Darth Maul has assembled his army from the underworld, and his next step is to help Pre Vizsla take over Mandalore from Duchess Satine, in this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – ‘Shades of Reason’. Interesting title for a storyline about the action-heavy Sith Lord. Once viewed as an instrument of rage, he’s now taken on the mantle of mastermind. In the clip above, he spells out his plan to his allies. Satine gets upstaged by Pre Vizsla when publicly addressing the crisis manufactured by Maul, in the clip below.
The nominations for the 40th annual Annie Awards, showcasing the best in animation, were announced today, with a few nominations headed towards Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Joel Aron got a nomination for individual achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production (for the second year in a row).
Sam Witwer was nominated for voice acting for his role as Darth Maul in the season four finale ‘Revenge,’ while Keith Kellogg was a nominee for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production. The season five premiere, ‘Revival,’ was granted a nomination for Jason Tucker for Editorial in an Animated Television Production. The judges do love Maul.
Threshold Animation Studios earned an nomination for Best Animated Television Production For Children with their LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, that aired back in September. See… more love for Maul! (Don’t forget our interview with writer Michael Price!)
Meanwhile, two teams from ILM got nominations for Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: The crews that worked on The Avengers and Battleship. Another ILM team was a nominee for Thor’s abs and Hawkeye’s butt Character Animation in a Live Action Production for The Avengers.
Overall, Disney and Pixar picked up a handful of nominations across the board, including 3 Best Picture noms for Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, and Frankenweenie. On the TV side, DreamWorks’ Dragons: The Riders of Berk snagged a slew of nominations for its crew.
“I am very excited about this year’s slate of nominees!” ASIFA-Hollywood president, Frank Gladstone, said in a statement. “We had more submissions to choose from this year than for any prior year in Annie Award history, running the gamut from big studio features to indie films, television series to internet shows, games, shorts and, for the first time, student films, all showcasing the huge variety of venues, creativity, technical innovation, and story-telling that our art form has to offer.”
The 40th Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 2, 2013 at UCLA and are selected and presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.
Counting down for the first episode of The Clone Wars season five, ‘Revival’ coming out Saturday morning on Cartoon Network (9:30 am on PT/ET, 8:30 am Central). The official site has a preview of Darth Maul exerting his alpha dog status over his brother Savage Opress. But Savage isn’t happy about being relegated to apprentice again. After last week’s fan screening of the first two episodes at Lucasfilm, a Q&A with Dave Filoni, Joel Aron, and Ashley Eckstein focused on Ahsoka’s journey and the return of Darth Maul.
The Daily.com has an exclusive preview clip for the entire season, with Dave Filoni describing how this season is a great place to jump in and get caught up with the Star Wars adventure, and how far they’ve come since they started the show.
Here’s more to get you psyched for ‘Revival’ and the kickoff of the fifth season:
Dave Filoni gets interviewed by TIME for Kids about the new season.
And if you don’t know where to start in watching Clone Wars before Season five, Star Wars Report picks out the essential episodes to get you ready for this season, paring down 4 seasons of the show into just 17 that you should be familiar with. Get the background on the characters and relationships hinted in the preview trailers.
Attention TK-Mart shoppers, there’s a special on Star Wars: The Clone Wars this Friday: the first part of the two-part season finale featuring the return of the warrior who’s half Sith Lord.. and half not, Darth Maul. Stock up now on the following voice actor goodies as you prepare for the end of season four:
UGO chats with Sam Witwer, the voice of Darth Maul, on how charming Maul is, and what Maul’s return means for fans and Obi-Wan
James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, shares with Newsarama his experience with Darth Maul, as well as voicing Rako Hardeen, flirting with Asajj’s Nika Futterman, and being a voice actor
Tonight’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars begins the final story arc of the season, a four episode tale that will eventually bring back Darth Maul in two weeks. In ‘Massacre’, Count Dooku sends General Grievous to start his attack on the Nightsisters of Dathomir, but Mother Talzin and Asajj Ventress are ready with their dark side powers to stop the droid assault. This first clip has Talzin counseling Ventress with sisterly love, while the clip below has Grievous getting his marching orders from the Count, who instructs him to wipe them out, all of them.
UPDATE.Entertainment Weekly is doing another chat during tonight’s episode, this time with Matthew Wood.
Dave Filoni calls me up, gets me on the phone, and he says, “Listen, so we want you to come back to work and we need you to play…” and he tells me the character’s name. And I almost had a car accident. And he says, “Can you do it?” And I’m like yes. And then I worried about later whether I could do it or not. But I was like yes, yes, I will do that. So it is a tremendous opportunity and I can’t wait for you guys to find out about it.
Meanwhile, Slate has done an article for parents on how to sound intelligent when you talk to your kids about The Clone Wars. Basically, it sorts out that everything you know about Star Wars from the original trilogy has been turned on its head: Clonetroopers and the Republic are good, while the rebellious Separatists are evil. Not a whole lot on knowing who the show’s original characters are – Ahsoka barely gets mentioned, and I think Rex doesn’t even get mentioned. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well ahead of the people who need to refer to the Slate article for help.
It wasn’t really an issue of balance. When I wrote the first episode, I wished I could have used the entire Jedi Council, but because we were just building the studio, the only characters I had available were Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda. Mace wasn’t originally in the movie story, because he wasn’t built yet, he was added way later. This was the incredible challenge as the head writer, I was tasked with writing Star Wars and making it feel as big as Star Wars, but only allowed to build ONE new character per episode (I started with 9 — can you name them?). So Luminara and Kit showed up at the very first chance I could put them in the show.
Oh, and there’s also something in there about George and the Wookieepedia. Yes, seriously.