SWCA: Rebel Women Who Fought the Clone Wars Panel Liveblog

Join Lucasfilm creators as they discuss Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:03 pm

Hosts Jimmy Mac and Jason Swank take the stage…joined by Dave Filoni, who will moderate!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:04 pm

Filoni: “The strongest female characters are behind the scenes…I owe them a great deal, and you should know about them.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:06 pm

Presenting…line producer Athena Portillo, creative executive Rayne Roberts,
production manager Liz Marshall, and senior concept designer Amy Beth
Christenson.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:07 pm

Portillo says she became a Star Wars fan when her father took her to see A New Hope at a young age, where they waited in line for hours. Her first crush was Luke Skywalker. “Han was just more of a smooth operator,” she’d tell her sister.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:08 pm

(Meanwhile, concept art of female characters shows on screen.)

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:08 pm

Portillo loved the action and adventure of the original films.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:09 pm

Rayne Roberts remembers the movies being on as early as daycare. “It was just always there.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:10 pm

Filoni: “There’s a hope to Star Wars…that we all connect with…and it connected with you in daycare!”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:11 pm

Liz Marshall grew up with the movies, and says they just “give her great memories of being a kid.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:12 pm

Amy Beth Christenson: “Star Wars was the very first movie I saw in the movie theater.” And seeing the walkers in Empire Strikes Back is a vivid memory. She’s been a fan ever since.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:14 pm

What did everyone decide to study in college to put them on a path to Lucasfilm?

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Portillo: “I actually wanted to be a journalist.” She took a lot of strategy classes, and concentrated in magazine writing. But she got a job right after college at Lucasfilm, writing for the Star Wars Newsletter, then wrote for Star Wars Insider.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:17 pm

Roberts studied photography at NYU, and got into the magazine industry as a photographer. She did photo shoots for movie coverage, and decided that’s what she wanted to do, and went back to school for film. 

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:18 pm

How much of a challenge was it to change career paths? “It was challenging…but I knew I was home. It all worked out.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:20 pm

Liz Marshall says she knew in high school that she wanted to do something in the arts, and went to Wagner College in Staten Island. She was assigned a report on Princess Mononoke and loved it. She transferred to Emerson College in Boston, and decided to work in animation in production.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:22 pm

She was hired as an intern on Clone Wars and worked her way up, and is now a production manager on Star Wars Rebels.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:23 pm

Amy Beth Christenson says that she knew what she wanted to do early on, seeing a Ralph McQuarrie art book.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:24 pm

She started at LucasArts after college graduation.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:25 pm

Portillo worked as an unpaid PA on the Special Editions while working in Licensing. She discovered a love of visual effects, and then worked for ILM.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:27 pm

Portillo met the SE wampa, and wrote a cover story for Star Wars Insider.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:27 pm

She worked with Phil Tippet for a time, and then came back to Lucasfilm to work on Strange Magic — and that’s when she met Dave Filoni.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:28 pm

“I totally Palpatined her!” he says, telling her she should work on Star Wars, not Strange Magic.

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Working on Rebels is “a dream come true,” she says.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:30 pm

Amy Beth Christenson: “I’ve been employed by Lucasfilm for 15 years, half of that has been drawing Sam Witwer’s face.” Big laughs.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:30 pm

ABC has worked on several LucasArts games — the last two were the Force Unleashed series as lead concept artist. She designed Starkiller and many more characters.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:31 pm

She moved over to television, working on Clone Wars seasons five and six, and now Rebels.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:33 pm

Liz Marshall came in as an intern for the design team on Clone Wars, and worked her way up. She worked with Kilian Plunkett closely, and designed the Nightsisters together in her first week!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:33 pm

“Everyone wanted to teach me…and let me grow in my career…It was a special place.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:35 pm

Roberts was recruited to start a development group.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:36 pm

Filoni says he storms into her office about once a day, asking for help.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:36 pm

What does everyone like about Star Wars?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:38 pm

Portillo: “I love Darth Maul. I love the Nightbrothers.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:38 pm

Roberts: “My favorite character is Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker. I love his whole journey. His arc means so much to me.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:39 pm

Marshall: “I like the critters of Star Wars. The bantha, the wampa, the Ewoks.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:40 pm

She admits that she has an unlicensed toy from childhood that she always thought was an Ewok…but is actually a Jawa. “And I love the puffer pig. Those characters are just so fun.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:40 pm

Filoni is surprised… “Thank God I haven’t met a puffer pig this weekend.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:41 pm

Amy Beth Christenson’s favorite character is Han Solo. After seeing the Force Awakens trailer, “I don’t think I’ve sobbed that loud [ever].”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:43 pm

Fan questions!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:46 pm

Women are a big part of Clone Wars and Rebels. Can there be more merchandise of the women characters? Filoni: “I think it’s happening over time…I think the Hera and Sabine figures are fantastic. It’s something that fans are gonna win.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:46 pm

Does Sabine have a new color scheme for next season?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:46 pm

Come to the premiere tomorrow and find out!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:47 pm

If you could wear the outfits of a female character, which would it be?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:48 pm

Portillo: “I love Shaak Ti’s robes…if I was as thin as the Nightsisters, I’d wear their tights as well.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:49 pm

Marshall: “I really love Padme’s dresses from the prequels. They’re beautiful.” When making Clone Wars, they’d look at the costumes in the Archives. The detail was amazing.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:49 pm

Christenson: “Anything Mandalorian. Sabine.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:50 pm

Where do they draw inspiration?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:51 pm

Filoni gives credit to his wife, and strives to create characters that “break down” stereotypes.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:54 pm

Fans are thanking the creators for all the female characters — especially Rebels have two main women protagonists.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:54 pm

Can Darth Revan be made canon?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:55 pm

“Anything’s possible.” – Roberts

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:55 pm

Last question!

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:56 pm

(Filoni enjoys being a moderator — and not having to answer the hard questions.)

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:58 pm

How did they make these characters a reality?

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:58 pm

Portillo details the production process — it all starts with story brainstorming, and everything is laid out.

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:59 pm

Filoni credits Carrie Beck, co-creator of Rebels, and says he wants to do this panel every year. “You’re an inspiration to me every day.”

StarWars.com Team April 17, 20156:59 pm

That’s it! Thanks for following along!

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