial remnant. That conflict can’t just mirror what we’ve seen before. It has to take on a different shape. It can’t just be the Empire versus what looks like the Rebellion, or even the Republic. It has to be visually different.”Dave Filoni
Ray Stevenson’s Untimely Passing
The unexpected death of Ray Stevenson, who played Baylan Skoll in Ahsoka, is discussed. The article touches on the emotional void left by Stevenson’s passing and the narrative impact on his character. Filoni emphasizes Stevenson’s greatness and the regret that he didn’t get to experience the character’s popularity.
Dave also talked about using the Gods of Mortis and how iffy that could be with casual audiences:
“I know it’s a very specific group of people that would even know what those statues are, but I thought it was an exciting image, and it does give you the shape of what Baylan is after,”Dave Filoni
Dave also shed more light on Baylan’s motivations and how he is a villain, but one who doesn’t think they are one. He also touches on the fact that Baylan’s story isn’t over even though Ray Stevenson has passed.
“He’s a person that survived the Clone Wars, that was trained in the waxing-waning days of the Jedi Knights, just like Anakin. He saw his order, his way of life fall apart. And he’s basically deemed it a failure: That way did not work. That it’s not something worth resurrecting. Which is why he tells [his apprentice] Shin [played by Ivanna Sakhno], ‘I didn’t teach you to be a Jedi. I taught you to be something more.’
“He’s tried to take these teachings that he learned as a young person and create his own way of being. And he’s looked at the cycle of things and said, ‘Enough with this. If I have this power, I should wield it. I should be the one making decisions,’ which a lot of people with power decide that’s the way to go. He’s also very certain that what he’s doing now is the right thing.”
“Obviously, there’s a story there. We’re in a wait-and-see pattern at this point. But I’m glad the conversation is about Ray and how great he was…. I used to have mini debates with him and say, ‘Ray, you’re the villain here.’ And he’d be like, ‘I don’t think so.’ I was like, ‘I know you don’t think so, but you are. I love that you’re playing it like you’re not.’ Which is exactly the way Baylan thinks.”Dave Filoni
Ahsoka’s Next Steps…
The article concludes by discussing Rosario Dawson’s desire to continue playing Ahsoka Tano and the potential for a second season. Filoni hints at ongoing developments in Ahsoka’s story, and the future of Star Wars is described as moving beyond Vader while still being fueled by the emotional impact of the original trilogy.
Rosario explained that she’s unsure of a second season at this time, but feels they will get the band back together thanks to Dave’s movie announcement.
“I mean, they’ve not said anything officially, but I remember when we were at Star Wars Celebration in London and they were like, ‘We’re giving Dave a movie! And I was like, ‘I kind of feel like that means we’re probably going to get a second season.’ For a while now, and especially now with the strike and everything, no one can say anything. But he did say he was working on an outline. So, we’ll see.”Rosario Dawson
Nick and I will talk more about this article on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.
Dave Filoni directs Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen in the World Between Worlds scene from Ahsoka by SUZANNE TENNER