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Anakin Skywalker actor Matt Lanter on playing a fallen hero (again) in Jupiter's Legacy
Matt Lanter plays one of the greatest heroes of his era. He's strong and good-natured, but perhaps even more important than all that, he's a loyal friend. However, he's destined to become a fallen hero, shunned by those who once loved him. This description could apply to Anakin Skywalker, who Lanter voiced in Star Wars: The Clones Wars, Star Wars Rebels, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, and Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, but it also applies to George Hutchence, the superhero-turned-supervillain known as Skyfox in Netflix's upcoming series Jupiter's Legacy.
Lanter — who has a prolific live-action filmography in addition to his many years spent voicing Anakin — is aware of the similarities between the two characters. The story of how Anakin fell, became Darth Vader, and ultimately redeemed himself needs no retelling at this point, though George's story is likely new to anybody who didn't ready the 2013 Mark Millar comic the series is based on.
George's tale beings in 1929, when his best friend Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) seemingly suffers a mental break following the Stock Market Crash and his father's subsequent suicide. Sheldon's having visions, and George is pretty much the only person willing to entertain his friend's crazy ideas. He's rewarded for his faith, as the pair and five others who travel to a mystical island are gifted with incredible superpowers. They form a team known as the Union and George helps save the day as the hero Skyfox — until he doesn't anymore.
In Jupiter's Legacy's other setting, 90 years later in the present day, George is MIA, having been deemed a traitor and a reviled supervillain. Exactly what happened during those nine decades that caused George to turn evil is unknown, but Lanter suggests that it's more complicated than it might seem. It's also, as it turns out, not unlike the complexities of Anakin's turn to the Dark Side.
"I think Anakin is really such a human, broad story at the core. It's good versus evil. That's a biblical theme. This has been going on since the beginning of time, for humankind," Lanter tells SYFY WIRE. "I think there's a portion of Anakin where, eventually, he thinks he's doing the right thing. He thinks he's on the right side of good and evil, but in Anakin's case, he's clearly doing some pretty evil things in the name of good.
"I think we're going to get to see some of that happening down the road with George, [him doing] things that might be perceived as evil or bad might be in the name of good," Later continues.
He adds that the label of the world's greatest supervillain is just that: a label. One that was given to him first by Sheldon's brother (and fellow Union member) Walt Sampson, then adopted by the rest of the team, and from there, the whole world.
Exactly what happened to make George this way is a mystery that's slowly teased and answered throughout Jupiter's Legacy's first season and beyond. And, only time (and future seasons) will tell if, like Anakin, there's still good in George after all.
The first season of Jupiter's Legacy premieres on Netflix on Friday, May 7.