The voice of a 'Star Wars' Clone speaks

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Who is Dee Bradley Baker? If you've turned into "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," then you've heard him many times, slightly different each time, but never seen him once.

He's the voice actor behind the numerous Clone Troopers on "The Clone Wars," the fifth season of which starts Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on Cartoon Network.

"A lot of the fan base is not just middle-age guys like me who love 'Star Wars,' but you also get families and their kids now, and a fair amount of folks in the military," Baker, 50, says. "I've had officers from Afghanistan say, 'I love this show.'

"They love the Clones. They like the sense of honor and humanity and intelligence, and the sense of dealing with peril having to work their way through situations where it's not really clear what they're supposed to do."

Baker, whose mother made him a "Star Wars" Jawa costume in 1977, when the movie first came out, says the series "is very straight-ahead. It takes place in a universe where there is right and wrong, there is good and bad, and there is grappling with the gray in between."

Baker started acting in second grade. He's done creature voices, ventriloquism, live performances, singing telegrams and stand-up comedy. As a freelancer who doesn't "have a steady obligation contract job, I'm lucky for every gig. I'm grateful for everything." He does have one contract with the series "American Dad." He does voices for the Nickelodeon series "The Legend of Korra," which he enjoys for its heroines. As a father of two girls, he says, it's great to see "a good smart-girl power show."

Baker's in awe of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who "just single-handedly built an animation studio company without any involvement from anybody. Nobody does that!" Baker says Lucas is involved in all aspects of the show. "He has weekly meetings on it, he's on the phone with Dave , he's watching the dailies."

-- McClatchy News Service

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