Dave Filoni Shared What Kids Really Need From ‘Star Wars,’ Straight From the Mind of George Lucas

There’s always going to be discourse surrounding which part of Star Wars is the best or which movies fans didn’t like. And it all boils down to how the Star Wars franchise has impacted your life. But when it comes to what the core of the franchise is about, George Lucas is pretty clear that it’s hope and family. And director-producer Dave Filoni recently pointed out that again. 

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' on screen while musicians perform during Star Wars: In Concert at the Orleans Arena in May 2010
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ on screen while musicians perform during Star Wars: In Concert at the Orleans Arena in May 2010 | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Dave Filoni said ‘Star Wars’ is about family and is meant to uplift fans

In the second episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Filoni gave an excellent speech about what Star Wars hinged on and where the major moments came from. He also touched on what the core of the franchise was. 

“Son saves the father; the father saves the son,” Filoni said about Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi. “And it works out perfectly, and I draw that line all the way from The Phantom Menace to Jedi. That’s the story of Star Wars.”

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After saying Anakin’s lack of a parental figure failed him, Filoni also said family is a central theme. You see it in the original trilogy with Leia, Luke, and Han, along with Chewbacca, C-3P0, and R2-D2.

Also, in the prequels it’s about Anakin’s attachments as he tries to create his own family. However, he can’t because of Palpatine’s manipulations. Then, in the sequel trilogy you have Rey searching for her own family, as she grew up an orphan. In the end, she has Finn, Poe, and the Skywalker legacy

“It’s not about X-Wings; it’s not about the things we decorate Star Wars in,” Filoni said. “… We don’t just want an action movie; we want to feel uplifted. And Star Wars is an adventure that makes you feel good. … So that’s what I always go back to with Star Wars is this selfless act, and this family dynamic, which is so important to George, so important to the foundation of Star Wars.”

Hope is the most important component of a ‘Star Wars’ film for George Lucas

The selflessness Filoni talks about can be seen with Qui-Gon Jinn, who goes through so much to help the little boy on Tatooine. Or with Ahsoka Tano, who would rather die than kill a single clone during Order 66 in The Clone Wars. They were selfless because they had hope, which may be the more obvious theme in Star Wars

Hope is talked about in nearly every single movie and animated series. And even when it’s not explicitly stated, the underlying hopefulness the audience feels carries throughout the movies. When things are at their darkest, somehow Star Wars gives us that light at the end of the tunnel. As Jyn Erso said, “Rebellions are built on hope.” And so is Star Wars.

“It is really saying there’s a lot of hope out there,” Filoni said about the end of Return of the Jedi. “That we fundamentally want to be good people, that we can all be driven to terrible things, but that we can persevere through selfless action.”

And when it comes to Lucas’ legacy, not only is there Star Wars, but it’s the hope it inspires along the way. 

“George has this hopeful story, and it’s something that he’s reiterated most times I’ve seen him, after we’ve been making things without him is, ‘Remember to make these stories hopeful,’” Filoni recalled. “‘Remember to give that to kids because they really need it.’” 

These themes are why Luke and Anakin are able to defeat Palpatine

Even though The Rise of Skywalker brought Emperor Palpatine back, that doesn’t have to diminish the work Luke and Anakin Skywalker did to kill the original Palpatine. Luke’s love for his father powered that win. And Anakin was able to come through and defeat his Sith Lord master, bringing balance to the Force.

“The only thing that’s gonna save [Luke] is not his connection to the Force, it’s not the powers he’s learned, it’s not all these things that are an advantage to him,” Filoni explained. “That’s gotten him to the table. But what saves Luke is his ability to look at all that and look at father and say, ‘No, I’m gonna throw away this weapon. I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna let that go and be selfless.’” 

His unwavering love for his father is what confused and then beat the emperor in the end — not power or strength, but love and selflessness. 

If you couldn’t put your finger on why Star Wars boosted your mood or why John Wiliams’ theme for the films gave you such a rush, it might be because of the hope it inspires.