Entertainment Weekly recently had the chance to talk to “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Simon Kinberg in a new interview, where he talks about a multitude of different “Star Wars Rebels” topics. Such as, how the series came about, how it will be different from “Clone Wars,” the Inquisitor, the tone of the show, and the chance of seeing familiar characters in the series. Here is a portion of the interview:
So how did you land on the premise for the show?
They wanted to do an animated show and I loved [Cartoon Network’s] Clone Wars and grew up with a lot of animated shows. So we just started to talk about where it would fall in the general Star Wars timeline. 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. 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. And that put us in a time line between episode III and IV. You don’t want to be too close to New Hope so that it feels like it’s repetitive, you want to feel like you’re watching the earliest seeds of what will sprout into a full-blown rebellion.
How will this look or feel different from Clone Wars?
It will look quite different. The intention of what I’ve seen so afar, and we’re pretty far down the line, the intention is for it to feel quite different from Clone Wars. The place we went back to as to a visual template was Ralph McQuarrie, who was one of the original concept artists for the original Star Wars films. His art is softer, a little more figurative, more of a feel of being drawn, less computer generated. The first few movies had a bit of a hand-made quality. We wanted the show to have that. There’s also in the archives where [creator George] Lucas keeps all the original art and props, there’s tons of art that’s McQuarrie’s musing on the Star Wars universe that was never used in the films. 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.
That’s fantastic. What about story-telling differences? How dark can you go 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. We took all our cues from the original films. Obviously there are slight tonal differences between New Hope, Empire 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. 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.
Be sure to check out the full interview with Simon Kinberg over at Entertainment Weekly, and see how he answers the question about whether or not we’ll see Darth Vader or the Emperor in the show!