The Emmy-Award winning animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” has finally been given the ending it deserves with Netflix now streaming not only all five aired seasons, but a brand new, never-before-seen sixth season, dubbed “The Lost Missions.”
No stranger to the series, Jaime King (whose previous contributions have included characters like Aurra Sing and Cassie Cryar) returns for the show’s final episodes as five different Jedi priestesses who forever guide Yoda’s destiny.
ComingSoon.net spoke with King about the hit series’ final episodes and what the fandom has meant to her. She also offers an update on her upcoming return to the world of Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City when A Dame to Kill For hits the big screen on August 22.
CS: Can you take me back to your earliest “Star Wars” memory?
Jaime King: My mom was a huge fan of “Star Wars.” She saw the first “Star Wars” twice in theaters. I vaguely remember seeing it when I was little, like sitting in front of the TV. I only remember that in pieces. There were so many iconic things. Obviously, Leia and the Death Star and Vader. The sound design. Things like that make “Star Wars” so universal and are things you start to notice at a very early age. My husband made a film called “Fanboys,” which is how we met. It’s all about kids obsessed with “Star Wars.” He can remember playing with “Star Wars” toys in his crib. He can legitimately remember that. It has such a huge impact on people young, small, older. It transcends race or creed or color. That’s pretty interesting to me.
CS: Knowing that your husband is such a huge fan, what was it like breaking the news to him that you were doing these character voices?
King: Oh, he’s obsessed with it. He’s obsessed with it. When I first started doing “Clone Wars,” it was obviously the most exciting thing for him. Everything at Lucasfilm is incredibly confidential, so it was one of those things where he wanted to read the scripts and I would say, “No, sorry. You can’t read it.” He would be so upset, trying to take it out of the trash and whatnot. The season that is now available is the sixth and final season. It’s really unbelievable because it came directly from George. I’m very honored to be a part of his story and to play these characters that are so integral to a great revelation in Yoda that we’ve never ever seen before.
CS: It’s such a big surprise for fans, too, to reveal that this season is out there.
King: Oh yes, absolutely! I love Netflix. They have the best television on there right now. I feel so grateful. I also have “Hart of Dixie” airing on Netflix as well as “Clone Wars.” I just really love them. I feel like they’re supporting great art. Great television. It’s pretty exciting, because we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but then we won the Emmy last year for best daytime animated series. The artwork and the acting and the voices and the directing from Dave Filoni. It’s just really exciting and ahead of its time. I’m so excited that people will finally get to see what wonderful work everyone has done.
CS: You’ve done a couple different voices on the show. Is it safe to say Aurra Sing is your favorite?
King: I think thus far. That is, until this one in season six. My arc completes the entire story of “Star Wars” essentially. My part completes it. You remember in “Return of the Jedi” when Yoda died and he came back as a ghost? Well, that wasn’t the first time that it happened. Essentially, Yoda hears the voice from Qui-Gon Jinn and decides to investigate. It takes him to a Force planet that he’s never heard of. He meets all of my characters. I voice all of the characters on that planet. They’re light Jedi, but they’re much more powerful than that. It’s sort of like “A Christmas Carol” where they take him back and put Yoda through a lot of different tests. They really make him bare the depths of his soul. It’s really amazing, because there’s Liam Neeson and Mark Hamill. So many really wonderful and talented actors. It was very bittersweet going into the booth and recording these characters, because the information being revealed was, to a “Star Wars” fan, very profound and very beautiful. At the same time, knowing it was the completion of the series was also sad, but I was very, very honored that they chose me to do it.
CS: One of the impressive things about both “Clone Wars” and “Star Wars” as a franchise is that, to a lot of kids today, “Clone Wars” is what “Star Wars” is.
King: Oh yeah, absolutely!. It’s amazing because “Star Wars” is the only franchise that I know of that will always transcend time. There’s not another franchise I know of that everybody knows about from all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how old you are or what your beliefs are. Everybody loves “Star Wars.” For the most part, that is. Anyone who doesn’t, I’m highly suspicious of. But it is the greatest universal franchise out there and what’s great about it is that there are all these different incarnations of “Star Wars” that have been created for each generation. I’m so excited and thrilled that, beyond “Clone Wars,” they are making more “Star Wars.” It’s going to get better and better and better because it’s going to continue on.
CS: As an actress, how do you enjoy doing voice work as opposed to acting in life-action?
King: To me, it’s all really the same. I do the same thing in the booth as I do with live action, but I really love using my voice as a vehicle for expressing different characters. If you hear my voice in “Sin City,” it’s much lower. If you hear my voice in “Hart of Dixie,” it’s a very strong, specific accent. I really like using and manipulating my voice. That’s one thing that I really love about this season of “Clone Wars.” I get to play five different voices and five different consciousnesses. Each one is incredibly different than the others. There’s something really fun as an actor to be able to get in there and just focus on that. It’s thrilling, actually.
CS: Where do you begin to find those different voices?
King: It’s interesting. I just sort of feel them out. I don’t know where they come from. It’s sort of like any kind of art, really. I feel like, not to sound too out there, that art is something divine. It’s something that you envision or comes to you in a dream. For me, at least. For each character, I just start talking out loud or I’ll say the lines out loud before speaking to the director. I’ll just kind of get a cadence or a timbre. Something that I feel will bring that character to life. So far, it’s worked and I’ve never had any notes. You just kind of go into a Never Never Land and that’s the great thing about animation. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s all about the feeling that you’re creating with your voice.
CS: Have you had a favorite “Star Wars” fan interaction over the years?
King: It’s hard to say, because fans are so loving and so wonderful. It’s really about the multitude of fans and the many interactions I’ve had. Some feel so intimate and so beautiful that there’s not just one in particular. One of the things I love about social media is that you can go on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll see people who make the most glorious art projects for their school or they chose your photograph or something you did and they studied you and took months and months and months and months to make something beautiful with their hands. It’s such an honor to know that your work impacts people that way. It’s really cool that, via social media, I can see those things even if I can’t see those people in person. But when people say, “The fans are what keep me going!” it’s really true. Ultimately, my job as an artist is to move people and make them feel like they’re not alone in the world. That’s what film and television does. It’s what music does. You hear that song your watch that video and you say, “Okay, I’m not the only one.” It gives you something when you’ve had an awful day at school or your boss is being a jerk or you don’t have enough money to put food on the table. Whatever it is. Whatever that issue is, hopefully you can turn on the television and, for those 30 minutes or that hour, whatever, you can see the world in a different way. You can escape. I feel very blessed to be able to do it.
CS: “Star Wars” is already a pretty great answer but, outside of that, do you have a dream role?
King: I think that any sort of remake of something that Grace Kelly did would be a dream role for me. Or anything that Bette Davis did. An “All About Eve” kind of role or a “Jezebel” kind of vibe. Now, though, that they’re making such great television, my dream role is more of an idea. The idea of being on a great series for Netflix or a great series for HBO. The reason that I consider this the golden age of television is because, as much as I love film as a medium, it’s out for a couple of weeks and then it feels like it’s gone. With television, I really love exploring a character for many, many episodes. It really feels like a play on film. Ideally, that’s really what I’m looking for next. A really great cable series where I can do something meaningful. Something like “True Detective” is blowing my mind right now. “House of Cards.” Those kind of roles are really every actor’s dream.
CS: We’re going to see you on the big screen soon in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.” What was the experience like heading back to Austin?
King: Austin is one of my favorite cities in this country. It’s my home away from home, besides San Francisco. I’ve done so many films there. I did a television series there. The people there feel like my kind of people. It feels like where I’m from, which is Omaha, Nebraska and a bigger city. People are very progressive and very artistic. When I think about it, it almost makes my heart ache. I really, really miss being there. Going there to work with Robert [Rodriguez] is just the best. For “Sin City 2,” it was put together so quickly, ironically, even though there were so many years between it and the original, that I only got to go down there for a day because of my television series. It was so fun stepping into those shows but, at that point, no one had been cast. It was so premature, acting to literally five pieces of tape. No joke! They were like, “We don’t know who will be here, but someone will be here, here and here.” You’re like, “Okay, I’m going to roll with it!” With Robert, though, you know that you’re in the best hands and it’s going to be great.
CS: Since we’re getting the full series of “Clone Wars” on Netlix, is there a past episode that you’d like fans to particularly check out or go back and rematch?
King: I think it’s called “Lethal Trackdown.” It’s got Boba Fett and Aurra Sing and it’s a really fantastic episode.
(Photo Credit: FayesVision / WENN.com)