Star Wars Celebration VII

An Interview With Voice Actor, Tom Kane

Tom KaneWe welcome veteran voice actor Tom Kane to GalacticBinder. Tom’s best known to Star Wars fans as the voice of Yoda on Cartoon Network’s “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, but he’s been working in the Star Wars universe for well over a decade. He’s also built a huge resume of accomplished voice work including commercials, film trailers, dozens of animated shows and more. A true pro, Tom has been kind enough to record his answers for us!

GB: Welcome to GB, Tom. Thanks for spending some time with us. Let’s jump right in. So what did you want to be when you were growing up? If you claim you wanted to be a voice actor, I’m going to fall off my chair!

TK:

Ultraman Johnny Sokko

GB: Were you always a sci-fi and Star Wars fan? What actors did you grow up watching and admiring?


TK:

GB: For those who aren’t aware, you’ve been doing voice work in the Star Wars arena for quite some time, starting with the “X-Wing vs TIE Fighter” video game all the way back in 1996! How did you land that job and get your break into the Star Wars universe?

TK:

GB: Checking out your credits, you’ve done an extraordinary amount of voice work on just about every Star Wars video game title that’s been released in the past decade, right up through “The Force Unleashed”. Can you tell us a bit about how voice work for games is executed? Are you merely handed a script and told to take your best shot… or do you usually at least get to see some concept sketches of your character and/or some footage from the game so you can relate to the characters better?

TK:


Clone Wars YodaGB: Well, knowing you had done a ton of work in the Star Wars universe by the time the first Clone Wars micro-series was being cast, we’re assuming you were on the short list for a role on that show. So how excited were you when you got the call to audition? Did you only audition for the Yoda role, or were you considered for other parts as well?


TK:

GB: You must have felt (and continue to feel) a certain level of responsibility for bringing a character as beloved as Yoda to life in that series and now in the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” series. Even though you were a seasoned veteran when you got the Yoda gig, were you nervous at all? Did you ever seek the counsel of Frank Oz… or have you gotten any feedback from him about your performances?

TK:

Billy WestGB: During the “Futurama” panel at Anaheim Comic-Con 2010, Billy West told the audience that you record your role for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” from your home back in Kansas City. Did you build a state-of-the-art recording studio for yourself, and how does that work in terms of your recording sessions? Are you just the God-like voice of Yoda in the room with the other actors? Do you feel you miss out on anything not being in physical proximity to the other actors for the sessions?

TK:

GB: Since we’ve never sat through a recording session for an animated show, how long does a session last and how many takes does it normally take to get it right? Does Dave Filoni allow you to experiment at all… or is it basically “set ‘em up and knock ‘em down” when it comes to your lines?

TK:

GB: We’ve heard you’ve even voiced Yoda for a few toys. Which ones and how much fun is it to be inside a toy that kids around the world are playing with?

TK:

GB: Voice actors seemingly have a history of getting little recognition for their craft. I’ve even heard stories from voice actors who said they didn’t get admitted to the premieres of projects they had worked on! To paraphrase C-3PO… are voice actors made to suffer? Is it your lot in life?

TK:

Tom Kane at San Diego Comic-ConGB: Last year at a huge panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con, the cast of “Star Wars: Clone Wars” gave a live table read of a scene that bridged seasons one and two. Was that something you particularly enjoyed participating in or was it stressful knowing there was no second take if you flub a line? Maybe some of both!? I guess you couldn’t have been that nervous considering you’ve delivered the live intro to the Academy Awards for like a billion people!!!

TK:

GB: You were also the special guest at the 2008 Star Wars Fan Club breakfast at San Diego Comic-Con. Is the convention circuit something that you truly enjoy? Or is it something that you do because it’s “part of the gig”?

TK:

GB: Finally, here’s our closing question we ask to everyone we interview at GalacticBinder. If you were transported into the Star Wars universe… what era/location and/or setting would you like to end up in, and what’s the first thing you’d do and with whom?

TK:

GB: : Thanks so much for being with us, Tom. In the words of the little, green Jedi Master himself, “Look forward to more discussions with you, we do!”

TK:

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