Simon Kinberg talks ‘Star Wars’ Spinoffs and Standalone Movies

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star wars episodes 8 9 writers Simon Kinberg talks Star Wars Spinoffs and Standalone Movies

Development is ongoing for Star Wars: Episode VII, which features J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) as the director and Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) as screenwriter. The film will usher in a new generation of Star Wars movies – now that George Lucas has stepped aside as the franchise architect and president of Lucasfilm – beginning in Summer 2015, with either a new Episode or spinoff/standalone installment arriving each year thereafter.

The first two Star Wars spinoff/standalone features, which are currently being kept tightly under-wraps, will be scripted by series vet Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg – whose screenwriting resume includes Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes and next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Kinberg was interviewed earlier this year by Hero Complex, but his interview has only just seen the light of day, to commemorate “Star Wars Day” (a.k.a. May 4th) in 2013. Here is what he said, with regard to where development is (or, rather, was) at:

“We’re really at the early phases of figuring out the details, but the spirit of the original movie is the thing I fell in love with, so it’s the spirit of that that I think will guide us.”

The screenwriter went on to confess his nervousness about tackling Star Wars – despite his previous involvement with franchises like X-Men and Sherlock Holmes – by calling it the “cultural referent for our generation.” He also indicated that having to generate new content, along with people like Kasdan and Arndt, is intimidating, yet invigorating, and something that will encourage him to step his game up.

“I’m not in the same category as Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt. It’s great to have a chance to work with those guys. Larry is really an idol of mine. He is, as much as anybody, the reason I wanted to get into screenwriting when I was a kid. “Raiders” and “Empire Strikes Back” were the two things that I saw when I was younger that I wanted to one day somehow emulate. So having the opportunity to be around him is as exciting as any aspect of the “Star Wars” process.”

Star Wars Logo Simon Kinberg talks Star Wars Spinoffs and Standalone Movies

Lastly, Kinberg echoed calls from people like Kasdan and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, by agreeing that the next wave of Star Wars movies should “go retro” - by harkening back to the storytelling and intimate character focus of the original trilogy (rather than follow the prequel installments by relying heavily on technical aspects to paint a broader, yet more hollow, portrait of life in a galaxy far, far away).

“[I agree completely]. I think what worked so well in all of the “Star Wars” movies is the characters. I think the reason that they’re different than other science fiction or other genre movies is because George [Lucas] created a universe of people that you wanted to go back and see over and over again, and that’s why it’s spanned and spawned so many different mediums, so many different generations, every different language. You want to go back and see those characters, like I did when I was a kid. ‘Empire Strikes Back’ was the first movie I saw in a movie theater more than once. And I went back 10, 15 times in the theater, and I’ve seen it probably over a 100 times since. But I saw it that many times in the theater because I loved those characters. I loved Han, I loved Leia, I loved Luke, I was right at the age when I was old enough to start to understand the nuance of that movie. I think I was too young for ‘New Hope’ when it came out in the theater, although I loved it and it was my favorite film until ‘Empire.’ And then really, that changed my life, that movie.”

Which old-school supporting characters (Yoda, Lando Calrissian, etc.) would you like to see featured in their own Star Wars standalone/spinoff films? Do you think those movies should focus on introducing new characters only? Let us know in the comments section!


Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to open in theaters by Summer 2015.

Source: LA Times

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Mace Windu

  2. I think that guy just described my life… After watching Empire Strikes Back I just have to scree write. I have probably watched the movie a thousand times but it never gets old.

  3. I predict that we get, in the effects department, something similar to the last Star Trek movie. Practical interior sets with crazy special effects.

  4. It’s all very encouraging to see writers like Kasdan and Kinberg taking up the reigns and bringing to us, ‘Empire Strikes Back’ level story telling. As for characters in a stand alone? Mace Windu would be great as Miles pointed out. So would a story line about the Sith. Sorry I love the SITH just a tad more than the Jedi, but that’s just me! :)

  5. Darth Maul in his early days as an apprentice to sidious.

  6. Darth Bane, among others.


    • yes Darth Bane for sure. the Originator of the rule of 2

      • Ban reinstated the Rule of 2. The Rule of 2 dated 3,000 years before his time with Darth Revan and Darth Malik.

  7. Heard this rumor and thought it was awesome…Obi Wan and Maul spinoff, chase/revenge movie taking place after Ep III. I really think they should steer clear of recasting characters like with a Han Solo spinoff. But an Ewan McGregor Kenobi movie would be stupid not to take advantage of for many obvious reasons. Could easily make a Western stylized movie about Kenobi’s exile years. Hell, throw Boba Fett’s spinoff in there too since theyve already crossed paths

    • Agree: Obi Wan. Barring that, perhaps a “Girlz Gone Jabba” series?

  8. I would love to see a trilogy based on Yoda. He was frickin 900 years old when he died in Return of the Jedi. He’s deff seen, and has had, pleanty of adventures during those hundreds of years and it would be awesome to see a less expirienced Yoda and see what made him the wise master he is.

    The reason I said trilogy is becuase it would be pretty sweet if each film focused on different centeries of his life. All three films would be standalones. Maybe the first one would have him at the age of 100 or 200 at the most, then the second would be around 400-500 then the last would be around 700-800.

    What do you guys think?

    • Ruining the mystique of Yoda would be a huge mistake. The prequels were basically a giant exercise in demystifying all we’d imagined from the OT

      • I agree with that 100%, was exactly what I was going to say. Yoda is best with his mystique, whatever is left.

  9. I hate Kinberg, I hate he has anything to do with this amazing franchise he’s going to destroy it and X-Men. He sucks!

  10. i would love to see an Old Republic movie featuring Darth Bane

  11. X-Men: The Last Stand is maybe better left off of one’s resume.

    No Yoda film. If these people working on the new SW films really understand the appeal of the original classic films, as they keep suggesting that they do, then they will realize that Yoda is better the more mysterious he is. More exposition is not needed.

    I don’t think that they are going to generate any more prequel-era content for a good while, guys. So I would not expect a Mace Windu film. I would like to see a spinoff based on Han or Lando, or bounty hunters (not just Boba Fett, but the whole gang.) Or, something from way back in the Old Republic past.

    • I Think Star Wars The Clone Wars Was The Best thing that Happen in the prequel trilogy

  12. There isn’t many directions Disney can go if they’re going to follow Star Wars timeline (according to the novels). Admiral Thrawn would be an amazing trilogy and takes place after episode XI. A stand alone would be great with the right character. Bane can’t be done rightfully so in a single or even a double movie. Maul would be a good choice since he was the first Sith killed in 1,000 years and played a minor part at best in episode I. Boba Fett (and the Mandalorians) would be action packed.