Posted on February 28, 2013 AT 08:00am
For the new Star Wars Pinball, the good people at Zen Studios were able to use the original sound effects of the lightsabers and droids to give their tables an added authenticity. But what really brings it home is that, for the Clone Wars table, they got some of the voice actors from the show to do their character voices. Though in talking to Ashley Eckstein, who voices Ahsoka Tano on the ’toon and in Star Wars Pinball, it wasn’t a matter of asking her to do it, but trying to stop her.
EGM: You could’ve very easily said no to doing Ahsoka’s voice in Star Wars Pinball and no one would’ve faulted you. Why did you decide to do it?
Ashley Eckstein: Any opportunity to voice Ahsoka, I want to do. I am so attached to this character and view it as such an honor to voice her, whether it’s one line or a hundred lines. The fact that Ahsoka was included in the game — which, let’s be honest, they didn’t have to do; there’s been so many things where they’ve only included the male characters and not Ahsoka or some of the other female characters — so I’m honored that they included Ahsoka in the game and jumped at the chance as soon as I was asked.
Also, my husband is a bigger gamer than I am, but we both love pinball. We’ve download all the pinball games for our iPhones and iPads, and whenever we’re in an arcade, we love playing any kind of pinball game. So the fact that it was Star Wars pinball just made me really excited.
EGM: Have you ever played any of the old Star Wars pinball machines?
AE: Once or twice I have. I like to play pinball, but I’m not very good at it. My Jedi skills don’t translate to pinball. But I have a good time.
EGM: Was doing this game any different than the other ones you’ve done?
AE: No, it was similar to doing the other ones I’ve done. But what I liked about it was that LucasFilm was really involved in making the game. I was actually at Lucas’ offices when [Clone Wars supervising director] Dave Filoni and producer Cary Silver happened to be meeting about this game, and since I got done with my meeting early, I went into their meeting, and ended up having a chance to talk to them about it. So this game has a level of authenticity that some other things haven’t had because it has input from Dave and Cary.
EGM: Were there any lines of dialog where you were like, “Ahsoka would never say anything about flippers…oh, right, it’s a pinball game.”?
AE: [laughs] Y’know, I feel like there might’ve been one line that we changed, but I don’t have my script in front of me. But I think the script was pretty true to what Ahsoka would say. Though I am very vocal about what’s true to her character. There was one thing I did several years ago — it wasn’t an episode or a video game, it was something else — and there was a line in the script where Ahsoka was supposed to say “Yee-haw” like a cowgirl. And I had to stop them and say, “Yeah, I don’t think Ahsoka would say, ‘Yee-haw’.”
EGM: I also think Ahsoka would have trouble finding a cowboy hat that fits.
AE: I think so, too. We’ll keep the cowboy hats with Dave Filoni, he pulls them off well.
EGM: Has there been any talk of doing an Ahsoka pinball table like they did with Boba Fett?
AE: As actors, we’re usually the last to know. So I have no idea. But if there is, sign me up.
EGM: Given how protective you seem to be of this character, if an Ahsoka table was in the works, would you want to help design it, or would you just let the Zen guys do their thing?
AE: My input usually comes in when I come in to record the dialog. As long as Dave Filoni and them have eyes on it, I know it’ll be true to the character.
EGM: Besides doing Ahsoka’s voice, you also run a clothing company called Her Universe (http://heruniverseshop.com) that specializes in geeky shirts and other fun stuff for women. But were you a big geek before you started working on The Clone Wars, or is it something that’s grown as you were exposed to this world?
AE: I was a geek girl every since I can remember. I watched Star Wars for the first time when I was a toddler, and have vivid memories of playing Star Wars in my living room. My dad worked at Disney, so fantasy was really big in our house. We often watched The Neverending Story and The Hobbit cartoon.
But I will say that, since getting the role of Ahsoka, I’ve become so much more of a hardcore fans of Star Wars. And I quickly found that I wasn’t alone in being female and into this stuff. There’s this stereotype that sci-fi is just for the men and the boys, and it’s just not true. Close to half of sci-fi fans are female. So we’ve worked really hard, through Her Universe, to debunk that myth.
EGM: Given that this interview is for a gaming website, has there been any thought to making some game-related shirts, like maybe for Tomb Raider or Chun-Li from Street Fighter?
AE: There’s definitely been talk about it. And we are always open to listening to what our fans want us to do. So we’re looking for the right game to start with. It’s funny, just two days ago I was asked by a girl for Tomb Raider stuff.
EGM: Lastly, the last episode of the current season of The Clone Wars cartoon airs Saturday, March 2 on Cartoon Network. And when we last saw Ahsoka, she was on the run from the law and the Jedi. Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about it?
AE: Yeah, it’s going to be a pretty dramatic episode. It will provide the fans with some answers, though it will also bring up a lot of questions as well.
But I think what this episode really shows is how far she’s come. She has really come so far as a character from when she first walked off that ship and introduced herself to Anakin and Obi-wan. She was definitely very green and had a lot to learn, so it’s kind of incredible how far she’s come since then. And I think you’ll really notice that.
I’d also suggest maybe having a couple tissues next to you. It’s a pretty intense episode.
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