Producer Simon Kinberg talks STAR WARS REBELS

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For animation fans, it was bittersweet news last year when Star Wars: The Clone Wars was wrapped up, with very little information available from Disney as to how the remaining episodes would be nroadcast in order to wrap up the season five cliffhanger.

What is know though, is that a new series is on the way that retains much of the creative talent from the Clone Wars. Star Wars: Rebels is the story of how the galaxy formed the Rebel Alliance to fight back against the Galactic Empire. But it won’t be an easy battle.

Inquisitor

So can we expect a few familiar Sith lords to show up? Seeing as how the series is set between Revenge of the Sith and A new hope, one would expect a certain former chosen one to make a debut. But Kinberg is keeping quiet over whether or not Vader will indeed be present.  “I don’t think I’m allowed to answer that,” Rebels producer/writer Simon Kinberg said to EW. “I can say that wherever possible we would want to use the original talent.”

So what’s the show focus? According to Kinberg, Rebels will show just how all those affected parties who didn’t want to bend a knee to the Galactic Empire got organised into an alliance:

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.

As for animation, Kinberg says that the art style will look less like the style set in the Clone Wars series, and more like the world that Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie envisioned when he first began work on the saga so many years ago:

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.

Which also means that Rebels is set in a galaxy that is far more opressed and abused than usual, as the Emperor consolidates his power through the use of Stormtroopers and various violent fear tactics:

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 HopeEmpire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope.

Rebels is out much later this year. I’ve begun running around in a bathrobe and setting up a portable fan around me in order to imitate the Force, in anticipation of this show.

Last Updated: January 27, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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