Simon Kinberg Explains 'Star Wars Rebels' Setting And Story Approach

For those who want new Star Wars material to return to the landscapes and tone of the original trilogy, the upcoming animated show Star Wars Rebels, set for a fall debut on Disney XD, might be able to deliver. We've seen things here and there suggesting that the show will return to some of the visual components of the first George Lucas films, and a new interview with producer/writer Simon Kinberg explains in detail some of the things we can expect.

EW spoke to Kinberg, and one of his interesting statements, in answer to a question about Darth Vader showing up, was "I don't think I'm allowed to answer that. I can say that wherever possible we would want to use the original talent." There's a lot more in the interview, but a few selected statements are below.

What's the focus 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. And that put us in a time line between episode III and IV. You don't want to be too close to New Hope so that it feels like it's repetitive, you want to feel like you're watching the earliest seeds of what will sprout into a full-blown rebellion.

How will it look?

The intention of what I've seen so afar, and we're pretty far down the line, 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.

What's the tone?

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. Obviously there are slight tonal differences between New HopeEmpire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope.