Clone Wars Press Event at the Ranch

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 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.

Posted by Chris on October 10th, 2008 in General | 7 Comments

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Force Unleashed Launch Party

The Force Unleashed Launch Party was last night in San Francisco, and we were there to help along with the festivities.

LFL definitely know how to throw a bash, It was at the local Best Buy, strange I know but it really worked. The place was packed, and I was told that almost 1,000 people showed up during the course of the evening. I met people from all over the country and some people had even flown in from Europe to be there – crazy I know.

They’d built a stage high above the showroom floor and were doing give-a-ways ever 30 minutes or so,  they also had the various SW movies playing on all the big screens, and console where people could play the new game ahead of the midnight release.

All the major voice and character actors from the game were in attendance signing autographs and taking photos with the fans, and they had big backdrops from the game throughout the store for photo ops.

The Rebel Legion and 501st were also there in force.

It was Gerard and I with the Artoo’s, and Steve providing support. The store was so big we had plenty of room to roam around and not bump into one an other (most of the time.)

George arrived at 8:30 and spoke to the crowd briefly (see the video), followed by the character actors and developers talking about they’re expericence working on the project.

It was a long night, sadly I did not get to take as many photos as I’d hoped, but here’s some highlights, and there’s more coverage and photos in the links at the bottom of this post

Most of the networks were out covering the event and we recorded a few spots, including one for the 11 o’clock news, and Steve, our resident droid wrangler and spokesman, also did a few interviews, including this one with CNET.

And to prove he’s a real jedi, here he is practicing his force lightning

Sam Witwer (the Secret Apprentice) messing with the troops

Around 10pm the party was moved outside while the store was reset for the midnight opening. Sony had brought in special buses where people could play the game and one of the local radio stations provided a DJ.

Photo by Pablo Hidalgo.

By 11:30 we were all beat, cold, hungry and ready to call it a night, but were asked to go out one more time for the people waiting in line for the game. The 501st decided to form into a squad and did a circuit of the parking lot.

By midnight we were all exhausted, I think Boba Fett below sums up how we all felt, most of the troopers suited down and we swapped out our batteries for one last tour of the store before heading out with a copy of the game 🙂

Big thanks to Lucasfilm, especially Mark Franklin, for inviting us to this event and being super host.

Additional Photos and Videos:

Posted by Chris on September 16th, 2008 in Events | 1 Comment

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