Report from the Clone Wars Season Two Press Junket

StarWars.com Team | September 22, 2009

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Photos: Jocelyn Knight

Note: Stay tuned to the Official Star Wars Blog today as we update with news straight from Lucasfilm’s Big Rock Ranch where the Clone Wars Season Two press junket is currently underway…

This morning, members of the press were given a sneak peek at a three-episode story arc from season two that returns the Republic heroes to the planet of Geonosis introduced in Attack of the Clones. Without revealing any plot points, we can report what supervising director Dave Filoni said upon introducing the episodes:

Filoni: “Across this series of episodes we’ll see Anakin’s relationship with his Padawan, which is something I’m very keenly interested in developing as the series moves forward. Ahsoka’s one of the big question marks, especially if you’ve been a fan of Star Wars for a long time. Originally people said ‘I didn’t know Anakin had a Padawan’, and so we dealt with that question last year. Now the impression is, ‘Dave, where are you going with this and what’s going to happen to this girl?’ The kids that I run into all the time are very concerned for Ahsoka, because she’s not in the third movie — ‘and why is that Dave?’ We’ll find out. I’m very well aware of what the answer to that is.”

Following the screening, Filoni joined voice actors Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Dee Bradley Baker (Rex and clones), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan), and series producer Cary Silver for a press conference to discuss the new episodes and the season as a whole. We’ll update this entry with quotes from the Q&A session as we transcribe the responses from the panel:

Producer Cary Silver: “We’re really excited about season two. The quality is even better. It’s faster, slicker, bigger and better. There’s been a number of production techniques that we’ve incorporated and refined that have allowed us to produce the show with even greater depth and detail than before. Everyone keeps saying how great season one is, and how great it looks, and I keep saying, you aint seen nothing yet.”

Filoni on continuity and Expanded Universe: “When we’re developing story ideas and George comes to me with ideas — he has tons of them — if there’s something I know crosses over with material that’s been explored with the Expanded Universe of Star Wars then I will bring that up and kind of refresh him on what it was. At that point we’ll make a decision on our storytelling on whether that material is going to be included or if it will just be touched upon or if we’ll just kind of go around it or alongside it. So it’s always kind of a balance of needing to tell the best story possible and trying to pay a lot of respect to the creative people that work in the Expanded Universe. Ultimately, though, this is George Lucas’ Star Wars. It’s his films and Star Wars exists best in the medium of visual storytelling, so we try to make that experience the best that we can in everything we do.

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Ashley Eckstein on Ahsoka’s fate: “I ask [Dave] this as often as I can [laughs]. But I like not knowing at this point because I get asked that question all the time and I can honestly look the fans in the face and say ‘I don’t know’.”

Dee Bradley Baker on differentiating the voice of clones: “I think about identical twins, really, and a lot of them seem very similar when you look at them, but as they mature in life, live on different planets and work under different Jedi, you end up with a different-sounding person. Plus, as I understand it, they’re all incubated separately and there are also deviations in that that are possible. So the accent may change a bit, or the logic or style in which that clone solves problems can be very different. One thing we really strive for is the differentiation of the clones.”

James Arnold Taylor on recording dialog: “We’re always together, generally speaking. Unless it’s pick-up lines, we are all called into the studio together. Sometimes there can be as many as 12 people in the studio at once. We do get to play off each other and I think it definitely makes a difference.”

Filoni on characters old and new: “I always go back to a quote I heard George say when he was making Revenge of the Sith. He had all these great characters and not enough screen time for all of them. I find that we run into a similar situation on Clone Wars. We’ve created what I think are some great new characters like Cad Bane, and I’d love to do Plo Koon or Kit Fisto stories and the other Jedi Council members. But how do you find the time in all the episodes to get them in there? We’re going to see a lot of characters we saw in season one come back but we’ve also added a whole bunch of new ones. I mean, just when you see the bounty hunters — they’ve added such a color and a flavor to everything. It gets you out of battledroids and clones, and they have been a hugely welcome addition for us creatively.”

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