James Arnold Taylor just may be the most versatile actor working in Hollywood today. You may not recognize his face, but dollars to donuts you know his voice. Today he’s the voice of legendary characters such as Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound, Wile E. Coyote, Leonardo the Ninja Turtle, and Johnny Test. James is heard daily on Fox as the voice of Animation Domination, has been featured dozens of times in comedy bits for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, is a voice double for the likes of Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Michael J. Fox, Ewan McGregor, to name only a few… he’s even the voice of the Strawberry Mini Wheat! (We admit, we grabbed that last sentence from his website) It’s his work as the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars that has made us such huge fans of his work. To celebrate the publication of John Jackson Miller’s new novel, Star Wars: Kenobi we invited the voice of Obi-Wan himself to chat with us on our Star Wars Books Facebook page. Here’s an edited transcript of the chat. And be sure to watch his TEDX talk video at the end to see how brilliantly talented James truly is.
James Arnold Taylor: Hello Everyone! The Force is strong with Star Wars Books!
James Arnold Taylor: Come sit down with ol’ Obi-Wan and ask a question!
Obi-Wan and The Clone Wars
Thomas Ulfström: Will there be more Clone Wars episodes ?
James Arnold Taylor: There will be more “bonus content” I’m told
Emily Wolff: Hi James, I just want to first off thank you for bringing the animated Obi Wan to life in the Clone Wars. My question is: did you have to take any voice lessons to sound so much like Ewan McGregor?
James Arnold Taylor: No it came naturally thankfully
Ryan Enright: Hey James. What was your favorite episode of the Clone Wars that you voiced?
James Arnold Taylor: I loved them all every chance to voice such an amazing character is a gift!
Alessio Pasquali: Hey, James. My question is a two-parter, but, I feel it is really important that you answer it. My first question is about the upcoming Clone Wars bonus content episodes. We know in these upcoming episodes, we will get answers to questions about Rex, Order 66, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, the backstory and home planet of Yoda, and the bounty hunters like Boba Fett and Cad Bane. But, can you tell us if Obi-Wan will show up in any of the upcoming bonus episodes? Also, with “Star Wars Rebels” set for release on Disney XD in fall 2014 and helmed by Clone Wars director, Dave Filoni, can we expect you to return as Obi-Wan since he is still alive during this new series since its set between Episode 3 and Episode 4?
James Arnold Taylor: I don’t know about any of that… sorry.
Jessie Edelman: Hey James! huge fan! what is your favorite thing about obi wan?
James Arnold Taylor: His perfect hair
Jeremy Downing: What do you like best about the character of Ben kenobi?
James Arnold Taylor: His dashing good looks!
Cad Bane: Will there be more episodes of The Clone Wars besides the bonus content later on in the future?
James Arnold Taylor: I don’t know and I am surprised Cad Bane is asking me… : )
Jessica Lora Haight-Angelo: Also, what do you think about Obi-Wan and his many many girlfriends (Ventress, Satine, Annileen, sort of, etc., etc.)?
James Arnold Taylor: He’s a ladies man, what can I say!
Joe Hogan: Hey, James! Thanks for taking the time to answer questions! So here’s mine — What has been your favorite Obi-Wan moment ever? Be it from the films, the new book “Kenobi”, or the various roles that you’ve gotten to portray him in? Thanks in advance!
James Arnold Taylor: Hard to say, but probably from the outtakes of the show that know one will ever hear! Locked in a vault in Dave Filoni’s safe
Martin Fisher: Hi JAT- if you could write a story for Obi-Wan, any idea what you would do? Curious because I’m starting to officially write for Star Wars myself
James Arnold Taylor: I’d like to see him as a shoe salesman
Rita Dabrowicz: Mr Taylor, you did a great job voicing Kenobi. I have a question. Is there a chance for Clone Wars to return? This is an Emmy awarded show. I still cannot understand why it was cancelled!
James Arnold Taylor: Clone Wars is done. As sad as it may be for all the fans and us cast members it is a great memory in the history of SW.
Gergo Komporaly: James, can you say anything about the canceled tcw season 6?
James Arnold Taylor: Not much to say really. But thanks for all the support and love of the show!
Matt Cummings: Hey Mr. Taylor, thanks for stopping by! What was your favorite story for Obi-Wan over the course of The Clone Wars?
James Arnold Taylor: I loved the last season and the Mandalorian arc from season 2…
Ryan Weavell: Hello James. Just a quick question… were you happy with how Obi Wans character was headed in the Clone Wars??
James Arnold Taylor: Yes, I loved the way he was being written
Brandy Squires O’Shields: James, If Disney asked you to host Star Wars Weekends again in 2014, would you say yes? Also, Since we all know Dave is such a huge Plo fan, did you place more pressure on yourself to perform his voice? Thanks and God bless!!
James Arnold Taylor: I always love hosting SWW and will come back as long as they ask me… I loved voicing Plo for Dave and he made it a true joy to do so.
Mark Dixon: When you recorded voices did you record Obi Wan and Yoda at the same time,like talking with each other…
James Arnold Taylor: Well I’m not the voice of Yoda, Tom Kane is so…
Lee Pourier: If there was any character you could’ve brought to the clone wars saga who would it be and why?
James Arnold Taylor: I’m fond of Spock… oh wait…
Mike Rivera: Greetings James…Do you think OBI-WAN will confront DARTH MAUL once again for a final battle??
James Arnold Taylor: If so I’ll aim for his head
Jordan Albert: I have another question. Who is your favorite character (other than Obi-Wan) in the Clone Wars series?
James Arnold Taylor: I love Ahsoka
Alex Grievous: James Arnold Taylor What was the last scene you voiced Obi-Wan for in The Clone Wars? Was it the last scene in episode order, Kenobi judging Ahsoka’s action in that last Story ARC or was it another scene?
James Arnold Taylor: I don’t think I remember and if I did I couldn’t say… : )
Books and the Star Wars Expanded Universe
Jessica Lora Haight-Angelo: Hi JAT! You seem to be on the pulse for the release of Kenobi and the audio book, etc. Do you make a point of reading Obi-Wan-related EU materials, e.g.: Karen Miller’s Wild Space or some of the young adult books by Jude Watson?
James Arnold Taylor: This was my first as over the last 8 years I was refraining from the EU due to work on Clone Wars I didn’t want it to flavor my role too much!
Jeremiah Michael Stewart: Hey James, I guess I’ll get this one out of the way, what does Obi-WAn Kenobi think of John Jackson Miller’s Novel – Kenobi
James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan thinks it’s a stunning tale and that the leading man is pitch perfect! : )
Adam Pereira: James will you please record more if not all of the meditations like you did for the first one? It was awesome. I loved your intro show before Carrie’s at CVI. Hopefully you’re involved in rebels.
James Arnold Taylor: Thanks, One never knows…
John Jackson Miller: Just wanted to pop in and thank James for his support and enthusiasm for the KENOBI novel — recording the chapter that appeared on EW.com and appearing in a joint interview that’ll be out soon. Much appreciated — the Force is with you, my friend!
James Arnold Taylor: You’re awesome John! Thanks for writing such a great novel about my favorite character! MTFBWY!
John Tiberius Andrews: Hello James Arnold Taylor! Congrats on 5 amazing season of the Clone Wars as Obi-Wan kenobi and Master Plo Koon. You do the voice of my two favorite Jedi Knights! My one question is would yo ever be interested in narrating a Star Wars Audiobook. I would really love to hear you be the voice of all sorts of Star Wars Characters. I love hearing your interviews on RebelForce Radio and i just hope the best for you now that The Clone Wars is winding down. Thanks again, and MTFBWY.
James Arnold Taylor: Perhaps someday I will voice an audio book, but it is a very specific art in Voice-Over
Todd Neblett: James, with your talent for voice work have you ever considered doing audiobooks?
James Arnold Taylor: It would have to be the right book I guess.
Jorge Ramos: If you would recommend a Star Wars book to a beginner…which one would it be and why?
James Arnold Taylor: Well I would think a beginner would need to read Star Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas Circa 1976
Nikola Zli Deda: which one do you like better, jedi or sith and why?
James Arnold Taylor: How could you even ask a Jedi such a question!!???
Roqoo Depot: Not sure if this was already asked, but what books do you tend to read?
James Arnold Taylor: I truly enjoyed Jon Jackson Miller’s Kenobi!
Star Wars: Rebels
Brian Thomas: Will you have a role in the upcoming animated series “Star Wars: Rebels“?
James Arnold Taylor: This is not the question your looking for… Move along! : ) Seriously I don’t know.
Deanna Johnson: Hey James! You were an awesome Obi in The Clone Wars, still so sad it was cancelled. Like Brian, I’d like to know if you are going to have a role in the Disney animated series?
James Arnold Taylor: Not sure, one never knows…
Jorge Ramos: Hey James, what is the hardest voice that you’ve ever done?
James Arnold Taylor: Electro in a Spider-Man Video Game I screamed for 4 hours and lost my voice
Alex Grievous: James Arnold Taylor, Can you tell us if Obi-Wan will have a role in The Yoda Chronicles?
James Arnold Taylor: I have no idea
Mark Dixon: Love your Star Wars work however are other projects in the works besides Star Wars…
James Arnold Taylor: The new Ratchet and Clank film will be out in 2015 in which I star as Ratchet, a new Lego Marvel VG where I play Spider-Man and others, the new HD version of Final Fantasy is coming soon, Hulk Agents of Smash just began and more Johnny Test of course! to name a few!
Alex Grievous: Will you / Would you like to have an own panel at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 just like you did at Celebration VI? (JAT: Talking to Myself) I was there and really enjoyed it!
James Arnold Taylor: Well hopefully they will need a host again… one never knows…
Alex Grievous: James Arnold Taylor How was it like voicing Barry Allen (The Flash) on Young Justice? I really enjoyed your work there
James Arnold Taylor: I loved voicing him as the Flash is one of my all time fav characters!
Christoph Wagner: How go you keep you vocal cords in shape?
James Arnold Taylor: Rest, warm water and vocal exercises
Bobby Linn: Hi James, are we going to see you again this year at Star Wars Weekends, and if not do you want to come to my wedding on May 24th?
James Arnold Taylor: I’m sure I’ll be at SWW but I’ll have to pass on the wedding, but May the Force be with you!
Bobby Linn: Oh well, had to try. Hope to see you at SWW, and thank you for being such a nice guy.
Sarah Elizabeth Angelo-Haight: James, if you do ever officiate a wedding, would you be willing to do so as Obi-Wan? Because that would be awesome.
James Arnold Taylor: I have done some pre-recorded messages as Obi-Wan in the past but they are very special circumstances.
Alex Grievous: James Arnold Taylor How was it like voicing Spider-Man for the upcoming LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Game? Especially since this is the first LEGO game you voiced for where you didn’t do Obi-Wan’s Voice!
James Arnold Taylor: Not TRUE! I’ve voiced other characters not just in SW games like Plo Koon and more, but also I am the voice of Robin in a Batman Lego Game to name a few. But I loved voicing Spidey! : )
Alex Grievous: I am So Sorry Sir. I apologize. Great to hear! Thanks for answering my questions!
Jessie Edelman: James, this is a throwback but did Scott Fellows know you were the voice of Obi Wan when he put you on Big Time Rush that one time?
James Arnold Taylor: Scott Fellows is the creator of Johnny Test which I play Johnny and many other roles in and we go back at least ten years. It was a fun cameo to do.
Kyle Pelot: You were amazing with your one man show at CVI hope you get to do it again sometime!
James Arnold Taylor: Thanks so much! MTFBWY!
Angel Bailey: With the making of more Star Wars movies do you see yourself getting busier as the Star Wars Universe expands?
James Arnold Taylor: The life of a voice-actor is always busy and I’m blessed to do any of it!
Star Wars movies
Jeremy Crist: Hi James! I loved your audio excerpt for Kenobi, and when I read the novel, my internal voice for Ben mashed you up with Ewan. My question: Have you met Ewan? If so, what does he think of your portrayal?
James Arnold Taylor: Never met him hope he likes it
Dylan Newhouse: What do you think of the rumor that Ewan McGregor might show up in SW7 as Obi-Wan’s Force Ghost. I would much rather hear your take on Guinness, voice only, ala Ep. 4.
James Arnold Taylor: Very kind but I’m all for Mr. McGregor reprising his role!
Jordan Albert: Ah man. Everyone already asked the questions I wanted to ask. Well, most of them. I’ll just ask this. Would you like to have a role in the upcoming Episode VII? Or perhaps in Star Wars: Rebels? And is there any news on the Clone Wars about any special episodes?
James Arnold Taylor: I would love to be in Ep. 7 who wouldn’t do you know someone that can get me the job?
Kenny Kraly Jr: Your favorite Star Wars film James and are you a Original Theatrical Cut fan or a Special Edition fan of the Original Trilogy?
James Arnold Taylor: I love them all for different reasons.
Kenny Kraly Jr: A wise answer James.
Lorenzo Martinico: Mr Taylor, I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done for the Star Wars community. It was your charming personality and positivity that brought me on board Clone Wars. I try to show to anyone I meet your Talking to myself show on youtube. I have two questions: first, what would you think of using a virtual animated image of Sir Alec Guinnes to use as a force ghost in Episode VII? Would you be morally unwilling to voice him in such a fashion? Second what’s your opinion on voice dubbing for foreign market, deleting a voice actor’s role from the movie/tv show/video game?
James Arnold Taylor: Thanks for your kind words and interesting questions. I think that they should go with Ewan McGregor as Ghost Ben as he would be the natural choice in my opinion as he was the last on camera actor to portray him in a film. Using a voice double and a CG Sir Alec just seems a little strange to me.
Jessie Edelman: What would you like to see in Episode 7, 8 and 9?
James Arnold Taylor: Lot’s of stars and planets and stuff
Jessie Edelman: Who is you favorite character from the original trilogy besides Old Ben?
James Arnold Taylor: Is there any other characters besides old Ben?
James Arnold Taylor: Just a minute or two left to ask me something no one else has… and to be clear I don’t know anything about Star Wars Rebels!! : )
James Floyd: James: what were some of the highlights from your USO tour earlier this year?
James Arnold Taylor: Meeting our amazing troops and families thanks for asking!
Star Wars Books: Alright everyone, that does it for another chat. Many thanks to James Arnold Taylor for taking the time. And thanks to all of you for stopping by. May the Force be with you!
James Arnold Taylor: Thanks everyone! Had a great time and please enjoy “Kenobi” by John Jackson Miller it is a great way to spend some quality SW time. Thanks to Star Wars Books! Hope to come back again sometime! May the Force be with you all!!!