Lucasfilm Animation Makes Some Big Changes Behind The Scenes For 'Star Wars Rebels' & Beyond

Just recently, Ben Sherwood, the President of Disney-ABC Television Group broke the hearts of Star Wars fans by saying that there were no plans to get a live-action Star Wars series off the ground. However, he did confirm that there was development at Lucasfilm Animation at Disney XD regarding the next animated series set in a galaxy far, far away. Now some shuffling behind the scenes further confirms that some new Lucasfilm Animation projects are on the way, and with that also comes big changes at Star Wars Rebels.

Big Shiny Robot (via Star Wars Underworld) has learned that Dave Filoni is no longer the supervising director of Star Wars Rebels. The man who previously worked as supervising director on The Clone Wars hasn't been fired from Star Wars Rebels though, as he will still act as executive producer and oversee the show.

So who is taking over Star Wars Rebels? Justin Ridge has been made the new supervising director on the animated series, and he's no stranger to working in the animated world of Star Wars. Ridge has storyboarded and directed episodes of both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels including the outstanding episode "Holocron Heist," so the future of the Disney XD animated series is in good hands. But the question is why?

When news broke that Dave Filoni was stepping away as supervising director, fans initially thought something worrisome was going on at Star Wars Rebels, but Lucasfilm has since provided an official statement on the matter:

"Dave is still just as involved as ever – overseeing all aspects of Star Wars Rebels production as Executive Producer and occasionally directing episodes.  In many ways, mentoring Justin and moving him into the role as Supervising Director has made it possible for Dave to be even more immersed in the writing and story structure of the show as well as creatively overseeing future animation development. Justin started with Lucasfilm Animation on the first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and worked with Dave before that on Avatar: The Last Airbender, so they've been working together for quite some time."

Obviously the important part of that statement is that Filoni is "creatively overseeing future animation development." So it sounds like Filoni is taking on a supervising role regarding all future animation projects at Lucasfilm. Many had assumed he was heading off to be supervising director on the forthcoming animated series, of which we know nothing about, but Filoni may have a bigger role in general as opposed to taking over a specific show. Lucasfilm story group's Pablo Hidalgo even makes an interesting remark about Filoni's continued role on Star Wars Rebels:

Perhaps Dave Filoni will be like the George Lucas at Lucasfilm Animation, overseeing and approving development and creative decisions regarding any animated series set in the Star Wars universe. We're not sure how soon any further details on the future of Lucasfilm Animation will come to light, but stay tuned.