Cary Silver is a veteran film and series producer. He was the producer of 77 episodes of Star Wars: Clone Wars (CGI) series.
SWCP: Among so many episodes of Star Wars. Clone Wars that you produced, is it anyone that you have a special regard?
CS: That’s always a very difficult question since all of the episodes become very special to you. It’s like having to choose your favorite child! But there are some stand-out episodes and story-arcs from every season that I hold in high regard. The first is INNOCENTS OF RYLOTH from season 1. It’s a very touching story where two Clone Troopers find a little girl, Numa who’s been displaced from the bombing in her village. To see the war through this little girl’s eyes is a very powerful perspective and then to see her affect on these war-hardened soldiers makes this a very special episode. From season 2, I really love LIGHTSABER LOST as well as the Boba Fett episodes at the end of the season with DEATH TRAP, R2 COME HOME and LETHAL TRACKDOWN. “Lightsaber Lost” was not only a great story where we see Ahsoka beginning to mature on her path as a young Jedi, but also because it represented a huge breakthrough on the production. The chase through the roof-tops of Coruscant as well as through the traffic and the huge hanging billboards was a major step forward in our ability to realize huge vistas, locations in ways that would match the work done in the prequels. The Boba Fett story arc was special because we not only get to learn more of who this iconic Bounty Hunter really was but also how his life and childhood helped shape him into becoming this fearsome killer. I’m also partial to “R2 Come Home” since the Captain of the ship who takes Mace and Anakin back to safety is named Clone Captain Silver. That one’s for the fans who were really paying attention.
For Season Three, I’d have to mention the MORTIS Story arc – OVERLORDS, ALTAR OF MORTIS. GHOSTS OF MORTIS these were not only visually stunning episodes but they also reveal so much about the forces behind the force. It was also the first time we got the sheer honor of working with Liam Neeson and that was incredible.
In season 4, I’d have to call out the exceptional and powerful Umbara episodes with the Evil Jedi General, Pong Krell – DARKNESS ON UMBARA, THE GENERAL, PLAN OF DISSENT and CARNAGE OF KRELL. Those episodes represented another high watermark for the show in terms of writing, storytelling, as well as production values and it also helped take THE CLONE WARS series to a completely new level in terms of character complexity and showed that we weren’t going to shy away from the issues that are brought about from warfare and conflict. And then finally in season 5, I’d have to call out the Young Jedi episodes – THE GATHERING, A TEST OF STRENGTH, BOUND FOR RESCUE and A NECESSARY BOND. Those to me took us to a completely new yet familiar place. We learned new and incredible things about how Young Jedi go about making their light-sabers and the rights of passage that they must go through in their training. Those are incredible episodes that hold a very dear place in my heart. And any discussion of CLONE WARS episodes wouldn’t be complete without the Ahsoka story-arc at the end of the season. SABOTAGE, THE JEDI WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, TO CATCH A JEDI and THE WRONG JEDI represent what I feel is our absolute best work to date. Every aspect of these episodes was spot on and delivered an emotional punch, which is an incredible achievement to do in animation. Even crew members who had been a part of and seen these episodes many times were not immune to the emotion it packed upon seeing it in its final stages. It truly is incredible work across the board.
SWCP: What kind of instructions do you give to your collaborators in this area (producing animation)?
CS: What I would want to say to any collaborator or to any other person looking to pursue producing animation is to find ways to partner with your director. Producing animation is a two-headed monster (production and creative) and I’ve found that the best shows are the ones where these co-exist. Sometimes you have to limit things in order to work with the scope of the budget and schedule but there also has to be times where you push the boundaries of those to support a great creative idea. If the schedule and budget are the most important things then it’s probably not going to be very good. If it’s all creative, then you run the risk of it never getting done or going very far astray. So they have to balance each other. Don’t every forget that the reason why you’re there is to tell a great story and everything you do and every decision you make should be to support that.
SWCP: What´s so fascinating about Clone Wars series?
CS: Well I could go on and on for days about what’s fascinating about the CLONE WARS series but here’s a few thoughts – First off, making STAR WARS working closely with George Lucas has been an incredible experience. His knowledge of filmmaking and storytelling are unsurpassed and it was incredibly educational and inspiring as you can well imagine. It’s also been fascinating to show fans parts of the STAR WARS saga that they didn’t get to see and experience in the movies. We get to see Anakin Skywalker in all his glory as the incredible Jedi General that he was and something the prequels only were able to touch on. It’s been fascinating fleshing out storylines and characters that weave in and shed new light on the films. It’s been great to see the fans share in this fascination and to see their love for the complete saga but also the CLONE WARS series.
SWCP: Being almost ending the fifth season, what can fans expect to see in the next one?
CS: Well that’s up in the air at the moment. As Dave Filoni, our Supervising Director, has said in some recent interviews, there are some other story-arcs that we’ve completed that will find its way to the public in the not too distant future. Exactly how and when is currently being discussed and we’re all excited to see what that will be. I do know the fans are going to love these episodes.
SWCP: Did you have a favorite movie as a child?
CS: I have to say I’ve had a love of animation since I was a child and FANTASIA was always one of my favorites. The ability to actually bring classic music to life in terms of visuals was a stunning achievement that still inspires and amazes me. I’d also have to list A NEW HOPE and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK as also being favorites.
SWCP: What message would you like to leave for the fans of Clone Wars?
CS: I would love to say THANK YOU. I am honored and very humbled by the fact that I was able to work on such a special project that is not only very dear to me but to many, many fans. Your passion and STAR WARS is unparalleled and it continually inspired the entire crew to not settle for anything. One of George’s directives was to always push the boundaries and to raise the bar from episode to episode in every way. And seeing the love that the fans such as yourselves in the STAR WARS CLUBE PORTUGAL, have for these characters and stories helped keep us focused and motivated to strive to achieve something great. Which is really what we set out to do – achieve or strive for greatness? It was a lofty ambition, but one that permeated every aspect of the production and helped drive us to create something that would not only stand the test of time, but also would be able to stand up to the movies. Thank you so much for asking me to take part in this interview. It has meant a great deal to me that you would want my thoughts on the show. I wish you and your entire club nothing but the best. And I will try and leave you with some words in your language (blame Google if the interpretation is wrong!)