Simon Kinberg Talks Star Wars Rebels: A Fisk Down

Simon Kinberg spoke to EW and dropped some behind the scenes information on Star Wars Rebels. I suggest reading their piece instead of my fisked analysis of his words.

On picking the era:

Really there was no predetermination going in. It could have been a prequel, sequel, a stand-alone universe. The main thing for us is how do we tell a story that enhances this universe, that answers questions that audiences may or may not have had but at least will make it feel like the world is fuller after watching the show.

It is nice to hear Kinberg say that. We often hear a lot of presumptuous discussion that Disney ordered the prequel era shut down. It is interesting to see how much freedom they had to explore new shows and that there wasn’t very much dictated to them on that front.

We pretty quickly got to this idea that though Rebel Alliance that was such an integral part of the movies, we know next to nothing about the formation of at least in terms of the movies and The Clone Wars. There was nothing in the canon that had delved deep into it. That’s where it started — let’s tell the story of the formation of the heroes in the original movies.

I’m guessing Kinberg is talking about the alliance as the heroes and not Han, Chewie, Luke, and Leia. It should be neat getting to see things take shape. We got near that in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed but that was never canon. It is pretty neat to see the first official take on this material.

Kinberg reiterates that the show is different from The Clone Wars’ look and draws on McQuarrie pretty hard:

There’s places where we’ve quite literally taken world-creation or vehicles or creatures from his original art that was never used in the films and made that part of show.

EW wisely asks how far they can take the darkness of the series on Disney XD:

We haven’t talked in those terms. But the world we’re creating is an Imperial world. You’re seeing the impact of the Empire, of stormtroopers around the galaxy, abusing and oppressing people. Thematically and politically, it goes to some dark places. But for the tone of the show we took our cues from the original movies, which had fun and adventure and swashbuckling with emotion and grounded human characters.

Am I the only one that sees “dark places” and “A New Hope” as diametrically opposed? I guess Kinberg is doing the interview to sell the show, but we can safely say that there isn’t a thing in Episode IV that qualifies as a dark place.

 We took all our cues from the original films. Obviously there are slight tonal differences between New HopeEmpire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope. So there are places where we get into darker backstories, there are places we see how cruel and malevolent the Empire can be, but for the most part it’s a fun and character-driven story.

I really dig this. I think Kinberg is striving for A New Hope, but in reality, they’re bringing us something totally new. In A New Hope, we never really get Luke’s dark backstory where his father becomes a Sith and his mother dies and so on. We get minor implications from the characters, but nothing is actually defined. It appears we’re going to see that side of the story but things will play out in a fun adventurous way? I can get behind that.

Again taking our cues from the original films, it’s less maybe political than the prequels and more personal. It starts with a few character introductions that will precede the show. I wrote the first two episodes, they’re like a one-hour story across two episodes where we introduce the main characters in the show.

The idea to rebel is vastly political if not the very foundation of the concept of personal politics. I’m guessing he just means we won’t see the senate. Also, we got confirmation the first television event it actually two episodes, probably played back to back.

On the Inquisitor:

 We talked about a character who was cold and calculating and could tap into people’s emotional weaknesses as much as their physical weaknesses, and had a specific relationship to Jedi and the ways of the force. He would be somebody that the remaining Jedi would be especially scared of.

There we have more confirmation of “remaining Jedi.” Notice he doesn’t say “a remaining Jedi,” but rather “the remaining Jedi.” It looks like that Lego set containing a holocron is probably more important than we thought.

The expanded universe will probably make some appearances:

We have characters from all the different parts of the universe. One of the awesome resources is Pablo Hidalgo he’s the resident Star Wars genius and he knows everything of every possible word or image that was created for Star Wars.

That could be cool to finally see some EU characters that should be thriving at this particular era. It kind of makes an argument for some of the EU surviving, but then again, those choices where probably put into place before Dark Horse lost their license.

Kinberg was asked about Darth Vader and Darth Sidious in the series:

I don’t think I’m allowed to answer that. I can say that wherever possible we would want to use the original talent.

So that’s pretty telling. I can imagine Vader and Sidious giving The Inquisitor his marching orders. Also, if the answer was “no,” he probably would have just said “no.”

On the issue of using original talent, that might reinforce that Billy Dee Williams Rebels rumor from a few months back.

I’m a fan of  The Clone Wars and aspects of the prequels, but really the original movies were the reason I wanted to get into movies.

So that answers that question.

Kinberg dodges a question about his first episodes details and just says:

 I will say when we pick up the show when the Empire is in power and the inciting incident is the Empire doing their bad-Empire thing and our heroes meeting up.

I think we could have guessed as much. But now we know the show opener is two parts and the heroes meet up over it.

The main characters are new characters.

Which is a great thing. I’m looking forward to new heroes. That was the best part of The Clone Wars, not knowing what would become of Rex and Ahsoka.

I have a feeling we are going to hear a lot about capturing the “original trilogy feel” from people who work in the Star Wars universe, telling new tales. I don’t think any of them are going to hit that nail on the head. It isn’t a formula. So much of that “magic” has to do with the films being a product of their day and the people that were involved in that process. Now, I’m looking forward to these new Star Wars stories immensely. It just kind of reminds me of a band saying they’re going to write a song that’s “Beatlesque.” Good luck. I’ll probably dig the song, but you probably won’t really sound anything like the Beatles.

 

 

 

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