Seth Green compares Todo 360 from Star Wars: The Bad Batch to Jacob from Twilight
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (TV Series)
While Seth Green is usually recognized for his work on screen in roles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Can't Hardly Wait, and the Austin Powers film series, it's not his face, but his voice that has led Green to some of his most famous characters — characters like Howard the Duck, Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Rocket Raccoon, and yes, King Kong.
Green has one of Hollywood's most sought-after voices, and many of his vocal performances have been in the Star Wars universe. Not only did he bring three Robot Chicken Star Wars specials to life, but Green also voiced Captain Seevor in an episode of Star Wars Rebels. However, Green's most popular Star Wars voice role is that of Todo 360, the faithful techno-service droid to fearsome bounty hunter Cad Bane (Corey Burton), first introduced on Star Wars: The Clone Wars more than a decade ago.
Todo and Bane made their celebrated return on the past two episodes of Disney+'s Clone Wars spin-off, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, with the duo abducting Omega to return her to Kamino for experimentation, only to allow the child clone to escape, thanks to some assistance from fellow bounty hunter Fennec Shand.
EW caught up with Green to chat about returning to both the galaxy far, far away and one of his most celebrated voice roles. The actor also took the occasion to address when we might actually see him in a live-action Star Wars project, while also comparing his animated droid character to someone from… Twilight?!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it like revisiting this character a decade later? Did you have to go back and watch the old Clone Wars episodes to get the voice back?
SETH GREEN: I just listened to the voice. They luckily had some vocal references for it. I really remember the character. And it's my favorite thing about getting to play a droid, is you can rely on some kind of base programming or reprogramming as your character motive or your intent, and then after that, anything in your personality is justifiable. So I love Todo 360, especially because he really believes what he's doing is right. He's a good little droid. He's just working for one of the baddest bad guys in the galaxies.
You just touched on this a little bit, but how is voicing a droid is different from an actual person?
Well, I think Anthony Daniels [the voice of C-3PO] is the prototypical protocol droid. And so anything that I was going to attempt was going to start with that version of an accent. And then beyond that, Todo's a really fastidious, detail-oriented character. And so I played him as someone that would be fussed by things not going exactly as he believed they should.
And then they gave me the opportunity for quips. Todo and Cad Bane would banter, not in any way that was challenging, but that served the story without making me do something that felt out of character. And so when you know where all those boundaries are, once we had done a couple episodes, I get a sense from the writers how this character functions. And then it's up to me to justify it, which is fun. Like I said, when you have a droid who has some very base programming that I'm familiar with, because I like Star Wars, And then you can add any upgrades or new data or viruses or corruption of information from an external source, like a bad guy, as bad as Cad Bane.
Why does Todo put up with all that abuse from Cad Bane? I mean, he's not exactly appreciated for his efforts, and he seems like a droid that wants to be appreciated.
He really does, but Cad Bane is also his guy. It's a little like imprinting on a baby or an animal. Wasn't it the whole point of the sequel to Twilight is that Jacob imprinted on the kid, and none of their conflicts mattered anymore? That's where Todo is coming from. I really think Todo is a lot more like Jacob than anybody gives him credit for. [Laughs] I hope that's the slug line for this article.
You've done so many voices over the years. Is it hard finding a voice you haven't used before? How are you always able to find something a little bit new each time?
I always take inspiration from real life, and so I try to watch a lot of people and conversations because you get a lot as a mimic. As somebody who loves accents and voices, I get a ton of inspiration just from seeing people do something. And then that makes me want to modify that or evolve that or use it for a particular type of character.
But I had my partner Matt Senreich tell me in the seventh season of Robot Chicken, when I was trying to pitch something for something, he was like, "I think I've heard all of your voices." He was like, "At this point, I think I've heard them all." And I was like, "Oh no. Better dig deep, find something weird." We came up with something even stranger.
But I also think that I know that my approach is to find the right voice for any given character, even if it's something that I have done somewhere else. I'll always try and find something that suits that character correctly and then shape it just right for whatever it is. It's my favorite thing to do.
You've been doing animated Star Wars stuff for so long. I mean, going back to those Robot Chicken installments. So when are we going to see you in a live-action Star Wars role? When's that happening?
It's not like I've watched any Star Wars that's come out and thought, "Aw, that should have been me, that character." So I've got to assume, at this point, I know all the people that are making it. And if there was a character that was in it that they thought was me, no one would hesitate to ask me. You know what I mean? That's how I've wound up doing all these things, is somebody was like, "Oh, this should be you." And I'm like, "Sounds good, let's do it."
What would you want to play in a live-action Star Wars? Jedi, bounty hunter, something else?
Well, let's look at me realistically. I know what the audience is going to buy. That's the thing. You get a little bit of an earn with it, Star Wars, the way that Simon Pegg played a huge creature in a suit. You could get super-messed up and be built into a puppet in a chair and play something really exotic. That'd be fun too. Or Lupita Nyong'o played that character that's entirely CG, even though she filmed it with the dots for the camera.
So I'm not opposed to playing something. There just hasn't been something that's come up that any of the people who are making it, highly competent people obviously, have thought that I'd fit into. And I don't really contest that. My greatest patience as an actor is knowing when I really love a director or a writer, not being a part of their vision isn't a comment on my quality, and when the time comes, if it comes, I'll be there.
So what will we see next from Todo and Bane? Any word on more Bad Batch appearances?
Did you see they put out that sweet Black Series [action figure set]? I was thrilled about that. I'm still happy. I love that Star Wars is getting this treatment in television, and I love that it's being given this level of quality, this level of cinema. And also, it's so exciting to watch The Mandalorian inspire all of this investigation into other places.
People who've never watched Star Wars watched The Mandalorian and were like, "What do you know about the Darksaber?" And I was like, "Well, let me tell you about a great series called The Clone Wars." So it's been a thrill to see all these characters come to live-action. And I'm so excited for stuff like the Ahsoka series and the Obi-Wan series, and the other. Come on, we're winning so hardcore, I can't even take it. I used to get my ass kicked with my own Star Wars metal lunchbox. My kids are never going to have to fight because they're wearing a Jedi robe to school. That feels like a kind of victory.