SDCC 08: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’

It is possibly the worst situation for a geek like myself to be in: stuck, at home, away from San Diego Comic Con, while having to keep up not only on the news of what is coming out of SDCC, but watching all my friends on Twitter or via email attend. Even more fun, is the chance I get in picking up the slack that comes from only two people covering it for Geeks of Doom at the show. Dave3 and Empress Eve have done a tremendous job, but I’m here to take off a bit of the weight.

And luckily enough, I get to talk about the LucasFilm/Star Wars Panel that took place on Friday, in Hall H (or as attendees are lovingly calling it, Hell Hall), focusing on the upcoming Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Those lucky enough to make it in to Hall H for the panel were treated to two scenes, one from the upcoming movie and one from the television series itself. But fans of Star Wars were also able to listen to supervising director Dave Filoni, producer Catherine Winder, story editor and writer Henry Gilroy, and editor Jason Tucker, and the panel moderator, head of fan relations, Steve Sansweet.

Sansweet took a lot of joy in making his panelists feel as uncomfortable as possible, especially Dave Filoni. According to Sansweet, he had promised Filoni that he “”¦would never mention again that he [Dave] actually hand-crafted a Plo Koon costume and dressed up for the opening of Episode III.”

He went on to find out that, not surprisingly, a lot of those working on the Clone Wars project are big Star Wars fans. Sansweet prodded Filoni into divulging some of the more fanboyish moments that come out of the LucasFilm offices. “The most recent big argument was can a lightsaber cut Superman? That goes on for months. That’s never been resolved. At Lucasfilm we’ve given a tremendous amount of thought. The answer revolves around whether the lightsaber has a kryptonite crystal in it. Or whether or not Superman is close to a yellow sun or not.”

But something that each of the panelists showed was a real respect for the franchise that they were working on. Henry Gilroy, having previously “”¦worked on the adaptations for Episode I and Episode II “¦ several Star Wars Tales stories, adventures, a couple of one-shots featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi”¦” echoed Filoni in saying that “”¦we really took on this great responsibility.”

Another interesting note to come out of the panel was the information regarding George Lucas‘s involvement with the projects. When first I began covering news about Clone Wars, the general feeling was that Lucas was not going to play much of a role in directing or anything. But according to Catherine Winder;

“As we started developing the project and he started seeing the material, he became more and more excited by what we were doing and started coming around a lot, because he was having lots and lots of fun with us.”

There was a specific moment that Gilroy and Winder conveyed to the crowd that really gets me enthused. They were speaking about Lucas’s reaction to a particular shot where “”¦Yoda is walking across the Chancellor Palpatine’s office from the shadows into light”¦” and according to Gilroy, George “”¦stopped the frame and said, ‘We’re not making television, we’re making cinema.'”

Now I’m obviously working from home on this one, so I still haven’t seen both the clips that they showed at the panel. However, the first clip shown, a clip from the movie depicting a scene on a planet called Christophsis, can be seen at StarWars.com.

The second clip, I haven’t seen, but am really looking forward to it. Filoni sets up the scene as being from “the first quarter of the episodes,” and it involves a character that has hardly seen any screen time (if any), named Luminara Unduli, from an episode called “˜Cloak of Darkness’.

My notes from Dave3 depict the transporting of a prisoner, a member of the trade federation, none other than Viceroy Gunray. Dooku, unsurprisingly, wants to break Gunray out, and in a conversation with his Master, they decide to send Asajj Ventress, a lackey of Dooku’s with Force powers. Within time, Luminara’s ship is attacked, while she and Ahsoka Tano are interrogating Gunray.

I won’t give you any more than that, mainly because I don’t have much more than that. The battle scene is, as Dave so eloquently put it, “bad ass,” and by the sounds of the reception the clip got, we’re going to love seeing it. However, it does bring up the question of what Ahsoka is doing with Luminara as her Master, considering she is supposed to be Anakin’s Padawan.

It looks like LucasFilm are going all out with this movie and series. They’re using it as a way to showcase a lot of “obscure characters.”

“We can deal with just the ground troops on the front line with the clones. We can take obscure characters out the backgrounds of scenes, like Kit Fisto or Luminara or Plo Koon, and say what were they like? What did they sound like? How did they interact with the troops? We tell a broad spectrum of stories. What’s Padme doing in the Senate and dealing with Palpatine all the time? There’s a whole bunch of areas that Henry can elaborate more on.”

And to hear Dave Filoni refer to using Wookieepedia as a reference for their work is just awesome!


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