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Jon Favreau And Dave Filoni Use The Power Of Charts To Keep Track Of Star Wars' Vast Universe

Despite the polarizing nature of recent films in the franchise, the "Star Wars" shows on Disney+ make a solid case that we're currently living in the silver age of the galaxy far, far away. Though the roots of this era can be traced back to the beginning of Dave Filoni's work on "The Clone Wars" for Cartoon Network, the advent of Disney's in-house streaming service gave "Star Wars" creatives a platform to create prestige serialized content.

Jon Favreau's space western "The Mandalorian" served as the first flagship title for Disney+, debuting the same day the platform launched to critical acclaim. Shortly afterward, Filoni finally completed "The Clone Wars" on Disney+, with a seventh season that boasted the series' strongest writing and animation to date.

Since then, Favreau and Filoni have arguably acted as guiding forces for the franchise's future. After introducing fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano to live action in Season 2 of "The Mandalorian," the pair developed an entire series focused on the character (lead by film and television star Rosario Dawson). Later, Favreau orchestrated a meeting between director Jon Watts, himself, and Filoni, leading to the creation of the upcoming young adult series "Star Wars: Skeleton Crew." Most recently, Tony Gilroy's "Andor," a sociopolitical epic, debuted to critical acclaim, and is considered a major awards contender. With all this content's varying size, scope, tone, and period, it seems daunting to manage it, as Filoni and Favreau must.

How do they keep their galaxy in order? Apparently, with whiteboards and charts.

There's a lot going on at Lucasfilm

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss their ongoing "Star Wars" partnership and how they keep so many intergalactic plates spinning. "We have ... 'Ahsoka's' filming," began Favreau, "often several episodes at once with different directors; "Skeleton Crew" — which is Jon Watts and Chris Ford's show ... and then [on Season 3 of "The Mandalorian"] I'm doing editing and visual effects, and writing."

A sizable aspect of Favreau and Filoni's success is their ability to mine the edges of the expanded "Star Wars" universe while forging their own narratives. "We have the greatest toy box in the world in 'Star Wars' and so many great characters..." said Filoni. To keep track of all these "toys," Favreau says he and Filoni work very closely together. "There's also so many characters in 'Star Wars' and so many time periods that we draw upon," the "Iron Man" director said, "that we're often making charts of how things would intersect and how things would impact one another." Later in the conversation, Filoni offered, "the challenge is actually not when you start; it's where we are now, so many seasons in with ['The Mandalorian']. So we don't just have 'Star Wars' history and lore that came before us, we have our own."

Favreau also praised Filoni's ability to express and pitch ideas visually, drawing them out on whiteboards in their adjoining offices at Lucasfilm. "We scribble a lot," said Favreau. "He draws really, really well. I draw okay." Both artists agreed that their collaborations are harmonious due to their shared love of cinema, which Filoni likened to his relationship with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas.