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From the Ranch...

George apparently talked to the press yesterday. Not much we haven't heard before, but knowing Indy 5 is a possibility for now, and that there's an intentional girl-centric focus going on in Clone Wars... well, they're just nice reminders. Both from SciFi Wire:


12:00 AM, 05-AUGUST-08

Lucas: Indy V Research In Works

George Lucas told SCI FI Wire that preliminary research has begun on a story for a possible fifth Indiana Jones movie, but added that such a film is one of dozens of potential projects currently crowding his schedule.

"It sits on the shelf there as one of 50 projects that I have to deal with," Lucas said in an interview on Aug. 4 at his Big Rock Ranch in San Rafael, Calif., where he was promoting the upcoming computer-animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "And if I can come up with a story ..."

But, Lucas added, "it's very hard to come up with stories for that thing. You know, It's really impossible. Because it has to be real. It has to be something that actually happened. It has to be something people know about. It has to be supernatural. It's a really difficult research project. Which they're researching now. You know, and last time it took 14 years. So ... "

Lucas was referring to this summer's fourth Indiana Jones film, subtitled The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was in development for more than a decade before the pieces finally came together.

In recent press interviews, Lucas has said that the three principals--himself, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford--all have to agree on the idea for a fifth film in order to move forward. He has also said that Spielberg is more amenable to the idea of a further installment than he was last time around.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens Aug. 15. --Patrick Lee, News Editor

12:00 AM, 05-AUGUST-08

Clone Wars' New Girls In Town

George Lucas, executive producer of the upcoming animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, told reporters that the film features two female characters new to the movie franchise: Ahsoka Tano, the new padawan learner of Anakin Skywalker, and Asajj Ventress, a dark sorceress and apprentice to the nefarious Count Dooku.

"I wanted to develop a character that would help Anakin settle down," Lucas said about Ahsoka in a news conference at his Big Rock Ranch in San Rafael, Calif., on Aug. 4.

Lucas added: "At the end of Episode II, [Anakin's] kind of a wild child, and he and Obi-Wan don't get along. So the idea was to see how they become friends, how they become partners, how they become a team. And ... one of the ways to do that ... Because when you become a parent, when you become a teacher, you have to sort of become more responsible. You know, it forces you into this adulthood thing. So what I wanted to do was take Anakin and force him into this kind of, 'now I have to teach somebody. Now I have to be slightly more responsible.'"

Ahsoka is a teenage orange-skinned Togruta girl who is assigned by Yoda to serve under Anakin as the Clone Wars worsen. The story is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones and Episode III--Revenge of the Sith. Lucas said he looked to his own experience as a father in coming up with Ahsoka's storyline.

"I happen to have a couple daughters, so I have a lot of experience with that particular situation," Lucas said. "And I said, 'Rather than making it another guy, why don't we make her a girl? Because that's fun, and I have a lot of girls, and they're just as hard to deal with when they're teenagers as boys are.'"

Dave Filoni, director of The Clone Wars, added that Ventress was a character originally conceived for Episode II who has existed for a while in the Star Wars expanded universe. "There was the idea that maybe the Sith apprenticed a new one after Darth Maul, [and that she] would be a girl," Filoni said in the same news conference. "That got abandoned eventually in favor of Count Dooku and Christopher Lee's character. But the concept art existed. And the comic books and novels on the Clone Wars before had utilized that character, that concept art, and created this new character, Asajj Ventress. So when it came time to develop the idea of The Clone Wars as a series, we thought, 'Well, that's a big fan favorite character. Let's draw her out.'"

Filoni added that the two characters balance each other out in the new movie. "It just so happens that we introduced Ahsoka at the same time," he said. "So here you had these two new girls coming into this story at the same time, which was actually, there's kind of an advantage to it, because you had one that's the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker trying to be trained in the traditional ways of a Jedi, and you had one that's the hidden apprentice of Count Dooku, who was the evil opposite end, so that actually works really nicely for the stories we're trying to tell." Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens Aug. 15. --Patrick Lee, News Editor


Also on starwars.com

and BBC (with video)

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