Kevin Rubio is a hero to most avid Star Wars fans for writing, directing, and co-producing the truly hilarious short film, TROOPS. If you haven't seen the film, I recommend you download it now. It's a parody of the TV show COPS set on Tatooine with stormtroopers as the main characters interacting with criminals such as Jawas and even that dastardly villain ... Uncle Owen! It boasts special effects, sound, costumes, acting, and editing as good as you've seen in feature films (perhaps better).
In addition, Kevin has penned three stories for Dark Horse's Star Wars comics line: "A Death Star Is Born" in Tales #4, "Force Fiction" in Tales #7, and a two-issue series, Tag and Bink Are Dead. I believe Kevin's trying to convince Dark Horse to let him do more Star Wars stuff, to which fans everywhere say: Amen, brother! I'll let him tell you more about his other work in just a minute.
Welcome to Echo Station, Kevin. Thanks for agreeing to answering a few questions from the dominatrix droid EV-9D9. Put your wrists right here ... now, your ankles go here ... good. This won't hurt too much. Just a slight pinch as the needle with the truth serum slips in. All set? How many fingers do you see ...? Very good! Let's start with TROOPS and move on from there, shall we?
Echo Station: First, a question from Web Leader Dave Phillips: How much does it tick you off that idiots at conventions make $20 to $30 apiece for junky tapes of TROOPS and other fan-made films, while the directors such as yourself -- who sink all of your own time, effort, energy, and money into it -- typically must not only forego making any returns on your investments, but may even have to engage legal counsel? Hardly seems right or fair, and I'd like your thoughts.
Kevin Rubio. It ticks me off to no end. But I find interesting ways (legal and illegal) of exacting my revenge. I'm also a firm believer in instant karma.
ES: To follow up on that, I (Toryn) was lucky enough to get a copy of TROOPS on DVD. It came free with issue #1 of Total Movie magazine. Is there any other way fans can get a legitimate (not bootleg) copy of the film on DVD? Are there any plans to make it available someday?
KR: Not unless you know me, or if you're female, available and I find you sexually attractive :)
ES: I read that you got invited by George Lucas to screen TROOPS for ILM. What was that like?
KR: Actually, I was invited by one of the model makers (Tony Preciado). It was great to get a look around, but it's no different than any other effects shop here in Los Angeles. Lots of buildings, lots of models, lots of people with cool toys covering their desks.
ES: Tell me about 3000 POUNDS OF PORKINS. The trailer makes it look like a lot of fun. How was it being on the other side of the camera? Did you have much input into the script of this one?
KR: I'm barely involved. It started as a joke at a convention. Some of the TFN guys asked if Dave MacComber and I wanted to help, so we went in for an hour and offered some suggestions, as well as did a bit part. That having been said, it looks like it will be pretty funny.
ES: There were reports a while back that you were going to do another film with DUALITY's director, Dave Macomber, and also that Eric Hilleary, your collaborator (and art director) on TROOPS, was working on with the rest of the creative team on TROOPS II. Do you have any news on those projects?
KR: Dave and I are always looking to do something, we just haven't found it yet. As far as TROOPS II goes, I've kept out of it. All I know is that they're hung up in post production, and that it's reported to be over 60 minutes in length.
ES: What do you think of the whole concept of "The Phantom
ES: Let's talk about the comics. I notice Big Boy appears in most, if not all, of your stories. Do you have some sort of childhood demon you're trying to exorcise through art?
KR: The original Bob's Big Boy is located in Burbank, were I sometimes work. They are open 24 hours a day, and you can often find me there writing at two in the morning -- struggling to meet the deadlines for the comics.
ES: I just about killed myself laughing at "Force Fiction." Whatever inspired you to combine Pulp Fiction with Star Wars?
KR: I wanted to do something with Sam Jackson in it, and the phrase "It's the light saber that says bad motherf&*%er on it" popped into my brain. It went from there.
ES: Are we going to see more of Tag & Bink in SW Tales? And is there a story behind the names Tag Greenley and Bink Otauna?
KR: I may not be at liberty to discuss the first question. As far as the names go ... they're kind of derived from names in George's first draft of SW (i.e., Wormie and Kam). The name Greenley comes from a soap opera character's name. I was editing an ABC Soap at the time and I was stuck for a name. It seemed like a good one. "Otauna" was a misspelling (something I do a lot of) and it just stuck.
ES: What else have you got going with Dark Horse?
KR: Can't say. The Emperor may be watching.
ES: I'm curious how the changes in editors at Dark Horse Comics have impacted you, and if you find it difficult to work within the constraints of Lucasfilm's oversight. I know you spent a lot of time writing a proposal for a comic that didn't meet with approval. Does that bother you, or do you consider it just par for the course in dealing with The Powers That Be?
KR: Most of the time I'm right in line with the comics. Because most of my stuff falls within the "infinities" series, I have a greater range of freedom.
ES: I read about your being at the Denver Celebration. Any plans to attend the upcoming one in Indianapolis? Also: do you go to a lot of conventions? What's that like for you?
KR: I tend to stay away from conventions, unless I have to be there, or I'm going with friends. I always go to the San Diego Comic Con. I may be at the Celebration.
ES: What do the words "Kevin Rubio is a lying piece of Bantha Poo Doo" mean to you?
KR: How do I make this story short? At the first Celebration, my friend Chris Gore and I were trying to convince a couple of the guys at TFN to come with us to a local strip bar. When they refused, Chris and I made up a story that we ran into Rick McCallum at the bar and spent the rest of the night drinking with him. TFN was going to post this so we had to 'fess up, hence the "lying piece of poo-doo" comment.
ES: So, what are you up to now? What's the word on your sci-fi spoof TV series Alien Hunter?
KR: I, like everyone in Hollywood, have several things in the hopper. "Alien Hunter" is at Fox right now, and we're waiting on them. I'm also redesigning the look for the ABC Family Channel / kid block.
ES: You must spend a tremendous amount of time on Star Wars. Are your friends and family concerned about your mental health?
KR: Actually I spend very little time on SW. I just do a lot of research before I write any of the stories. Right now I'm doing a story about an aircraft carrier, and I have more than three binders worth of info and procedures. I'm sure the CIA has spiked my computer considering the amount of data I've downloaded on a particular subject.
ES: If you could be any Star Wars character, who would it be and why?
KR: Vader, cause he's a bad motherf*&%er, looks good in black, and yet still finds a way to spend quality time with his kids.
ES: Oooooookay ... well, thanks Kevin. The effects of the truth serum should wear off quickly. Good luck, and keep us posted on all your news.
See our review of Tag & Bink Are Dead.
Farr knew everything about Star Wars back in 1977 thanks to Starlog Magazine.
She's been trying to keep her know-it-all reputation ever since. During the few hours per
day her kiddo is in school, Toryn attempts to run an internet design business and write