Writer-Producer Simon Kinberg Talks STAR WARS REBELS, His Duties on the Show, and the Thrill of Writing for Original Trilogy Characters

     May 9, 2014

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Writer-Producer Simon Kinberg is keeping extremely busy these days as he’s playing a huge role in three of Hollywood’s biggest franchises: X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Star Wars.  For Star Wars, his role goes beyond the movies; he’s also a co-creator, executive producer, and writer on the upcoming Star Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, it takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, as the Empire looks to tighten its grip on the galaxy while a rebellion begins to form.

During the press day for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Steve spoke with Kinberg about Star Wars Rebels.  Kinberg talked about his specific duties on the show, his contributions, and the surreal feeling of writing for original trilogy characters.  Hit the jump for more, and in case you missed it, click here for what Kinberg had to say about The Fantastic Four.

star-wars-rebels-posterSince Kinberg is dealing with three billion-dollar franchises, not to mention all of the smaller movies he’s working on like Chappie and The Martian, he’s obviously not available to be the day-to-day showrunner on Star Wars Rebels.  However, I’m still surprised at how much involvement he’ll have:

SIMON KINBERG: I am the co-creator of Star Wars Rebels, the executive producer of the show, and I’ve written a bunch of episodes.  So when it airs, it will be in a sort of “Movie-of-the-Week” format where two episodes air back-to-back, and I wrote those two episodes.  And then I wrote the season finale that we’re just working on now… And then as the executive producer, I will read all the scripts.  I will sometimes run a pen through them and rewrite stuff in the scripts that lots of other really talented writers have worked on.  I will watch cuts of the show, I will give notes on whatever I think about performance or score or animation, but they have such an amazing team of people, many of whom are Clone Wars alums like Dave Filoni, who’s as much of a creative voice on the show as anybody.  So they put a great team together.  They really know what they’re doing.  And I will come in, and look at stuff, and give input, and occasionally write episodes.  So the first season I’m responsible for writing three episodes—the first two and the last one.

lando-calrissian-star-wars-rebelsWhile Star Wars Rebels will introduce plenty of new characters, it will also bring in at least one familiar face: Lando Calrissian (voiced by Billy Dee Williams). Kinberg talked about writing for such a popular character, and may have hinted that Lando might not be the only Original Trilogy character we’ll be seeing in Rebels:

KINBERG: Writing dialogue for any of the legacy characters is as big a thrill as anything I’ve ever had in my life.  I said this to [producer Kathleen Kennedy] that when I open up a Final Draft document, and I tab over to “Character” and it’s a character from the original films—to be nameless until people see them—but if it’s a character from the original films, just typing in those letters and then that being the recorded name in that name database for that script is as surreal, and perhaps more so, than anything I’ve experienced in my career.

Star Wars Rebels premieres this fall on Disney XD.  Here’s what Kinberg had to say about the show:

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