As reported last week, some of the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Clone Wars were at MCAS Miramar in San Diego on Friday for special USO screenings of the show, including the US premiere of last week’s episode with Darth Maul, ‘Eminence’. Before the screening of ‘The Gathering’, voice actor James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, etc.) took time to sit with me and chat about season five of the show, his work with the USO to give back to the troops, looking at the growth of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his connections to other characters on the show, and some of Taylor’s other characters on The Clone Wars.
Check out my event coverage of the USO screenings over at Big Shiny Robot or check out photos from the event in my Flickr album.
There’s lots of buzz out there to celebrate Star Wars: The Clone Wars hitting the 100 episode milestone! Variety magazine has got a buffet of light articles on the show:
Also, Channel Guide Magazine has a good interview with Dave Filoni on reaching the big one hundred mark, whether he would go back to special edition the original Clone Wars movie, and the change from Friday night to Saturday morning. StarWars.com has a big pile of quotes from the cast and crew on the occasion.
And, if you missed it, you really should check out the five minute trailer summing up the past 4.5 seasons with some peeks at what is to come (and who is noticeably missing)!
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, co-author of Shadow Games and Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force, was a featured guest at Conjecture/ConChord in San Diego this past weekend for her work on writing filk songs, but she had time to give me the scoop on her upcoming Star Wars novel with Michael Reaves, The Last Jedi, as well as shares about writing Dash Rendar in Shadow Games, and characterizing droids like I-Five and Leebo. She also discusses how the short story “And Leebo Makes Three…” came about, and her other upcoming works.
I was a little disappointed that the programming staff for the joint convention (ConChord is a Southern California filking con, for which Bohnhoff and her husband were toastmasters, while Conjecture is a San Diego sci-fi/fantasy lit con) didn’t get their ducks in a row to have Bohnhoff on any Star Wars panels, such as readings for Star Wars Reads Day, or joining the discussion with Patricia Wrede, David Brin, and myself. Still it was a treat to have a chance to sit down with Bohnhoff about the writing process and baseball. Smaller cons are great places to actually meet and talk to the featured guests.
The Last Jedi, by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, comes out on February 26, 2013 in paperback.
Patricia C. Wrede was the guest of honor at Conjecture, a sci-fi/fantasy convention in San Diego, this past weekend. While known more for her young adult fantasy work (including The Enchanted Forest Chronicles and Frontier Magic series), Wrede is also the author of the middle school novelizations of the three prequel movies (from Scholastic). As part of Star Wars Reads Day, she and voice actor Mark Biagi performed a reading of different scenes from her junior novelizations. I got a chance to chat with Wrede about getting into the heads of Amidala and other prequel characters as well as other aspects of writing the novel adaptations for movies that weren’t complete at the time she was writing. She also discusses her most recent Frontier Magic novel, The Far West, the conclusion of a tale of magic in frontier America.
As a panelist at Conjecture, I got to moderate a panel entitled “What Didn’t George Lucas Steal?”, with Patricia Wrede, David Brin (of Star Wars On Trial), and Donna Keeley. While we started on topic about original concepts in the Star Wars films (and whether original ideas in storytelling even matters), we soon moved into the usual dissection of the saga, with Brin serving up his usual gripes against the moral lessons of Star Wars and George Lucas. Wrede had some good counters when examining the parallels between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, and Keeley broke down how haters of “Do or do not. There is no try.” are missing the context.
Learn more about Patricia C. Wrede on her official website.
With LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out premiering this Wednesday night on Cartoon Network, I checked in with the show’s writer, Michael Price, who also wrote last year’s LEGO Star Wars special, The Padawan Menace. That first animated show (reviewed last year), which had Yoda, C-3PO and a young Han Solo, ranks up as the best Star Wars based comedy I had seen in years, and one of my top Star Wars on screen for 2011. In this interview, Michael talks about the comedy of The Empire Strikes Out, and the challenges of solo writing Luke and Vader. Continue reading
I had some time to catch up with PIGGY, the well-traveled Gamorrean Guard, at Star Wars Celebration VI. Thanks to PIGGY’s handler, Jon Leopold, for his assistance. It’s amazing how much PIGGY likes the same things I do in Star Wars.
After the Random House Audiobooks panel, I had the opportunity to chat with voice actor Marc Thompson about his work as the narrator of the audio versions of the Star Wars novels. Plus he gives us a little sample of one of his favorite characters, Cilghal.
Interviews with producer Frank Marshall seem to indicate that Indiana Jones 5 seemes unlikely to happen. Marshall is likely to be pretty close in the loop on such things, as one of the producers on all four films in the Indiana Jones series and husband to Kathleen Kennedy, fellow Indy producer and recently named to be George Lucas’ successor at Lucasfilm.
Talking with Collider, Marshall responded that there’s no MacGuffin for a fifth film, and that Lucas, who is retiring from the reins at Lucasfilm, isn’t that interested in another flick for the archaeologist:
“Yeah, no he isn’t [hungry to do another Indiana Jones]. And he’s obviously passing the baton to my wife, so.”
Earlier in the week, Marshall told Crave that Lucas wasn’t working on the screenplay to an Indiana Jones film, claiming that a “really good story” is “hard to do”. With Lucas not at the helm of the franchise, does this mean that that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was Indy’s last hurrah? Marshall seems to think so:
“I say, for me, [Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is] the last hurrah.”
Meanwhile, the Blu-ray release of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures (there’s a fitting title if Marshall’s talk proves correct) comes out September 18.
DK’s Attack of the Authors Tour was in San Diego this weekend at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, and James had a chance to catch up with author Jason Fry.
For Star Wars fans, Catherine Taber is best known as the voice of Senator Padmé Amidala on The Clone Wars, though she first got her start in voice acting working on different Star Wars video games. Taber provided the voice for a new character, Vette, for the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic game, and recently was heard as a tactical droid in The Clone Wars episode ‘Shadow Warrior’. She was kind enough to answer our interview questions about her work on The Clone Wars and The Old Republic, as well as talk about her Games for Soldiers project.