There’s been a good deal of talk lately concerning the possibility of a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie. According to unnamed sources cited by Variety, a Star Wars anthology movie focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently in “early development” at Disney. Per the sources, director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is in talks to helm the film. It certainly makes sense given the current climate of the franchise. Ewan McGregor is ready and willing, and after the new trilogy wraps up in 2019, Lucasfilm will have to figure out a way to keep the Star Wars saga alive well into the future. So why not head to the deserts of Tatooine and fill in some of those lost years for a franchise favorite?
As McGregor recently pointed out, at 46, he’s even the perfect age to portray Kenobi during his exiled years (Alec Guinness was 63 when he played the role in Star Wars: A New Hope). This leads us to a whole bunch of potential storylines, each of which could carry its own film.
1. The Expanded Universe Kenobi novel
Releasing back in 2013, Kenobi was one of the last Expanded Universe novels released before Disney threw out the old canon in favor of a new series of books to pair with the latest movie trilogy. That said, they’ve proven themselves open to the idea of bringing back popular parts of the Expanded Universe, having already brought Grand Admiral Thrawn into the fold on Star Wars Rebels.
That makes Kenobi a likely starting point for anyone looking to feature the elderly Jedi in a standalone movie. The book’s story follows Obi-Wan as he deals with a conflict between local settlers and an oppressed encampment of Tusken Raiders, so there’d certainly be plenty of adaptable drama.
2. The Obi-Wan Kenobi from Marvel’s comics
Disney has already given us a canonical taste of Obi-Wan’s days in exile on Tatooine, having published two separate comics through Marvel that cover brief chapters of his journey. In it, we get to see Ben Kenobi as he tries to keep Luke safe from afar, all while unsuccessfully laying low as a Jedi-in-hiding.
The first issue (Star Wars #7) even shows Obi-Wan ruthlessly flinging Jabba the Hutt’s goons with the Force, while the second (Star Wars #15) covers the tense relationship between him and Owen Lars, who correctly cites Kenobi’s less-than-successful track record of mentoring Skywalkers. It’s not a ton of content per se, but it’s still enough to form something of a framework for a potential movie.
3. Obi-Wan and Star Wars Rebels
The Star Wars Rebels animated series has done a wonderful job of bridging the gap between Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, introducing tons of new characters, while bringing back some older ones as well. We even had Captain Rex, a former Clone Trooper who fought with and knew Obi-Wan personally, show up in Season 2.
Rebels also prominently features two Jedi so it would make sense for them to encounter Kenobi at some point in their travels, setting up the ideal foundation for a full-blown movie. That comes with the added bonus of getting to see a handful of Rebels characters get cast in a live-action affair, with Ewan McGregor reprising his own role.
4. The early years on Tatooine
The above trailer may be fan-made, but the movie it pretends to advertise would be amazing nonetheless. In it, we see an introspective, broken version of Obi-Wan, still reeling from the trauma of losing Anakin to the Dark Side. Keep in mind, this is a man who saw almost everyone he knew and loved within the Jedi Order executed by the same soldiers he served with and commanded. Seeing the direct effect on him both spiritually and emotionally would make for an intriguing film. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you’d also have the considerable acting chops of McGregor to convey those complex emotions. All it would need past that is a steady directorial hand and we’d have a winner.
5. Star Wars: Underworld
The saga of the never-aired Star Wars: Underworld live-action TV series is a tragic one. The show was originally meant to take us into the seedy criminal underbelly of the Star Wars universe, featuring screenplays penned by sci-fi legends like Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica). It never made it into the production stage, but it remains an intriguing idea all the same. Imagine an Underworld-esque movie centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi’s own journeys going up against the criminal element of Tatooine, and you begin to see the massive potential here. Plus, we’d have an excuse to see more Boba Fett, which is never a bad thing when it comes to Star Wars.
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