Eric Goldman from IGN recently had the chance to talk to Dave Filoni in a new lengthy interview, where Dave shares his thoughts on the eight years he’s worked on Clone Wars, working with George Lucas, the remaining “Bonus Content” episodes, a little bit of Star Wars Rebels, and some of the unanswered questions that are still open for some Clone Wars characters. Here’s a portion of the interview:
IGN TV: Obviously, a ton of fans, myself included, are sad to be saying goodbye to The Clone Wars. For you, what’s it like looking back at it all, the 100+ episodes you created?
Dave Filoni: It’s unbelievable. I don’t think about it a lot. It went by so quickly. George used to talk about making 100 episodes all the time, and we all kind of just thought, “Uh huh, well, I guess he can do that, but…” I always remember shows I worked on — I was on King of the Hill I believe when The Simpsons hit 100 episodes. So it was always something you thought of as, “Wow, that must be a good show to make it that far.” So I was really proud of everybody when we hit that. What I’m most proud of I think is if people begin with Season 1 and watch it all the way through, they see an improvement on every level. That’s not to take anything away from the people who worked in the beginning, but we had to start somewhere, and then we learned and learned and applied our knowledge going forward. We became dramatically better creators of these stories and executing these stories than we were in the beginning. I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud of. We didn’t just make it one way and continue to make that. Everything about the show got better, from the writing to the animation to the rendering, the way we filmed it. I think that that really shows when you watch it as a complete series.
IGN TV: What were you conversations like with George when it came to an end? As you’ve mentioned, he’d been closely involved on the series and you guys had worked on it together for so many years.
Dave Filoni: Oh, you know George. We talk about stuff. We still talk about Clone Wars, and he just loves that universe. I hope people realize that, just because technically he sold it, he created all of this. I’ve had lunch with him, and we’ve had nice talks about it and about Clone Wars. I know that he thinks very fondly of that time period of Clone Wars and working on it with us. We’re always talking about some of the stories that probably aren’t going to come to pass now and what they would have been like, and that’s a really fun time. When you’re creative, it’s fun to have those discussions. We joke about things that we did try and some things that we liked how they worked out. A lot of my conversations with him were just that I couldn’t believe, looking back on it all — when we started, in all honestly, we had so much to learn as a group. I was pretty good at what I did, but I wasn’t at the level I really needed to be to be the effective leader of this show and of the people making this show that I had to be to make it a success. When I started, George really took the time after seeing the first reel we did to say, “I’m going to teach this guy, and I’m going to make sure that we get this right.” He didn’t have to do that. He could have found somebody else, somebody more capable. It could have all been more automatic. But he took that time, and I took it all seriously. I listened, and I learned. Over the years, we got more and more success with it. I think that that’s something, that he really loved teaching. That was always clear to me. So we’ve talked about that, and I’m very appreciative of the time he spent with us directly to explain, when he didn’t like something, why, or why it didn’t work, and how they did things in the Star Wars films; what were the ways they did things, and editorially, how they filmed things that made a difference in his mind, that kept these things special — why you would say certain things in ways of dialogue and why you don’t. So it’s that mentor/apprentice relationship, which is really at the heart of Star Wars, when you think about it, that will always be probably the most important thing to me.
IGN TV: So let me bring up the words “bonus content.” How, what, where, why, when?
Dave Filoni: You know, I can’t say much about that yet. I am eagerly waiting, just like you. All I can say is, the stuff that — I think I can say this — what we’ve finished is spectacular, and I hate to bait you that way, but I’m so excited for people to see it. It really capitalizes on everything we learned in the first five seasons, the arc of continuing to improve our storytelling and just the nature of what’s in Star Wars is definitely seen in these episodes. In some ways, man, maybe it’s giving too much away, but it’s some important stuff for the overall idea of Clone Wars. We didn’t know at the time that, yeah, of course these would be “bonus material,” per se, but we were definitely doing these things because they were important to the overall 100 episodes of The Clone Wars. The thing that I think about it is, when it comes out — and I’m certain that it will at some time — it’s going to be probably a great moment now for fans because there just hasn’t been Clone Wars. So I think it’s going to have a really big impact, in my guess, just from talking to people. I’m really excited about it because some of the things in it are going to launch a lot of discussion in a great way I think for Star Wars. On the forefront of so much Star Wars content coming out, sometimes you step back and you almost think this stuff was planned — maybe it is, and I’m just not in on it. Who knows? I’m excited about it, I’m excited to talk about it, because there is much to discuss when you finally get to see these stories. I’ll definitely want to talk to you, Eric. We’ve got to go over it.
This is really a great interview that all Clone War fans should definitely check out, and you can check out the full interview over at IGN.