Published On: Sun, Apr 14th, 2024

The Clone Wars Landed Its Lead Thanks To A Suggestion From Dave Filoni

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If you’re looking for someone to defend the “Star Wars” prequels with equal amounts of passion and precise critical analysis, you would be hard-pressed to find a better-suited candidate than Dave Filoni. The accomplished Lucasfilm Animation boss turned Chief Creative Officer is about as knowledgeable about the franchise as they come, so it only makes sense that he would be the one to offer Lanter the most clear-cut advice about how to go about voicing Anakin. As the actor recalled:

“I actually had no idea I was auditioning for Anakin Skywalker. 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.”

It’s not just the pronounced sense of swagger that sets the animated and live-action iterations of Anakins apart. As with Han Solo, Anakin in “Clone Wars” has an antihero streak to him that suggests he could just as readily find himself heading down a darker path as he could remain on the up and up. You get that same internal strife with Hayden Christensen playing the character in the prequels, but with Lanter on “Clone Wars” it’s more subtle and less wooden. Even in Anakin’s more petulant moments on the show, Lanter knows how to keep him sounding genuinely angry more than melodramatic or whiny. 

As I said: when it comes to the tale of Anakin Skywalker, “Star Wars” has always had the right ingredients. It’s just the execution that’s inconsistent.

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