Exclusive: Q&A with Dave Filoni and The Clone Wars cast from USO screenings (Part II)

The USO has posted their highlight clips from last week’s visit by the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to MCAS Miramar in San Diego. Ashley Eckstein has posted her experience from the USO tour to the official Star Wars blog. I’ve already posted the transcript of the part I: the first question and answer session with Dave Filoni and the voice actors at Big Shiny Robot! earlier this week, along with my report on the event, and interview with James Arnold Taylor. Now it’s time to present the second Q&A session, the one that happened after the US premiere screening of ‘Eminence’.

USO The Clone Wars cast on stageBack again on stage after ‘Eminence’ was screened, we had supervising director Dave Filoni, as well as voice actors Matt Lanter (“Anakin Skywalker”), Catherine Taber (“Padmé Amidala”), Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka Tano”), Dee Bradley Baker (all the clones including “Rex”), and James Arnold Taylor (“Obi-Wan Kenobi”). As before, Taylor served as the emcee, but since most of the audience had also attended the first Q&A after ‘The Gathering’, he skipped his questions to each cast member, and just started with the audience questions. Let’s dive in:

Q from Taylor: Where was Obi-Wan [in ‘Eminence’]?

Filoni: Where was Obi-Wan? Obi-Wan was fighting the Clone War. He’s not aware of where Darth Maul is the whole time. Largely, they were told by the Chancellor to drop this personal vendetta and get back to the business of winning the war. Because, as far as the Chancellor is concerned, there is no proof that Maul has anything to do with the Separatists and the Senate, and the Chancellor wants them to deal with the war. Of course, Palpatine might have his own personal reasons for wanting Maul to be a little thorn in everybody’s side. We’ll have to wait to see how everything develops. But you’ll come into this story. We just chose to tell the story from Darth Maul’s point of view instead of Obi-Wan’s point of view.

Taylor: And likewise with Anakin, Ahsoka, Padme, and even Rex. We didn’t even see a clone in this one.

Baker: [As Rex] It’s clone free, sir.

Q: Are you going to introduce Delta Squad from the Republic Commando video game?

Filoni: It’s really unlikely. The reason why is that they are such a specific group and when we seem to meddle with what people think is continuity in the Expanded Universe, it causes big uproar. Rather than bring those guys in, it would be more likely that we create our own group of Republic Commandos, if we did anything like that. I know Tim Longo, who did the game Republic Commando. He’s awesome – we talk all the time about his game. When we did the heads-up display in the recent episode with Gregor (‘Missing in Action’), I made sure it was the exact display from the game. It’s more out of respect for that creation that we don’t actually use those guys, even though I know a lot of fans would like it. But there are a whole bunch of those guys in reality.


Q: Who did the voices of Maul and Savage?

Baker: Savage Opress is Clancy Brown, who you may know also as the voice of Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob.

Taylor: But if you saw Highlander, the original Highlander film, he was the bad guy in that.

Baker: Yeah – he does a number of on-camera roles as well.

Taylor:  Carnivàle, he was the main character in that.

Baker: And our Darth Maul is Sam Witwer, who also does a lot of on-camera work, but does a really interesting and powerful turn with this character. He’s actually up for an Annie award, an animation voice acting award this year.

Taylor: And also the apprentice in The Force Unleashed, and in the Mortis episodes, he was the Son. Another voice – Pre Vizsla: Does anybody know who that is? [pause] That is director Jon Favreau. Iron Man director Jon Favreau. Swingers fame Jon Favreau. Amazing director, actor, producer, writer.

Filoni: Jon was making Iron Man and he was mixing the sound at Skywalker Ranch. He has little kids, and they wanted to see Clone Wars, and Clone Wars wasn’t out yet – we were still in early production, it wasn’t even on TV. I said, “Well, I’ll make a deal with you. If you let me see some Iron Man, I’ll let you see some Clone Wars.”

So Jon came up and watched a Clone Wars episode before anybody had ever seen it – months and months and months before. And I got to go down and watch some Iron Man and then Jon was like, “If you have a voice you need, I’d love to do one.” I was “All right – I got this Mandalorian guy. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.” It was true at the time: he was just a one-off in the middle of ‘Voyage of Temptation.’ He’d have like two lines and we’d never see this guy again. Then George [Lucas] really liked the character, Pre Vizsla, and so expanded him to have this whole story, and we had to call Jon Favreau back: “I know you’re busy, but this became a much bigger deal.”

Jon has always been great about making time in his schedule to come and record the lines. He takes it all very seriously. He’s just happy to have action figures.

Baker: I don’t know if you’re aware, but George Lucas is very intimate with this show. He’s involved with the scripting and everything from A to Z, beginning to end. Or he was. Now that he’s sold it, it’s different.

Q: Savage Opress and Darth Maul: Are they real brothers?

Taylor: Great question. Catherine? I just want to throw it at other people.

Tabor: [laughs]

Filoni: What do you think?

Tabor: I think they’re brothers.

Filoni: You think they’re real brothers. What about you, Matt?

Lanter: Let’s see. They come from a brotherhood of the Nightsisters, all male. Are they biological brothers or just brothers in brotherhood?

Taylor: that’s the question. I think he wants to know if they are biological brothers. I’ve kinda wondered that myself.

Filoni: We’ve intentionally kept it vague, mainly to do with the development of Darth Maul’s character and his origins. We have thought of them as indirect blood relatives. In the way that the Nightbrothers clan works, Savage is very closely related to Maul. But because of the way the system works, which is when the Nightsisters bring up the Nightbrothers and…

Baker: …And they love each other very much…

Filoni: and that happens. If it’s a boy, it gets sent back to the other side of the planet, and if it’s a girl, they stay there and become a witch. That’s basically how the system on the planet works. So they’re indirect brothers, depending on the mother. But I’m not going to tell you who the mother of the brothers are. So I would say, not like my brother is my brother.

Q: How did you get the idea for Gregor from Episode 100 (‘Missing in Action’)?

TCW season five Gregor in his Republic Commando gear has seen the SilenceFiloni: Gregor was an idea that George had, that the droids would just find this wayward clone and we thought it was just a really interesting idea. We’re always looking for unique stories to tell with the clones because their point of view as being the everyman and the soldiers is a really important one for our series. We come at them from all different kinds of angles to explain their individuality. One of the most important things about the clones is how they are all individuals but they come together, unified, to achieve great things – things the Jedi couldn’t achieve. They’re great characters, and I think the more that George has seen of Dee’s performances of clones, the more he’s encouraged to branch out, do stranger and more odd things. The idea that this guy was out there and if he doesn’t see another clone, he wouldn’t know he’s a clone if he forgot, if he had amnesia. I think that became a really interesting story, which again Dee performed brilliantly.

Baker: Gregor’s really interesting to me in that his story arc is one from great insecurity and subservience to one of great confidence and competence. Just to see that arc in just the one story is very interesting because most clones – they may have a secret that comes out, but it’s not a whole transformation, which is what Gregor gets to show and a really satisfying one, too.

Q from Taylor: Talking about transformations, Matt, you had a little part in this last one we just saw. Would anyone have known it was Matt Lanter – not only a hunky TV star, but also a very talented voice actor. Many times we’re not hearing him just as Anakin, but hearing him do other things. You had a character in this one?

Lanter: His name was Lom. He was a Pyke – that’s what they call his race, skinny with the long, long neck & small head aliens. [Lom’s sneaky voice] He kinda talked like that a little bit. [normal] You saw him for a line or two.

Baker: I didn’t even realize that was you.

Taylor: [Obi-wan voice] See, he even fooled the greatest voice actor, Dee Bradley Baker.

Lanter: [sinister laugh, wringing hands]

Q from Taylor: Ladies, could you have imagined seven years ago, that we would all be still here, being involved with Star Wars. Ashley, how has the progression been for you with Ahsoka because Ahsoka has probably changed the most? Give us a little insight for you as an actor.

USO Ashley Eckstein signs autographsEckstein: It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of Ahsoka. I know when she first came out, a lot of people hated her. They didn’t really care for her. I just asked fans to be patient and go along this journey with her. I feel like she has won a lot of people over and now everyone wants to know what happens to her. I don’t even know the answer to that question. [looks at Filoni.] It’s been an amazing ride. All I can say is make sure to watch the rest of season five. Some amazing episodes are coming up – obviously with Darth Maul, then with Ahsoka, and all of our characters, actually – some really cool Padme stuff.

Taylor: I always say to my little girl who is seven years old and is always asking questions about the future, and I tell her, “Enjoy right now.” So, Ahsoka is there, and she is my favorite character. Enjoy her right now. That’s what I say when people ask me about that.

Q: Who makes the Chewbacca voice?

Filoni: There’s an interesting answer. I believe that a brown bear from the San Diego or the LA Zoo was the original voice of Chewbacca. They processed that sound, sped it up, slowed it down. When we did Gungi, little Wookiee Jedi – that’s actually some new mixes of the bear sound, but it’s pitched differently. A lot of the same source that is Chewbacca, but it is pitched differently. It was really special when we did Chewbacca in our TV series. We had Peter Mayhew come up because I wanted the crew to connect with him. He’s such a great guy and this character really is his legacy. We brought Peter down to Skywalker Sound and we had him imitate the sound of Chewbacca himself. We mixed Peter’s actual voice with the bear so he could say that he is not just the performance, but also the voice of Chewbacca, which made it all complete for him. So, it’s a little bit Peter, a little bit of a bear somewhere.

Taylor: I bet if we twisted Dee Bradley Baker’s arm, he might make some creature sounds. Can you do Chewbacca?

Baker: I can do a really mediocre Chewbacca, but I’ve heard a better Chewbacca than mine already, tonight.

[Taylor gets the audience to do their best Wookiee sounds, then prompts Baker to do some sounds: dog, crickets, frog-clicking, and then some scary monster or alien sounds]

Q: How long does it take to make one episode?

Filoni: A future producer. It almost takes a full year if you’re talking from the script, breaking it down to all the designs. Basically, the rough explanation of it is: [talking mile-a-minute] We have the script written, then we have a person who goes through the script and breaks out everything that needs to happen: breaks down all the characters, all the people, all the props, from a fork to a spoon to a lightsaber, to a spaceship to a gunship to a Star Destroyer. Everything. The planets, the plants. Everything that needs to be in the episode. That all needs to be designed if it doesn’t exist already.

USO TCW Dave Filoni signingOnce we have it all designed with proxy models, once we have all the proxy models up, we shoot in a virtual set, like a film, but all inside a computer. Once we do that, we take it into an editorial shed, we cut it into pieces and put it all into order. George used to come in, and he still comes in, but Disney needs to come in and I have all the decisions now and I say “Looks good.” and we send it overseas, and it gets animated overseas. We work with the high-res model before we send it to animation (looking at my producer.)

Then we do all the lighting, the effects, then it starts looking really pretty, and we’re like, “This might actually work and amount to something.” Before that, omigosh, we do the voices so that they can actually animate the voices – do the animations to the voices. It comes back, George looks at it again. He says, “Looks great” and makes a couple notes. We scramble to do the notes. Get the final pictures, send them to Sky Sound. They do the sound design which includes laser blasts, explosions, walking steps . Do the foley. Music: Kevin Kiner with the orchestra, does a very tough job. Mix it all, finalize all the levels of it. Do a QC pass. And it’s done. [slows down finally] And that takes almost a full year sometimes. Right, Cary?

Taylor: [singing] …And a partridge in a pear tree.

Q: I watched a TV trailer where Echo dies, but then Echo dies on the Rishi moon.. again?

Filoni: In ‘Rookies’, they’re on the Rishi moon, and a bunch of those guys did get wiped out, unfortunately. But not Echo. Echo goes down at the Citadel. That’s where Echo bites the dust. Was he your favorite clone? Am I feeling guilty right now, or are you just fact checking? He was your favorite clone. Well, clones… there’s always another one, isn’t there? Right, Dee? What was that? Oh, sorry. Maybe in a future episode, I don’t know, we’ll see. You never know. He was in a big explosion – anything could have happened. Maybe he could have been safely thrown 200 yards.

Taylor: Like Plo Koon! We don’t know that he died.

Filoni: Plo Koon could have survived. I’ve had that argument a bunch of times with George. He could have had a parachute. Then he’d be like, “But then it caught a snag.”

Q: Will Gregor come back?

Filoni: [seeing Baker’s enthusiasm] Yeah, yeah, future employment. I’ll tell you this: Because of the arc you’re about to watch with Darth Maul and what goes down gets really catastrophic, I felt bad. Season five looks like a lot of characters getting storylined, so when I saw the Gregor thing again in color, I intentionally re-wrote it so it’s open-ended. If you want my opinion, I believe that Gregor doesn’t die in that explosion. I believe that Gregor is out there, and now Gregor’s on some epic Lassie, Come Home journey to find his way back to all the other clones. The thing that everyone always forgets about Star Wars is that it’s a vast, vast universe. So Gregor is going to have to be clever and he’s on this long walkabout, but eventually he’ll find his way back to the Republic. We haven’t shot any of that yet but it’s all in my mind. For the whole Echo thing, I’ll give you that.


Q: What was that special lightsaber that the Mandalorian had in [‘Eminence’]?

Filoni: That lightsaber is the darksaber. The darksaber is an ancient Jedi weapon that was stolen from the Jedi temple in the days of the Old Republic by the Mandalorians. It has been passed down through House Vizsla for generation after generation after generation. The Jedi have never been able to get it back. For the Jedi, it is probably a rather obsolete lightsaber, because it’s a really old one. That’s why it has a different kind of blade – it’s based more on a samurai weapon while other lightsabers have been based on a flash tube for old photography.

The interesting story with that: Vizla’s weapon originally was supposed to be something called a vibroblade, with a full steel blade, like a regular sword but it’s electrified. That’s something from the Expanded Universe of Star Wars.When we showed the episode to George, when Pre Vizsla first used it, he had it blocking Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. George said, “There’s no way that any other sword is going to be able to block a lightsaber. It would not make lightsabers special – you can’t do that.” We were like, “That’s really problematic because we are so far into production.” We’d seen this before. He came up with the idea of making it this darksaber and saying it’s the only one of its kind, and it’s from the days of the Old Republic. So we created a story around the problem and then we decided to make the blade a negative thing, edged in white, which would make it a little more villainous. Maybe something the Jedi, in the days, were experimenting how lightsabers would work, they came up with it. And that’s the full history of the darksaber.

Taylor: And where do we get one?

Filoni: They actually do make a darksaber that they sell with the Pre Vizsla costume during Halloween time. You can get a darksaber, but it doesn’t make sounds or anything like that – yet. But probably in your lifetime. See, what happened when I was a little kid, they made some things, but not everything. When I grew up and suddenly had expendable income, they made all kinds of awesome things for Star Wars fans. So who knows what they’ll make in your future? Holographic darksabers – I don’t know.

Q from Taylor: Catherine, do you want to plug your website?

Taber: GamesForSoldiers.com. We send video games and comic books and DVDs to deployed troops in Afghanistan. Check out the website GamesForSoldiers.com, and if you have someone who’s deployed and you want to get a box of games to, let me know. Or if you have stuff you want to donate, you can let me know that too.

Taylor: This is really a thing of passion for you. This is all Catherine on her own. It’s really wonderful that you do it.

Taber: And people donate from all over the country. I just want to say, “Thank you.”

Q: Since Disney recently bought out Star Wars, would there be any possibility of a Clone Wars attraction at any of the Disney parks?

Filoni: I think we all like the way you think. The first thing that immediately changed is that they all started pitching their voices higher…

Taylor: [Mickey Mouse voice] Huh-uh. I have a bad feeling about this.

Filoni: To be honest, not a lot has really changed for us. I’m not aware of any plans that they have, though, for a theme park. My mind is occupied in other areas of the galaxy but..

Baker: There is Star Wars weekends!

Filoni: Which we’ve all been to, and we love that. I think that “You own Star Wars now. You have a theme park. It would be awesome.” I know I’d go. So I think the best thing to do is get these forms now online and keep saying “That’s a great idea.” It’s kind of a If-you-build-it-they-will-come situation to me. I think it’s inevitable that we’re all going to walk into Mos Eisley one day. I don’t know when but I think it’s going to happen.

Taylor: For me, it was when we saw the one episode where we saw all the clones training in that one area. You could have that, it would be awesome.

Filoni: You could sit there all day and come up with awesome attractions for Star Wars. I always wanted one of those lightsaber training areas and see them all cut those perfect circles because it’s amazing that they can all do that. Only Jedi can cut a perfect circle.

Q: After The Avengers came out, on your Facebook page you released artwork of Commander Thorn. When are we going to see him in the show?

Filoni: That’s a great question. Commander Thorn – I really appreciate the work that goes on across the industry. I know how hard it is to make a movie at all, let alone a really good movie. Our sister company, Industrial Light and Magic, did the effects for The Avengers. I was tremendously proud of them – everyone at Lucasfilm was and should be. In honor of that and the fact that one of my directors is a huge Iron Man/Marvel/Thor fan, I had a clonetrooper painted up called Commander Thorn and I put him on the website. I do that sometimes with the clonetroopers – I make them as little homages to things, because it’s fun. [cagily] We haven’t seen him yet, so he’s… coming up. We’ll have to see. I can’t answer that directly though.

Q: When will Cad Bane come out?

Taylor: We haven’t seen Cad Bane in a while, voiced by the amazingly talented Corey Burton. He is also the voice of Count Dooku, Ziro the Hutt, numerous others – Captain Hook for Disney. One of the most humble and amazing performers you’ll ever meet or work with. Also, the voice of the Haunted Mansion, and he does an amazing job as the voice of Cad Bane.

Filoni: He’s not in this season. [Audience: Aww!] I know – shucks. But, his future is in motion. He’s not dead yet and if you’re not dead, there’s always hope you’ll turn up again. I love his hat. There’s always a strong chance that he’ll return. I think that it is safe to say that if you saw Cad Bane again, Boba Fett might be with him. They might play into each other somehow.

Q: I’ve noticed several cameos lately in the recent episodes, like the Blue Snaggletooth action figure, and in the droids mini-series, a cameo of HK-47 on the red pit droid. Are you doing any more of those?

TCW Blue SnaggletoothFiloni: I sneak those in when I can. With the old Kenner figures that came out when I was a kid, which are the cantina aliens, I was always surprised that they really didn’t look anything like they did in the movie. Greedo was really bright green and Snaggletooth wore this orange Michael J Fox vest from Back to the Future.

Taylor: [Marty McFly voice]: Whoa, wait a second, Doc. You mean to tell me that I’m a Star Wars character? That is heavy.

Filoni: So I was always wondering “Why is that?” So we have actually slowly made each of those action figures as if they were actual characters in the Star Wars universe, to fix that in my brain and see them on the screen. It’s a nice nod to Kenner, with the old figures I grew up with, that had no joints whatsoever. There will always be cameos when I can get them in. It’s always a question of the ratio of how many characters we have to build for an episode versus not. If we don’t have to build a lot of new characters, I can do more [cameo] characters. But if the story dictates that I need to have a bunch of new characters, like Bo-Katan, the Mandalorian girl in this episode. You never saw her face last season because we literally did not have the time to build it. So I kept her helmet on the whole time. This year we had time to build her face so she could take her bucket off.

Q from Taylor: To give a little information, we record as a cast when we do The Clone Wars. A lot of shows aren’t necessarily that way. Video games, you certainly are solo. In the recording sessions, we’re all together, kind of like this [gestures the lineup] in a big studio, and Dave is behind the glass, and Cary is there, and [pointing randomly] you were there, and you were there… No, they’re there, talking about the story and giving us the lines. When we get the script, it’s very secretive. We get to record them all together. For those of you who might be wondering how all that works. It’s fascinating for us because I personally, I don’t know about the rest of you guys, Matt, Catherine, Ashley, Dee, – I don’t read the other parts because I want to be as surprised as everybody else when I see the episode played. How is it with you when you get the script?

Lanter: I read it, because it’s like a little Christmas gift for me. I’m a fan, and I want to know what happens. So whenever we do get the scripts early, which sometimes we don’t, we get them on the spot; but when we do, and I have the time, I read it because I want to know what happens on the series.

Taber: I like to read it, too, especially if there’s a characters I am talking to and it’s a specific alien race I don’t already know, which doesn’t happen often, then I look it up and try to understand who it is I’m talking to. It might inform how you are going to talk to them.

Taylor: I certainly read my scenes, but it’s gotten to the point, because people ask, “What’s going to happen?”, I don’t want to give anything away.

Lanter: We also have to read other people’s parts, because we’ll go in, and Dave’s like, “Okay, you’re playing a pirate today.” “Okay?! Let’s do it.” So you really have to…

Filoni: That’s my really precise directing. “Hey, you’re a pirate.” This is a pirate… not like a pirate of the Caribbean, but a pirate nonetheless. I once told Tom Kane, “I want you to be a fish person, mid-forties, overweight, lazy fish-guy.” And he just does it.

Taylor: …from Brooklyn.

Filoni: All of you can do that. From Jersey, something like that. And then they do it. I’ll say one fun thing about this year, since you [Taylor] don’t read the script. There’s one episode…

Taylor: That sounds bad…

Filoni: No, no …in the most professional way. There’s one episode this season, the last one of the season, where only Matt and Ashley got to be in the scene, to read the scene. The rest of them I sent away. Normally, I let them all watch what happens, but for that one, I sent you all away, just to mess with you. Once I sent them all away, I said, “I know they’re clever,” and I brought those two [Lanter and Eckstein] back a different week and recorded the scene entirely differently then we did that day. So it’s a pivotal scene for their characters at the end of this season and only the three of us know. Or at least you think you know, provided I didn’t re-cut it and mess with it again, when you don’t know. Because I love doing that, especially to Eckstein.

Taylor: Darth Vader… is actually Luke’s father.

Filoni: That’s where I got the idea. George, when he did Empire, only told Mark Hamill. The guy playing Darth Vader didn’t even know what he was saying – he just emoted it. Mark Hamill, Irving Kershner, the director of The Empire Strikes Back and George Lucas were the only three people that knew what Darth Vader actually said. Everyone else in the production was told that Vader said something else.

Taylor: Didn’t he say, “Obi-Wan killed your father” or something like that?

Filoni: Something to that effect. It was this major thing, and only Mark Hamill knew. That would be so hard to get away with that anymore. But we’ll try.

Taylor: So Ashley, how about you?

Eckstein: I do read the script. I’m very much a visual person. In these episodes, with what Dave and the crew create visually is just stunning. Dave does his best to paint the picture for us so we can understand the emotion and how far away someone is when we’re talking to them. He has to paint the scene for us and create the picture. So when I see it on air for the first time, I’m “That’s nothing like I pictured it in my head.”

Taylor: She pictures bunnies and all this fluffy wonderful things.

Filoni: I was thinking rainbows myself.

Eckstein: He makes me be very serious in the studio.

Filoni: Tell them the exercise I have you do…. Ok, I say “Take all those happy rainbow thoughts you have. Picture all those thoughts and what do we do?”

Eckstein: Ball them up…

Filoni: We put them into a little ball in our hand, crinkle the ball up and what do we do with the ball of happiness?

Eckstein: Throw it out of the studio. And I’m not allowed to wear pink. It’s too happy.

Filoni: Non-Clone Warsish.

Q: How did you think of that episode we just watched (‘Eminence’)?

Filoni: It all starts with George every time. Either I’ll pitch him a story or he’ll come back to me and the writers with a story, and we’ll all flesh it out together and come up with the different story beats. On this one, we were very surprised because George was on a tear. He was like, “The Mandalorians are going to find Darth Maul and Savage Opress” And we were, “Whoa, that’s very ‘rific” “And then, they’re going to gather up all the crime gangs, they’re going to attack Jabba the Hutt.” “Wow, that’s really fascinating.” I felt like that is something you’d do with your action figures but you’d never really see it in the movies. And he was dead set on it all happening. Then we realized he was talking about one episode: that Darth Maul would align all these crime families in one episode.

I have to really give credit to Chris Collins, who wrote it. He’s one of the producers of Sons of Anarchy now. He wrote the Onderon arc for us, and he wrote this. He did a phenomenal job of making it believable that what you watched of the alignment of all these villains in one 22-minute episode. That’s the biggest thing you take away when you watch these things, especially on the big screen, is that there’s a lot of content, but there’s only 22 minutes. With a half hour, or hour and fifteen minutes – Most movies you see are three hours. But probably, hopefully, when you’re finished watching our twenty-two minutes, you feel like you’ve been there a much longer time. That’s a good thing. We pack it with story every week.

Baker: It’s a quick action packed story and that’s part of what I think that is great about this show, brings to the Star Wars universe is that sense of pace. The stuff coming down the pike, even with the rest of this season, there’s a lot of stuff that is going to be happening. If you’re a fan of this show, and you love this show, there’s stuff that’s going to happen. A lot of stuff to a lot of people. It’s something else.

Q: Are you ever going to add Starkiller?

Filoni: from The Force Unleashed games? No, because he’s actually born after our time period. It just doesn’t work out. Though Sam Witwer, who plays Darth Maul, also voiced Starkiller. So that way, roundabout, he’s in the show, but he’ll never be in the show because he’s not born yet. I’m sorry – it’s a great game.

Q: Are you going to bring Anakin and Ahsoka in soon?

Filoni: Anakin and Ahsoka have the final story arc. In my mind, the whole season leads up to what’s going to happen in those episodes. To me, it’s a very big deal – It’s a big, huge moment for the two of them. I don’t like to say that anything’s my favorite, but because we created Ahsoka for the show, and we’ve evolved her character on the show, it’s something that I feel is wholly ours on The Clone Wars. She hasn’t appeared on any other Star Wars. This is a big development for them this season. It’s a complex thing, and I think a pretty intense thing, I hope, with action. I think you’re going to be surprised by what happens – really I hope surprised. I super look forward to the repercussions all summer long at every convention I go to. You’ll come back with more questions than you’ve ever had from these last several episodes of this series, but especially that one.

One of the most exciting things in that story arc, Kevin Kiner, the composer, used a full orchestra. We don’t normally do that – usually, he just mixes different instruments in and he does a lot of the work himself. For this, he got a full orchestra, so it’s going to sound musically more like Star Wars than it ever has. That alone makes it awesome. Everybody who worked on it, the writers, the actors, everybody that’s in this arc, understood what we were trying to do and brought their best. Visually, it’s going to knock you out. We haven’t done anything that probably has been as rendered as well as these episodes we’ve done. You’re going to get a little taste of it before it all comes out soon. So, look forward to that. To watch it on the big screen, I’m really glad. That’s the way we intend it to be seen, and very few people ever get to see it that way. So hopefully, we’ll get to put those episodes up on a big screen somewhere so you can see them all in their digital glory.

Taylor: We could bring it back here to Miramar.

Filoni: I would love to.

Baker: It belongs there, as far as I’m concerned. The people who put this [show] together are the people, many of them, who put the movies together. These are cinema people, making cinema for television, is what this series is.

Baker: It’s a joy and an honor to work with all of these folks.

With that, the questions and answer session concluded, and the cast again thanked the dedicated men and women of the military and their families for their hard work and sacrifice, and thanked the USO for bringing them out to San Diego.

USO TCW Osprey group shot

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