Despite Lucasfilm Claiming Dave Filoni Is George Lucas’ Apprentice, Lucas Said He Was Not Mentoring Anyone To Takeover Star Wars
Lucasfilm and Star Wars recently released a featurette highlighting their latest Disney+ series, Ahsoka, in which Jon Favreau makes the claim that Dave Filoni is George Lucas' apprentice.
Lucasfilm and Star Wars recently released a featurette highlighting their latest Disney+ series, Ahsoka, in which Jon Favreau makes the claim that Dave Filoni is George Lucas’ apprentice.
In the clip, Favreau recalls that George Lucas made a set visit to The Mandalorian saying, “George visited the set when we were filming the lightsaber fight in the Japanese garden in Season 2.”
“And I think he was really encouraging of Dave stepping up to this role. And so George would turn to Kathy and myself, and be proud of Dave,” he continued. “He was Dave’s teacher and Dave was his apprentice.”
Interestingly, Lucas does not make any comments in the short video, but instead Favreau speaks for him. The reason for that is because Lucas probably would never described Filoni as his apprentice.
Back in the early 2000s while discussing The Revenge of the Sith with CNN, Lucas made it abundantly clear there was no one going to take over from him when it came to theatrical releases.
When asked if he wanted Star Wars to continue after his life, Lucas responded, “No. No. I’ve worked it out to where when I do it in terms of the films that I’m doing. This will be the last. The next film, three, will be the last film and it’ll be a six part series and that’ll be the end of it.”
He was then asked if he was mentoring someone to take over for him. Lucas replied, “No. No. There may be other venues for it, but not in the theatrical release, but for sort of offshoot stories and things in other areas, but not in theatrical films. I just want to keep that special. I don’t want to have it sort of turn into Star Trek.”
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Obviously, Lucas would release the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars film by Dave Filoni to theaters in 2008. He told Entertainment Weekly at the time that the film was actually originally supposed to be an animated series.
He said, “You know, [the Clone Wars movie] was almost an afterthought — we were doing the TV series and looked at some of the episodes on the big screen and said, ‘This is so beautiful, why don’t we just go and use the crew and make a feature?’ So we did.”
However, he also made clear he had no intention of returning to feature films telling EW, “No more, no more. I mean, except for this kind of stuff, which is sort of spinoffs of TV shows.”
Obviously, Lucas’ intentions would change again when he sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company back in 2012 when it was announced the company would be making three more feature films.
Lucas said at the time, “We’ve got a plan for seven, eight, and nine which is the end of the trilogy. And other films also. So we have a large group of ideas, and characters, and books, and all kinds of things. We could go on making Star Wars for the next hundred years.”
However, Lucas would be quickly sidelined and his plans for the next trilogy would be purchased by The Walt Disney Company and never see the light of day.
The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger wrote in his book, The Ride of a Lifetime: LESSONS LEARNED FROM 15 YEARS AS CEO OF THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY, “At some point in the process, George told me that he had completed outlines for three new movies. He agreed to send us three copies of the outlines: one for me; one for Alan Braverman; and one for Alan Horn, who’d just been hired to run our studio. Alan Horn and I read George’s outlines and decided we needed to buy them, though we made clear in the purchase agreement that we would not be contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he’d laid out.”
Iger would then reveal the future of Star Wars would not be beholden to George Lucas, “He knew that I was going to stand firm on the question of creative control, but it wasn’t an easy thing for him to accept. And so he reluctantly agreed to be available to consult with us at our request. I promised that we would be open to his ideas (this was not a hard promise to make; of course we would be open to George Lucas’s ideas), but like the outlines, we would be under no obligation.”
From there, the CEO explained how they had their own vision for Star Wars and how Lucas felt betrayed, “The truth was, Kathy, J.J., Alan, and I had discussed the direction in which the saga should go, and we all agreed that it wasn’t what George had outlined. George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded.”
Iger added, “I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better. I should have prepared him for the meeting with J.J. and Michael and told him about our conversations, that we felt it was better to go in another direction. I could have talked through this with him and possibly avoided angering him by not surprising him.”
He then revealed, “Now, in the first meeting with him about the future of Star Wars, George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.”
Lucas shared his thoughts on Disney rejecting his story ideas speaking with Vanity Fair in 2015, “The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans.’ People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems – it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, ‘Fine.’”
He would then do a sit down interview with Charlie Rose where he described The Walt Disney Company as “white slavers.” He said, “I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…”
He would also discuss the outlines he sold to Disney for the sequel trilogy, “They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans. They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing.”
He added, “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway — but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
More recently, Lucas made it clear he was not involved in the direction that Star Wars taking, “I don’t know, I mean. I’ve kind of lost control of Star Wars, so it’s going off in a different path than what I intended.”
What do you make of Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company attempting to put Dave Filoni on a pedestal as George Lucas’ apprentice despite Lucas making it abundantly clear that is not the case?