• Mattie Stu

Star Wars: Where Are They Now? #6 - Temuera Morrison

Before lacing up his Mandalorian boots as Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Temuera Morrison made acting waves in his home country of New Zealand, winning two awards in the process. In particular, his performance as the violent and abusive Jake the Muss in Once Were Warriors won critics over, who described his performance as "extraordinary" and "engagingly terrifying." After the film adaptation of Alan Duff's novel of the same name became the most successful local title released in New Zealand, everyone knew Morrison was a star in the making. And upon landing the iconic role of Jang Fett in the second Star Wars prequel, his career only looked to head upwards. So, what has Temuera gone on to do since his days as the Mandalorian bounty hunter? Well, let’s find out!

Although Jango Fett was killed off way too soon in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Temuera Morrison continued to prominently feature in the sci-fi series. Since Fett was the genetic template for every clone trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic, Morrison became the model for each CGI soldier. Furthermore, he acted and voice-acted for such Commanders as Cody, Odd Ball, Thire and Appo. He also lent his voice to Jango Fett’s son, Boba, in the 2004 DVD re-release of the original trilogy. Temuera actually recorded his lines over the phone from Auckland in New Zealand to California. Aside from the Star Wars movies, Morrison has voice acted for “Boss” in 2005’s Republic Commando, the clone troopers in Star Wars: Battlefront and its sequel, Jango Fett in Bounty Hunter, and various clones in the Expanded Universe.

Since his participation in the Star Wars saga, Temuera has acted in seven TV shows and eight movies, two of which were River Queen, where he described his character as one of the best he had ever played, and Green Lantern, in which he portrayed the purple-skinned alien Abin Sur. However, Morrison has dipped his toes into many different waters aside from acting. In 2005 he launched his own talk show called The Tem Show, which he used to interview the likes of Sam Neill and George Lucas. In addition, he published an autobiography in 2009 titled From Haka to Hollywood, hoping to inspire others to reach for the stars. But that’s not all; Morrison released Tem in 2014 through Sony Music Entertainment NZ. The album consists of the same covers his father and uncle used to perform in local venues when he was growing up. In 2016, as a token to his earlier role of Jake the Muss, Morrison fronted a new campaign to highlight New Zealand’s shocking rates of domestic violence:

“When it came time to finish the day’s filming we were able to rub all the tattoos off, take our leathers off, and put our clothes on and go home to our normal life... but for a lot of our people they can’t rub their tattoos off, they can’t take their leather jackets off. That is their life, they’re stuck, they’re stuck in that movie.”

“Here we are now in the year 2016, 20 years since Once Were Warriors, but the problem’s got worse.”

“We need our people; we need our communities to give a little bit more to help our women.”

In his personal life, Temuera has an adult son from a relationship in the late 1980s with singer Kim Willoughby, and two younger daughters. His current partner of seven years is Ashlee Howden-Sadlier, who is 26 years his junior.

Many are touting Temuera to fill the shoes of Boba Fett in the rumoured spin-off movie in 2020. However, at his current age of 55, the idea seems more like fantasy than reality. Regardless, he has had a stable career away from the Star Wars universe, and will always be remembered for not only his portrayal of Jango Fett, but also the look and voice of the Galactic Republic’s clone army…

So, what did you think of Temuera Morrison’s portrayal of Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones? And are you surprised at all by his career path following the Star Wars prequels? Let me know in the comments below. Before I go, just because fun facts always equal fun times, here are three very interesting facts about Temuera. Number one: coincidentally, one of his co-stars on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street was Daniel Logan, who went on to play Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones. Number two: in Once Were Warriors, Morrison acted alongside Rena Owen, who played both Nee Alavar and Taun We. And, number three: In Six Days, Seven Nights, he starred beside Harrison Ford.

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