I got to spend some time with Dave Filoni a few weeks back when the director was in L.A. putting the finishing touches on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Then I ran into him (literally) backstage at Hall H down at Comic-Con International as we were heading for the dias. My main impression of the guy? Wow, what a friendly and thoughtful fellow.
I like, too, that he’s still showing his Pittsburgh roots even as he works the showbiz circuit in L.A. and toils in the refined artistic colonies of Northern California. “I’m not a spa guy,” he told me, “I’m a hockey guy.” It’s good that he’s not thin-skinned: It’s an odd thing to stand in the shadow of George Lucas and try to deliver a fresh new take on the “Star Wars” saga now entering its fourth decade, and the mainstream-press critics haven’t been especially kind so far to Filoni’s baby, the seventh theatrical “Star Wars” release and the first one that is completely computer-created.
I wrote a profile of Filoni that appeared on the cover of the Calendar section in today’s Los Angeles Times. Here’s the start of it:
GEORGE LUCAS, looking overheated under the midday sun, gamely worked the red carpet last Sunday at the world premiere of the latest cinematic installment to his space saga, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” At one point, Lucas was photographed with one of his most avid fans, a grinning, chubby fellow from Pennsylvania who showed up at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre wearing two-day stubble, a sweat-stained shirt and a brimmed frontier hat that Indiana Jones would admire.
That guy, Dave Filoni, also happens to be the director of “Clone Wars” (which opens Friday across the U.S.) and quite possibly the luckiest “Star Wars” fan alive.
Like Charlie inheriting the chocolate factory, the 34-year-old Filoni was plucked from relative obscurity two years ago and handed the job of using computer animation to create a “Star Wars” cartoon series for the small screen. Filoni and his team did so well that Lucas (who, it goes without saying, is not easily amazed) made the decision to hand them the keys to the kingdom and let them make the seventh theatrical release in the chronicles of the Skywalker family.
To read the rest, click here.
– Geoff Boucher
Photo credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times