With the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney comes the end of era and the beginning of a new one.  Many projects that were in development have been shelved or canceled such as: “Star Wars: Detours,” and LucasArts “Star Wars: 1313″ video game. Weeks ago, a sorrowful announcement was made that the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” was coming to an end.

With the bad news of projects being canceled and layoffs going into effect, there is a ray of sunshine. Disney is taking the licensing in a new direction.  Not only are they ramping up and committing to three more Star Wars features, but Lucasfilm has teased that a new Star Wars animated series is in the works.

Rebel Force

RebelForceRadio.com had a chance to interview “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” supervising director, Dave Filoni, who revealed that he will be staying on at Lucasfilm Animation to help develop the next Star Wars animated series. During the interview, Filoni was asked if he’ll continue with animating the events and characters in the Star Wars universe, and he responded by saying,

“Well, that’s my plan!”

Filoni also states,

“(Star Wars is) obviously important to me and I’ve had a very great time working here. I’ve really helped build the animation division from when I got here and there were only a handful of people.”

Regarding recent events, he remarked,

“It’s a function of our industry… It’s not my favorite part. You can luckily grow things and bring on many talented people, but there become times when you have to shrink things as well. We happen to be in one of those times right now, but that just paves the way, hopefully, for new things and new creativity in the future.”

Filoni went on to explain,

“At this point, I am involved in some early production discussions and exploration of what we’ll be doing with Star Wars animation in the future, which is really exciting for me and I have some friendly faces around me, of course, that are helping me on the project. So it’s a transition time, as I’ve said before, and I think it will lead to an exciting time and hopefully I’ll see things grow again.”

Filoni couldn’t say much more about it, including what the show will focus on or when we’d see it, but if his track record is any indication, then it should be one exciting and fun filled series.

Sources: IGN, RebelForceRadio

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Lucasfilm announced here today that with the new focus on Episodes 7-9 they were going to need to bring the clone wars to an end, opting not to renew it for a 6th season. This also meant that the newly announced Star Wars Detours was going to have to be postponed. Following is the main part of this announcement:

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After five highly successful and critically acclaimed seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we feel the time has come to wind down the series. While the studio is no longer producing new episodes for Cartoon Network, we’re continuing production on new Clone Wars story arcs that promise to be some of the most thrilling adventures ever seen. Stay tuned for more information on where fans can soon find this bonus content. In the video below, Supervising Director Dave Filoni offers a peek of what is to come in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

At Star Wars Celebration VI last year, George Lucas gave fans a glimpse at the animated comedy series Star Wars Detours from Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, and Todd Grimes. Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense. As a result, we’ve decided to postpone the release of Detours until a later date.

The bonus content they’re producing for The Clone Wars will likely end up as a web series on the official site. When The Last Jedi aired, it did kind of feel like a series finale; so at least the series went out on a good note.

 

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Perhaps most interesting – and of keen interest to the fans – was Lucas’ concern about creative control of the storyline for the next trilogy, even after the sale. That’s conveyed in the following excerpt from the piece:

“Lucas had paid close attention to how Disney had handled Pixar, which he still refers to as ‘my company.’ He founded it as the Lucasfilm Computer Division in 1979, and sold it to [Steve] Jobs six years later. He calls Disney’s decision not to meddle with Pixar ‘brilliant.’ If he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, he figured there might still be a way to retain some influence over his fictitious universe. Much would depend on who ran Lucasfilm after he retired.”

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That person, of course, was Kathleen Kennedy, who immediately accepted the offer. Details the story, “‘When Kathy came on, we started talking about starting up the whole franchise again,’ he [Lucas] says. ‘I was pulling away, and I said, “Well, I’ve got to build this company up so it functions without me, and we need to do something to make it attractive.” So I said, “Well, let’s just do these movies.”

“Lucas and Kennedy hired screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, to begin work on the script for Episode VII. They enlisted Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, to act as a consultant. Lucas started talking to members of the original Star Wars cast, such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, about appearing in the films. In June 2012, he called Iger. In the five months of negotiations that followed, Lucas argued that the best people to make the next Star Wars trilogy would be his longtime Lucasfilm executives. ‘I had a group of very, very talented people that had worked for the company for many, many years and really knew how to market Star Wars, how to do the licensing and make the movies,’ Lucas explains. ‘I said, “I think it would be wise to keep some of this intact. We need a few people to oversee the property, you know, who are just dedicated to doing that, so we’re sure we get this right.”

“Iger understood Lucas’s concerns. ‘George said to me once that when he dies, it’s going to say “Star Wars creator George Lucas,”‘ he says. Still, Iger wanted to make sure that Lucas, who was used to controlling every aspect of Star Wars, from set design to lunchboxes, understood that Disney, not Lucasfilm, would have final say over any future movies. ‘We needed to have an understanding that if we acquire the company, despite tons of collegial conversations and collaboration, at the end of the day, we have to be the ones who sign off on whatever the plans are,’ says Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

“…At first Lucas wouldn’t even turn over his rough sketches of the next three Star Wars films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. ‘Ultimately you have to say, “Look, I know what I’m doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal is.” I’ve worked at this for 40 years, and I’ve been pretty successful,’ Lucas says. ‘I mean, I could have said, “Fine, well, I’ll just sell the company to somebody else.”‘

“Once Lucas got assurances from Disney in writing about the broad outlines of the deal, he agreed to turn over the treatments—but insisted they could only be read by Iger, Horn, and Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy. ‘We promised,’ says Iger. ‘We had to sign an agreement.’

“When Iger finally got a look at the treatments, he was elated. ‘We thought from a storytelling perspective they had a lot of potential,’ he says.”