Star Wars: The Clone Wars Voice Cast Interviews
I know that sounds
How do you find an Obi-Wan voice?
James Arnold Taylor: "How do you find your inner Obi-Wan? Well, you know, the great thing about Obi-Wan is it starts with Alec Guinness and then it goes to Ewan McGregor and then goes to James Arnold Taylor. So I am essentially doing an impression of Ewan McGregor doing an impression of Alec Guinness and I'm somewhere in there. So Obi-Wan then becomes a natural progression of all those voices and there you go."
Is it tough to tap into that?
James Arnold Taylor: "No, it's actually quite fun. I do a lot of doubling for celebrities in things, but also animation voice-overs - that's what I do. So usually they'll play me something and go, 'Can you get that?' and I'll go, 'I'll try it.' With Ewan, I've done a lot of his doubling before, whether he's doing American accents or other accents, so we're in the same place. So I just need to refine my voice and there it is."
How much did you study everything that's gone on in the past?
James Arnold Taylor: "Very much so. I'm a fan of the movies anyway. I know that sounds cliché but I truly am and what I have is an MP3 that has every line that he said. So I could always refer back to those if I needed to. But the great thing about it was George [Lucas] was kind enough to say, 'Really make this your own now.' Of course you're staying within that range and that character, and that character's always very kind of refined. He's always pulling Anakin back from wanting to be excited so it's easier in that regard."
Growing up, who was your favorite Star Wars character?
James Arnold Taylor: "Han Solo, I've got to say. I was a Han Solo fan but you know, come on. I saw Star Wars when I was a kid and it came out and he was the big hero. However, out of the newer ones – the older newer ones, Episodes I-3 – I loved Obi-Wan. I had begun voicing it during those as well. I mean, it's the greatest dream ever. I've been a Ninja Turtle, I've been Fred Flintstone, and now Obi-Wan. It's like my life is fulfilled."
How can you top that?
James Arnold Taylor: "I can't."
What's it like now to be a member of the Star Wars franchise?
Ian Abercrombie: "Oh it's quite exciting. I mean, plucked out of the blue. I've been around forever but all of a sudden I got a phone call and said, 'Would I?' And it's just marvelous."
How tough is it to do a voice when somebody has already done the voice in a feature film and now you're taking over the voice?
Ian Abercrombie: "I'll tell you what. I didn't go there. No, because I had to bring my own. Whatever it was I did that George liked, and the company liked, that's what they stayed with. After I started the job, I went back and looked at Ian McDiarmid. And I'm looking at him going, 'Hmmm, okay.' No, he was wonderful."
What did you like so much about giving voice to him?
Ian Abercrombie: "Well, I've always played a lot of nice guys. And even though it's a voice, I can throw in a little inflection here and there. It's exciting."
How are you?
Tom Kane: "Jedi Master I am."
How easy is it to do that?
Tom Kane: "Well short bursts it's not too tough but if you want me to do it all day long, by the end of the day I'll be like… It's very difficult when I have to keep that up for long time periods of time."
When you were approached to do the voice of Yoda, do you immediately jump at that?
Tom Kane: "In my case it was a little different because I've been doing Yoda for about a decade. I started out doing games and toys because Frank Oz, he became a very successful director quite a while ago and it got to the point where he really just didn't have the time to do it. I was doing other things for LucasArts, the games, I was doing some other characters. One day there was some Yoda dialogue and I just assumed Frank would be doing it. And I was just joking around, I was reading it doing my best Yoda because voice-over we all do that. We read everything. We read every part. And I looked up and the people on the other side of the glass were looking at me. They go, 'Can you do that again?' And I went, 'Why?' They said, 'Just read some more like that.' They recorded it and took it up to the Ranch. I assume they played it for George [Lucas] or somebody. They liked it and a week later I was doing Yoda. So I am amazed. To be a kid who watched the movie in 9th grade to this, to be allowed to play in this universe leaves me kind of breathless."