SWCA 2022: 8 things we learned from the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones 20th anniversary panel

Although for some of us it seems like yesterday, it has been 20 years since Star Wars: Attack of the Clones first arrived on cinema screens. To star wars Celebration Anaheim 2022, fans gathered on the event’s biggest stage to hear memories and thoughts on the first all-digital blockbuster and a critical chapter in the Skywalker saga.

Host Ashley Eckstein (who voiced Ahsoka Tano, a character fairly familiar with clone troopers) welcomed on-screen talent including Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett) and Daniel Logan (Boba Fett). Lucasfilm creatives included art director Doug Chiang, visual effects supervisor John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and supervising sound editor Matthew Wood of Skywalker Sound. And in addition, some very special guests – Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) – arrived at the end in a surprise special appearance. Here are 8 of our favorite moments from the panel.

1. Director George Lucas has charted new territory. Before the panelists took the stage, Eckstein offered a short greeting from none other than director George Lucas. Unable to attend in person, he explained how “it is an important film for me because it was the first film ever shot in digital. It was a big fight to get here, but at the same time, once we made the movie, now everyone is doing it digitally.

Anthony Daniels behind the scenes as C-3PO as R2-D2

2. Anthony Daniels’ pitch led to a whole new character. The man behind our favorite protocol droid has returned yet again to attack of the clones, and starring George Lucas made a “really moving” return to Lars Homestead’s original location in Tunisia. It’s been 25 years since Star Wars: A new hope was released for the first time, and Daniels took the opportunity to apply. “I said to George, ‘Can I show my face as a character?’ “, he recalls. “And he probably said, ‘Sure. “”

Anthony Daniels behind the scenes as C-3PO

The latter nicknamed “Dannl Faytonni”, this new character appeared at Coruscant’s Outlander Club, dressed in a military-style uniform among the sumptuously dressed patrons. Daniels recalled how a last-minute adornment of the costume earned the character a promotion from rank-and-file soldier to royal officer.

Doug Chiang's concept art of a stormtrooper

3. You can draw a line between Boba Fett’s helmet and clone troopers. After completing the work on the Star Wars: The Phantom Menaceartistic director Doug Chiang began Clone just a week after the release of the previous film. It was a continuation of a world-building exercise. “When we started working on the prequels,” he said, “the designs and direction took me for a full loop, because George wanted to try something new and establish a whole aesthetic guideline for all. star wars universe.”

This is evident in the clone trooper armor, which made its first appearance in the film. “It’s really a pleasure to work with George,” Chiang explained. “He wanted to create the idea that Jango Fett’s armor became the evolution of stormtroopers. So I literally took Jango Fett and his armor and basically kept the original Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie design. Then we started blending it towards the classic Stormtrooper helmet we saw in the original trilogy. The first “phase one” soldier in Clone shares a T-visor design with Jango and Boba Fett, while those of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith more like stormtroopers.

Temuera Morrison behind the scenes as Jango Fett

4. Temuera Morrison traveled to England for a shot. The star of Boba Fett’s Book do his star wars debut in attack of the clones. Temeura Morrison remembers working the scene when Obi-Wan Kenobi visits Jango and young Boba Fett on Kamino. As the Jedi departs, Jango tells his clone son, “Pack your bags, we’re leaving.” Morrison recalls reviewing the shot on early monitors while main production was happening in Sydney, Australia. “I could see it was kind of a mid-plan,” he explained. “Maybe it’s a bit too broad. Maybe I should suggest to George that he needs a close-up, but I thought it best not to. Instead, a few months later, Morrison was asked to travel from his home in New Zealand to the UK to film one shot and one line while filming the pickup!

“It’s been a wonderful privilege to be involved with the family,” Morrison said. “Even working with Ewan McGregor…I was very nervous. It was my first day when he arrived with his bad Jedi cool. He wasn’t overdoing it, and I was trying to cool him down! But I think he got the better of me. It was my first day and I was a little nervous.

Special pose by Daniel Logan and Temuera Morrison Daniel Logan and Temuera Morrison behind the scenes of Boba Fett's ship

5. Daniel Logan looked up to his on-screen dad. For Logan playing young Boba Fett, the chance to work with Morrison was a dream come true. “When you come from a place like New Zealand when I was growing up,” he recalls, “there weren’t others – especially people of Maori descent – who didn’t had ever achieved anything that Temuera Morrison had achieved at that time.” The older actor “gave me someone to identify with [with] I could actually become or someone I aspire to be. Arrived on the star wars together he was unfamiliar with the notoriety of George Lucas or Ewan McGregor. “The only person I wanted to meet was Temuera Morrison because he was the only person I knew!”

Attack of the clones clone troopers

6. The digital blockbuster used a mix of visual effects. Visual effects supervisor John Knoll helped oversee what was at the time one of the most ambitious feature film projects ever undertaken. It was full of new challenges ranging from a fully computer-animated Yoda to the massive scale of the battle on Geonosis. But elements were made using traditional miniature photography, which Knoll described his “deep passion” for.

John Knoll works on visual effects behind the scenes

“In practice, it’s also helped us balance the load,” Knoll continued, “because there’s work that should be done digitally, and there’s work that should be done practically, but there’s also a lot of work that can probably go both ways… A lot of it was trying to get this huge body of work through. You used all the tools you had. One of my favorite minifigures de Knoll was the arena on Geonosis, and in order to complete all of its required shots in time, the ILM team raced day and night to shoot them!

Matthew Wood works on effects

7. Matthew Wood has worn many hats at Skywalker Sound. Wood received credit as a supervising sound editor on attack of the clonesbut also found himself wearing Jedi robes aboard the original landspeeder of Star Wars: A new hope. The classic prop was used as a stand-in for the speeder chase animatic sequence on Coruscant as Wood and a colleague played the role of Obi-Wan and Anakin. These near-house footage allowed George Lucas to plan the specific shots for the hair-raising sequence in advance.

Joining the production team in Australia, Wood also had the opportunity to record organic sound while touring locations across the country. “I recorded a fruit bat in a sanctuary,” he recalls, “fighting over a banana with another fruit bat, and it became one of the staples of the Geonosian sound. was mixed with calls from Melbourne penguins. The whole experience was ‘like film school’, he added, exemplifying ‘the spirit of George Lucas’ who didn’t ‘box’ his employees in a particular job.

Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen pose for Attack of the Clones

8. You can build confidence with a lightsaber. All star wars The film holds a few surprises, and the panel followed suit when actors Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen appeared on stage in the final moments to the delight of thousands of fans. Years ago, on attack of the clonesthe two actors have developed a complex on-screen chemistry as best friends, but also master and apprentice.

Hayden Christensen in a backstage hallway shot for Attack of the Clones

For Christensen, “both sides of this relationship came very naturally,” as he put it. “I really admired it and it lends itself to work. Ewan was so kind to me and kind of took me under his wing. That’s how our relationship started, and of course, the friendship evolved. McGregor added that “we hit it off straight away.” Spending time together practicing lightsaber was “a really good way to get to know someone. To fight with each other, you have to really trust each other…”

Lucas O. Seastrom is a writer and historian at Lucasfilm. He grew up on a farm in California’s Central Valley and is a star wars and Indiana Jones fan.

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