A speech given by Dave Filoni at the National Center for Women & Information Technology potentially explains the recent woke changes to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Filoni spoke at the National Center for Women & Information Technology back in 2016 where he discussed fan reaction to Rey’s character in The Force Awakens as well as fan reaction to Jyn Erso in Rogue One.
But before he got to fan reaction to Rey and Jyn Erso, Filoni recalled his time playing sports as a kid and how he often heard and used the phrase, “Don’t be a girl.”
Looking back on that usage, Filoni now takes issue with it.
He explains, “I have to admit to you I would have said that probably many times growing up and not thought anything of it. You want to start to affect change then, you kind of have to forgive yourself for this foolish behavior, and say now I want to be part of a change.”
He continues, “That dynamic is wrong because what we are saying when we say these simple words in this moment is that we are devaluing people. We are making people as lesser and that can get in a story. It can get in a movie. We have to get rid of these ideas like, ‘That’s a man’s job. That’s not your place.’ We have to start acknowledging these things get said and we have to start changing them in our stories and in our vocabularies as people.”
Filoni later added, “I think of myself as very, I like to think liberal minded, but was I as much in practice as I was in theory for what I thought I was. We have to be diligent to break these types of age old biases.”
He then claims he put these ideas into Star Wars when he joined the team in 2005, Filoni states, “So, in 2005 I got an amazing opportunity. I was hired by Lucasfilm to work directly with George Lucas on the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
As the speech progressed, Filoni then outlined Lucasfilm’s vision for Star Wars, “This is what we tried to do with the Star Wars Saga. We tried to create more female characters that can represent so many things. Because what we are trying to do isn’t just create one type of character, we are trying to create a diverse range of characters especially female characters that are strong, that are independent.”
Filoni then discussed fan feedback to Rey and Jyn Erso, “We haven’t done a movie for 10 years and here comes a Star Wars film and here comes Rey. What is it? Panic in the streets? ‘Oh my gosh a female lead in a Star Wars movie!’ And then the trailer for Rogue One comes out, ‘Oh my gosh! How unfair.’ We’ve had probably like 2 million straight films, cinematic roles where men have been leads and now we’ve done two in a row that are women. Well, too bad. Oh well. Maybe there are more coming. I don’t know.”
Filoni later stated, “I also want to get these men that are in this privileged position to tell these stories right now to change their dynamic and to start looking at stories and characters, to just make great interesting characters and stop doing the same thing over and over and over again. If that’s your experience, fine, but we have to be a part of this change at least I feel.”
He later critiques the idea of strong female character, “I react sometimes as a storyteller, I have to be honest with this idea of strong female character because I feel like that marginalizes every other type of character that’s a woman that says they are weak. That’s one type of character.”
“I want dimensional, diverse characters. I want characters that are women of every race, every age, every description, what have you, doing interesting things and being dynamic. That’s what we are dedicated to at Lucasfilm,” he adds.
He then details this is what Star Wars has been doing since the very beginning, “I can ensure you. And we’ve been dedicated since, I’ve been there since 2005, and I have to believe looking at the evidence with Princess Leia that we’ve been doing that all along and this is just part of the mythos of our world, this need, this role. We are fulfilling it on screen.”
While Filoni explains that this has always been apart of Lucasfilm, he goes on to state, “We are trying to create an environment where it’s my hope, that kind of just like Luke, all he did was open that door right? He just opened that door, let Leia out, and she just went gangbusters. I just want to be a part of Lucasfilm of opening this door to a new generation of filmmakers, of women come to Lucasfilm and be creative, where they can find their voice, where they can tell their stories, where they can get the support they need to be the true visionaries that we know that they will be in the future.”
This speech by Dave Filoni appears to explain a number of the woke changes implemented in the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Filoni had previously indicated that they made a number of these changes to make “the story better.”
In the original animatics and story reel for the episode. The Bad Batch’s ship for Star Wars: The Clone Wars “A Distant Echo,” the Bad Batch’s ship featured nose art of Senator Amidala in the fashion of World War II fighter pilots.
In the recently released version of the episode on Disney Plus, the scene featuring the nose art is completely removed.
— Jingoistic Pig (@jingoisticpig) February 28, 2020
As reported by Disney Star Wars Is Dumb, they replaced an Asian character named Nyx Okami with the sisters Trace and Rafa Martez.
Filoni had previously described Okami at Star Wars Celebration 2016, ““Nyx was also an attempt, I wanted to have an Asian male lead in Clone Wars, and he was gonna be kind of a character bringing that to the forefront.”
He even details that Okami was supposed to be a love-interest for Ahsoka.
What do you make of Filoni’s speech and the subsequent woke changes to Star Wars: The Clone Wars?