|The Weekly ForceCast|
June 28, 2011
July 1, 2011
This week on the ForceCast, Ashley Eckstein joins us in the Cantina to talk Star Wars weekends, Her Universe, and a possible happy ending for our favorite Togrutan padawan. A new recording of Sir Alec Guiness shows a different side of Old Ben, Billy Dee projects to the back row in Command and Conquer 3, Miss USA displays her geek creds, guests line up for Fan Days IV, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe hits an iPad or Kindle near you.
- Guests go here.
- Jason and Jimmy begin the show by talking to The Clone Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein. Ashley discusses her Star Wars Weekends talk show hosting experience, the retail debut of Her Universe products at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and how she used to work at Disney World in the parades and restaurants. She also talks about Her Universe's new Star Wars products, their availability at upcoming conventions, and a non-Star Wars opportunity for guys to "get in on the fun."
- Ashley mentions that she took her Stinky the Hutt doll on Star Tours at Disney World and points listeners to the Her Universe Flickr page to see a photo gallery. Ashley also mentions that she blogged about her entire Disney trip on the Her Universe website. Jason mentions some of the photos that he sees in the gallery, including one of Stinky and Ashley in a convertible and another of the Hutt doll gazing at an Ahsoka cupcake.
- Jimmy reads through listener Facebook questions for Ashley and selects one about The Clone Wars Season 3. Bryce Martin asks what Ashley thinks about the possibility of a relationship between Ahsoka and Mina Bonteri's son Lux (from the episode Heroes on Both Sides). "It's something that the writers have really accomplished," Ashley says. "[Ahsoka] just kinda feels ... just a bit different, like 'Who is this kid and why is he looking at me this way?'"
- With regard to her brothers-in-law, one of whom recently donated a kidney to the other, Ashley says that both of them are doing great.
- Jason observes that many of the questions they're getting about Ahsoka relate to her ultimate fate. He asks Ashley if there's "a happy ending that you have in mind" for Ahsoka. Ashley says, "The thought of anything bad happening to her ... you know, I get emotional ... I've grown really attached to her ... but at the end of the day, I just want what's best for the story." She says that, if Ahsoka were to die, a lot of young kids would have to be put into therapy because of the connections that they've made to the character. Ultimately, Ashley says that she thinks of herself as Dave Filoni's Padawan; she trusts him to guide the show's story in the right direction.
- Jason asks Ashley what her preferred Ahsoka fate would be. She responds, "I think we need a Bear Pack [like Filoni's Wolf Pack] ... I think Ahsoka would go to a remote island and just live with a whole bunch of bears." She then says that she's joking around, but adds that they should convince Dave Filoni to put bears in The Clone Wars.
- Jason asks Ashley how she and the other actors played the dialog from the Mortis trilogy. Ashley says that those recording sessions were special times to be in the studio because of the combined vocal presences of Matt Lanter and Sam Witwer. She also says that Filoni and James Arnold Taylor helped her develop the right voices for Evil Ahsoka and Older Ahsoka. Remarking on the temporary death of Ahsoka in the final Mortis episode, Ashley says that she was shocked to read that moment in the script. Jason says that he heard a rumor at CV that TCW Season 3 would be the one where Ahsoka died. "So it is true," he remarks, "from a certain point of view." Ashley says that she mentioned Ahsoka's "death" at Star Wars Weekends and heard gasps in the audience. Jason finds it interesting that people didn't pick up on that while watching the episode.
- ForceCast listener Keith asked on Facebook: What would you like Ahsoka to be most remembered for after The Clone Wars wraps? Ashley says that she and other TCW cast members will be doing a panel about this subject at SDCC in July. "One thing ... they've achieved with Ahsoka is [that] she's a very well-written, strong female character ... according to what female fans want ... that's one of the things I'm most proud of, is to play such a strong female character like that." Ashley is also proud of the fact that Ahsoka is no longer defined by her gender; she's just "a part of the gang." Ashley goes on: "She's not 'the girl', she is Anakin's Padawan, and there's no gender label put on her. ... When the gender label goes away, and there's just a strong character ... I think that's what women want."
- Another Facebook fan asked if Ashley would be voicing other characters on the show. Ahsoka notes that she has voiced a few "incidental characters" already.
- The next question is whether Ashley has an Ahsoka collection. Ashley says yes. "Lucasfilm Licensing ... will send me stuff occasionally ... upstairs in my house I actually have a Star Wars closet ... my nephews love walking in there." One of her favorite items is an Ahsoka action figure that was signed by around fifty people at a Skywalker Ranch press junket.
- Jason asks Ashley to talk about the Her Universe presence at San Diego Comic-Con. She says that they'll be launching all-new items at SDCC, including a Star Wars burnout shirt, a charm bracelet, and other jewelry. There will also be a special, summer-convention-exclusive charm bracelet available only at SDCC and Dragon*Con (in September). In addition to merchandise, Ashley says that the Her Universe panel will be at 6pm on Thursday night and that Dave Filoni will be speaking there. "I'll probably be at the Her Universe booth for most of the time," she adds.
- Jimmy takes over to discuss a special surprise that he planned for this interview with Ashley. For Father's Day, Jimmy's family bought him a Star Wars Mad-Libs book, and he wants to run through one round with Ashley. "You're someone I know who loves to have fun, so let's have some fun with some Star Wars Mad-Libs." Jimmy asks Ashley to provide various types of words, from adverbs ("quickly") to nouns ("hamsters") to adjectives ("green"). He also asks Jason to contribute a few items, which range from "sweaty" to "dwarves." When Ashley's husband David walks in, Jimmy asks him for a few contributions (they include "sweet," "rotten," and "tiny").
- After reading their Mad-Libs story, Jason and Jimmy wish Ashley luck with her current endeavors and end the interview.
- Old audio has been floating around of Alec Guinness narrating his diaries for the BBC. The memoirs were broadcast in 2010, but Guinness' comments about Star Wars recently resurfaced.
- Jimmy calls the clip a "painful piece of audio history to endure." He mentions that they've discussed occasional Star Wars curmudgeons Ewan McGregor and Harrison Ford before, but says that Alec Guinness' disdain for the films is legendary. In the clip that Jason plays, Guinness says that he "shriveled up inside" when he noticed a re-run of Star Wars on TV. He also talks about meeting a young boy who had seen the original film over a hundred times and telling him to never watch the film again.
- Jason and Jimmy talk about Guiness' attitude toward Star Wars, filmmaking in general, and films of his era versus pop culture of today. Jason comments: "We're at the point now where comic books and genre films ... these are Academy Award-nominated or Academy Award-winning in a lot of cases ... look at The Dark Night and all of the critical accolades that it received. ... The world of entertainment has changed since Sir Alec's day. ... To judge him based on how we see things now ... is probably a little bit unfair." However, Jason says that making the young boy in the story cry is still inexcusable.
- The folks at Atomic Comics have given The ForceCast three copies of Robot Chicken: Star Wars III to give away to U.K. listeners. Jimmy asks U.K. residents listening live to chime in on Twitter for a chance to win one of the copies. At the end of the show, Jason and Jimmy say that, because they must verify entrants' U.K. residency, they will announce the winners on the next show.
- Jason changes the topic to talk about the new score for Star Tours - The Adventures Continue. The Disney Parks YouTube channel has posted a video showing composer Michael Giacchino scoring the redesigned Disney ride and talking about his approach to the music. Jason plays a clip from the video, and both Jason and Jimmy agree that it would be cool to get a soundtrack for the new ride.
- Billy Dee Quote of the Week
- Cracked.com recently ranked Williams' voice work in the video game Command and Conquer III: Tiberium Wars as the most pathetic video game performance ever. In the game, Williams played Redmond Boyle, the Acting Director of the Global Defense Initiative. Jason plays a clip of Williams' character speaking, and then Jimmy reads Cracked.com's analysis of Williams' over-dramatic performance.
- Star Wars in Pop Culture
- Jason and Jimmy follow up on last week's story about Miss USA Alyssa Campanella's self-professed Star Wars fandom. After that show, Campanella appeared on Access Hollywood to do an interview, and the hosts surprised her with a Star Wars quiz. Jason plays a clip of Access Hollywood host Billy Bush and Campanella discussing her interest in the films. After Bush asked her a few stereotypical questions about her fandom, Campanella played a quiz that consisted of five comically easy Star Wars trivia questions posed by Access Hollywood's resident Star Wars fan. Jason plays that clip, after which he and Jimmy agree that Miss USA is definitely a fan. Jason is impressed that Campanella knew the name of Obi-Wan's astromech droid from Episode II (R4).
- Weird Al Yankovic included a Star Wars reference in his new song Another Tattoo. The line from the song was about "Boba Fett playing clarinet."
- Jason and Jimmy announce the winner of their WallStickerOutlet wall panel giveaway: ForceCast listener Kendall Holt will be receiving a complete set of seven panels.
- Headline News
- Star Wars Fan Days is back for its fourth installment. Fan Days IV will take place on October 8-9, 2011, at the Irving Convention Center near Dallas, TX. Jimmy promises at least one live ForceCast at the convention, "maybe two." He also asks listeners to stop by, say hello, and shake their hands. Jason reads the first round of guest announcements, which includes Ben Burtt, Dave Filoni, David Acord, Tom Kane, Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, Jaime King, and more. He also mentions the other highlights of the event, including Artists' Alley, various exhibitor and fan group booths, the costume contest, and a possible "private meet-and-greet" dinner with special guests. Another major event on the lineup is a panel about The Clone Wars Season 4 hosted by Dave Filoni. Jimmy speculates that the folks at Lucasfilm might debut a new TCW episode at that panel.
- U.K. e-tailer Play.com has been receiving exclusive clips of the upcoming Blu-Ray box set's bonus features. Last week's clip was of Ewan McGregor talking about his uncle Denis Lawson's role in Episode IV. This week's clip features John Williams discussing Yoda's Theme. Jason plays part of clip, where Williams says: "Yoda suggests, to me at least, a very ancient gentleman, very wise ... Yoda's Theme is a very simple tune ... it moves around ... in a youthful way. ... His character and speech suggested to me the innocence of true wisdom." Jimmy comments that it's rare for Williams to discuss the characters themselves when reflecting on his compositions, and that his analysis provides interesting insight into the films.
- Lucas Licensing recently took the wraps off of a new book by J.W. Rinzler, entitled Star Wars: The Blueprints. Jason reads through the book description from The Official Star Wars Site, which includes a preview of a spread from the book and an overview of its contents. Both he and Jimmy are impressed with what they see in the page previews on the StarWars.com article.
- The complete catalog of Star Wars novels from Bantam and Del Rey is now available on a variety of eBook platforms, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple iBook Store.
- Star Wars Galaxies, the GFFA's first MMORPG, is shutting down on December 15th, according to a statement from Sony Online Entertainment. Jason says that it seemed likely that this would happen, given the impending release of BioWare's The Old Republic MMORPG.
- Hasbro is set to release a Star Wars version of the classic board game Operation. The game, which is now available for pre-order for $27, allows players to operate on R2-D2.
- Quotes go here.