Star Wars: where does Simon Kinberg fit in?

"I'm like a friend of the court", explains Simon Kinberg, as he talks about the genesis of the new batch of Star Wars films.

Writer/producer Simon Kinberg is already a trusted force at 20th Century Fox, helping oversee its X-Men and Fantastic Four movies. But he’s also been involved with the new bunch of Star Wars films. He has Star Wars form, of course, having helped create the Star Wars Rebels animated series, before going on to produce it. But where does he fit in with regards Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One?

Chatting to Entertainment Weekly, he’s shed some more light on the Star Wars process, and how he, original The Force Awakens writer Michael Arndt, and co-scribe Lawrence Kasdan helped come up with the stories. The stories that just happen to sit at the heart of the new trilogy, and Anthology films.

“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,” he explained.

“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 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.”

This must have taken place a good few years ago, given that Michael Arndt departed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2013.

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As for Kinberg’s specific role, he’s writing the Star Wars Anthology movie that once upon a time had director Josh Trank’s name upon it. But beyond that, “I’m like a friend of the court,” Kinberg revealed.

“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.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in cinemas in December. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is due in December 2016.