Posted by Curto on July 23, 2008 at 12:05 PM CST
The main hall that was set up during Celebration Japan included presentations & interviews with several of the actors from the Star Wars saga. While I didn't attend all of them, here's a quick rundown of what I did see....

First up, the host/translator was a hoot! Decked out all in white, I don't know if he was ever actually introduced, but he was extremely entertaining, translating everything for the primarily Japanese audience from what the English-speaking guests had to say. Some things didn't translate very well, such as when the subject of why Ray Park's lightsaber was so big, but the audience was hanging on his every word.



Bounty in Japan The Fetts Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan, Temuera Morrison
Each actor talked about how they got their respective roles, and what it was like to make their respective movies. Tem danced onstage and sang some kind of tribal song. There was a mock battle between Tem and Jeremy. The crowd loved it!



Skywalking with Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill came onstage to a packed room, talked about how he got the role of Luke Skywalker, although he thought he wanted to play Han Solo. He couldn't believe that Luke was the main character. If you listened to Jimmy Mac's interview on The Force-Cast, the stories that Mark told there were pretty close to what he said on the stage.



Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Footage from the upcoming movie was shown: Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi & clones battling droids, General Grievous, flying ships, etc. Clone Troopers now have more personality than before...each has a unique look (Rex has close-cropped light hair, others have double-mohawks, scars, etc.). Each episode now has lots of energy, presenting Star Wars in a new way than ever seen before.

Something that didn't get translated to English was the appearance of a model dressed as Ahsoka on the stage, which was great, but who were the four other girls with her? That will have to remain a mystery...



The Lair of Takeuchi Exclusive Clone Wars footage
Dave Filoni wanted to work with Japanese studio because he was impressed with the quality of the animation, and Takeuchi wanted to work with George Lucas. The three men are now teaching each other in different styles, and creating a new aspect of the Star Wars universe. Matthew Wood was working at Lucasfilm and sent in an anonymous tape to get the role of the voice of Grievous. New footage was shown...10 minutes of an episode centered on Grievous, although Grievous himself wasn't in the clip. Kit Fisto, Nahdarr Vebb, Clone Troopers entering a house of horrors, with statues of the Pre-Cyborg Grievous and an armory of sorts showing the limbs of the cyborg general.



Darth Maul, Sith Lord: Ray Park
Ray Park came out to a thunderous applause! He was definitely one of the more popular stars on Sunday! Ray explained his martial arts background, the process of getting into the Sith Lord's costume and makeup, and how he had an idea in mind for the lightsaber, so that he could twirl the handle around his waist, but it was too short, and that particular move wouldn't work. So he told George Lucas, who came up with the solution: just double the blade by flipping it around!


While the interviews were great, and of course the footage from The Clone Wars was awesome, the translations were sometimes jarring and interrupted the natural flow of the interview. While it was of course important to have the translations, you needed to be patient in order to hear all the details.

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Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
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I got started in 1995, but I have no interest in such a concept.
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