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Star Wars Rebels co-executive producer Simon Kinberg sat down with Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd (@James_Hibberd) to talk about the setting and tone of the show. Should we over analyze what was said? Let’s have some fun.

On the premise of 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.”

Nothing in canon you say. The focus is clearly on the films and The Clone Wars to provide the foundation of the new canon. This is hardly a surprise. It will be interesting to see how the new version of the birth of the Rebellion will play out in Rebels and how different it will end up being from what we thought we knew from the Expanded Universe.

On the look of the show:

“…His (Ralph McQuarrie) 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 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.”

It will be very interesting to see how they bring this hand-made or hand-drawn quality for the show given that it is still going to be done using CGI. The use of the McQuarrie’s concept art will provide tons of fodder for the behind the scenes episodes guides for StarWars.com.

On the tone of the show:

“… 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…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.”

That sound you hear is me fist pumping in excitement. I want to see the Empire do bad things, I also want to see a variety of characters within the Empire from evil to indifferent to conflicted to openly rebellious.

Kinberg goes on to discuss his role in writing the premier of 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.”

It is interesting that he is referring to the episodes as two separate ones instead of one one-hour mini-feature. I assumed that they would be editing these episodes together like The Clone Wars theatrical premiere or like some of The Clone Wars limited theatrical screenings.

I absolutely love the way he describes 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.”

The “specific relationship to Jedi” makes me think that one of his Force abilities may be a bit like Darth Zannah’s abilities which she describes in the novel, Darth Bane: Rule of Two. “I can use my powers to conjure up your worst nightmares and bring them to life before your eyes. I can drive you mad with fear, shred your sanity, and leave you a raving lunatic for the rest of your life.”

The good news for Expanded Universe fans is that Pablo Hidalgo is mining that material for use in different ways on the show. Now if he can sneak “Interlude at Darkknell” and Garm Bel Iblis into the show I would be a very happy geek.

“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. So we utilize him a lot and he’s very integrated into the process. He will say there’s a cool cantina in this comic book from 1994, or a cool creature that not all of us know. He will bring that stuff to us. Or we’ll task him we’re trying to create a muscle for this villain with a cool backstory. Sometimes it will be a character or a planet we don’t know about. Instead of being just an Easter egg, sometimes it will turn into an a whole episode.”

Kinberg goes on to say that he can’t comment about appearances by Vader or Palpatine in the show and would not yet reveal any more information about the new characters in the show. I doubt we see Vader or Palpatine early in the show except in a very limited fashion, most likely via hologram communication to The Inquisitor or to specific naval commanders in the show. I think the creative team is wise enough to give the new heroes and villains a relatively open field to let those characters grow without be obscured by some of the more dominating characters in the galaxy.

He describes the show as beginning at the “earliest spark” of the Rebellion, where  “the Empire is in power and the inciting incident is the Empire doing their bad-Empire thing and our heroes meeting up.”

This makes me think of the opening to Timothy Zahn’s novel Allegiance which has it’s an Imperial massacre as its opening.

Overall I thought this was a great interview by EW which gave us a great deal of information about the show without spoiling anything.

Stay tuned to Rebels Report (@RebelsReport) for all the latest Star Wars Rebels news and commentary and remember, #TheEmpireIsListening.

SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly

 

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