Lucasfilm chief creative officer Dave Filoni will receive the George Pal Memorial Award at the Saturn Awards, which will return for its 51st year on Feb. 4.
Named after filmmaker and animator George Pal (“War of the Worlds,” “When Worlds Collide,” “The Time Machine”), the award is one of Saturn’s top honors. According to the org, the prize is “presented on rare occasions to a filmmaker who embodies a sense of wonder, imagination and mastery of the fantastic in cinematic storytelling.”
“Dave’s work has had a profound impact on the ‘Star Wars‘ franchise, breathing new life into beloved characters and expanding the universe in exciting and unexpected ways,” Academy president Robert Holguin and Saturn Awards producers Bradley and Kevin Marcus said in a joint statement. “He is a true visionary in the world of animation and storytelling, and we are truly honored to bestow this very special award to him.”
Filoni is the creator, writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed series “Ahsoka,” executive producer, episodic director and writer of the Emmy Award-winning series “The Mandalorian,” as well as its spin-off series “The Book of Boba Fett.” Filoni is also the creator and executive producer of the animated series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” and “Tales of the Jedi.” He will executive produce the upcoming Star Wars series “Skeleton Crew.”
Filoni was recently promoted to chief creative officer of Lucasfilm, where he’ll take on a more involved role in “planning” the future of the franchise.
In 2005, Filoni began his career with Lucasfilm when Star Wars creator George Lucas selected him to help build the company’s animation studio and assist in creating its first series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
Meant to tie in the events of “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” “Clone Wars” became a fan favorite show, breathing new life and contextualization to the characters and plot lines of the “Star Wars” prequel films. The show would run for seven seasons, spanning over 100 episodes, and be honored with four Emmy Awards.
Filoni will join previous George Pal Memorial Award recipients William Friedkin, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro and Ray Harryhausen.
Joel McHale is set to host this year’s Saturn Awards, which will be livestreamed at 4 p.m. PT on ElectricNow. Other award recipients will be announced shortly.