Of course, Baker faces a number of challenges that his Clone Wars co-stars don’t. For one, while the clones look and sound= the same, they have different personalities. Baker must ensure that each clone is unique and easily identifiable without deviating too far from the template. In addition, many scenes in The Clone Wars feature multiple clones, meaning Baker is often his own scene partner. Sometimes, he’s the only actor in an episode.
“It’s really interesting and really fun and actually scary,” Baker says, before noting that all of his work starts with the script. “The script will usually lean a character one way or another. And then I map that out with [executive producer] Dave Filoni or whoever is in the booth so that we have a tone of authority or of age or of swagger or whatever you want to pin on that clone.”
From there, Baker breaks the clones down into one or two adjectives — or, occasionally, just a symbol — and gets to work. To Baker, it’s not hard to keep all of the clones straight. “They feel like different people to me,” he explains. “Because you have those specific modes defined within you, you can jump from character to character like you’re jumping from rock to rock in a stream.”
As an actor, Baker prefers when the rest of his castmates are in the booth, but he does enjoy the unique challenge of bringing the all-clones episodes to life. “It’s like playing Dungeons and Dragons by yourself,” Baker says. Early on in the process, Baker says he would record each clone’s lines separately, but these days he just reads the script straight through. “To do an entire 22-minute episode that’s just like 90 percent me talking to myself, there’s just nothing like that. It’s very odd.”
Naturally, when it comes to the clones, Baker has a few favorites. “I love Rex because he endured it and he made it all the way to Endor,” Baker says, “but I also really love Cut Lawquane because he’s a dad…. I really like 99, he’s a unique, heroic one. I like Fives just because it’s such a tragic and heartbreaking story.”
Even for an actor known for playing creatures and animals, bringing the clones to life is a weird gig, but Baker enjoys it regardless. “I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like that again in my life, in my career,” he says. “I mean, there’s nothing to compare it to.”