Every summer, tens of thousands of people flock to Atlanta to attend one of the largest pop culture conventions in the nation: Dragon Con. As always there was a considerable Star Wars presence at the convention this year, with celebrities like Billy Dee Williams, Daniel Logan, and Matt Wood in attendance.
I had the chance to sit in on the panel featuring young Boba Fett himself, Daniel Logan, and the voice of General Grievous, Matt Wood. The panel was moderated by author (and writer for this blog) Bryan Young.
Bryan started out the panel by asking the guests to describe their personal Star Wars fandom before they worked on the films. Daniel Logan said that he had never heard of Star Wars; he was very young when he was cast to play the part of Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones. He said that his aunt told him his life would change. “And now I am here in Atlanta telling stories about my life as Boba Fett.”
Matt said he was a fan from the age of five, and that he would take the cardboard tubes from the Christmas wrapping paper and run around the house with his friends playing Star Wars. He started working for Lucasfilm when he was only 17, testing video games. “It was a complete dream come true and I never left.”
Discussing his audition, Daniel said he was asked if he had any special skills. He pretended he knew how to use the bo staff even though he really didn’t, and joked that he got cast because Lucas paused the audition tapes on Daniel’s face and said, “I’m over all these tapes. He’ll do.”
When Matt was asked about the difference between acting on The Clone Wars and the feature films he said he preferred the experience of The Clone Wars. He liked the linear aspect of recording unlike the jumping around in feature film voice acting. He compared it to recording a radio drama. “I preferred The Clone Wars also because Grievous wasn’t dead.”
Matt is not only a voice actor but also a sound editor for Lucasfilm. He talked about how Lucasfilm works on the sound for many non Star Wars movies. Matt was nominated for Academy Awards for both WALL-E and There Will Be Blood. He has also worked with J.J. Abrams on Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness and indicated there is a pretty good chance he will be working on the new Star Wars films as well. “J.J. Abrams is an incredibly creative and energetic director who has massive amounts of ideas. You have to learn how to take that and give him what he wants.”
Bryan brought up Matt’s work on the Blu-ray and DVD releases of Star Wars. Matt revealed it took two years to completely redo the sound for the Blu-ray release of A New Hope! There was a challenge in recreating people’s experience from when they first saw the movie back in ’77. “The Star Destroyer comes over and people want that big moment when they feel the bass shaking the room. It’s what you remember of how you heard it. But if you actually listen to it now on today’s home theater system it just wouldn’t have that same impact. We had to go back and enhance it…to make your memory feel like what it was even though it is not what it was.”
Daniel recalled his time on Attack of the Clones and specifically how not everything was blue screen. He said the cockpit of Slave I was completely built out and the cave and balcony at the Geonosis arena were practical sets as well. But he did have to use his imagination when it came to certain things. “Taun We, that was all imagination. All I had to go on was a lady who wore a hard hat and had this paper thing stuck to it.”
For the final question Bryan Young asked both actors what The Clone Wars stories really spoke to them. Matt had fond memories of working on the very first episodes of the series and said they were “magical.” He also loved the final story arc featuring Ahsoka. “The very beginning and the very end both mean a lot to me.”
Daniel said he loved the series as a whole and how it brought families together. “Today we need something for not only the kids to be involved in but also for the parents to be involved with the kids. It’s connecting. It’s allowing families to be part of Star Wars together.”