‘Star Wars’: Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Deserves a Spinoff Film

Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has resurrected the “galaxy far, far away” for the next generation, the future has seemingly limitless possibilities. However, his fellow Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is also due to rejoin the Star Wars universe in a big way sometime soon, especially considering that actors Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor briefly lent their voices to the film.

Now it appears that Kenobi may soon be getting the standalone movie he deserves. 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.

Anakin Skywalker - Force Ghost, Star Wars

Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi | Lucasfilm

Although McGregor’s Kenobi could pop up in The Last Jedi as a Force ghost to guide Rey or even Luke Skywalker, there’s an even greater case to be made for giving the Jedi Master his own solo film. After all, Han Solo is thus far the only existing character to receive a standalone release, and given the decades-long gaps in Obi-Wan’s history, there’s plenty of room to similarly flesh out his story, especially since McGregor has repeatedly said he’s keen to return to the role at some point.

Alec Guinness in Star Wars: A New Hope

Alec Guinness in Star Wars: A New Hope | Source: Lucasfilm

Since Obi-Wan has appeared in all six of the original films, a significant part of his involvement in the larger epic has been covered. In addition, there’s little point in detailing his time at the Jedi temple in his pre-Phantom Menace days. Instead, an Obi-Wan standalone film would be wise to detail some of the time between his delivery of Luke on Tatooine in Revenge of the Sith and his rescue of the young Skywalker in A New Hope. That’s roughly 20 years of story time that is unaccounted for, and it’s very possible that Obi-Wan had to travel off-world at some point during his solitude.

Liam Neeson holds his lightsaber up in The Phantom Menace

Liam Neeson in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace | Lucasfilm

Perhaps he stumbles across a message from some surviving Jedi and launches an impromptu rescue mission. During his travels, he could be discovered by Imperial forces, seek counsel from his departed Qui-Gon Jinn or even meet Chewbacca for the first time. There’s nothing in the films to contradict the possibility that Obi-Wan never again crossed paths with the Empire after his first duel with Darth Vader, only that he doesn’t come face to face with his former apprentice. Moreover, revealing an earlier meeting with Chewbacca would explain why Obi-Wan trusted the Wookiee and his ship to take them to Alderaan in A New Hope. Perhaps best of all, an Obi-Wan film gives Liam Neeson the chance to play Qui-Gon again, as was originally intended for Revenge of the Sith.

Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones | Source: Lucasfilm

There’s so many possibilities to flesh out the existing films and add more dimension to Obi-Wan in his own film. Plus, as a major fixture in the Star Wars saga and bonafide fan favorite, the character would capture the attention of larger casual fans of the series, especially since McGregor’s performance was one of the few elements of the divisive prequel trilogy that was met with near-universal praise.

The actor is just the right age to lead an Obi-Wan film, and the pieces appear to be in place for it to happen sometime in the next few years. Add in the possibility of roles for newer characters like Maz Kanata and BB-8, and Obi-Wan’s big adventure (not a title suggestion) could prove to be an essential chapter to the larger Star Wars story.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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