With the recent announcement of the Emmy award-winning Star Wars: The Clone Wars series being continued, the time felt right to host an employee screening and discussion to commemorate the original series, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The screening was the fourth in the Lucasfilm Legacy Screening Series (a special series just for our employees), which so far has included THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Willow.
For this Clone Wars event, four episodes selected by Supervising Director Dave Filoni were screened at Lucasfilm Animation’s original home at Big Rock Ranch (now called Summit at Skywalker Ranch), followed by a 45-minute discussion with both Filoni and series creator George Lucas. The event was a rare homecoming of sorts for employees who remember working at Big Rock, and the screening and discussion provided newer employees with a rare window into the creative process that drove the show.
According to Filoni, the working relationship he had with Lucas was a unique, creative collaboration, and one he wanted to share with the current members of his Animation team in the audience.
“You inspired us all to think outside the box, to push technology with our storytelling, and to do more than we thought we could do,” he told Lucas. “Because it was worth it for the stories we were telling… You told me, dare to be great. Dare to be dopey at times, but dare to be great. It sounds so simple, but it can be a frightening thing because you’re going outside your comfort zone. But it’s worth it if you do.”
As a result of the collaboration, Filoni found himself occasionally writing for The Clone Wars, which wasn’t something he originally anticipated as director. Lucas encouraged him to develop this skill, however, since he had once been told the same by one of his own mentors and collaborators.
“One of the most important lessons I gave you, and Francis Coppola taught me, was if you can’t write, you can’t direct,” said Lucas. “Because all you’re doing is telling a story on film. But the story is still the same. If you don’t know how to write the story, you’re not going to know how to direct it.”
The Clone Wars will continue with 12 all-new episodes on Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming platform, and is currently in production. Read the original announcement here.