Earlier this week I was fortunate to be asked to bring Artoo to the ranch for an all day press conference for the new Clone Wars TV series.
It was a late minute request so unfortunately neither Gerard or Steve were available to come with me.
I arrived just before 10am and I was joined by Mark and Anthony from the 501st’s Golden Gate Garrison.
It ended up being a very long but fun day, and we got to meet a lot of the people working on the new show, from the stars to the engineers and artists.
Dave Filoni (Clone Wars Director)
Matthew Wood (General Grievous and sound editor)
Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker voice actor)
Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano voice actor)
One of the coolest thing was between shoots I got to hang out with the artists and engineers. One of them had brought down his collection of concept art figures and even some vintage R2-D2 toys. One of the demos he was showing the press was how he constructed the new Artoo (and R2-KT) for the show and some of the design decisions that went into them.
This is one of the animators on the show, note his t-shirt which has over 50 famous and not so famous robots on it (this was a big topic of discussion on the R2 Builders list a few weeks ago.)
During the course of the day I even got to the bottom of the new nickname “Artooy”, but I’ll keep that story for a astromech.net Friday night chat sometime.
They had the new and unreleased Wii lightsaber video game setup in one area, and pretty much everyone had a go playing it by the end of the day, including Dave Filoni and the clonetroopers.
Throughout the day there was a long line of press that had us doing all sorts of strange stuff from an interview with Artoo to the the clones playing soccer for the British press.
One of the more interesting and surprising things was how the LFL employees responded to having Artoo there. Everyone had a big grin on their faces when they walked by or heard him, and people kept on popping down from their offices to get a quick photo. I had many complements that my Artoo was “better” than the real one they sometimes bring down from the archive, and the funniest line was “Hey this one makes sounds.”
As always there’s many more photos in the gallery.