The man behind Star Wars: Rebels has been around the franchise a long time, and has some interesting thoughts on how to handle the inherent darkness of the galaxy far, far away.
The folks at /Film caught up with Filoni to talk about the evolution of Star Wars: Rebels, which has flirted with some dark turns the past season, and looks to go even further down the rabbit hole with a time jump that finds our heroes a bit older and more jaded than before. So, how far can they take things on this Disney XD series? Accordingly to Filoni, pretty far.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
“You know I would say absolutely you can. You can kill off characters. You can turn them [to the dark side] if it serves the story. That’s something George [Lucas] always warned me about. You know, if you do this, do it for a reason. A reason that kids will understand. But don’t just do it to do it. Which is sometimes a hard thing not to do, to be tempted by. But, you know, we’ll see. It’s good to get you to the edge.”
He then expanded on that thought, looking at the franchise as a whole. Filoni noted the swashbuckling adventure of Star Wars can essentially transcend age, which is why it’s as relevant today as it was decades ago — with fans ranging from 5-year-olds to 95-year-olds. But, on that same note, you have to be careful not to make it so terrifying that it alienates the young ones who truly enjoy the awe and wonder:
“I think that over the years as adults we’ve kind of taken something we grew up with as children and morphed it into something that’s incredibly powerful to us and important to us. But when my parents loved, you know, they liked Star Wars. They say they loved it. They liked it because it was relevant to a lot of things they knew. And my father was big into opera and music and those things. And so he could relate to some themes and things in Star Wars. But there wasn’t this big adult culture around me that was like certainly dressing up like Stormtroopers and fans. That has changed in the course of my life.
Now whereas fans, we kind of hold onto these things so hard. At times I think we change them too much and darken them too much and we forget their initial purpose. Our fundamental responsibility at least for me as a storyteller needs to be captivate the imagination of kids. You know, because they’re the ones that we need to give them the ability to 30 years later still love it like we do now. If we change it too much and make it too dark, then we kind of deny them that ability because they’re too frightened by it.”
Star Wars: Rebels returns for its third season on Disney XD this fall.