Tag Archives: Ahsoka Tano

Ashley Eckstein at Star Wars Reads Day [Interview] – SWR #66

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This past Saturday was Star Wars Reads Day. I attended the event at my local Little Shop Of Stories in Decatur GA. where I had a BLAST! There I also had the pleasure if interviewing Ashley Eckstein.

As the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ashley has proven her voice acting chops as the plucky and determined padawan of Anakin Skywalker.

However, her talent doesn’t stop there. She has proven herself as a successful entrepreneur with the launch of her own company, Her Universe. Through Her Universe, she creates merchandise for female sci-fi fans. But, she does much more than that. She has led the charge as a representative of fan-girls everywhere who are stepping into the spotlight and being heard, recognized and rewarded.

Below is a written excerpt of my interview with Ashley, but be sure to jump to the bottom of this page to download and listen to the podcast which features the interview in its entirety.

Riley: How have you enjoyed Star Wars Reads Day so far?

Ashley: It’s been a blast! This is such an amazing bookshop, and such an amazing event. I mean, to have over 1,200 events For Star Wars Reads Day is such a cool thing.

Riley: Yes, it was fascinating to see how at first I’d heard about it and just thought “well that seems interesting”. Then I kept hearing more and more people talking about it.

Ashley: Absolutely, I definitely try to encourage reading, especially with young kids. If you read about something you love, it makes it so much easier, especially with Star Wars. It’s such an amazing story, to me it’s a story of hope and a story of good overcoming evil.

Riley: Recently on the Her Universe page you posted “What an AWESOME post written by Dave Filoni! He also addresses those crazy rumors about The Clone Wars being canceled! This is definitely a MUST READ!” (Read the post here.) Is there a feeling within The Clone Wars cast that “This is coming to an end.”? Because it may not be canceled, but I do kind of get a sense of finality as we start delving deeper into the Clone Wars stories.

Ashley: Well I think you kind of just said it. It’s not that The Clone Wars is coming to an end because we’re still going. I mean, I just recorded an episode the other day so that’s why I wanted to point out Dave’s blog post because you hear all these rumors and we’re still working away. So, don’t believe everything you read.

Riley: But it was on the internet!

Ashley: (Laughs) I know! But it shows what the fans are paying attention to is the fact that we are getting closer to (Star Wars) Episode 3 and that is the story that our show is telling. The story between Episode 2 and Episode 3 so as we get closer to Episode 3, “What’s going to happen?” And I don’t even have that answer. I don’t know what eventually happens to Ahsoka, I honestly don’t.

The interview continues in the audio podcast below. Stay tuned as Ashley discusses:

  • Ahsoka’s development as a character
  • The Clone Wars going into syndication
  • Ashley’s Celebration video diaries
  • Her Universe and how it’s unique in the female fandom

This episode of the Star Wars Report is brought to you by Toy Hutt, be sure to check out their awesome Twitter and Facebook pages!!

HUGE thanks to Ashley for making the time in her busy schedule to do this interview. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to interview a number of actors and few have been as professional and accommodating as she was. So Ashley, if you’re reading this, thank you so much!

Riley Blanton

Host of the Star Wars Report podcast, Tech enthusiast, former CAP cadet. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of… well… other people.

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17 Essential The Clone Wars Episodes to Watch Before Season 5

Season 5 of The Clone Wars starts this Saturday and fans like me who have been following the show since the very beginning are extremely excited.  But maybe you are new to The Clone Wars.  Maybe you saw the mind blowing trailer for Season 5 and thought I really want to see Darth Sidious kick some butt but I have no idea what is going on in the show.  There have been 88 episodes of the show so far, not to mention the theatrical movie release, so it would almost impossible to catch completely up before Saturday.

Well you don’t have to watch all 88 episodes.  Based on what we have learned so far about Season 5, I have come up with a list of 17 episodes that should cover the major players and plotlines important to understanding what is going on in Season 5.  These aren’t necessarily the best episodes that The Clone Wars has to offer (although some on the list are great) but these 17 episodes should get a new watcher or even a fan who needs a refresh ready for the new season.

 

Season 1 Episodes 11 and 12: “Dooku Captured” and “Gungan General”


Most of Season 1 of The Clone Wars was really hit and miss for me.  It seemed the show was trying to find its footing and really wasn’t sure who its target audience was.  The animation was still an obvious work in progress.  There were some episodes I enjoyed and a bunch I really didn’t care for.  Admittedly these episode are two that weren’t my favorites especially Gungan General.  The reason I have them on the list is they are the episodes that introduce us to the great character Hondo Ohnaka.  Hondo is a Weequay pirate who has a run in with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Count Dooku in these episodes and becomes a recurring character in future seasons.  Based on the Season 5 trailers we will be seeing even more of Hondo.

 

Season 2 Episode 4: “Senate Spy”


Ok.  Bear with me here.  This one wasn’t one of my favorite episodes but I believe it will be important to Season 5.  This episode introduces us a former love interest of Padme’s and shows us how jealous Anakin can get.  Judging by some preview clips that were shown, Rush Clovis will be returning to The Clone Wars in Season 5.  It will be very interesting to see what his role will be and if Anakin can keep himself from strangling him.

 

Season 2 Episodes 12, 13, and 14: “The Mandalore Plot”, “Voyage of Temptation”, and “Duchess of Mandalore”


When these episodes were announced many a fanboy head exploded.  The Mandalorians are coming to The Clone Wars!  We were introduced to a new version of the Mandalorians than we were used to though.  The main Mandalorians were pacifists.  Huh?  Inconsistencies with existing canon aside, these were some very solid episodes.  We do get to see some Mando warriors in action using jetpacks and rockets and all the other stuff we always wanted to see Boba Fett use in Return of the Jedi.  We are also introduced to the character of Pre Vizsla, who will have a prominent role in some of the major plot points in Season 5.  Oh, and we are also introduced to Obi-Wan’s former “girlfriend”, now the Duchess of Mandalore, who will also be featured again in Season 5.

 

Season 2 Episode 17: “Bounty Hunters”


This episode tells the story of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka helping a group of Felucian farmers learn to stand up for themselves.  Who are they defending themselves against?  Why pirates led by Hondo Ohnaka, the bad guy we love to love.  The Jedi are assisted by a group of bounty hunters which include the female Zabrak Sugi and the fan favorite Embo.  Both Embo and Sugi can be seen in the Season 5 trailers and clips that have been released so far.  Interestingly Embo doesn’t seem to be so benevolent anymore since the one clip shows him trying to hunt down Anakin, Padme, and Rush Clovis.

 

Season 2 Episode 22: “Lethal Trackdown”


This episode is one of my personal favorites.  It is actually the finale of Season 2 of The Clone Wars and is the final episode of a three part arc.  But you can get everything you need to know about the first two episodes in the 30 second recap at the beginning of the episode.  There is so much cool in this episode including Boba Fett, Slave I, Plo Koon, Aurra Sing, and Bossk, but the reason I have included it on this list is because it gave us further characterization of the pirate Hondo Ohnaka.  Maybe he isn’t such a bad guy after all?

 

Season 3 Episode 10: Heroes on Both Sides


Another character who has been featured in clips from Season 5 is Lux Bonteri.  Lux was introduced to us in this episode as the son of Separatist politician Mina Bonteri.  Lux is near in age to Ahsoka and there is some subtle flirting.  Look for a budding relationship between the characters in future episodes.

 

Season 3 Episodes 12, 13, and 14: “Nightsisters”, “Monster”, and “Witches of the Mist”


For me, this is where the show really hit its stride.  The animation is markedly better at this point in the series and the action in this trilogy is amazing.  I LOVE these episodes.  We have seen the character of Asajj Ventress in previous episodes but these episodes are where we really get to know her.  We are also introduced to the very important character of Savage Opress.  He is like Darth Maul on steroids.  Literally.  My guess is both Ventress and Opress will be playing major roles in the upcoming season.

 

Season 4 Episode 14: A Friend in Need


Remember earlier when we were talking about Lux Bonteri?  Well he is back in this episode and he has a chip on his shoulder.  Of course Ahsoka is featured as well so we can see some progress in their relationship.  This episode also gives us more Mandalorian action and more of the character Pre Vizsla who will feature prominently in Season 5.  A brand new character who is introduced in this episode is the female Mando named Bo-Katan.  We don’t get much of her in this episode other than seeing her really cool armor design, but based on clips from Season 5 we will be seeing her in an expanded role.  This episode also contains the single coolest lightsaber move in the entire series.  Watching this episode is worth that alone.

 

Season 4 Episodes 19, 20, 21, and 22: “Massacre”, “Bounty”, “Brothers”, and “Revenge”


This is the 4-part season finale of Season 4 of The Clone Wars and the latest episodes released so far.  The first two episodes, Massacre and Bounty, are important for further characterization of Asajj Ventress.  She is no longer a one dimensional bad girl and it is hard to tell exactly where her loyalties lie.  In a Season 5 trailer we get a number of clips of Ventress in a disguise fighting Ahsoka.  It will be very interesting to see how things get to that point.
In the final two episodes, Brothers and Revenge, we get the return of Savage Opress and more importantly the return of his brother *SPOILER ALERT* Darth Maul.  Yes Maul lived through being cut in half and he is out for revenge.  From everything we see about Season 5 and from things that the creators have said in interviews, Darth Maul will play a very big role in Season 5 and his brother will be right there beside him.  If you don’t watch any other episodes in this list at least watch these four before starting Season 5.

 

17 episodes isn’t that much.  If you start today you can watch 3 or 4 of these episodes a day (they are only 22 minutes each) and be caught up by Saturday.  If you don’t have the DVDs or Blu-rays you can always buy the individual episodes on iTunes and watch them that way.  Go have a Clone Wars marathon and get ready for what looks like an amazing Season 5!

- Aaron Goins

 

Big Three? Or Not Big Three? – SWBTF #16

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Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films, your weekly look at the Star Wars expanded universe!

On this episode the guys talk about what’s new, including Blue Rebels?!

Baby Jaina is all cuteness with dad’s saber.

Both hosts will have to rearrange or purchase new book shelves in order to hold their whole Star Wars media collection! Here’s Mark’s shelf.

Images of Nathan’s EU collection can be found here, though he has yet to finish purchasing and arranging his collection.

Move over Garibaldi, Star Wars will be taking over your space on the wall!

Is Star Wars viable with EU only characters? And can the Saga use non film characters and thrive? Or even survive?
Should new characters get more page time, or less? Corran Horn finds some page love in Apocalypse.

The Old Republic is a prime example of new characters. Jaden Korr, and other game characters have been featured prominently in single novels.

Wedge Antilles was a minor film character who’s character was featured greatly in the EU.
Can Del Rey play off the younger generation?
Nathan mentions Scourge and talks about how the publisher entices readers.

Mark has a man crush on Corran Horn, and he’s not a film character, or even a main character in the EU, like Jacen or Jaina Solo.

The potential for great stories is ever present in the ever expanding Star Wars universe.

Red Harvest was a great stand alone that did just that: stood completely alone. No known character was used, and it was set in its own timeframe.
They pause and talk about TOR, the comic and it’s book and how that factors into the over all saga.
Nathan says the 5 words that kill Mark “I don’t care about K’kruhk”
This sets Mark off in a rant about K’kruhk being back in the Order since the end of the New Jedi Order.

Dawn of the Jedi – could this be your reboot series?

Do most stand alone books cover game characters vs newly invented ones? For instance Jaden Korr and Revan vs Corran Horn and Ganner Rhysode.
Is it time for Yoda’s force ghost to make an appearance?

Also, is Jaina on equal footing with the big three? How will they phase the big three out? Eventually they’ll be too old to continue to realistically use… And, what does a post Apocalypse EU look like?
From what readers DO KNOW from the Legacy comic series, readers know some of the direction.
Have characters been killed off for ratings? Was Jacen’s character prematurely killed off?
At some point the big three will have to bow out, period. And wouldn’t that scenario be very hard to market?

Is Darth Vader shoehorned into the EU between Episode three and four? The Clone Wars seems to be having a hard time with cramming in the story-line as well. Settings in the eras farthest from that bright center (the films) seem to be the best place to use non film characters.
Nathan and Mark also discuss the cancelation of Blood Oath and fan reactions to that.

Ahsoka is comes very close to being a canon main character, and she came fairly late to Star Wars, publishing wise.

Your hosts also talk about Maul as a recurring character….

And Nathan starts the doomsday clock of the Saga…..

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an EU tv series? Something like: X-Wing: Wraith Squadron coming to television soon! Ahh Mark really gets onto the loving of Wedge Antilles bandwagon.

Should we have more book trailers?

Mark looks at the New Jedi Order and how it was a series made up of standalones and doulogies and trilogies, not just one big series even though that was how it was marketed.

Should the line up of authors from the Legacy of the Force series to the Fate of the Jedi series have been rotated? When books/authors don’t line up it sometimes brings the reader out of the story, and it translates to series as well.

They guys finish by reminding themselves that they love the saga, and that some times concern and passion can be seen as being negative. Sometimes it just shows you care.

After all, the hosts want their children and their children’s children to be having fun with old and new Star Wars adventures to read and watch.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and may the Force be you, always!

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Geeking Out and Fangirling About The Clone Wars Season 4 – SWR #39

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Welcome back to the Star Wars Report!

This week your hosts Riley, Mark and Bethany are joined by special guests Steve Glossen, of Geek Out Loud fame, and Teresa Delgado, of Fan Girl Next Door fame.  Thanks for coming on you two! We had so much fun.

During this round-table episode we discussed our various thoughts on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4, including, but not limited to, our favorite episodes, our favorite arcs (And are we in favor of long arcs?) the return of Darth Maul, the death of Captain Tarpals and more.

We also speculated on the content and the stories to come in the officially announced return of The Clone Wars to television for Season 5. (Hint: There should be at least one session of Cooking with Yoda.)

Though more seriously, is it possible that Darth Maul will team up with the criminal underworld in Season 5?

This time we decided to record our aftershow, which this time happened to be about The Hunger Games movie! The aftershow is recorded and played after the credits, so it’s quite easy to skip out on, if you only wish to hear Star Wars discussion. Let us know what you guys think of the idea of an aftershow, and keep in mind we would talk about many things, not just the Hunger Games.

Enjoy the show, and remember, many Bothans died to bring you this episode!

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The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 15 Review

Hello and welcome back to another review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars here on the Star Wars Report! This week, Obi-Wan dies in order to infiltrate a group of terrorists aiming to kidnap the chancellor in Deception! This is the first episode in our second to last four part arc in season four; I can’t believe we’re getting so close to the end of the season!

Jumping right into the big topic of the episode, Deception focused primarily on Obi Wan’s faked death, and facial reconstruction to take the appearance of the very cool looking bounty hunter Rako Hardeen. Immediately we are thrown into a very different kind of Clone Wars episode, for better or worse. The entire opening concept of faking Obi Wan’s death reminded me of an old James Bond film (Diamonds Are Forever, I think), and going undercover certainly built upon the spy/undercover agent style of the episode. Though I will say this episode was much more exciting and suspenseful than some of our other espionage geared episodes (mostly from season 3), I’m not too sure how I felt about how they went about infiltrating Moralo Eval’s plan, the facial transformation and voice emulator seemed a little too far-fetched. The technology, for whatever reason, just felt like it did not fit in the Star Wars universe. All complaints aside, I did enjoy Obi-Wan’s portrayal of an evil bounty hunter, which I think makes the cringe worthy facial reconstruction technology worth it. I think there are many pros to creating a brand new bounty hunter character to go undercover for the Jedi, but I don’t think we would have would react the same way to his “tough guy” actions as we would to a Jedi Knight, especially Obi-Wan. His personality transformation was so believable, someone could’ve easily forgotten he was Obi-Wan and thought he was the actual Rako Hardeen!

Another strong point of the episode was the perspective we have looking through the eyes of the bad guys. I know we’ve had episodes focused on characters such as Cad Bane, but the addition of our ability to relate to Obi-Wan throws us right into the den of thieves in such a different way than seen before. We aren’t shown the whole plan because we aren’t seeing these events unfold from Bane’s perspective, or Eval’s, we’re seeing it through Obi-Wan who knows just as much as we do. The writers depicted that feeling of suspense and unpredictability very well, and with some of our favorite villains popping up everywhere! Characters such as Boba Fett, Cad Bane, and Bossk really helped make this episode better.

All in all, this episode was good, though not great by any means. This is one of the strangest episodes I think we’ve seen all season (not counting comedic episodes). I did enjoy all the small details and characters that we don’t normally see (Like hearing Obi-Wan addressed as Ben for the first time in the series!). I think the concept is flawed, but the results and how it all played out was very well done, and I can’t wait for more! That wraps up my review for this episode! We want to know what you thought of Deception, leave a comment below! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you… always!

-Ryan