Lucasfilm Creative Director and Executive Producer Dave Filoni is, for many Star Wars fans, the savior of the Star Wars franchise.
As it turns out, Filoni — who has served as both Jon Favreau’s right-hand man on The Mandalorian and George Lucas’s sounding board on animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars — has a unique connection to another Star Wars star, Ming-Na Wen.
The duo attended the same high school in Pittsburgh, PA. As one article shared, “Wen and Filoni are both alumni of Mt. Lebanon High School, with Wen graduating in 1981 and Filoni graduating in 1992.”
Wen herself previously spoke to StarWars.com about the connection between the two stars of a galaxy far, far away:
“It’s just so fun. Two Pittsburgh kids dreaming and loving Star Wars and here we are being a part of it. It’s unbelievable,” Wen says. “Yinzers: we stick together.”
Both Wen and Filoni are graduates of Mount Lebanon High School. “Dave and I actually grew up in the same town…. His eyes just like bugged out,” when she told him, Wen recalls. And they’re both fans of Star Wars as well as and Pittsburgh sports — Filoni often dons Penguins apparel while Wen says she prefers the Steelers, pronouncing it “Stillers” with a perfect Pittsburgh accent.
Wen debuted as galactic mercenary Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian Season 1, Episode 5 (“Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”). The character, who was hunting titular bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in the first season of the hit Star Wars series, appeared again alongside the legendary Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) in several episodes, beginning with “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”.
Following the destruction of Djarin’s Razor Crest ship, Fett teamed up with the younger Mandalorian, offering up the use of Slave I — now, controversially, Firespray — to rescue “Baby Yoda” after he was kidnapped by Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Dark Trooper droids on planet Tython.
The character also appeared in animated form in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Filoni’s latest foray into animation. Shand — who developed something of a soft spot for her bounty, female Jango Fett clone Omega (Michelle Ang) — battled fan-favorite Cad Bane (Corey Burton) and is expected to return for Season 2 of The Bad Batch.
Did you know Dave Filoni and Ming-Na Wen share a hometown?