Star Wars: Rebel Heist Author Matt Kindt: The Movies Were the Core Content, The Wellspring
With Marvel Comics set to acquire the rights to the Star Wars universe from their Walt Disney Company sibling Lucasfilm next year, the long-running Dark Horse Comics Star Wars Universe is winding down. Well, less winding down and more blowing up. Starting with the recent decision to let Brian Wood write a title called simply Star Wars and set between the events of the first two films, starring familiar characters, the Dark Horse Star Wars books have taken on a new sense of urgency and frenetic energy in the run-up to Star Wars Episode VII and the end of the Dark Horse era. One element of that is the launch of Star Wars: Rebel Heist, a four-issue miniseries written by Mind MGMT's Matt Kindt. The series will feature a major player from the original trilogy in each issue, kicking off with last week's (fairly critical) look at Han Solo. The idea is to give the reader a sense for how the Rebel heroes were viewed following the destruction of the first Death Star, which made them kind of folk heroes.
It's an espionage story, though, which showcases how imperfect and untrustworthy Han can be -- assuming, of course, that everything is to be taken at face value. As you've probably seen joked about on Facebook by now, Star Wars Day (yesterday) is celebrated on May 4 every year because of the easy "May the Fourth be with you" jokes that can accompany that date. Today, then, can be "Revenge of the Fifth," and give us more reason to talk at some length about Star Wars. We caught up with Kindt, who shared some insight on the series in general and the first issue in particular. ComicBook.com: Are you a hardcore Expanded Universe fan? I feel like writing in the EU at this point would just be daunting to me, becuase there's so much history to remember. Matt Kindt: No...not at all. I think when I was 10 or 12 my brother and I (both huge fans) -- decided that we weren't going to follow anything that wasn't in the movies. So maybe that's a little sacrilegious. I just always felt like the movies were the core content. The wellspring. So if it didn't happen there, I didn't count it. ComicBook.com: Obviously, you've got a history telling some great spy stories. Forgive me if you've covered this elsewhere, but did you come up with this independently or did you pitch this after they came to you about doing a Star Wars book? Kindt: They came to me and asked me to do a Star Wars limited series. Pretty much gave me a blank check to do whatever I wanted...and I initially turned it down. I just wanted to be a fan of the series, you know? But then the next day I got an idea for something I could do and I called 'em back and said I was up for it.
ComicBook.com: Is it a bit of an honor, being sought out to write a Star Wars book and then having your first time out in that universe be the Original Trilogy characters -- at the very tail end of the Expanded Universe as we know it? Kindt: Pretty much. Yeah. It's flattering you know, to be asked. And then to be trusted to do what you want to do. It's nice to finally be at that point in my career where that can happen. ComicBook.com: The first issue of this story is awash in winks-and-nods to the films. "I've got a good feeling about this," "delusions of grandeur..." Is it a bit of a balancing act using those to nail the voice of the story without feeling like you're falling back on it or just doing it because you can? Kindt: Yeah -- I was kind of unconsciously doing it and had to go through when I was done and chop a lot of it out -- it was too much. It's just, you don't realize how ingrained a lot of that stuff is in your head and it just sort of comes out without having to try...which is funny, but definitely needs to be reigned in. ComicBook.com: There's an art to telling a story that's set between existing stories, isn't there? Because whatever you do to Han, we more or less know where he comes out of this. What's your trick, then, to keeping the stakes high even though we know that the character we're most invested in is going to be alright? Kindt: Sure. That's really the issue with any iconic character. They're never going to die really. But good stories don't need life or death situations to be good stories. It just needs to reveal something about a character that hasn't been revealed before. I show a character from another angle to get that different take. Honestly, these stories are sort of my love letter to Star Wars and those individual characters. I just tried to show what makes them so great and why I love them.
ComicBook.com: How much did you talk to Castiello about the look of the book? It really nails the aesthetic that made the OT so compelling -- the idea that everything looks a bit lived-in, used. Even the Storm Trooper uniforms here feel like they've seen some action in a way they didn't necessarily on screen, but it really works. Kindt: I gave him a few notes here and there -- but he has a great handle on the universe and the look so that's mostly him making it awesome. ComicBook.com: How did you go about trying to "nail" the voice for Han? It seems inevitable that almost everyone reading this book is reading it in Harrison Ford's voice and judging it based on whether it sounds right in their head... Kindt: Yeah. I was totally conscious of that. So I just picked up a few of his common mannerisms and kept his dialogue to a minimum just to be safe! ComicBook.com: You can't beat the timing of that release, though, huh? Did your issue actually hit the stands on the day the new cast was announced? Kindt: I think so -- super weird and awesome. I don't think I was excited about the new movies until that black and white photo got released...now I'm excited.0comments