The first two episodes of the Clone Wars series premiered during a special screening at Lucasfilm yesterday evening, but it was a night to remember for multiple reasons. The first highlight of the evening was the induction of Dee Bradley Baker—the voice of the clones on the show—into the 501st Legion. His words expressed not only his surprise but also gratitude at the honor he received.
Next, buses filled with kids from the Boys and Girls Club drove up and unloaded very anxious cargo. The children assembled on the lawn of the Presidio and battled with lightsabers against each other and Clone Troopers from the 501st. Then, their dreams came true when the voice cast of the Clone Wars series arrived. In addition to Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter (Anakin), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Catherine Taber (Padme), and James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan) met with the visiting children. Seth Green also joined the group, but the brightest star of the evening was George Lucas. He posed for pictures with the voice talent and the kids as they held up their lightsabers.
Then, the actors were interviewed and photographed individually. Ashley Eckstein appeared wearing a black-and-silver dress with plenty of sparkle and shine. She said she felt that this event required something a bit dressier than the shirts she normally wears from the Her Universe line she founded, and from perfectly applied eye makeup to glamorous outfit she was impeccable.
I learned a few interesting facts about the Her Universe line. First, several new pieces of jewelry should be released before the holiday season. These are going to be more delicate than the currently available Rebel Alliance necklace and will likely resemble more mainstream jewelry but with a Star Wars twist. Earrings bearing the Imperial logo are on the agenda and will undoubtedly top many Christmas lists. “Comfy” Yoda pajamas are also appearing soon in the line, though these will probably appear in the spring. She also mentioned bags and purses, as well as the possibility of Star Wars undergarments and the chance of acquiring a new franchise or two next year. She did not reveal any hints as plans are still in the works.
Once the interviews concluded, everyone filed into the theater with its state-of-the-art sound system, and Lucas sat in the middle of the room surrounded by excited kids. The lights dimmed, and a riveted audience watched the first two episodes of the season. Afterwards, the kids swarmed around Lucas and asked him to sign their newly acquired Clone Wars photos. He was attentive to all of their requests and gave them priority over others clamoring for his attention. He even signed lightsabers when they were presented to him.
Not only was it an evening of memories for the group of children invited to watch the show, but I think it was also a magical night for all involved. The joy on the kids’ faces, the gorgeous images on the big screen, and the presence of George Lucas combined to create a night that was one in a million.
Clone Wars Season 3 premieres on the Cartoon Network on Friday, September 17th at 9:00 pm (ET/PT).