Fans of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels have celebrated the live-action debuts of many of their favorite characters over the past several years. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have found a way to bring fan favorites like Bo-Katan Kryze, Ahsoka Tano and Cad Bane to life in their lineup of New Republic-era series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Sometime later in 2023, another handful will make their live-action debuts as the core characters from Star Wars Rebels, including Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger, are set to appear on Disney Plus in Ahsoka.
It’s been a fun time for fans as Filoni and Favreau have carried on the stories of these characters; however, the pair have also come under fire for questionable decisions about the appearance of the characters like the Grand Inquisitor and for being a bit too generous in fan service by having too many characters make the jump. In fact, Filoni has been accused of making too much of an effort to bring his animated creations to life. Filoni addressed that accusation and gave some insight into his process in an interview with The Wrap.
“Very rarely,” replied Filoni when asked if he often thinks “How can I get my cartoon characters into live-action?” “I know people think it’s the other way around, which is fascinating to me,” he continued, “but I think there’s two ways to look at that, which is that, yes, they were animated characters, but to me they’re just characters. And now I’m over here working in live-action. I’m comfortable with those characters, I know them, I like them and I like to see them around.”
It’s an interesting position for Filoni given that he created and curated the characters over a decade of animated story-telling and now has the ability to call on them to help define a new era of the galaxy far, far away. Even for Filoni, who knows the characters inside and out, brining them to live action is not without its challenges. “It changes when they’re suddenly in a different medium,” explained Filoni. “Katee’s [Sackhoff] talked about it a little bit, and the difference between performing Bo-Katan as a voice actor versus performing her physically and being present on set as her – it’s a different vibe. I’m always cautious. And Jon [Favreau] and I talk about who will we bring in? I try to do it when it makes the most sense.”
For instance, as Filoni explained, when the plot of The Book of Boba Fett called for “a gunslinger to go up against some of our characters,” Cad Bane was the obvious choice. The character’s live-action design came under fire from fans of his time in the animated series. Filoni addressed why the character’s distinct look changed a bit for his live-action debut. “I think looking at that, the first thing I think is, ‘Well, how do we do that and make it believable?’ Like the character, he’s so lean and gaunt in The Clone Wars,” explained Filoni, “and if we don’t do that, is it all CG? How are we going to portray that? If we don’t think we can do that effectively, then we shouldn’t do it.”
The reality of the situation is that in the recent social media climate, the decision to faithfully recreate Cad Bane through CGI would have taken just as much heat as the decision to change it for live-action. The criticism, however, doesn’t seem to faze Filoni. “At the end of the day, I’ve been very happy with the ones that have gone over,” he said before teasing fans with the notion that he’s not done quite yet. “There may or may not be more in Ahsoka, if that’s your thing. If you’re excited about that, I’m just saying that one might have a few more, which makes sense, by the way. As you know, I wrote it. You can’t fault me there.” Who can blame the guy?
Source: The Wrap