I go back just as far as possible in the Star Wars viewing world. Before the original movie even opened in theaters back in 1977, my friend Bob Pinaha and I received invitations to its red carpet premiere at the Loew’s Astor Plaza Theater in New York City. It was a spectacular night – who could ever forget the opening shot of that battle cruiser coming into view and feeling it was literally over our heads?

Not long after that, I got my driver’s license and went on my first “date” – Carol Burger and I jumped in my 1963 black Ford Falcon after school and drove to Paramus, NJ, and saw the movie at the only 70- mm theater around.

I had never been to Paramus before—or driven on the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway, for that matter—but somehow, we got there. Getting home in the dark, on the other hand, was another story.

The point is, I’ve always been captivated by the Star Wars movies and mythos. And while I’m not obsessed to the point of dressing as a storm trooper on weekends, I am looking forward to the latest chapter in the unfolding George Lucas universe.

On August 15, Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens worldwide in movie theaters. It is a feature-length animated film that begins to delve into the “clone wars” that Luke Skywalker asked Obi-Wan Kenobi about in the original movie (“You fought in the clone wars?”). It is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith (2005).

The movie will ultimately lead into an animated television series that will debut in the Cartoon Network and also appear on TNT.

All of which is my way of explaining the importance of my guest, Catherine Taber.

Catherine is the actress who steps into the role of Padmé Amidala, made famous in episodes one through three by Natalie Portman. Catherine voices Padmé in the movie and she continues on the job throughout the television series.

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