For creative director Dave Filoni and the writers of “The Clone Wars,” there was no better safety net than George Lucas. According to Henry Gilroy, Lucas had personally promised early on that they would be making the show to their fullest vision, and anything that would need to be cut out for air time would make its way onto DVD collections. It doesn’t matter who you are in the industry, there really is no such thing as saying “no” to the creator of “Star Wars” himself. No matter how many notes and suggestions the show’s different departments received from different executives, Lucas fought to protect the staff from meddling.
“Nobody’s going to say no to George Lucas,” Gilroy said. “It’s awesome. He’s like your plus-99 shield, any barbs just bounce off.” Shockingly, this even extended to marketing and licensing, which is arguably one of the biggest aspects of “Star Wars.”
Early on in Gilroy’s experience writing for “The Clone Wars,” there was a licensing executive who asked if it was possible to add a specific detail to a shot so that they could retain brand integrity for the show’s toy line. “George basically called and said, ‘Never contact them again,'” Gilroy shared. “He forbid the toy people from ever contacting Dave and I, and his explanation to us was, ‘You guys make great stories, let them make the toys after.'”
“The Clone Wars” remains one of the strongest extended universe projects because it embraces the genuinely weird parts of the “Star Wars” franchise and strengthens the foundations of the prequels instead of rewriting them. While Lucas is fully hands-off with the franchise these days, we can be grateful that he left the animated shows in good hands.