Simon Kinberg Talks Plotting the Future of ‘Star Wars’ With a Brain Trust

By August 5, 2015

The Star Wars saga already stands as one of the most beloved film series in cinematic history, but since its arrival in 1977, the creative direction of the series has always been helmed by one man: its creator, George Lucas. After the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, though, Lucas’ involvement in the future of Star Wars will be negligible. While Lucas is believed to have submitted outlines for the direction of Episodes VII-IX, the filmmakers aren’t exactly beholden to them, and the involvement of Lucas in the planned spin-off films like Rogue One or the Han Solo origin film is completely unknown.

So, who are the minds that will be steering the future of the Star Wars franchise? One of those minds has come forward to offer a bit of explanation.

Simon Kinberg, writer of last year’s acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past and the upcoming Fantastic Four film, is one of the creative minds steering the future of the galaxy far, far away. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kinberg gave some insight into how the direction for the new trilogy of main episodes and the Anthology spin-off films came together. He, and writers Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) devised the structure very much the same way that a season of TV is determined.

Like a TV writers room, we spent a week with a whiteboard and some pens and were in a conference room all day talking about [movies] VII, VIII, and IX. But it’s a whiteboard covered in our notes. We had a sense of what we each wanted to write. It was the most magical time because we were writing Star Wars movies. Then we would go back to the inn at Skywalker [Ranch] and have dinner and drink a little bit and Larry would tell me and Michael stories about the moment in his life where he wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, The Big Chill, Body Heat all in the span of, I think, five years. So we just had this crazy, magical time together.

So, how involved is Kinberg with this December’s The Force Awakens, where the credited screenwriters are director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan?

I’m like a friend of the court. I consult on the movies. I worked on VII: helped break the story, read scripts, drafts at certain points, and gave my thoughts whatever they were worth.

Now that the Star Wars saga is a functioning, ongoing entity on the big screen for the first time since 2005, it’s very clear that Disney has a vested interest in the power of the Star Wars brand for its future success. It should prove very exciting to see what this group of highly capable creative minds will concoct for audiences in the future, and we’ll get our first taste of it when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18th.

For more on the future of Star Wars, keep it locked on GeekNation!

Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.