Eric Kripke Wants ‘Revolution’ to be the ‘Star Wars’ of TV; Reveals Alternate Plot Ideas

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 15th, 2013 at 1:16 pm,

Maria Howell Zak Orth Tracy Spiridakos Billy Burke Graham Rogers Giancarlo Esposito Revolution NBC Eric Kripke Wants Revolution to be the Star Wars of TV; Reveals Alternate Plot Ideas

Now that you’ve had the chance to experience NBC’s Revolution (read our review) it’s time to take look behind the post-apocalyptic series with creator Eric Kripke, to find out where, exactly, the idea for Revolution came from, and how he and J.J. Abrams went from zombies to no power, during the development of the series.

Speaking with Kripke about Revolution this summer, the former Supernatural showrunner talked about his intent of wanting to do a series in the same vein as Star Wars. The lack of actual “star wars” notwithstanding, Kripke’s intent isn’t to replicate George Lucas’ galactic tale, but to take audiences on the same type of legendary hero journey you experience in the films – only on TV.

You can read what Kripke had to say about Star Wars, Revolution and its legendary journey, below:

I was just really interested in a show that’s about hope and rebirth. Really, the impulse of the show was that I wanted to do a mythic quest; I wanted to do Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. And I wanted heroes and swords, good and evil, and a journey – which is those movies, but it’s also “The Odyssey,” Wizard of Oz. It’s one of those great stories – just a hero going on a quest – and I wanted to tell that story.

Since Kripke touches on tales like Lord of the Rings and Wizard of Oz, it’s clear that the actual plot driving Revolution could be about most anything, as long as that familiar epic journey is included. Even though we now know that the lack of electricity is what will be driving the show, it wasn’t the first idea they played around with while developing the series.

You can check Kripke’s explanation of Revolution‘s (er…) evolution, below:

Part of it just comes down to what’s a setting no one has seen before, for that. We were really kicking around – no one wanted to do that stoic ‘Lord of the Rings’ thing – and we wanted to set it in an American landscape.

Working with Bad Robot, we were just kicking around, “Ok, what would cause [the world] to transform like that.” We were, like, “nuclear war,” or “disease”, or “zombies,” or whatever the usual house numbers are.

We stumbled on to, “If we just flipped the power off, we can do this.” And that was amazing, because it brought a whole new level to a very compelling “what if.” Who among us hasn’t been frustrated with a 5-minute blackout, much less a permanent one? Or when your computer freezes, that tension you get in your body.

Everyone feels it, I believe, deep down, on how reliant we are of this technology, and how separated we are from our food and water supplies. It’s not just about convenience, it’s dangerous how separated we’ve become from what it actually takes to survive. So, a story that was about that, too, would be really relatable. I think everyone can picture what they would be like in this world.

The cast of Revolution NBC Eric Kripke Wants Revolution to be the Star Wars of TV; Reveals Alternate Plot Ideas

With The Walking Dead heading into season 3, it would have been hard – though interesting – to see another network tackle such an instantly familiar genre, not to mention the series itself being a legendary journey involving zombies. Additionally, the decision to pick a plot that removes elements from society, instead of adding them, will allow the series to be produced much easier – and perhaps more cheaply – than its effects-heavy counterparts, like Fox’s now-canceled Terra Nova.

Essentially following in the same television path of TNT’s Falling Skies, Revolution begins years after the actual galvanizing “event” of the series occurred. Instead of having to deal with maintaining audience expectations to see the “event” unfold, Kripke is now able to focus on the aftermath of what occurred and the lives of those attempting to survive and thrive.

While the success of Kripke’s legendary quest remains to be seen, audience’s mixed reaction to the Revolution series premiere might not put the series in the best position to continue its tale. However, series that center around a mystery typically take a bit to get going, so there’s hope that Revolution will find its audience as more of the story unfolds.

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Revolution airs Mondays @10pm on NBC

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. Could he mention anymore iconic movies/stories or genres in his interview? He forgot to mention how they are tapping into the teen heroine with a bow craze too……

    • I doubt very much that Revolution will last more then a season. My reasoning is that the show has to be willing to take chances. In a show like “Walking dead” they will kill off anyone to move the story along. Not even the actors know how long they will last. Noone is safe. There is that feeling of tension from the uncertaintly of actors and in the audience. That is what keeps us watching. Revolution has not yet reached this level in their writing. Yes they killed off a main character but we barely met him long enough to even care about him. You have to get the audience invested in the characters and this show just doesn’t grab me that way.

      • Actually, they could go in different directions… the whole US is a set… they could wander off into another Republic and have a new host of problems to deal with… or the power could turn back on and watch the race of which Republic would dominate or could the US be resurrected. Or my favorite – maybe on season they go back to the actual event or leading up to it and we can get a real view of the characters… and see the actual aftermath where 75% to 90% of the US population would perrish (This is actual estimate from our Gov’t on the risk and effects of a High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse from a nuclear explosion) This would be difficult unless they do it soon as if this show spanned a few years it will be tougher to make the actors appear 15 years younger…

        We have been discussing many of these ideas on our weekly PODCAST about the show – you’re welcome to come over and listen or subscribe through iTunes – http://www.RevolutionFanCast.com or RevolutionFanCast on iTunes.

  2. Oh, I’m sorry, is the dead-faced salon-girl who lost her parents and brother the person we’re supposed to be following on the ‘hero’s journey’? Between the completely blah writing and the completely blah acting, I can’t imagine this show lasting more than one season.

  3. F that, we have enough zombies with the walking dead (which is overhyped in my opinion) I will not be watching this show. If there were zombies involved I would be even less inclined to watch it

  4. Yeah, this show is pretty meh. A meh soup of everything popular in sci fi with a splash of popular teen novels.

  5. Who is the hero? God this show sucks. Won’t make it past this season, my prediction

  6. I’ve only seen the pilot. I wasn’t overly impressed, but I’m about to start bashing it after a 45 minute introduction to the story. But those are some lofty comparisons…just say you want to make a show about a journey and leave Star Wars out of any comparisons. I’ll keep watching because I’m a proponent of scripted television and if we stop watching before we actually give the show a few episodes to establish itself, reality TV wins. And if reality TV wins, I’m done with humanity. And if I lose my humanity, I could become a zombie and then the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. And who do we blame for that besides the f’n Kardashians…these commenters above who didn’t give the show a proper chance to establish if it really does suck.

    • * not about to start bashing it – (edit button)

    • Good point, but there are still other good shows on the air. I have a watchlist, so I don’t need Revolution to be in it. By the way, I hate reality tv too!

      • I have plenty of other scripted shows to watch, but the same thing happened with Terra Nova (I didn’t like the pilot but it intrigued me enough to watch another episode and I became hooked). Now, I get a daily subscription e-mail from fans responding to SR`s article about that show being canceled. I`m just saying that people should give it a chance to develop before bashing it

    • Professor Procrastination – that’s funny as hell… well put…

  7. Ok, what about the ridiculous premise that batteries no longer work. Run on acid, can make one from a lemon, I get the whole “work with us here!” but Really?!?

  8. I’m sorry, but I have to be honest. Is this really the show Kripke created after leaving Supernatural? Its a little disappointing. J.J Abrams won’t have a better show than Lost, and Kripke won’t have a better creation than Supernatural. I’m sorry, but I got a pretty good feeling this show would end before Supernatural.

  9. I’ll bash it…

    It’s a watered down vanilla version of S. M. Sterlings “Dies the Fire” only with Abercrombie models. It was horrible. Even if you threw in Nukes and removed the swords it won’t last as long as Jericho.

    • I miss Jerico =(

  10. Hoookay, evidently I’m the only one who liked it…

  11. No offense to Revolution, but you put it up against Hawaii 5-O??? Suicide.

  12. Or it goes up against Two Broke Girls, in which case, I am not giving up my weekly dose of Kat Dennings for anyone!

  13. I find Revolution to be….21st Century people having to live 19th Century lives and progress to the 20th Century..
    Upside.
    Kids have to go out and play with something that does not have Wii, PS3 or XBOX 360
    Social Media now consist of talking to your neighbor over the fence.
    No More going to Starbucks to buy over priced coffee
    No E-mail, hell Pony Express is back baby!
    This one is a Push…No Football on Sunday and no Malls to go shopping for…Husband and Wife now have to sit together and either talk, have sex or kill each other.
    Dont have to worry about your credit card bills, your Phone Bill, your Anything bill.
    No Politcians talking bull crap on TV.
    New Book, “How to talk via Smoke Signals, which will result in the first OMG in Smoke!

    Downside
    No Deodorant, you going to have to either find some in a run down store, or make your own homemade from what you have around you…Ahh The Scent of Cornwax Deodorant
    No Microwave dinner, you better have a spouse who can cook with Veggies and what animals you have
    Rape Gangs
    Highwaymen have returned
    Speeding…Being pulled over for riding your bike at 10mph!
    Razor Blades, I know for a fact, I would pay good money for those. My Wife is part italian, and let me tell you, when she was pregnant, she could not shave Or wax her legs and BOY I THOUGHT SHE HAD LEG WARMERS ON!

  14. they should have shown the whole beginning of the lights going out instead of going forward. That way you can see the people become what they are, and not just be two dimensional characters already.

  15. Seriously? One episode aired….

    • That was for @john

  16. remember Eric Kripke even if everyone hates Revolution and its booted off the air at least you have Supernatural which still remains your original creation even though Sera Gamble has taken over recently! :D

  17. I don’t understand this need to move forward, as it were. That show (forgot the title already) about people fainting all over the world got convoluted, The Event was a disappointment. Even SUpernatural will be starting with a Dean is back storyline, with the time he was in Purgatory being related in flashbacks. I find flashbacks annoying.

    • Was it is FlashForward

  18. Wow, I’m not alone here. Honestly its an interesting concept for an Maxi-series…. ..maybe. First off the sister/brother leads are pretty stereotype. After 15 minutes I no longer cared about them. They’re cookie-cutter/pop-characters . Cast for maximum appeal and marketability. The only interesting characters were bad guys ! And the soon- to- be love interest for the girl was boring too! And will the doctor and the anti-hero uncle ever hook-up? Will the Google Geek ever get soft toliet paper? And what? 15 years later belly shirts are still in vogue? The entire thing seems poorly planned as far as writing goes . The dialog was so full of tired lines it was annoying.BTW, anyone heard of an Water Wheel? or Hydro-electric there are numerous scientists /engineers in the world -I can’t see the world falling apart like this. The MacGuffin better be DAMN good to explain the total lack of any type of power! I’ll watch at least 2 more episodes but at this point I don’t see an full season.

    • The show has a good bad-guy in Espisito and they are trying to do the anti-hero thing with Burke’s character. We haven’t seen the main villain do that much yet, but the other characters just at first glace don’t seem interesting. Perhaps they will take the focus off of the kids and deal more with the conflict between the uncle on his former friend, that might be a better way to build some tension in the story.

      As for the overall premise, to me it would have been a much more compelling story if it was set a year or less after the initial electricity shutdown. It does seem odd that after 15 years people haven’t figured out basic early 20th Century tech, unless there is something else going on that they have yet to reveal. They kind of shot holes in their own narrative though, since the uncle was distilling alcohol, which is about one step from ethanol. And the ending where they teased the viewer with the working computer set up powered by another magic USB showed that analog landlines must still be working, since a modem connection was sent out. How could the government and everything fall apart that easily if basic communications were still operating?

      • Agree with you, Slayer. You bring up good questions and points. The plot hole that bothers me the most is that this universe has established that batteries (somehow) don’t worry. I nearly threw my remote control at my tv. Preposterous. This show is a bad knock off of better works. I hate to be vindictive (I actually live it, who am I kidding) but I hope this drivel gets cancelled. Abrams has had a couple of recent tv misfires and I expect thus to be another one added to the list.

  19. Doesn’t anybody see it’s just like the Postman?
    a few changes put in.

  20. - at least the postman was beter then this crapola.
    - idea for the show is ripoff as stated before from SM Stirling’s books and done badly.
    - if you can make destilled booze you can make almost anything else.
    - its all too cute, too perfect, mate of mine is in the whole survival thing and he was laughing his head off at the silly dumb stuff that he saw.
    - mr.google still with a firm fat belly after 15 years, come on was he the village god and did he get 5 squares a day while the rest starved, guess again.

  21. I won’t even go into how physics could change to the point where electrical chemical reactions don’t work, but our neurons still appear to function…
    How is it that all of the actors are well shaved and showered? Also, how is it that all of the paved roads have turned to dirt with no car traffic, but the suburban houses look new. It has been 15 years, where are they getting the supply of Spandex and Lycra?
    Has nobody looked at historical pictures from around the 1860s? People would look like hammered crap. There’s a reason people moved to the cities, farming is HARD work. A 40 year old man or women would look 60, and there hands and faces would show it (plus they’d have precious few teeth left).

    • “I won’t even go into how physics could change to the point where electrical chemical reactions don’t work, but our neurons still appear to function…”

      But you really should! It’s so ridiculous that its unbearable. And basically it boils down to a choice: either it is only man-made electricity that is gone – but that option entail so many catastrophically idiotic problems that it cannot be the explanation – or if all electricity is gone from the world no animals including humans would be alive and a lot of things in the world would have lost intrinsic attributes in a way that defies all laws of nature.
      The premise that electricity is gone is simply as nonsensical as if gravitation no longer existed.

      I think it simply makes the show unwatchable. For suspension of disbelief to function the scenario has to be remotely thinkable if only in theory – this is not.

      It’s sad that the creator of the show Mr. Kripke shares the name of one of the brightest minds of the 20th century: one was the worlds finest logical mind the other has no grasp of logic it seems.

  22. Ok…it’s Star Wars. Charlie is the naive farm boy (except a girl) who is becoming a rebel hero. Miles is the swashbuckling outlaw. The Monroe Militia is the Empire. Nora is the rebel who gets captured by the Empire/Militia only to be freed by Han/Miles and Luke/Charlie. Militia commander Jeremy is Grand Moff Tarkin. Monroe is the Emperor….which makes Miles Darth Vader (he gets two characters) or maybe it’s the mom who is Darth Vader, only time will tell on that one. Captain Neville is Jango/Boba Fett (the most bad ass of the storm troopers). They fight with swords (light sabers) and guns (blasters). The Google Guy is Jabba the Hutt and his female friend is the Sarlacc pit. And I’m oviously running out of comparisons. I just need to know who is Lando Calrissian in this show?

    • *obviously (I should proofread)

    • Actually Jeremy might be Lando Calrissian as in episode 3 he seemed endeared to Miles since Miles did save his life when he and Monroe came across the two thugs wailin’ on him. And he was very friendly and eager to confide in Miles (when he was taking Miles back as a prisoner) and letting Miles know how weird Monroe has gotten and how he hasn’t been the same since he Miles left… I predict Jeremy defects and becomes a rebel and throws in and maybe even brings lots of warm militia bodies to join forces…

      http://www.RevolutionFanCast.com

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