The Untitled ‘Kenobi’ Star Wars Series Won’t Capitalize On the Baby Yoda Craze
It seem that baby versions of everything are making a comeback after The Child (Baby Yoda) set a new precedent in The Mandalorian. Audiences have even seen a food brand (Planters) pick up on this trend and introduce Baby Nut during the Super Bowl after killing off Mr. Peanut.
If anyone thinks other Star Wars products will copy this formula, there seems to be evidence they won’t. Then again, with recent reports of script rewrites for the new Kenobi series on Disney+, it’s making some people wonder just how close they were to mimicking The Mandalorian plot points.
After an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ewan McGregor had to face jokes that there might have been a Baby Obi-Wan involved in the original scripts. Was this closer to reality than creatives want to admit?
Fallon joked with McGregor about the baby phenomenon
When Ewan McGregor appeared with Fallon recently, latter held up a doctored pic of a Baby Obi-Wan as a poke about The Mandalorian making sci-fi babies popular again.
Not that this is anything new since pop culture has gone through the baby trend before. Anyone old enough to remember when Muppet Babies became a popular animated series on Saturday mornings in the mid-1980s will know history repeats. Plus, there’s been versions of other pop culture characters who were de-aged to become preschool kids, ranging from The Flintstones to Looney Tunes.
If most of those examples were all cartoon characters, seeing The Child become a cultural tidal wave makes a lot of people wonder if more live-action versions are coming. Imagining Obi-Wan Kenobi caring for a baby version of himself is more than a little surreal.
Since Kathleen Kennedy ordered rewrites of all the Kenobi scripts, it’s making some speculate whether there really was some kind of a parent-child aspect to the show. Was it a baby Luke involved prompting Kennedy to order the changes?
There isn’t a doubt a young Luke and Leia were probably part of the show
Rumors are, Kennedy and others at Lucasfilm were concerned Kenobi was too similar to The Mandalorian in plot structure. With a young Luke and Leia reportedly being involved in the story, there was thought Obi-Wan caring for them while perhaps dealing with similar situations to Din Djarin were just too similar.
While it’s unlikely Obi-Wan turns into a bounty hunter, he’ll likely face a lot of enemies trying to find him while hiding out on Tatooine. At the same time, he’d have to be like a father figure to Luke and Leia, leading to cutified versions of the kids.
Going this route isn’t necessarily being derivative, though. Child-like versions of Luke and Leia will likely involve real child actors compared to the puppetry of The Child. Not that it makes merchandising very easy with creating childlike versions of Luke and Leia, unless made into (maybe) badass action figures.
Now with rewrites underway, it looks like they’ll stray deliberately away from the baby craze and no doubt make Obi-Wan live up to his name as a real hermit.
Will it be more about isolation than character interactions?
Studies in isolationism have been done before, outside of being creative risks. Movies like Cast Away gave Tom Hanks a chance to show he could hold a movie all by himself…or mostly. All attempts at showing a character being isolated away from others have at least offered brief glances of them interacting with something alive.
Maybe Kenobi will attempt something similar, creating more of an acting showcase for McGregor to hold a 10-episode series mostly by himself. Interactions with young Luke and Leia may be relegated to brief scenes, with the rest showing how he survives living like a hermit on that desert planet.
Fighting off enemies will be a given, however. There could be all possibility Obi-Wan lives like a hermit part of the time, then goes undercover weeding out remnants of the emerging Empire other times to protect the Skywalker kids.
In that regard, Kenobi may turn into a study of being alone and working as a disguised, undercover space agent all in one.