Now Filoni is the Master

Image via Lucasfilm

Patience is a Jedi virtue. For Star Wars fans, and the man in the hat himself, that patience has paid off. On November 21, 2023, Lucasfilm announced a long awaited, and long overdue, development: Dave Filoni is now the company’s Chief Creative Officer. He explains:

“In the past, in a lot of projects I would be brought into, I would see it after it had already developed a good ways. 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 at the inception phase.”

Dave Filoni in Vanity Fair

In addition, Filoni’s promotion includes the title of Executive Vice President, a rank he currently shares with Lynwen Brennan (EVP & General Manager), Carrie Beck (EVP, Live Action Development & Production), and Momita SenGupta (EVP, Physical Production). Previously holding the title of Senior Vice President, Beck’s promotion to Executive Vice President had been updated on the Lucasfilm website in late May 2023.

Unlike his previous promotion (to hold titles of Executive Creative Director and Executive Producer), which was updated to the website without fanfare months afterward, this time Filoni’s rise was heralded as the lead news item in a Vanity Fair article titled “Star Wars Undertakes Universe-Shaking Changes After Ahsoka,” written by longtime Star Wars reporter Anthony Breznican.

“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. … I can also lend a perspective on the challenges that telling these stories will present.”

Dave Filoni in Vanity Fair

Breznican reports that, as head of development, “Beck’s role will involve recruiting other storytellers into the Star Wars fold, while Filoni weighs in on a narrative level” as they work together “to originate and shepherd the next generation of Star Wars shows and movies.” Beck’s position as Filoni’s trusted partner in telling Star Wars tales is no surprise to those following the past decade of Lucasfilm storytelling, extending back to co-creating the Star Wars Rebels animated series, the first onscreen project for the franchise following Lucasfilm’s acquisition by Disney. At Celebration Anaheim 2022, Filoni included Beck on two of his panels, for Tales of the Jedi and The Clone Wars “Siege of Mandalore” screening, and publicly emphasized her importance to his success, which continues into live-action projects such as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka.

At the time of this news, the release calendar of upcoming Star Wars onscreen projects remains unannounced. It is believed that live-action series The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew and animated series The Bad Batch should be completing post-production and release on Disney+ in 2024. At last official word, Tony Gilroy’s Andor has at least several weeks of principal photography remaining to complete following the conclusion of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, in addition to any reshoots and completion of visual effects and other post-production, while a fourth season of The Mandalorian has been widely discussed by participants but not officially announced. The most recently published movie release calendar from The Walt Disney Company indicates that the next Star Wars film in theaters will arrive no earlier than 2026. Whatever follows Andor‘s Season Two, however, will be developed and produced under the guidance of Chief Creative Officer Dave Filoni.

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B.J. Priester has been a Star Wars fan since he played with the original Kenner action figures as a young boy. His fandom passion returned after watching Attack of the Clones in 2002 and reading the entire New Jedi Order series in 2003. He voraciously caught up on the novels and comics in the Expanded Universe in addition to writing fanfiction, frequently co-authoring with Tricia. B.J. has served as editor of FANgirl Blog from its inception, as well as contributing reviews and posts on a range of topics. He edited Tricia’s novel Wynde, and is collaborating with her on several future projects set in that original universe. Currently a tenured law professor in Florida, B.J. has been a practicing lawyer in Washington, D.C., a law clerk to a federal appeals court judge, and a law journal editor-in-chief. He is also a proud geek dad whose son who is a big fan of Star Wars and The Clone Wars.