Catherine Winder has been there since the beginning. Charged with building an animation division from the ground up for George Lucas, her very first project was the simultaneous development of the forthcoming Stars Wars: The Clone Wars and the television series “The Clone Wars.” As if producing a feature film and a television series all at once weren’t enough, Lucas decided he wanted 100 episodes.
“It’s a large responsibility. The expectations are really high,” Winder said regarding the task of adding to the Star Wars canon. She said the team tried to find a balance between “fulfilling George’s vision” and “taking the franchise into the future.”
In a way, the film and the TV series go hand in hand. The film isn’t exactly a precursor or pilot for the series, but it introduces the same characters and sets up some of the story catalysts that will find their way onto television sets later on. Most notably, the film focuses on Anakin’s relationship with his padawan Ahsoka Tano.
Director Dave Filoni described that character – a young girl who exhibits the strong and spirited “Carrie Fischer Quality” – as “the defining fabric of The Clone Wars,” and Winder agreed that Anakin’s relationship with his student “makes his fall so much stronger.”
Winder also believed that her character would be a draw in the Television series for younger, female fans to rally behind. The franchise has featured strong female leads since the beginning, but Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the “The Clone Wars” up the ante by introducing a new, strong female villain in Asajj Ventress. Winder seemed especially excited about her character, claiming she’s an incredible antagonist to face off against Ahsoka.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars hits theaters on August 15th, and “The Clone Wars will be on a television screen near your living room sometime later this year.
Stay tuned all this week as we bring you coverage from Comic-Con International. Not only will we be roaming the floor in search of love, but we will have the latest news Live from Hall H, great interviews with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars and random convention shenanigans, courtesy of our Comic-Con Attack Squad! To keep tabs on all of the happenings, just head over to our Comic-Con 2008 Homepage.