In honor of tomorrow’s premiere of The Clone Wars: Season 3, I’m posting an interview with Dave Filoni, the supervising director of Clone Wars.
We had this conversation at Star Wars Celebration V and spoke, almost more than anything, about the cinema influences of on Clone Wars. The subject quickly turned to The Third Man, which is one of my favorite films that no one has heard of, and Filoni said of that, “It’s shocking isn’t it? But all of the smart filmmakers know it and build on it. And if we can touch upon that in Clone Wars and some kids sees [Akira] Kurosawa’s name at the beginning of our film, that makes them go look it up. I was lucky, my father showed me a lot of those films when I was a kid, but I also heard these rumblings of Hidden Fortress and it’s relevance to Star Wars and as a kid you’re thinking, ‘I’m gonna go watch that.’”
When we talked about the growth and changes coming this season for our main trio of characters (Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-wan), he also talked about his difficulty in talking to Star Wars fans. “I’m very excited about [Season 3]. It’s really hard to hold back, especially being around people that are so excited by Star Wars. I want to tell you guys everything. And I can’t. So there you have it. I’ve been accused of being very good at delivering very lengthy answers that have absolutely no point, but I think that’s a skill to have.”
He talked a lot about his fandom, too, and George Lucas’ specific influence on the show. He also talked about the fine line he has to straddle between making a show for the mainstream and a show for fans.
Perhaps my favorite part of the conversation, though, was when I was able to out Dave as a fellow Robotech nerd. We were talking about his biggest influences in storytelling on the show, “That animated series to me, showed me as a kid that, ‘Wow, these characters can die. Roy Fokker got shot down. How does that work?’ The romance in it made me feel very much like what was happening in Star Wars. The Zentradi battlecruisers… It was all so incredible to me and it made me say, ‘I want to grow up and make an animated series like that.’”
We talked much more about Robotech, but you’ll have to watch the interview for the finer details. I would also highly recommend any fan of Clone Wars watch Robotech. It’s just a great show.