Dave Filoni explains the actual story and meaning of Star Wars

30 August 2023
David Filoni is like the Heir to the Throne in the sense that he was George Lucas' own padawan as he gave him reign to make The Clone Wars.

Filoni famously created Ashoka and has carried a lot of the creative weight of Star Wars for the last decade, particularly with The Clone Wars and Rebels and truly magical The Mandalorian.

He gets Star Wars.

He really gets it.

As part of the promo for The Mandalorian series of which he and Jon Favreau have been creative leads, he summed up his feelings on the story of Star Wars. In doing so he gives a massive insight into why the music of the saber battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul is called the Duel of the Fates...

duel of the fates

Here's the transcript of Filoni explaining the story of Star Wars to the assembled directors of the first season of The Mandalorian. 


I love the lightsaber fight with Darth Maul. Not because it's a lightsaber fight, but because George is so good at crafting why that fight is important every time. Like, you know, the Obi-Wan Darth Vader fight isn't, like, the most wonderfully staged, necessarily combat that you're ever gonna see. But there's so much at stake. It's so meaningful when Obi-Wan dies that we all feel like Luke in Phantom Menace.

You're watching these two Jedi in their prime fight this evil villain. Maul couldn't be more obviously the villain. He's designed to look evil, and he is evil, and he just expresses that from his face all the way out through the type of lights. Every fight's with what's at stake is really how Anakin's gonna turn out. Because Qui-Gon is different than the rest of the Jedi. And you get that in the movie.

Qui-Gon is fighting because he knows he's the father that Anakin needs. Because Qui-Gon hasn't given up on the fact that Jedi are supposed to actually care and love, and that's not a bad thing. The rest of the Jedi are so detached and they've become so political that they've really lost their way. And Yoda starts to see that in the second film. But Qui-Gon is ahead of them all. That's why he's not part of the council. So he's fighting for Anakin. And that's why it's the duel of the fate. It's the fate of this child.

Depending on how this fight goes, Anakin's life is gonna be dramatically different. So Qui-Gon loses, of course. So the father figure, because he knew what it meant to take this kid away from his mother when he had an attachment. And he's left with Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan trains Anakin at first out of a promise he makes to Qui-Gon. 

Not because he cares about him.

When they get Anakin, they find him on Tatooine. He's, "Why do I feel like we found another useless life form?" He's comparing Anakin to Jar Jar. And he's saying, "This is a waste of our time. Why are we doing this? Why do you see importance in these creatures like Jar Jar Binks and this 10-year-old boy? This is useless."

So he's a brother to Anakin eventually, but he's not a father figure. That's a failing for Anakin. He doesn't have the family that he needs. He loses his mother in the next film (Attack of the Clones). He fails on this promise that he made, "Mother, I will come back and save you." So he's left completely vulnerable.

And Star Wars ultimately is about family. So that moment in that movie, which a lot of people, I think, diminish as just a cool lightsaber fight, is everything that the entire three films of the prequels hang on is that one particular fight. And Maul serves his purpose, and at that point, died before. George may bring him back, but he died. And that's showing you again how the Emperor is completely self-serving. He doesn't care; he's just a tool. He's using people.

And it follows all the way through to the line, which terrified me as a kid, when the Emperor tells Luke, "You, like your father, are now mine." And the idea when I was a little kid watching that movie of some evil person possessing my father, making him do things or making him be evil was terrifying. That was like a thought that was horrible.

Also, it's amazing when you watch Return of the Jedi that Luke has never done anything that I would call like he's a bad character. He has a tendency to be dark. And a lot of people wanted Anakin, "Oh, he should have been darker as a character." It's not true at all. I believe Luke would turn to the dark side in Return of the Jedi. I believe that was on the table. I believe that he would kill the Emperor.

And because of the way George arranges the story, I knew that was the wrong thing to do. When he's saying, "You want your weapon, you know, strike me down, I'm defenseless," he wants him to give into his anger. He wants him to give into his hate and fear, the structure that George has laid out in all the movies is coming to fruition now.

And the only thing that's gonna save him is not his connection to the Force. It's not the powers he's learned. It's not all these things that are an advantage to him. That's gotten him to the table. But what saves Luke is his ability to look at all that and look at his father and say, "No, I'm gonna throw away this weapon. I'm not gonna do that. I'm gonna let that go and be selfless."

And he says, "You know, I'm a Jedi like my father before me." But what he's really saying, and why we connect, I connect so profoundly to this, like, he's saying, "I love my father, and there's nothing you can do that's gonna change that." And the Emperor can't understand that connection. "Why wouldn't you take some after you power of the galaxy? Why won't you take this?"

And Anakin then, in that moment, has to decide to be the father that he's never had. He has to give up all the power of the galaxy and save his son. And that's the selfless act that he does in return for his son. And that's what saves him in turn. So the son saves the father, the father follows his son, and it works out perfectly.

And I draw that line all the way from Phantom Menace to Jedi. That's the story of Star Wars.

Jon Favreau: Everybody pops the helmet off in that moment was part of the, yeah, the Vader arc.

Back to Filoni:

It's all part of the Vader arc. It's all part of why it works and why we care. It's not about X-wings. It's not about all these things we decorate Star Wars with. And it's important. It's part of the genius of it.

But we soulfully react like, we don't just want an action movie, we want to feel uplifted. And Star Wars is an adventure that makes you feel good. You know, it makes me feel like, "Wow, I want to be a part of that." So that's what I always go back to with Star Wars, is this selfless act and this family dynamic, which is so important to George, so important to the foundation of Star Wars that's in us.

And what I like about it is it is really saying there is a lot of hope out there, that we fundamentally want to be good people, that we can all be driven to do terrible things, but that we can persevere through selfless action. So George has this hopeful story, and it's something that he's reiterated most times I've seen him, you know, after we've been making things without him, is remember to make these stories hopeful. Remember to give that to kids because they really need it. And so that's just something to keep in mind.

Listen to Filoni here


Other than the insights, this also just shows how much Filoni knows his Star Wars! Want to learn about the effect of Order 66 on the Jedi?


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.

About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
Back to Top