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Dave Filoni Sneaks This Figurine Into Every Episode Of The Mandalorian He Directs

For decades, "Star Wars" belonged to one man: George Lucas. His creative vision, coupled with an immensely talented interdisciplinary team, helped bring both the original and prequel trilogies to life in addition to numerous forms of ancillary media. However, come 2012, Lucas made the bold and rather painful choice to sell "Star Wars," as well as the entirety of Lucasfilm, to the Walt Disney Company for a staggering $4 billion (via USA Today). In the years since, numerous creatives have come along to put their own spin on the saga while honoring Lucas' legacy under the Disney banner.

One such individual who has grown increasingly prominent in the "Star Wars" sphere is Dave Filoni. As one of the key collaborators with George Lucas on the widely-beloved "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" series, Filoni has had the chance to try his hand at a variety of Disney "Star Wars" projects. The likes of "The Mandalorian" and the Easter egg-filled "Book of Boba Fett" bear his fingerprints, and for the most part, they are better for it. After all, Filoni has made no bones about his reverence for Lucas' works and the films and TV shows that inspired him decades ago.

As an homage to the roots of "Star Wars," Dave Filoni has made sure to sneak a figurine into every "Mandalorian" episode he's directed.

Filoni never forgets his Akira Kurosawa figurine

As a part of the Star Wars Celebration 2022 event, fans had the chance to hear from numerous names associated with the franchise, including Dave Filoni. When asked about any secrets he tucked away in the background of "The Mandalorian," he revealed that he would hide a small figurine of famed director Akira Kurosawa in every episode he helmed. "When we shoot an episode I'm directing, he's always right by the monitors to remind me of a lot of his principles of filmmaking that he gave to George," he said, noting that try as you might to find the Kurosawa miniature, he's quite difficult to spot.

From "Seven Samurai" to "Yojimbo," Akira Kurosawa breathed life into countless iconic films throughout his career. They had action, tension, drama, and the occasional bit of comedy — all elements that George Lucas hoped to blend together just as efficiently in "Star Wars." He also found a lot of inspiration in how Kurosawa worked with imagery and framing as someone influenced by silent films. Speaking specifically of Kurosawa's visual style, Lucas told Criterion, "You're not gonna find, really, a lot of filmmakers that have the facile quality with the medium that Kurosawa had."

George Lucas may be the mastermind behind "Star Wars," but without Akira Kurosawa, those films definitely would've looked much different. Well aware of that, Dave Filoni clearly understands the importance of looking to the franchise's past while building up its future.