While Disney and J.J. Abrams are looking for places to take the story of "Star Wars" into the future, the people behind the upcoming animated series "Star Wars Rebels" are exploring the untold stories of the franchise's past. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Simon Kinberg elaborated on the series which will explore the roots of the rebellion.
"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."
He also maintained that fans will get to see a galaxy totally dominated by the Galactic Empire.
"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 Hope, Empire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope. So there are places where we get into darker backstories, there are places we see how cruel and malevolent the Empire can be, but for the most part it’s a fun and character-driven story."
To further tease long-time "Star Wars" fans, Kinberg says the aesthetic for the series will be very different from the previous series "The Clone Wars" and is inspired by the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie.
"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. There’s also in the archives where [creator George] Lucas keeps all the original art and props, there’s tons of art that’s McQuarrie’s musing on the Star Wars universe that was never used in the films. There’s places where we’ve quite literally taken world-creation or vehicles or creatures from his original art that was never used in the films and made that part of show."
Set between the events of "Episode III' and "IV," "Star Wars Rebels" will be produced by Lucasfilm Animation, featuring many of the key talents that made "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." It is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.