What Dave Filoni's promotion means for the future of Star Wars

Dave Filoni just got a big promotion at Lucasfilm! How is his new position going to help him pave a new direction for the Star Wars franchise?
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Episode 1 "Directing" - Dave Filoni on the set of THE MANDALORIAN.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian Episode 1 "Directing" - Dave Filoni on the set of THE MANDALORIAN. /

There’s a big change at Lucasfilm as Dave Filoni has just received a huge promotion. What does this mean for Star Wars?

There’s been debate about the future of Star Wars as the reaction to the last film, Rise of Skywalker, was rather poor. However, the TV shows on Disney+ have been much better received, with The Mandalorian, Andor and Ahsoka all receiving rave reviews and setting the saga in new directions. 

Much of that can be credited to Dave Filoni, who co-created The Mandalorian and has led the way in new shows. Already experienced with Star Wars as part of the acclaimed Rebels series, Filoni’s vision has married the classic Star Wars feel to a modern direction. 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Filoni revealed that he has now been promoted to Chief Creative Officer at Lucasfilm. This means Filoni will have a more direct hand in creating and overseeing new Star Wars movies and shows.

Filoni made it clear that Kathleen Kennedy remains President of Lucasfilm, and he’s more of an overall director. 

“In this new role, it’s opened up to basically everything that’s going on. When we’re planning the future of what we’re doing now, I’m involved in the inception phase. 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. I need to be a help across the galaxy here, like a part of a Jedi Council almost.”

This move may be just the break that the Star Wars property needs.

Why Disney needs a Star Wars director

Perhaps the biggest mistake Disney made when acquiring Star Wars in 2012 was failing to have an overall plan for the new trilogy of movies. The Force Awakens did have JJ Abrams setting up some new characters and plotlines. However, Rian Johnson ended up undoing much of that with 2017’s divisive The Last Jedi. That forced Abrams to do “course correction” with Rise of Skywalker, which only ended up marring that film. 

It seems Lucasfilm needed a single person to oversee the project with a true plan, much like Kevin Feige with the MCU. Filoni has shown an ability to connect the Star Wars shows together and that can work well. He also seems better at mixing things together as several of the current shows do lay the seeds for storylines in the sequel trilogy.

The finale of Ahsoka indicated Filoni is planning either a film or series adapting the “Heir to the Empire” saga as the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) leads an attack on the New Republic and the various heroes have to join together to stop him. That direction is a good one as Filoni can also be better at developing new Star Wars projects.

What’s next for Star Wars?

Right now, the Star Wars projects are going ahead now that the Hollywood strikes are over:

  • Skeleton Crew, a “coming of age” story of four children finding themselves lost in the post-Return of the Jedi galaxy.
  • The Acolyte, set in the High Republic era a century before the movies as the Jedi explore a dark growing threat.
  • Andor Season 2, continuing the acclaimed series and ending right before the events of Rogue One. 
  • A yet untitled film set 15 years after ROS with Daisy Ridley as Rey trying to rebuild the Jedi Order
  • Planned movies from Taika Waititi and Johnson’s long-discussed new trilogy. 
  • Filoni’s own planned film.

While Kennedy has her detractors, she does have an eye for attracting talent to this franchise. Filoni is the creative force needed to make these work, placing things correctly into the saga and the respect for his work will allow him to handle some issues better.

So, with Filoni leading the way with a new vision, it looks like Disney is finally doing what they should have done with Star Wars from the start, which is to give it a definite plan and vision on what is coming next. If Filoni brings the same skill and creativity he’s shown in his previous works than the future of Star Wars is in great hands.