From the Pages of Star Wars Insider: Matt Lanter, the Animated Anakin, Talks His Own Star Wars Saga
Books + Comics // MARCH 29,
Read an exclusive excerpt of an interview with Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Chosen One.StarWars.com Team
Matt Lanter achieved Star Wars immortality with his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated series that delved further into the Jedis heroic years. But his Star Wars story didnt end there, as Lanter surprised fans with a memorable live-action cameo in TheMandalorian, playing a New Republic soldier aboard a prison ship. In Star Wars Insider #, Lanter talks to Bryan Cairns about his journey as Skywalker and beyond in a galaxy far, far away; check out StarWars.coms exclusive excerpt of the interview below and look for the magazine in stores and digital this week!
Matt Lanter: The Animated Anakin
“I actually had no idea I was auditioning for Anakin Skywalker,” says Matt Lanter of landing one of the lead roles in Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars: The Clones Wars (, ). “They told me the role I was reading for was a character named ‘Deak Starkiller.’ I did a quick online search but there wasn’t much out there, so I really had no idea. I remember Dave Filoni suggesting I give them my best combination of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and that’s what got me the job. Obviously, there’s a lot of Solo swagger in the Clone Wars Anakin, a lot more than Anakin in the films.”
The show debuted as a feature-length movie in theaters in , and ran for six seasons from to , with a seventh and final season arriving on Disney+ early in Lanter, who is now 37, marvels that his Star Wars adventure has lasted so long.
“When I booked that job, I had no idea what was about to happen for the next decade and more of my life, and counting,” admits Lanter. “All these years later, I have so many fond memories of working on The Clone Wars. My castmates, the producers, and everybody at Lucasfilm, they’re like family to me. I made lifelong friends from making that show.
Acting the Part
“I think all voice actors do things differently,” suggests Lanter. “Some will sit down in their chair. Personally, I always stand up. I like to move a little bit, but I wouldn’t be dancing about or anything like that.You can’t really move off mic too much, but occasionally both Ashley Eckstein (who played Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars) and I would grab a pencil if we had to be swinging a lightsaber around, in order to give our bodies some motion. You can hear that movement come through in your voice.”
One such physical moment in the opening arc of Season Seven saw Anakin’s darker side brought to the fore.
“I love those first few episodes with the Bad Batch,” Lanter says. “I thought they were so unique and interesting, and so cool. And there was a great moment for Anakin, where we saw him get really angry at Admiral Trench, and then put his lightsaber through Trench’s chest. I know that fans love those foreshadowing Vader moments, and so do I, because it offers that connectivity to Darth Vader and shows Anakin’s dangerous lack of self-control. Dave Filoni and I were always very specific about those moments, about how dark Anakin was going to get.”
Read the rest of Matt Lanters interview in Star Wars Insider #, and subscribe to Star Wars Insider now for more of the latest news, in-depth articles, and exclusive interviews in every issue!
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New Star Wars fan tweets her way into heart of the fandom - Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson included
Though things can get dark within the Star Wars fandom with very little provocation, every now and then a beacon of light shines forth that reminds the entire community of why we all love these stories in the first place. No darkness can dim the bright star of a new fan's unbridled enthusiasm, especially when that new fan is excitedly live-tweeting the entire experience.
A Twitter user who goes by the name Mar (@vibeswithcisco) had never seen a Star Wars film, so she went through all them in order of release, while live-tweeting along. And trust us, it was a remarkable thing to witness. Twitter can be a dark, angry, echo chamber of fear and hatred, and though some of the dark side did emerge to try and dim Mar's joy, it was completely outshone by the fandom coming together to share in Mar's all-caps, utterly unrestrained glee.
We can't even imagine the emotional journey that she went on watching all of these movies in the span of a few days. Many fans began watching along with her, too, and asked for specific times when she was going to be watching so that they could plan accordingly. Almost every major character in the saga got a nickname (Rey was Sunflower, Finn was Lovebug, Darth Vader was Breath-Taker the list is long), and let's just say that t-shirts listing the nicknames are almost certainly being made already.
Mars' rundown of live-tweeting every film (except for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is coming), can be found here:
Another Twitter fan (going by (Annalise Ophelian) rounded up Mar's full list of nicknames and placed them with their proper photos, and that can be seen here:
It was only a matter of time before Mar's Twitter revolution got some greater attention, which first came in the form of the official Star Wars Twitter account welcoming her to the fandom.
If fans weren't paying attention before, they were at this point. Mar seemed to have the biggest reaction to Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (she didn't take Anakin's fall very well), and fans were quite eager for her to dive into what is, for some reason, now the most divisive film in the franchise — Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Dive into it she did, with fans ravenous to get her take on it. That's when her mission caught the attention of Rian Johnson, the director and writer of The Last Jedi.
When Mar had some internet connectivity issues while streaming the film, Johnson even jokingly offered that he was sending her a Blu-ray of the film, because the wait was killing him.
When Mar tweeted to ask Johnson if he finished reading her thread, he made it clear that he definitely had.
As great as all of this was, it didn't end there. It was only a matter of time before prolific Twitter user Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, became aware of what was going on. When asked if he knew it was happening, he responded accordingly.
This incredible run for Mar (her real name is Mariah, according to a recent tweet from her) is far from over. Not only does she still have Solo to tweet through (as well as the entirety of the animated shows, for which we're ready as well), but her enthusiasm and celebration of everything great about the saga has made her an instant Star Wars celebrity. Name any Star Wars-based podcast — chances are she's booked for an appearance. Fans are petitioning to have her attend the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Even the end of this week's episode of The Star Wars Show ended with co-host Anthony Carboni listing off some of Mar's now famous nicknames.
Fans aren't just celebrating Mar because of the fun she brings to the fandom — they are loving her insights into the films too. For many, she just seems to "get it," for lack of a better way of saying it. In this age when Star Wars fandom is mostly known for trolling actors off of Twitter and making endless YouTube videos full of hatred, Mar can only be described in one way: a new hope.
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A Mar Wars Story: How a Twitter thread united the online Star Wars community
By now youve probably heard of or seen the viral Twitter threads started by a new Star Wars fan watching the movies for the first time. But you might not know why these tweets are so special to the fandom.
Ever since we first introduced you to the Twitter user who live-tweeted her first-time viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope, Mars presence in the Star Wars fandom has pun not intended completely blown up.
She has now seen (and shared her real-time thoughts about) both the original and prequel trilogies. The Star Wars podcasting community is begging her to appear on their shows. The official Star Wars Twitter account even gave her a shoutout, welcoming her to the Rebellion.
Thousands of Star Wars fans on the platform started following along with her as she experienced the progression of the Skywalker saga before our eyes. Some have even started watching the films along with her, keeping up with her commentary along the way.
At this time, she has yet to begin the sequel trilogy. But based on the number of Twitter accounts politely asking her to let everyone know when shes ready to continue her marathon, shell be back sooner rather than later.
Mars viral journey through the Star Wars films lets call it a Mar Wars story (give her credit for that one) went viral. But not because she has now posted hundreds upon hundreds of tweets over the past several days, receiving retweets, shoutouts, and prompting excited strangers, who also happen to be writers, to publish stories about her.
A Mar Wars story went viral among the Star Wars fandom because it perfectly and delightfully captured the true essence of what this franchise, these movies, these stories and characters and places, are all about.
Its no secret that plenty of darkness has spread throughout the fanbase, especially on online platforms like Twitter where anyone can hide behind an avatar and anonymous handle and say whatever they want to strangers without consequence.
Females in particular experience alarming rates of harassment from upset fans who are 99 percent male and I dont say this just as a woman who writes about Star Wars (oh, the emails I have received ). Kelly Marie Tran still isnt back on social media after the backlash she experienced for doing nothing other than appearing in a Star Wars movie.
Mar ran the risk of major trolling when her tweets started gaining traction. But she kept going anyway. Mostly because she had plenty of other members of the fandom supporting her, but also because something tends to happen when fans rally around each other and spread positivity and light.
When large groups of fans come together to celebrate the parts of Star Wars they love, it becomes almost impossible to hear the haters.
The same thing happened at Celebration Chicago earlier this year. And again this past week when D23s Special Look stopped all of us from getting our work done for a good few hours because we couldnt stop watching it on a loop.
The negativity will always still be there. Thats the case regardless of your particular fandom or online community of choice. Misery craves company, and most of the loud minority will stop at nothing to let everyone in the world know how much they dislike something other people happen to enjoy.
But hate cant take away our love of Star Wars. It may seem like it could some days, but it wont. Weve seen evidence of this a lot lately. How many of your phones went wild with notifications when Ewan McGregor announced his return to the franchise? Theres so much excitement that the unnecessary darkness gets lost in all the cheering.
Its almost as if Rian Johnson knew exactly what he was doing when he chose to convey the message that winning isnt about fighting what we hate but saving what we love.
Firing back at those who have made up their minds to spread toxicity wont accomplish anything. Trying to feed them counter-arguments will only result in more hostility.
But finding fans who adore Star Wars so much theyre willing to read hundreds of tweets from a new member of the family and support her through it all? Thats how we drown out the hate. Thats how we keep our love for Star Wars alive.
How do you keep your Star Wars joy burning bright? Tell us about your favorite things and why it makes you happy.
Mar Tuuk : Still, I am certain this Skywalker will return. His ultimate defeat shall be my greatest victory.
Wat Tambor : [via hologram] You admire Skywalker?
Mar Tuuk : As a general, yes. His record shows he is a great warrior. And I want him to know it is I who has beaten him.
Mar star wars
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