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Since joining Lucasfilm, Dave Filoni has become one of the main creative forces behind the Star Wars franchise. The writer and producer would guide Star Wars: The Clone Wars through seven seasons and made the jump to the live-action medium with The Mandalorian. He’s also a lifelong fan of the saga, so one would assume he jumped at the chance to interview with Lucasfilm Animation when the studio first reached out. However, at the time, he had reason to believe the offer was a joke.
Dave Filoni appeared on Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian alongside show creator Jon Favreau and fellow directors like Taika Waititi and Deborah Chow. During the first episode, which premiered on Star Wars Day or “May The Fourth,” Filoni explained that he was sometimes teased for his Star Wars fandom while working at Nickelodeon. So he believed the call was a prank orchestrated by some of his colleagues:
I almost didn’t get the job because I thought it was a practical joke. I was working at Nickelodeon, and somebody called from Lucasfilm Animation. And I’m like, ‘There is no Lucasfilm Animation.’ And I thought I had just been so excited about Revenge of the Sith coming out and talking about it all the time that the guys from SpongeBob were just busting my chops over Star Wars. And so I thought it was a prank call. It was this producer who I’d never heard of from ‘Lucasfilm Animation,’ and they’re doing The Clone Wars.
Having been teased so much before, Filoni just couldn’t pull himself to buy into the idea that the call from Lucasfilm Animation might be real. This led him to speak somewhat sarcastically while talking to the producer, but he gradually began to change his tune:
You get so tired of being picked on. You’re just like, ‘This is the SpongeBob guys. I know it is.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, so you’re making Clone Wars, but you kind of already did that, right?’ And I’m talking like that because Gendy [Tartakovsky] did the Clone Wars, and she said, ‘Well, this is going to be computer animation, a whole new series.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t do computer animation.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, you’ve been recommended to us by George [Lucas]’, and I’m like, ‘Really, George recommended me, huh?’ This is the way I’m talking, and she goes, ‘Well, I would like to meet with you.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, I would like to meet with you.’ Then it’s dawning on me the way she’s talking, but I’m like ‘Ah, I don’t want to buy into this. I always buy in.’
FIloni would go on to explain that once he realized the call was real, he apologized and tried to convince the producer that he was the right person for the job. And luckily for him (and all of us), he booked the appointment.
There are a lot of positives when it comes to being a Star Wars fan, but there can also be negatives, including getting teased about it. Dave Filoni’s co-workers must have been picking on him quite a bit for him to believe they would go as far as to prank call him. And it nearly ruined his chances of getting his foot in the door. Still, let’s just be thankful that everything worked out for the best and that he can joke about it now.