Simon Kinberg Talks ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Animated Series

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 5th, 2014 at 2:54 pm,

star wars rebels Simon Kinberg Talks Star Wars Rebels Animated Series

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, changes to the Star Wars universe were inevitable. Licenses moved hands – for instance, Dark Horse relinquished the rights to produce Star Wars comics to Disney-owned Marvel – and other properties, like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, disappeared altogether.

Looking to fill The Clone Wars’ void is Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels, one of the first collaborations to come from Disney’s incorporation of Lucasfilm. Rebels is expected to air later this year in the fall and was first announced in early 2013. Set within the two decades between Episodes III and IV, the series will explore the formation and early days of the Rebel Alliance with a brand new cast of characters. On board are many from The Clone Wars‘ creative team, including former supervising director, Dave Filoni.

Joining him as executive producer is Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past). In an interview with EW, Kingberg discussed the tone of Star Wars Rebels, how the aesthetic will differ from The Clone Wars, and how closely it will connect with the original trilogy.

Star Wars Rebels Animated Simon Kinberg Talks Star Wars Rebels Animated Series

Kinberg explained what drew him to the project was a chance to “tell an untold story,” adding:

“I’m a fan of  ‘The Clone Wars’ and aspects of the prequels, but really the original movies were the reason I wanted to get into movies. I always loved origin stories and the origin of an entire organization, I don’t think we’ve seen that before, and we’ve approached it in a real-world way. If I told the story of the American Revolution, I wouldn’t want to start with the most famous battle, I’d want to start when it was just four guys in a room, the earliest spark of that seems dramatic and cool. That’s a big part of the fun of it, the little back-room dealings, the first time you see it’s possible to stand up to the Empire.”

As for how strong the influence of the OT will be and how they will affect the artistic style of the show, Kinberg said:

“…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.”

Like The Clone Wars, Rebels won’t be afraid of exploring darker storylines, in this case about the Empire and its tyranny.

“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. “

Finally, Kinberg said that we should expect Star Wars Rebels to be “less maybe political than the prequels and more personal” and very close in spirit to the original trilogy. (News that is surely music to the ears of most diehard of Star Wars fans.)

star wars rebels inquisitor villain1 Simon Kinberg Talks Star Wars Rebels Animated Series

The Inquisitor will be “cold and calculating” & “somebody that the remaining Jedi would be especially scared of.”

There’s no denying Star Wars Rebels is looking to appeal to Star Wars fans old and new. It’s an excellent plan and good synergy to have an an animated series that is expected to reach a wide audience focusing on a period linking the two already existing trilogies before Disney embarks on a third. Bringing on the award-winning talent behind The Clone Wars ensures its quality, and involving Kinberg with Star Wars Rebels brings fresh ideas to the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Rebels has the potential to be a smash hit, and with all the promotional power of the House of Mouse behind it, it’s almost guaranteed to be just that.

Be sure to read EW‘s entire interview with Kinberg as the writer has more insights to share about the production and direction of Star Wars Rebels.

What say you, Screen Rant readers? Are you a fan of The Clone Wars who’s jonesing for another animated series set in a galaxy far, far away? Do you find Kinberg’s comments promising? Let us know in the comments below.


Star Wars Rebels will premiere on Disney XD in the fall of 2014.

Source: EW

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  1. I wish there was either a 2d animated or live action comedy tv show just about the storm troopers.

    • The Adventures of TK-421.

  2. “We took all our cues from the original films.”

    Bingo. It’s sooo simple. I would go off on the subject, but enough has already been said.

    I thought that The Clone Wars was decent. It did a good job of maintaining balance and making the best of being set in the prequel time frame. Hopefully, we get to see some of the events that have been alluded to regarding the early Rebel Alliance, and characters like Garm Bel Ibis.

  3. Wonder if they’ll have The apprentice/Starkiller from Force Unleashed in this one. He did help form the rebellion and it is his family’s crest they use as their symbol after all

    Well that’s how the game puts it anyway, don’t know what the expanded universe has as it’s story.

    • You… do realize that games are part of the expanded universe right?

      • So is animated shows. What’s your point?

        • Disney has already stated that they’re going to stay clear of the expanded universe. So, it’s unlikely that they’ll be using characters from the video games, comic books, or novels.

        • Actually the animates series are part of the canon, not the EU. Lucas himself said so.

    • I hope they forget about him. He wasn’t an interesting character and basically was there because they didn’t think Vader was turned into a big enough wimp in the prequel. Some random kid with force potential shouldn’t be throwing around Vader like a toy with the force, I don’t care how good of a teacher he is.

  4. Executive producer Simon Kinberg talks about the animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels’ and bridging the gap between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy, again, yes again, you havent hear it loud enough AGAIN,AGAIN,AGAIN,(“DEAL WITH IT” taken from inmortal phrases by Adam Orth former Microsoft employee)

  5. I’m kinda pissed that the Clone Wars didn’t continue… I wanted to see Anakin go crazy! Not that pitiful turn to the dark side in 10 min like in that awful movie…

  6. I am curious to see if they show how Vadar and Darth Sidious hunted down the rest of the jedi. Will they show if other jedi fought in the Rebellion.

  7. I hope they follow the story that anican sky walker is the chosen one and is ment to take over the role of controling the old wilders sons the good and bad side if the forse

  8. Wasn’t the Empire pro-humanist during it’s rule? This ‘Inquisitor’ seems out of place in this era.

    • Was that established in the movies or the expanded universe? If it was in the EU it would most likely scrapped, but if it were in the movies there would be some explanation, such as him being a slave to Vader.

    • Yes the Empire is vastly Xenophobic, however they are not above giving power to an alien who submits to it. The galaxy is full of force-users, and only utilizing the human ones is folly, Palpatine and Vader realize this. The Inquisitorius is full of aliens in the EU, in fact toward the end of the Original trilogy the High Inquisitor, Jerec, was a Miraluka.

  9. I loved The Clone Wars, this will be a hard show to follow up. But it sounds interesting. The only thing that worries me is how much they might ignore the EU. The Force Unleashed game had some great characters in it that gave us a look at the formation of the alliance, I hope that this show pulls some ideas from that game.

  10. Everything about this is perfect.

    If the animation is anything like Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art, it will be the coolest thing ever. I had a calendar as a kid that was all McQuarrie’s drawings and I fell in love with it. He is far more a part of Star Wars than people credit him for.

  11. Hey! If you read it in a book or video game, then it’s gone. Sorry but that’s the truth. As far as you’re concerned there was no Starkiller, no Jerec, all that remains are the 6 movies. So stop asking questions about material the Lucasfilms has said they will not adhere to.

    • I’m realistic about this subject, but still, under different management, I would not be surprised to see Lucasfilm utilize some of the existing non-film material for this Rebels series, or even new films. Anyone who looks at things pragmatically can see that there is a lot of excellent preexisting story material, and that there are lots of fans who would love to see it onscreen.

    • Which is an insanely stupid stance for Disney to take, especially considering they just took over for the franchise. The easiest way to piss off fans is to tell them that all the EU material they have enjoyed over the years means nothing.

  12. It honestly gives me a sinking, sick feeling to think they would scrap literally decades of Star Wars material from books, comics and games. The people who wrote them love star wars just as much as these producers. There’s a point where the universe – the story – belongs to the fans just as much as the people who create them and to just completely discredit all that amazing and hard working story telling seems by all accounts wrong. I hope for the sake of something so cherished and beloved that the people in charge understand that. Long live Star Wars!!

    • now your saying everything George Lucas has written that nobody has seen should be scrapped, i don’t see that happening because of it deviating from the EU…if he does just reuse the EU material people will call him lazy

      no matter what it is so popular it will never please everybody, personally i think the best idea is to ignore the fan fiction and stick to his own words

      • Yes cause he did so spectacular with the prequels… Can you feel my sarcasm?

        • First, people are too hard on the prequels. They are definitely a let down compared to the OT, but they are better than stuff like Transformers and some of the Marvel movies.

          Second, I figure they’ll treat the EU the same way Marvel treats the comics. They can take characters and draw inspiration from certain plots, but at the end of the day, it’s all “new.”

          It’s not like they’ll say “No, Dash Rendar is off limits, because he originated in non cannon material!” (I would love to see a Dash Rendar movie, mostly because the Outrider is so much sexier than the Falcon.

  13. Clone Wars ended on excellence and earned accolades- the best sci-fi anime story arcs with Darth Maul and Ashoka, btw. The expectation bar for Rebels is high- match or excel the CW series finale.

    Do or do not, there is no try. Make the series cool, intelligent, choregraphed action, and compelling stories.

  14. That’s preposterous; the last season of The CW was awful. Lucas showed he didn’t care anymore. The first 10 episodes are crap at its best. There was too much politics, again and again.

    It seemed like he let his team do whatever they wanted and nobody supervised the finished product. I only hope that the last season is finished in the right way.

    • Are you being serious or just another OT fanboy. The clone wars was excellant. way better than the dumb rebels series.

  15. Is the Inquisitor a Utapain? From Revenge of the Sith.

  16. So how are they going to finish off Clone Wars?

  17. I am both encouraged and dubious. Most of the right things a re being said, but I don’t know where that image came from. The villain looks like a child’s idea of evil, overwrought and sneering and posing. Not the level of subtlety or character depth I want to see. Also, Clone Wars was aimed way too young for my tastes, with cutesy yoda moments and the rollicking adventures of “Sky-guy” and “Snips”, it seemed like yet another failure to respect the adult audience’s investment in the saga. Any suggestion that this next show will be similar has me worrying that it will be unwatchable to most discerning adults. I guess it was only the live action shows that we’re being discussed as specifically more mature, but I was hoping that this would be a lot less kid oriented than CW.

    I also would like the story to honor, or at least not contradict the good work done in the Force unleashed game. Ideally they could repackage that window of events into a live action show, but overlap seems likely to be minimized with regard to the Rebel’s tale. Mentioning this game as a source for further storytelling always seems to inspire the rage of more dysfunctional fans, who are quick to lecture and insult with all the self awareness of a droid. Think twice before you waste your time. It makes us all look bad.

    Fingers crossed for Rebels!

  18. I am holding my breath. Hoping the final episodes of the CW leads to the set up of Anakin’s fall. Hoping SWR leads us through the 20 years of Imperial rule and builds a great universe. I am a huge fan of the Thrawn trilogy and Black Sun but not so much the EU moving forward. I have fears that Disney may not have enough internal fortitude to portray the xenophobia of the Empire and the Sith. Just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
    Also the Inquisitor’s weapon really bothers me…

  19. I’m really looking forward to Rebels, thats when star wars is at its best when its rebels vs empire. I hope and expect to see characters like Grand Moff Tarkin, Bel Iblis, Kyle Katarn, and Mara Jade as the Emperor’s Hand will rock!

  20. “the first time you see it’s possible to stand up to the Empire”

    Wow… you are so deep… what a crock of s***… oh great, another story where teenagers (because there so interesting) save the say and teach us all a lesson…

    I hate to tell you, but there was no “good work done in the Force unleashed game”, that whole storyline didn’t make any sense since much of it went against the canon storyline.

    • You are an a-hole and should not be taken seriously.