Dee Bradley Baker discusses voicing the Clones in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

Jay Cochran - October 23, 2008
Dee Bradley Baker performs a virtual one-man-show by bringing to life an entire troop of clones in “Rookies,” an all-new episode of the hit animated series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, premiering at 9 p.m. ET/PT Friday, Oct. 24, on Cartoon Network.

The episode finds a group of clones standing guard alone on a distant listening outpost. Clone Commanders Rex and Cody must inspire their rookie unit to believe in themselves to stave off a Droid Commando invasion.

Baker is a veteran voice actor with hundreds of credits ranging from “American Dad” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” to “Ben 10: Alien Force” and “My Friends Tigger & Pooh.” For STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, Bradley finds himself performing an altogether new concept of “range” – voicing all of the clones and embuing them with unique identities and slight variations. Bradley says the not-so-simple trick is to make all of the clones sound the same ... but different.

“We start with a basic core voice like Rex, then we take into account the personality traits that are built into that character,” Baker says. “Some are younger and rougher around the edges, or older and more cynical. So we attach an adjective or two to each one, then we record each one separately, giving each character a different feel.”

While Baker already has a library of thousands of voices in his head, he says it’s not difficult adding to the catalog and quickly referencing those intonations – even when there are so many clones, each of whom is subtly different.

“As you go through the recording sessions, you become familiar with the different feel of each character, so they really become individuals and it’s surprisingly easy to recreate each one once you’ve done it for a while,” Baker says. “When you paint a picture or write a book, each character you create becomes this little polished thing, so when you come back to it there’s this immediate familiarity. To that end, voicing all the clones is not as difficult as it seems.”

While most of Baker’s clone characters are recorded separately, he sometimes voices multiple clones at once, depending on the complexity of the dialogue and the number of clones in the scene. Baker says he wants to ensure there is enough separation for the viewer to make the distinction between the characters’ voices.

“It’s a great acting challenge to give these guys an individual sense of humanity,” Baker says. “One of the outstanding things about this series is that we’re giving the clones a sense of identity that they never had before. I think humanizing the mass of soldiers is really interesting and a wonderful addition to the storytelling.”
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
tarot - 2008-05-01 @ 9:37 pm

see i don't mind the alternate universe people as long as they are character we have before. I mean if we got Ult Wolverine before we got any other that would be pretty stupid. or ultimate Spiral before we got her main stream.

 

i say keep the ultimate aoa hom heroes reborn any universe coming but do it with character we already have. Still waiting on Ult Thor and Heroes Reborn Iron man.

ScorpioKyle - 2008-05-01 @ 5:23 pm
Hey there... this is my first post here... but have been a lurker for quite a while..

 

I wanted to start off by saying that, as a long-time collector or Marvel Legends... with over 150 figures... I'm LOVIN what we are seeing for the future of this line... do i agree with every choice they have made..? No..! But they are the ones with their heads on the chopping block, not me... so they gotta do what they think is best for them, as well as fans. I think having the army builders is a VERY smart move... I know I'm gonna want at least 3-4 of each of em... just like my Hydras... so that is a great way to get repeat business from the same molds.. I just wish Valkyrie made the final Hulk cut... she would look good with my other Defenders... maybe she'll find another way out to market.

 

But yeah, totally respecting others right to want / request toys like Ultimates... or Age of Apocalypse or some other 'non-core' marvel timeline... but I wanted to come firmly down in the camp of wanting NEW characters (ie, ones yet to be immortalised in legends) waaaaay before i'd ever even think of Ultimates or AoA

 

...maybe once we had all the main New Mutants, X-Force, Excalibur, Gen X-cetera, and associated baddies for em to battle... then fine... but while I'm still waiting for a Polaris, Dazzler, Callisto, Rictor, Shatter-star, Sunspot, Siryn, Sage... not to mention Marauders, Horsemen, Hellions, Brotherhood, MLF... oh and Stryfe, Exodus, Acolytes... then yeah I have absolutely NO INTEREST in Ultimates or any other side-line (I've been collecting marvel for 28 years now... and have no real fondness for these side-lines)

 

Others might... and thats fine... I guess in the interest of equality... I wanted to cast my vote...

 

Yeah sure... a box set of Ultimates... fine... then I can avoid it... but Ulti Wolvie, AoA Wolvie and Sabes just look totally wrong in my collection... i guess i'll give em away to some friends kids or something... but yeah, i'd be lying if I said there wasn't a slight tinge of resentment at having to buy these side-bars to complete the BAF's... its a bit rude I reckon... same with movie figures... that Jean and Beast were horrible... I do have other movie ones, but dont really display them... more kiddy-fodder methinks...

 

Again, am happy for movie-lines... AoA lines, ultimates or what have you... so then I have a CHOICE about getting them... thats all I want.. the CHOICE... but when they are packed with BAFs, i get shirty... i feel i'm being taken advantage of... cos they are preying on the fact that they know I'm gonna want the BAF...

 

My assessment of hasbro so far... is that they have had a shakey start... but with the transition, that should be expected... some of their choices may have been more based on their licence... than what fans have wanted... and the start of this year has been a snore... but I was piqued to see the NYCC stuff... a good variety... Spiral looks AWESOME

 

cheers

}T{

 

I agree with you. There are much more characters they should do from the normal marvel universe before trying to mine the ultimate universe. I don't mind having an ultimate costume as a variant. AoA same thing to, even though I can understand having Ultimate figures instead of AoA designs since it is so far removed and just pretty lame. I felt the same way about the House of M box set.

 

(AoA sunfire is ok, since that is his current look)

Geek - 2008-05-01 @ 12:56 pm
Hey there... this is my first post here... but have been a lurker for quite a while..

 

But yeah, totally respecting others right to want / request toys like Ultimates... or Age of Apocalypse or some other 'non-core' marvel timeline... but I wanted to come firmly down in the camp of wanting NEW characters (ie, ones yet to be immortalised in legends) waaaaay before i'd ever even think of Ultimates or AoA

 

...maybe once we had all the main New Mutants, X-Force, Excalibur, Gen X-cetera, and associated baddies for em to battle... then fine... but while I'm still waiting for a Polaris, Dazzler, Callisto, Rictor, Shatter-star, Sunspot, Siryn, Sage... not to mention Marauders, Horsemen, Hellions, Brotherhood, MLF... oh and Stryfe, Exodus, Acolytes... then yeah I have absolutely NO INTEREST in Ultimates or any other side-line (I've been collecting marvel for 28 years now... and have no real fondness for these side-lines)

 

Others might... and thats fine... I guess in the interest of equality... I wanted to cast my vote...

 

cheers

}T{

 

 

Whoa. Somebody else is an X-fan. And from the other side of the coin. I could care less about most of the lame X characters you mention. See, I think those are lame and Ultimates are cool.

 

Equality?? Sorry but it seems that most of the posts are leaning your way, so in the interests of actual equality, I cast my vote for lots more Ultimate figs. Love the books, love the characters, love the figs. Well, I don't love that Ultimate Wolvie with his bizarre paper thin chin, but...

 

More Ultimate Figures please.

 

GEEK

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