Interview with a Rebel: Blog Tarkin talks to half the X-Wing Kickstarter Team

Posted: February 13, 2013 by kdatherton in Uncategorized
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Without an empire to do its bidding, the people have been forced to crowd fund their space defense
program with a Death Star Kickstarter and an X-Wing Squadron. The Empire was not available for
comment, but one of the men behind the X-Wing Kickstarter was—Simon Kwan of LGCL Design in
Shanghai.

X-Wing

Guarding the X-Wing at Celebration IV, a Star Wars convention held in 2007

Grand Blog Tarkin: Why an X-Wing Squadron? Why not simply contribute to the Death Star Kickstarter?

Simon Kwan: Not to sound any alarm bells, but my partner Ed and I also both backed the Death Star for
a bit of a laugh. That said, we were really surprised that no one had launched an opposition campaign
against it. Light bulbs went off in our heads and we decided why not us?

GBT: What are you hoping to accomplish with this Kickstarter?

SK: I think it’s obvious that our hope is to rally a passionate Rebel Alliance to stand up to and
ultimately take down the intergalactic threat of a planet killing Death Star. No government should ever
have that kind of absolute power! Seriously though, mainly, we did it for a bit of fun and some de-stress
as we were deep into final preparations for our newly launched, non-joke Kickstarter campaign for the
SIMPLcase (please do check it out). We thought that just maybe some of the nice backers on our X-Wing
campaign might have a look at our profile bio and find our other project. We decided from the start
explicitly to NOT mention SIMPLcase on the X-Wing project, and to do our best to keep those separate.
X-Wing is our inner geek enjoying itself 🙂

GBT: What does Star Wars mean to you?

SK: I can’t speak for Ed (who’s also a big fan) but Star Wars has and always will have a
mystique and emotional meaning for me. Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw as a very young
immigrant American. As you can imagine, it made quite an impact! Like many people, Star Wars is the
definitive benchmark against which we have judged all other science fiction space fantasy. Despite its
age, it retains a charm and a brilliance that no modern space adventure can match. Star Wars is a bit
of nostalgia for me, as I imagine it is for many others… taking us back to the joys of being a kid and
believing in the Force 🙂

GBT: What is the tactical advantage of an X-Wing Squadron in terms of planetary defense?

SK: A small squadron of fighters is far more agile and adaptable against any various threats.
As we know, the Empires of the world don’t view a small fighter with a single pilot to be much of a
threat… that is, until one such fighter rams a proton torpedo up their exhaust port. From a strategic
perspective, give me a motley crew of passionate Rebel pilots and a squadron of fighters over a
destroyer or lumbering space station of death any day!

GBT: How do you respond to doubts from techcrunch.com who knocks your ability to handle
basic galactic currency conversion and thereby planetary defense?

SK: Darrell Etherington is an ally. He simply misunderstood a point that I suppose we should
have made clear, which is that the 13 million galactic credits is just for the hiring of the smuggler,
Wookie co-pilot, and ship. There’s no way you could build a YT-1300 for that little cash. We’ve been in
touch w/ Darrell, and it’s all good now 🙂

GBT: As a user who utilizes Kickstarter for professional pursuits, do you think joke posts and
projects such as the Death Star and the X-Wing squadron devalue the site as a whole?

SK: Not at all. I think allowing the occasional joke shows a sense of humor and a Human side
to Kickstarter that really reminds us all not to take it all too seriously. The Kickstarter guys aren’t some
cynical capitalists or over-funded silicone valley tech startup. They’re a couple of guys who made a way
for their friends to finance gigs. From there, it’s exploded into something greater and game changing.
That said, let’s not forget that Kickstarter’s biggest category by way of total funding is Games. Games: as
in to play and have fun with. Those who are super critical about Kickstarter view it only through the lens
of capitalism and I think that’s a huge mistake. I hope Kickstarter never loses its humanity.

GBT: Why simply iPhone compatible? Are we to assume that iOS is the preferred system of the
rebel alliance?

SK: We make no such claim! We both just happen to own iPhones and as such, would love to
have our devices be able to talk to the X-Wing’s systems. That said, I suppose the more logical OS choice
for the Rebel Alliance might be `Droid 😉

GBT: I noticed that no Gungans will be working on the project. Is this due to a specific dislike for
Jar Jar Binks and his kind, or does it refer to a general annoyance with the prequel trilogy as a whole?

SK: Yes

~

This interview was conducted by Grand Blog Tarkin’s field reporter Amanda Wallace. Her portfolio can be found here, and she tweets.

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