Dave Filioni, director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars talks about bring the animated feature to the big screen. Star Wars: The Clones Wars arrive in theaters, August 15th.
IGN: You’ve mentioned that you got this job shortly before Revenge of the Sith opened. Is it great to finally be able to release it to the world?
Dave Filoni: Yeah, it’s really great. I mean, keeping secrets is not fun. I know everybody wants to know stuff. They don’t realize how excruciating it is not to be able to answer questions and just have an engaged conversation about some of the characters and plots, which as a fan, I would love to do.
IGN: Right. I saw you at a couple different convention appearances in the past year.
Filoni: Yeah, that had been hard. Back then I could talk about even less.
IGN: I know you’re a huge Star Wars fan, so could you really believe that that had all happened — that you had this job?
Filoni: No. It is really amazing. But, at the same time you get into the industry for a reason because you want to work on great properties and try to do great things. And, I think that when the chance came – even when I worked on Avatar, with that group, after Last Airbender — we were looking at things like Cowboy Bebop and we were looking at Naruto and [Hayao] Miyazaki, and we were just amazed by that. But I had to tell the crews I had, “Look guys. We can try and be fans, but we also want to try and be there and say, ‘Wow, we like that. Let’s try and make something that good.'” And, I think when you do Star Wars, it is a big responsibility and I take it very seriously. But, you have to then actually do it. So, yeah, I do step back every now and then and go, “Wow, I can’t believe there’s an action figure based on the design that I was involved with doing.” That’s awesome. There’s videogames coming out. That’s awesome. So, there’s still that fan aspect. Force Unleashed, I’ll get to play that. The new Clone Wars games, I’ll get to play that. And, that’s exciting. Yeah, I mean, it is as weird as you might imagine it is. But, you just have to decide this is what you want to do and be a peer of the people, like George, and do it.
IGN: When did you find out this would not only be a TV series, but a movie? And how did that change the process of what you were doing?
Filoni: Well, the interesting thing is that because I love Star Wars and the crew that we hired loved Star Wars, that we set out early on to say we want these to be like weekly movies. That was the mindset for it. “Let’s just try and go as far as we can with this and push the limit.” George responded to that when he started seeing it on a [large] screen, like you saw today. He was like, “The fans would love this on a big screen. Start thinking about how we can get this up on the big screen. We do character arcs in the series, so how are we going to take that and make it into a movie?” Of course, at first, coming from TV, I’m like, “Uh huh, that’d be great. Sounds awesome.” But, he was very serious about it. You’ll find with George, when he says something, it usually happens later. So, it was a long process. And, that was a process of, we have to really try to get the quality up. I mean we had it thought up for television. But, then, when you’re going to put it up on the big screen, that’s another matter. So we were re-doing a lot of stuff. Smoothing over arcs of things more and just really a lot of intensive work on that as well, to make sure it’s going to be something the fans are really going to want to see.
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