Interview with Screenwriter Paul Watkins (Kenobi: A Star Wars Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Paul Watkins: On the surface it looks to be just another Star Wars movie but to me it is about how one’s past does not define us but it’s the choices based off our past that show who we really are. A noble Jedi can become sinister and a unknown clone trooper can become a legend.

I also wanted to show the greatest power of all is the power of willpower. That even an beaten down old man could stand up to a young force user because his mind was stronger.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I try to write for all genres. Currently, I am writing a Rom Com (just finished a found footage horror/comedy) but I would put this down as Sci-Fi with strong influences from Kurosawa’s work.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I feel the message has been on lost on why people love Star Wars. It isn’t the special FX that made generations of fans it is and was the story. Story is timeless and crosses all genres it is paramount. I wanted to write a Star Wars movie where story was over CGI. Where characters were given chances to talk. The spectacle is still there but you care more about the characters then the flash.

I believe people need to see that Star Wars can be anything we want even a lone samurai type movie. As long as the story is good then Star Wars is a great franchise to show it.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Lessons Learned

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Tie between Silence of the Lambs and The Longest Day

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

This was my second screenplay that I have ever written. It was a passion project so I wrote and re-wrote it about five times in two months. I shared it with a couple of trusted friends then put it up on my shelf until I came across this festival.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’m looking at my screenplays right now and I count fourteen (including a comic). I have a list of screen plays I will write and that is another fifteen.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Hands down, “Let it be” – The Beatles

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle is finding the time. I work full time as an analyst and spend more of my free hours in traffic then at home with my family.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am a big time college football fan but the thing that surprises most people is when they find out that I love baking. I do not look like somebody who enjoys baking a dozen cookies.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It was extremely easy and would use again in the future.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I was hesitant at first, I wrote that script just because I had a story I wanted to tell. I only shared it with two people and was never going to touch it again. A friend was persistent that it was a good story and should be submitted.

So, I looked for a festival that would accept a script for established I.P.. I thought getting feedback would be worth it at the very least so I took the risk and submitted it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When a hidden settlement on the system of Tatooine is attacked by a force from the past a mysterious villager and his odd ball team will seek out a legendary Jedi Knight.

CAST LIST:

Kaylen: Peter Mark Raphael
Padi: : Isaiah Kolundzic
Narrator: Esther Thibault
The Old Man: Dan Cristofori
Hina: Victoria Urquart

You can also submit via FilmFreeway:

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