Lucasfilm Closes VFX, Animation Studio Behind Star Wars: The Clone Wars
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"Over the next several months, ILM will be consolidating its global footprint and winding down its Singapore studio due to economic factors affecting the industry," Disney said in a statement sent to Variety. The Singapore studio -- founded in 2004 as Lucasfilm Animation Singapore -- is located in the Eclipse Building at Fusionopolis, nicknamed "The Sandcrawler" due to its similarity to the iconic Star Wars vehicle of the same name. The animation studio is best known for working on the fan-favorite television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
At the time of writing, more than 300 people are employed at the Singapore studio. ILM is reportedly "giving employees as much notice as possible and offering opportunities to relocate to one of the company’s other studios." While headquartered in San Francisco, ILM also has studios in Vancouver (opened in 2012), London (2014), Sydney (2019) and Mumbai (2022). ILM will also put together a job fair with the local Singapore business community in hopes of finding companies that need employees with similar skill sets.
"We would like to thank the Singapore Government, industry, and community for their partnership over the past 17 years. We have been able to train and employ a generation of production talent, visual effects artists, and animators," said Luke Hetherington, executive in charge of ILM’s Singapore and Sydney studios. "We are very proud of the incredible work the team in Singapore has accomplished and look forward to providing new opportunities for Singapore talent to continue the innovative work they are doing."
ILM Singapore Is Part of Star Wars History
The Clone Wars was the first CG-animated series set in the Star Wars galaxy, premiering on Cartoon Network on Oct. 3, 2008, two months after the pilot episode -- the feature-length film Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- opened in theaters. The fan-favorite series -- which aired for seven seasons and 133 episodes from 2008 to 2020 -- is also notable for introducing fans to Ahsoka Tano, the young Jedi Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. While Ahsoka was initially disliked by most critics and fans, she eventually became one of Star Wars' more popular characters after additional development was done to make her a more three-dimensional character.
Ashley Eckstein has voiced Ahsoka Tano in all of her animated appearances, as well as a small vocal cameo in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, while Rosario Dawson has portrayed the character in live-action Star Wars properties, such as The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Dawson will reprise the role in the hotly-anticipated Disney+ series Ahsoka, which sees the beloved title character investigating an emerging threat to the galaxy following the fall of the Empire. Ahsoka premieres on Disney+ on Aug. 23.