Dave Filoni Mic Drops On Creating Female Characters In Star Wars

Disney Channel PR SWR S2 Press ConfThis past Friday Disney hosted a Star Wars Rebels press event in Los Angeles. Sarah Woloski, my co-host on Fangirls Going Rogue and co-host of Skywalking Through Neverland, attended. During the press conference, showrunner Dave Filoni had some specific talking points on female characters in Star Wars.

I can’t even get into the importance of developing these female characters into multiple roles: as mentors, as combatants, as strong personalities. You want the whole range for people to look at. And as you go through Star Wars, we have so many examples of so many different characters for boys to grow up emulating. We need to broaden that. It’s just been a real goal of mine. My wife is very outspoken in all these things that she studies and researches. The most important thing I’ve done is listen to her, and any other woman who’s come up to me and said, “Hey, this is what I feel we’re missing and lacking.” It’s the same trait I took on that made me successful working with George [Lucas]. I listened to him. I don’t know the best way to tell these stories. I’m in a position where I have the authority to put that into play. So my strongest play here would be, I want to activate that. I want to create these opportunities and see how far they can go. Tiya has earned that with her performance. Vanessa [Marshall]’s performance so strongly identified with girls because they go, “Oh my gosh, Han Solo was the pilot that I knew. Now it’s Hera, and she’s an awesome pilot.” What does that mean? When Ahsoka stepped on the stage as the apprentice to what people always identified as the most powerful Jedi of all time, it was like a bomb. What? How could that be? Well, it just is. Just deal with it. Guess what that means? It means that she’s a better swordfighter than Kanan. Period. She’s just better. … You can develop these characters. It’s just so important because it makes your universe real. … She’s interesting, Hera’s interesting. I want to tell stories about compelling people.

Star Wars Rebels Season Two launches October 14th at 9:30 p.m. on DisneyXD. Later in the season, Sarah Michelle Gellar joins the cast as the Seventh Sister. Want to see more of the press conference? Check it out on Skywalking Through Neverland’s YouTube channel.

Image via Eric Goldman, IGN



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.