Next time you watch Star Wars – Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, keep an eye out for Quarren, played by Bundaberg School teacher Warren Duxbury.
During an exciting career as a puppeteer, Warren worked with George Lucas on Star Wars.
But that’s not his only claim to fame, having also rebuilt Australia’s favorite puppet Agro and he worked with the Henson Muppeteers.
Warren said that over the years he has been involved in many exciting projects and is “in the right place at the right time” for his Star Wars involvement.
“I was working at Foxtel when the call came in asking for all the puppeteers to be sent – well, I was the only one there,” Warren said.
“I felt like I was going to the Moulin Rouge set, but to my surprise it was actually for Star Wars!
“Ewan McGregor was the lead for both, so the sets were set up close to each.”
Warren steps into various roles on the Star Wars set
Warren said he was originally only tasked as a puppeteer on the set of Star Wars, but when casting fell through he was asked to step into character and he played both Ketwol and Quarren.
“I played Senator Quarren’s aide and you can clearly see him cheering after the Supreme Chancellor was given emergency powers in the Senate,” he said.
“I actually got the nickname Warren the Quarren then – ha!”
Warren said he was given the role of one of the background directors for Star Wars – Episode Two: Attack of The Clones.
“I was put in charge of various creatures, like others in the department. I had to give them background direction while George Lucas was directing his actors,” he said.
“It was a very surreal feeling to tell a person in a suit what actions they should do, when George is only a meter away from him saying, ‘Now Ewan…I need you to jump off this yellow speeder and you go through the crowd in that direction’.
Stars Wars, a highlight of the puppeteer’s long career
Warren said working on the Star Wars set was a highlight of his career, after many years in puppetry.
He said it was fortuitous to find himself in situations that entertainment lovers would be envious of.
It all started for Warren in the mid-1990s when he traveled to London to help master his skills working with Henson Muppeteers at Nickelodeon.
“I was a cameraman and on set there were always two puppets with the human host,” Warren said.
“One day one of the puppeteers got caught up in the London Underground strike and was stuck on the tube for half the day.
“With my puppet background I had learned to imitate voice and movement, so when he couldn’t show up for the show, I stepped in. I did everything and the guys upstairs didn’t even know about it. not.
“I was very lucky to fall into these situations by being in the right place at the right time!”
These days, Warren has changed most of his work as a puppeteer to enjoy a simpler life in the local area as a teacher at Bundaberg State High School.
“Star Wars is definitely a highlight for me, and I came onto the scene when I didn’t know how I was going to do better in my career, so I went on to study film and media and became a teacher. “, did he declare.
“There is no better place than Bargara.
“I love teaching, a lot of my students go on to work in industry and it makes it easy to love doing what I do.”
Warren always lends a hand to help Agro
Although Warren may now seem far, far away from the Sydney studios, he’s never out of reach to help his good friend Jamie Dunn and the lovable “bathmat” Agro.
In 2001, Channel Seven Productions called on Warren’s puppeteering and puppet-building skills to rebuild Agro, as the original puppet had deteriorated beyond repair.
“The producer asked me to refurbish Agro, and the moment she pulled it out of the bag, I could see it was really starting to fall apart,” Warren said.
“He was already around 20 and had lived a life of mutilated dogs for spilling yogurt on him – he was beaten.
“Because I knew the technique of the Hensen point, I was able to not only repair it, but make a replica of it – which actually lives with me in my home, ready to be replaced by Jamie at short notice or when they visit. here.”