Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Obi-Wan Kenobi Voice Actor James Arnold Taylor Confirms Cancellation of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars"

James Arnold Taylor at Star Wars Celebration VI. Photo by Kristen Hoetzel, Sorcerer Radio Network.
Although the article I posted yesterday about the future of Lucasfilm Animation's projects including "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" was pretty optimistic a recent blog post from series voice talent, James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) confirms the cancellation of the series. From all reports it seems that the series will not be making a run on Disney XD as originally thought. That said, it doesn't mean we won't see shows made into made-for television movies or a mini-series pop up down the road or released as webisodes or downloads.

Here's an excerpt of Taylor's blog post:
Last Friday was a red letter date for me as the actor that has had the honor of portraying and bringing voice to one of the most well known characters in not just Star Wars history, but film and televisions as well, Obi-Wan Kenobi, for well over a decade. Red letter in a way that brought both happiness and great sadness. 
A call from Clone Wars Producer Cary Silver and our Supervising Director Dave Filoni, letting me know that for all of us, the Star Wars journey would be coming to an end. After nearly a decade of production and five seasons on the air, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” as a television show, has been cancelled. My heart sank. After those difficult words, we spent the next few minutes reminiscing about the last eight years and how much the show has meant to us all. How when Dave and I first met, I had just come home from adopting my daughter from China, and how since then her entire life has been filled with Star Wars and Obi-Wan and Plo Koon... About the truly amazing group of voice-actors, writers, artists, editors, designers, producers, and staff that made The Clone Wars a one-of-a-kind production that will be impossible to duplicate. I heard kind words of praise from my Director for my work and the impact my presence has had on fans. And I got to tell him how much his vision, direction, professionalism and genius has inspired and entertained us all. We spoke about this coming summer and Disney’s Star Wars Weekends, as I’ll be hosting and no doubt a visit from Master Filoni should be in order, giving us a chance to still live out some Clone Wars adventures with my cast mates, including the host of the “Behind the Force” show at the event, Ahsoka Tano herself, Ashley Eckstein. We thanked each other, said our good-byes for now, and then I felt a bit like old Ben Kenobi after Alderaan was destroyed... hopeless and sad. A great loss, an end to a fantastic journey. And the worst for a person who makes his living with his voice... Silenced.

This was a call I had hoped would never take place, especially after such an awesome experience as touring Japan and seeing the impact the show has had on fans on the other side of the world. 
Thousands of lines of dialogue recorded, over a hundred episodes and yet it still seems like we have said too little and that there’s so much more to add. And from what we can tell there will be more to come. Clone Wars will have a future, although we’re not entirely sure where or when, there are still stories to tell in what I consider the best animated program television has seen thus far. I only wish the show had been more recognized within our industry with awards to the writers, artists, and of course our greatest proponent and visionary for it, Dave Filoni. Dave’s love of Star Wars and story telling far surpassed what any of us as a cast could have imagined and it is because of his ability to craft and create along side, the master creator Mr. George Lucas himself, that we all can stand eight years later with so much new history and legend to add to the Star Wars universe. So with that I say my greatest thanks would be to Master Dave Filoni and his crew, for allowing me to not only take part in history but to be a part of something each and every one of us longs for... Family. I am not only a part of the Star Wars family now, I am a part of The Clone Wars family, and that, in my humble opinion, has had the greatest impact on what Star Wars brings to families all over the world. From here in the states to my new friends in Japan to perhaps even galaxies far, far away. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to say again in the voice of my favorite Jedi Knight for anything Star Wars related but I say it to you now and mean it more than I ever have...

“May the Force be with you all... always.”
Thank you for letting me be your Obi-Wan Kenobi.
All my love to my cast mates, crew and fans of TCW!
James Arnold Taylor AKA Obi-Wan Kenobi
Read more of James Arnold Taylor's blog regarding Star Wars: The Clone Wars...

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