George Lucas Talks Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Movie makers, actors, directors, producers and movie distributors descended on Las Vegas to share movie news and get excited for the next big films coming from Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers, just to name a few at ShoWest 2008.
Filmmaker George Lucas was on hand for a short interview with to talk about the next generation of Star Wars fans and why the clones finally get the spotlight. also was in the room to ask a few questions as well.

A lot of new fans will be watching this new animated series and seeing Star Wars for the first time. What are your thoughts on this new generation of kids that will be introduced to the Star Wars saga through The Clone Wars animated series?

What do I think of them? The poor kids have to grow up in this crazy world that's been created!

It's obviously a different tone but still has the drama and the characters.

The TV series is exactly like the movies, exactly. I mean, you can see it in the clip. It's basically just the movies only with cartoon characters. It's basically a dramatic series, there's a lot of action, a bit of humor. It runs along at the same level. It's unusual for an animated film, because it's not really hardcore like say Beowulf and it's not a Pixar movie, so it kind of falls in between in this funny world where Star Wars is, which is kind of hard-edged but not really, sort of on the verge of PG-13, flips over once in a while, but sort of the high end of PG.

It also seems to show a little bit more of the clone characters as well.

Yeah, now we get introduced to the clones, which we didn't get in the movies. Now, they're like main characters and they really are central to the whole thing, and you can identify them and know who they are, and it's sort of like "Band of Brothers" only with Jedi. [laughs]

Since the feature is being done specifically for the big screen, where is the movie going to end and the series begin?

It's not that episodic. This is a movie but we started doing the episodes and some of the episodes are stand-alone and some are two, some are three, some are four, and there's no cliffhangers. It's not like the current vogue of "24" and "The Wire" and stuff where you actually have to watch the entire series in order to understand what's going on. This is an old-fashioned episodic show. We looked at it on the big screen and it looked so beautiful and great that we said, "Gee, we can make a feature just like this." So we did and got all the people, got all the stuff and said, "Let's make a feature." So we did.

Do you think you'd have other people continue the Star Wars saga past Episode VI or turn some of the other material into films?

But there's no story past Episode VI, there's just no story. It's a certain story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies, that's kind of the end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I mean apart from the books. But there's three worlds: There's my world that I made up, there's the licensing world that's the books, the comics, all that kind of stuff, the games, which is their world, and then there's the fans' world, which is also very rich in imagination, but they don't always mesh. All I'm in charge of is my world. I can't be in charge of those other people's world, because I can't keep up with it.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens theatrically on August 15.

Special thanks to Orna from Warner Bros. and Lynne Hale at Lucasfilm for arranging the interview, Edward Douglas from for his questions. You can read his entire interview here.

Read our entire coverage of ShoWest here on the Official blog.

Stay tuned to for the latest news and information on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

George Lucas: The Clone Wars Q&A

Why now? Why was now the right time to bring Star Wars to animation?
This is a project we've actually been working on since the end of Revenge of the Sith, I've worked in animation before with Steven [Spielberg] in A Land Before Time, John Korty on a film [Twice Upon a Time] and a few other things. I love animation. I started out in film school in animation, and I felt it was time to explore that medium, and then at the same time be able to explore a part of Star Wars that is so vast that you can't deal with the Luke Skywalker / Anakin Skywalker saga... you get to deal a little bit more with the minutiae of the Clone Wars.

Clearly this has a different look than anything that's come before. Can you share with us the method you went ahead to do this, and the thinking behind the design of The Clone Wars and also the design of the characters?

In order to create The Clone Wars, I had to develop a whole new studio from scratch. We've really been able to advance our animation ambitions. When it comes to the look and feel of The Clone Wars project, I wanted to do something that was in the realm of anime, design-wise, but still different. So I said, "How can we do this along with a strong storytelling sensibility?"

I have a tendency that --- just like with Star Wars, which is based in the 1930s Republic Saturday matinee serials, or Indiana Jones which is based on the same thing -- I wanted to give it a look and the feel of something that's from the past. So everybody was fairly amused in the animation community that we picked Gerry Anderson and Thunderbirds to be our inspiration. It has a very stylized look. I didn't want it to look like Beowulf, which we could've done, or The Incredibles, and when you're doing animation about live action actors and everyone knows what they look like, you really do have to come up with a sophisticated and dynamic caricature of these people.

A lot of people are excited about the new characters that you've incorporated into the storyline, great new good guys and great new villains.

We added a new character. We needed to change the dynamic between Obi-Wan the mentor and Anakin the Padawan, which is where we left them. That's how they entered the Clone Wars. We wanted to make that relationship become more dynamic... sort of like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They're now equal. They're now partners. They're now working together.

But we really wanted to have that Padawan-mentor relationship, so we gave the most unlikely person a Padawan, which is Anakin, and we made the Padawan a girl. She's very feisty. She's very outgoing and independent-minded, which gives Anakin a real challenge, because he's sort of like that too. He's trying to clean up his act by teaching her to settle down and think and not be so aggressive.

She gets in her share of action.

She's a great character. She's turned out really fantastic.