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[INTERVIEW: Dave Filoni] Rebels Season 4 - Journey and Legacy

"Director Dave Filoni on ‘Star Wars Rebels’: The Journey and the Legacy

by Cameron Koller has probably overseen more hours of Star Wars content than anyone outside of himself. The finale event currently airing over a course of three weeks marks over 200 episodes (and one feature film) made under his watch at since the start of in 2008.

I had a chance to speak with Filoni about his feelings and production process with this closing of a chapter in Star Wars history.

He’s someone with an exuberant passion for both Star Wars and the collaborative process of animation. It’s abundantly clear why both George Lucas and have put their trust in him to continue telling stories in the Star Wars universe.

Cameron Koller:
Now that Star Wars Rebels is wrapping up, are you satisfied with the way it’s closing?

I’m pretty satisfied. This is the first time I’ve been able to draw a series to a close in this manner. We had worked on different ways Clone Wars could end, but there’s a difference between having theories about how you would do something and actually executing it.

These last six episodes I think are among our best, which they should be. If we went back to the beginning, there are some things we would change and improve a bit, but all in all I’m pretty pleased with it. We didn’t really leave much on the table either. There are always other stories you can tell, but I think for the story of it’s come through in a way that I’m happy with.

Cameron Koller:
You really defined the culture this season. How much if any of that was influenced by prior extended universe depictions of Mandalorians?

For the most part, the Mandalorians that we see in Rebels are just an extension of the ones I was working on in Clone Wars. A lot of that was in conjunction with working directly with George, and he layed out what he thought the civilization was like at the time of the

When we built it back then, I took a lot of the extended material and tried to parcel out a greater timeline that would include what was happening in ’s time, and then thousands of years later they would become a different type of society.

Just because these people were one thing thousands of years ago doesn’t mean they’re gonna be that now. If you look at our own world that’s very true — people change and evolve, societies and empires rise and collapse.

So, I expanded what Mandalorian society would be under the ’s story becomes one about family, and her family is one that was affected and shattered by the involvement in her society, and how her family tried to protect her but she was confused by it and felt ostracized.

All those things that you build in your mythology parallels how kids feel in real life. The way teenagers can feel ostracized and like outsiders when the elements come into their world.

That’s why ’s journey is familiar to us and ’s journey is familiar to us. We all have similar experiences, though probably not in the

Cameron Koller:
One major theme in Rebels has been the different ideas of different subsets of the rebellion of how to fight the Empire. Is any of it reflective of your own views on the morality of Star Wars or the wider world?

I think what’s interesting is how broad it gets. It starts fundamentally as good vs. evil, but as you get drawn into the more complex world that the offer, there are more politics involved and there are many sides involved, and I personally think it makes it very real.

It’s not so much about obvious evil that walks into your world as much as it is the root of the tree rotting from inside and something beautiful that falls apart, which is often how things go in the real world.

You do have a history of democracies that collapse and fall into becoming dictatorships. You have forces even when they’re on the same side who debate what is the best way to go about winning this fight.

Do we try to use diplomacy, and if we use violence what are the consequences? Everybody at the end of the day, even without the Empire, becomes a pawn of evil and the machinations of _Emperor_Palpatine.

Luke’s whole message — and I think the message of Star Wars — is not to be of yourself but to be selfless, to find some sense of enlightenment and to inspire others to great action as well.

So I try to work from those same themes throughout Rebels and show that there aren’t all these simple answers, but there is still good and evil and different ways to battle.

Cameron Koller:
Did you conceive these last few episodes with an idea of what NOT to do when ending a TV series?

We were always pretty resolute from the beginning that we weren’t trying to set up one of the other films. The end of our series wasn’t going to be the beginning of or the beginning of

Early on there was thought that it was going to be about getting the, but once Rogue One picked up that was going to be that whole movie.

There was always a big debate about the I think a lot of people were saying, “It’s called Star Wars Rebels, we’ll see the Death Star in it.” The problem I have with that as a storyteller is our guys don’t destroy the Death Star.

I already know that Luke does. What possible role could our guys play in it other than getting completely annihilated by it? We see the flying around in Rogue One, but I haven’t explained how or why that is, and it’s certainly not this culmination point for us to say our animated characters made it into that movie.

I think that’s fantastic, but it’s not the purpose of this story. This story really revolves around Ezra and his quest to understand what it means to be part of a family.

Cameron Koller:
How long does it take to make an episode?

I would say from inception to final it takes close to a year for one episode. Several weeks to write a script, but the script doesn’t reach its final form until we’re recording it.

We’ve done story on Rebels a couple different ways. We started using Toon Boom, and then we’ve also been able to rebuild some of our previsualization that we used on Clone Wars.

We’ve done a hybrid thing that’s a little bit 2D and a little bit CG. When you get to the animation and lighting, final sound-mix, it’s close to a year…

Nah, actually a bit shorter than a year. But Episode 4.10,, I remember I storyboarded the October before last and we were done quite a ways back. My producers would probably be happier if I said it was more like 8-9 months.

Cameron Koller:
What is the writing process like season to season?

We have a writer’s room but I like to come in there with some ideas of where we would like to go. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly what we’re going to write, but it gives us some place that we’re gonna be.

From there I would have myself,, and the support staff at, producers, and we’d all just start talking about the episode. For the most part I would try to hammer out a constructive outline of what we’d like the episode to be.

I do drawings so we can start to get the visuals right away, I was the same way with George. If there are episodes I’m going to write, I’ll write the whole outline and explain in detail a lot of the visuals right from the very beginning and walk everybody through it.

We try to use it a vetting process with a lot of creative people in the room and see if it’s gonna work or not. We usually come out of that with a bunch of outlines, and then people are sent to write individual episodes.

From that point, the episodes come in, there’s one kick of the can where we send a bunch of notes to the individual writers to get them rewritten.

After that I usually take everything and work out the staging and whatnot, and I might subject it to further changes in the script to capitalize certain visuals, have the characters say different things, so at the end of the day I control all the final dialogue and staging of the episodes.

I go over that with the five directors that I work with closely. Most of the action is come up with in those sessions, where we work with stunt coordinators to figure out the physicality, then we try to shoot it with a lot of head & tail & coverage so we can edit more freely in AVID, and even with AVID we’ll make a lot of changes with the script and try to come up with the best lines.

All the way up to that point, it’s all wonderful temp audio by the Lucasfilm staff, I think if you can follow the story with these guys doing it, then it’s working. One of my assistant editors always plays Ezra Bridger, all four seasons. Some people get kinda good at it, but for the most part it’s pretty terrible, but it fits for an animatic.

That’s largely the process and an extension of how I worked with George. He would try to improve it the whole time. The script is never a locked, secure document, the real script is what you see in the AVID.

Cameron Koller:
The main studio I was able to track down as doing a majority of the animation on Rebels was CGCG in Taiwan. Can you explain your working process with CGCG and whether there are any other animation studios integral to the show’s production?

I’ve worked with them since 2005, all the way through Clone Wars. They’re a fantastic studio. We also worked with Sparx/Virtuos. They actually do a lion’s share of work on Rebels as well. The big thing with any overseas studio is I like to think of them as an extension of our own studio.

I send our leads over to their studios to talk directly with them. They’ll stay with them sometimes for several weeks working with the artists there, teaching them different tricks about how we want the characters animated. [animation supervisor] will go over there, will go over and talk about the lighting, will go over and talk about how he wants the models built. So it’s a really collaborative thing and I want them to feel like a part of this production and have pride in the show that they’re making. had been an animation supervisor and director over at CGCG and he and I have worked together every year I’ve been at Lucasfilms. He’s been a constant creative force working with me, and I think that accounts for some of the really nice work that we get.

CGCG has gone on and done a lot of great work over for on shows like [Dragons]. It’s a close relationship and I think it has to be when it comes to the arts.

Cameron Koller:
Marvel has a transmedia canon that runs through films and TV shows on a variety of different networks and streaming platforms for different kinds of audiences. Could you see Star Wars doing something similar?

I think we have our own way of doing things and one of the things that we’re always attempting to do is have all of our stories be connected.

I spend a decent amount of time when the films are happening to go and talk with or watch work. We all like to be aware of the stories that everybody’s doing so you get a sense that it’s one big galaxy.

George always treated our animation on Clone Wars the same way he treated film, it’s all part of his story. At times there’s a tendency to treat animation as an “other” or as something for kids, and that’s not been my experience at Lucasfilm. We are telling stories and we happen to use the medium of animation to tell them.

So I think that’s what the future holds. We have a lot of different ways to convey stories and we choose the best mediums and we are showing no sign of slowing, so the end of one thing always means the beginning of another, and soon people will learn what that other is."
Director Dave Filoni on ‘Star Wars Rebels’: The Journey and the Legacy
Director Dave Filoni on ‘Star Wars Rebels’: The Journey and the Legacy Dave Filoni has probably overseen more hours of Star Wars content than anyone outside of George Lucas himself. Animation Magazine
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[SPOILER: Cobalt Squadron] Open Discussion

Spoilers for
Cobalt Squadron follows prior to the events of TLJ.

Besides providing some background for Rose and , there’s not much meat to this story. If you read the , you already know a good amount of this information.

Unless you are dying for more info about Rose, I would skip this novel. I came in expecting to better understand Rose’s pain at the loss of her sister and other members of the crew but left disappointed.

The characters really fall flat.

Rose and Paige joined the after the occupation of .

Paige had a love for animals including , which explains Rose’s knowledge and concern for them in TLJ. The two were extremely close. Often times, Rose was dependent on her sister.

Rose is a very skilled technician and developed a power to hide the two bomber squadrons: Cobalt and as they provided supplies to a First Order occupied world.

TFA occurred during this mission and the destruction of was seen and felt by the bomber crew.

Over the course of the novel, Rose learns to be more independent from her sister. Upon the request of , Rose joined the crew of the rather than stay with her sister.

The first time they have been separated. The last thing Paige said to her sister was “See you then, Rose,” which was Paige’s catch-phrase prior to departing for missions. Talk about regrets.

Oh, and a cool character named is introduced. Fossil is a who was the commanding officer of the bomber units.

She’s essentially a slug-like creature who is rough on the outside and gentle on the inside. Expect her to pop up again… like in .
The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron
The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron is a middle grade canon novel written by Elizabeth Wein with art by Phil Noto. It was published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press on December 15, 2017. A companion book, The Last Jedi: Bomber Command, written by Jason Fry, was released on the same day. The audiobook is narrated by Kelly Marie Tran, who portrays Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. From New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire), this middle-grade novel is... Wookieepedia
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[SPOILER: Doctor Aphra #17] Open Discussion

Spoilers for,_Part_IV
Sometimes when you read a great comic, you have a hard time explaining why it's great.

Is it because of the epic story?
Is it because of the smooth rolling dialogue?
Is it because of the all-around artistic presentations?
Is it because of a cool scene?
Is it because of a bombastic twist or surprise?

Sometimes, it's a combination of so many of the mentioned above and more. Sometimes, it's so many things, that's it's impossible to peg down exactly what makes a comic special.

This is a special comic.

Seeing romotely piloting a handful of holy baddass.

Seeing the cheesy but perfect adventure romance is a delight. I get the same feeling from watching Indianna Jones as I do reading about the exploits of's_crew is one of the most interesting mix of scum and villainy (and honorables) I've ever seen in a comic book.

I'm now completely invested in and I can see these character having their own comic. The betrayal tension created in just three panels was expertly presented.

The scheme to kidnap Hera was fantastic. I love the odd mirror of launching's_green_lightsaber to him in seen with the launching multiple in the air for to go all crazy cowboy gunslinger on everyone.

This comic even has a cute and dumb purple puppy. What's not to love with A cloned Yes please.
Doctor Aphra 17: Remastered, Part IV
Doctor Aphra 17: Remastered, Part IV Doctor Aphra 17: Remastered, Part IV is the seventeenth issue of the comic book series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. The comic was written by Simon Spurrier and Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Emilio Laiso, and published by Marvel Comics on February 21, 2018. Aphra and her new crew are launching a brand-new mission…infiltrating a secret Rebellion training center. Little do they know they might be in over their heads. Bonus: A new Rebellion leader? Who's THAT?! Wookieepedia
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May Comic Book Solicitations

Comics for May have been announced!

Straight from the frames of the highly-anticipated film swaggers a younger and somehow even cockier!

Before his days in the, before he ran, even before he lost the, comes this tale of Lando’s adventures and misadventures in search of love and money leading right up to his appearance in SOLO!


2) &

The has found! But the is hot on their tail…and they are out for blood.

Join writer, who also has writing credit for, and artist (, HAWKEYE and THE VISION) as they take on the adventures of prodigy, ace pilot, and ex-First Order recruit from the hit blockbuster – featuring never-before-seen scenes of your favorite characters!


3) &

The Rebellion’s fight to liberate continues! While, Luke and undertake a perilous and nigh-impossible rescue, must keep up his vital mission…of hobnobbing at the opera?!



Strap in, racing fans — we’re going! Bring your betting money, because this is going to be a high-stakes race, with rebel Luke Skywalker, smuggler and even a certain Dark Lord in attendance! PLACE YOUR BETS!



Vader and his lead an elite squad of to flush out the traitor beneath the waters of…and the oceans will burn with their fury.



Poe Dameron managed to escape the First Order – but only just! Meanwhile, the rest of is on their most daring mission yet. Follow everyone’s favorite Resistance crew as Poe Dameron tells Rey and Finn his adventures during the events of!


7) is behind bars. Again. But this time, she finds herself in Imperial custody, strapped to an explosive transmitter synced to a single hub-droid. Take one step too far? KABLOOEY! Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue to sit still for Aphra – but what happens when her Imperial captors send her hub-droid to the middle of a war zone?



“THE RISE OF THE GRAND ADMIRAL” CONTINUES! ’s rise in the Empire continues at a trajectory one can only dream of. Meanwhile, is still stuck in the same position as when he graduated – Thrawn’s aide. But will Thrawn’s obsession and pursuit of the mysterious crimelord “Nightswan” lead both Imperials to success in the Emperor’s eyes? Help comes from mysterious places in the Empire…
MARVEL COMICS MAY 2018 Solicitations
MARVEL COMICS MAY 2018 Solicitations Marvel's 'A Fresh Start' begins in May. That plus a lot of Wolverine. Newsarama
9 22

[NEWS: The Last Jedi] BluRay/BD4k/DVD/Digital Announcement!!


Rey. Kylo Ren. Finn. Rose. Luke. Leia. Poe.

And porgs, of course.

The latest film in the Star Wars saga is coming home. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive, it was announced today, on Digital (in HD and 4K Ultra HD) and via Movies Anywhere on March 13, and on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and On-Demand on March 27.

And along with the number one movie of 2017 comes a galaxy of bonus features, including The Director and the Jedi — an intimate journey into the creation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with writer-director Rian Johnson — as well as 14 deleted scenes, an audio commentary, and much more. The full list includes*:

The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.

Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.

>Scene Breakdowns

-Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle-
Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.

-Snoke and Mirrors-
Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.

-Showdown on Crait-
Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.

-Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)-
Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.

-Deleted Scenes-
With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

-Audio Commentary-
View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will come in a variety of packages, including the Multi-screen Edition (includes Blu-ray and a Digital copy), the 4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition (including 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and a Digital copy), and Best Buy and Target retailer exclusives.

The 4K Ultra HD version features the extraordinary color, contrast, and brightness of Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range, paired with fully immersive picture and sound with Dolby Atmos audio. Check out the packaging below:

Get full disc specifications below, and reach out and feel the Force (with your feelings — remember Luke’s lesson!) with Star Wars: The Last Jedi again.

FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 152 min.
RATING: PG-13 in U.S.; PG in CE; PG in CF
4K UHD (US): English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos; English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus; English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus
4K UHD (Canada): English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos; English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus; English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus
Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
Digital 4K UHD: English Dolby Atmos (where available), English 7.1 Dolby Digital (where available), English, French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio (where available)
Digital HD: English, French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio (where available)
UHD / BD: English SDH, French & Spanish
DVD: English SDH, French & Spanish
Digital: English SDH, English Closed Caption, French & Spanish (where available) "
Star Wars: The Last Jedi In-Home Trailer (Official)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi In-Home Trailer (Official) Own your copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Available on Digital & Movies Anywhere and 4K UHD March 13 | and on Blu-ray™ March 27. Visit Star Wars at http://w... YouTube
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[MondayMorningCoffee] This Week In Review 02/19/2018

Yes, we’re late, but a Week in Review arrives precisely when it means to, so...

What a week it’s been! I’d say this past week has been a treat for us Star Wars fans, so let’s jump into it, shall we?

I think the return of Star Wars Rebels has been the highlight so far this week, and those who’ve seen it would probably agree.

Go watch the episodes and join in on our discussion here:

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/19/2018
[SPOILER: Rebels S4E10 & S4E11] Open Discussion

What a great pair of episodes, Filoni once again proves his genius to us all and Kiner continues to show us how talented he is with such an amazing score.

The 2nd biggest thing to come out of last week had to have been the announcement of the Solo: A Star Wars Story tie-in material. It looks like we’re getting a butt-load of stuff, check it out.

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/16/2018
[Solo] New Tie-In Books Announced!!!

Make sure you preorder “”, it comes out April 17 and will feature some juicy stories that I feel we’ll be taking apart for the following weeks.

Poe Dameron #24 followed suit on the the 15th, but I haven’t read it so I can’t comment on its quality, but our thread can!

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/15/2018
[SPOILER: Poe Dameron #24] Open Discussion

Poe Dameron wasn't the only comic release last week, we had two other drops on Valentines Day, believe it or not. I hope you shackled gals and guys got these comics from your SO:

Kamino Groove • 02/14/2018
[SPOILER: Dark Lord of the Sith #11] Open Discussion

A lot of wook users would agree that this series is the best comic run in canon, possibly in all of Star Wars. from the Lando comic makes an appearance, which is awesome as well.

Kamino Groove • 02/14/2018
[SPOILER: Thrawn #1] Open Discussion

So far the series has kicked off great. It suprisingly adapts the book very well and the art is just astounding. It's also the first visual appearance of Eli Vanto, so its nice to finally put a face to the name.

We also happened to get an new episode of The Star Wars Show where, “we take a look at a new Solo: A Star Wars Story poster, talk with Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV series) and Star Wars Rebels actor Clancy Brown, who played Savage Opress and Ryder Azadi, and more!"

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/14/2018
[StarWarsShow] New Solo Poster, Clancy Brown Talks Rebels, and More!

Last but surely not least we received some news from Episode IX itself. It looks like "‘Episode IX’ Adds ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Art Director Paul Inglis

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/13/2018
[NEWS: Episode 9] Bladerunner 2049 Art Director Brought On

That’s your week in review folks! Be sure to check out last weeks post (which I accidentally reported, sorry) below and I wish you guys a good rest of your week.

ChristopherLeeGallant • 02/12/2018
[MondayMorningCoffee] The Week in Review 02/12/2018
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