Sandra Gonzalez
July 24, 2012 AT 11:51 PM EDT

Gun control represents only a sliver of the many issues touched on in the first episode of NBC’s Revolution, but nonetheless, the timely subject came up during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour being held this week in Los Angeles.

On the show, a worldwide blackout has led to the rise of warlords several years in the future. Breaking Bad alum (and Emmy nominee) Giancarlo Esposito plays a rules-with-his-fist militia leader who has taken away the right to bear arms for the people living in his republic.

While gun control has re-entered public consciousness in light of the mass shooting that took place Friday morning in Colorado, executive producer Eric Kripke (Supernatural) said that the issue is, at most, a small portion of the issues and themes explored in the show. “I think we’re talking about a broader canvas than that,” he said. “We’re talking about a dictator who is also conscripting soldiers, [taxing people] without representation, and taking away away the freedoms of what was once the citizens of the United States in 100 different ways. What we’re really talking about, at the end of the day, is a very patriotic show that is about people fighting for freedom to go where they want, say what they want, [and] be together with their families. [The gun issue] is a small part.”

Meanwhile, Esposito earlier explained that his character is anything but a one-note, power-hungry bad guy. “This is a delicious bad guy…[but] this bad guy is different. He’s the one that is keeping everyone safe. Without him there would be total anarchy,” he said. “He’s trying to restore some sort of order. Is there a reason behind it? Wait and see. Is he as bad as you think he is? Wait and see.”

Revolution premieres Sept. 17 on NBC.


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