Most Star Wars fans recognize Temuera Morrison as Jango Fett and the clones produced from his template in Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Morrison even voiced the characters he portrayed onscreen in subsequent video games, including Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Republic Commando. After that, where did the father of the most popular bounty hunter and the progenitor of our beloved clones go? He found other roles here and there, but like most actors in the profession, Morrison fell on hard times.
The premise of his new show, The Life and Times of Temuera Morrison, is simple: “From his flying trips to LA, to his local movie release, and recent celebrity boxing match, follow six months in the life of one of New Zealand’s most iconic actors, as he aims to get his career and his life back on track.”
The premiere opens up with Temuera talking about the process of Hollywood and how you start off as the go-to guy. Then, agents transition to other actors that resemble you, until one day, everyone forgets about you. He laughs about it, but when he turns away from the camera, you can see the stress he’s under to find employment and put himself back on track to support himself and his family. After all, Temuera is a family man. He has two children and the youngest lives with her mother in Wellington.
When his attention isn’t on his family, it’s certainly on finding his next big gig. He rings up his agent, Joseph Rice, who informs Morrison that J.J. Abrams recently picked up the next two Star Wars films. “He’s going to direct them,” Rice said, “It still feels like the Clone is not done yet.” After experiencing financial difficulties for several years, this is obviously something that Temuera wants to hear.
One of the most humorous parts of the episode involved Tem trying to learn an American accent. He believes that one of the reasons he hasn’t had many acting opportunities is because he has difficulty adopting a different accent. “I should have learned this twenty years ago,” he said and eventually gave up.
When talking about relationships and love, Morrison said, “We don’t talk lovey, dovey stuff. We’re warriors,” which immediately reminded me of the Mandalorian culture, Jango Fett’s roots. Once a Mando’ad, always a Mando’ad.
Towards the end of the episode, Tem and his son board a plane to Los Angeles, where he visits his agent, Joseph Rice. Again, the topic of Star Wars comes up, but it’s hard to say if Temuera has a future in that universe again.
It’s hard to say if Temuera has a future in the industry, at all. As a longtime fan of his, I’ve always admired his work and the talent he possesses. But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as we plan. Nevertheless, I have faith that he’ll find his place again. He needs to network harder and constantly be in people’s faces to get his name back in circulation again. Overall, the first episode gave fans great insight into a much beloved actor. It wasn’t an obnoxious reality series starring people with ridiculous personalities. Instead, it offered much in terms of humor, heart, and lessons to be learned.
In the previews for the next episode, Tem visits a Venice Beach fortune teller, who urges him to make changes and approach things from different angles. Currently working on the rest of the reviews, stay tuned!