NOTE: This article was posted on our site back in September 2015 (here), even before The Force Awakens was released. After the exciting news from yesterday we decided to revisit these speculations from several SWNN staff members about some potential story possibilities for an Obi-Wan stand alone movie. Enjoy!
There have been rumblings over the last few months. Rumblings is a hyperbolic term often used by entertainment industry reporters and/or film site writers to describe movement on a project and it’s key players. Those key players could include actors, writers, producers, and directors. In the Star Wars fandom world, there has been a great deal of rumblings regarding a potential Obi-Wan Kenobi film or films. Adding to this, Ewan McGregor, the only other live-action actor to portray the Obi-Wan aside from the late Sir Alec Guinness, has gone on record since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2013 that he would be willing to return to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
These rumblings, coupled with McGregor’s vocal support, make an Obi-Wan film set between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of A New Hope extremely likely, if not, inevitable. The fan chorus for this film is only going to get louder, and with recent release of Marvel’s Star Wars #7, an issue dedicated entirely to a day in the life of Obi-Wan’s Tatooine purgatory/exile, the stories are already on Lucasfilm’s Story Group radar.
One thing to be sure of before moving on. This piece is ENTIRELY SPECULATION. SW7News has received NO insider information from ANY source about a Kenobi film or any other Kenobi story on Lucasfilm’s schedule. We are merely brainstorming and having a little fun here. Please, please, please keep that in mind while you read ahead. Ewan McGregor’s expressed interest is the only thing that raised our collective eyebrows. This piece reflects an email chain between it’s authors, DEKKA129 and Kyle. These are their ideas of what a film might look like.
Let’s assume it’s a singular Anthology film. As of yet, there is still one remaining Anthology film to be announced. We have Rogue One and Han Solo covered, and many fans speculate the last of the three films will be a Boba Fett story. Let’s pretend that Boba Fett will be a key player in either one or both Rogue One and Han Solo. Boba Fett fans will be sated considering he has been given a fair amount of screen time in the canon if you take the Prequel Trilogy, The Clone Wars, the Original Trilogy, and his numerous appearances in the new Marvel books (also a potential Rebels appearance). Let’s assume the Story Group decide to turn their focal point to answer questions that have been on many a-Star Wars fan’s mind: What was Obi-Wan Kenobi doing while waiting for Luke to grow-up? Did he ever leave to go on some “damned, fool idealistic crusade”? Did he ever help the Rebels before he got “too old for this sort of thing”?
Per Yoda’s instructions, Obi-Wan was to learn to become one with the Force at the end of Revenge of the Sith. We saw that was no short journey for Yoda and took him to some pretty far out places in the galaxy. Obi-Wan succeeds in this training, so we have to assume he at least left Tatooine for that. That journey could definitely play a huge part of an Anthology film’s plot. It’s new ground for a lot of casual fans that never followed The Clone Wars series and may not have interest in revisiting that period in the Star Wars canon. That would be interesting to see, no doubt, but it might not be enough to carry an entire, 2-hour film.
There is another pressing issue here. One of the most confusing things about the connective tissue from the Prequel Trilogy to the Sequel Trilogy is the turbulent relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The two of them bickered, often spoke of their resentments of the other, and generally did not seem to be very good friends. The Clone Wars did a pretty good job of trying to clean up this murky issue, but the only point in the Prequel Trilogy that suggests Obi-Wan’s emotional attachment to his former apprentice is when he cries out to a limbless Anakin after he has already condemned him to death. Obi-Wan never tried to save Anakin when he discovered his turn to the Dark Side. His mind was made up, with a push from Yoda, that Anakin was gone. There was no redemption…Obi-Wan went to Mustafar to take Anakin out.
Here’s the problem. Down the road, in Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader says to Luke, who is in the midst of trying to convince his father there is still a piece of the good Anakin Skywalker, “Obi-Wan once thought as you do…” Vader trails off for a moment before resuming. Those few seconds suggest there is another story about to be told about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.
So…we have a film that could involve Obi-Wan leaving Tatooine to complete his training. Let’s speculate a bit and say Obi-Wan sets off from Tatooine and along his way there he runs into a bump. The bump could be variety of things; his ship malfunctions and he has to land on an Imperial planet; he receives a distress call he cannot ignore; or he finds out an old friend (Bail Organa, Ahsoka Tano, etc.) needs his help. A writer could roll all of those into one: Obi-Wan is forced to land on an Imperial planet due to a ship malfunctioning, he encounters a cell of the burgeoning Rebel Alliance lead by someone he knew from the Clone Wars, and they need his help. Whatever the bind the Rebel cell is in, it has to be big enough for Obi-Wan to risk himself and the protection of Luke Skywalker. Perhaps the Rebels are going after the Emperor directly or trying to rescue a host of Jedi Knights that may be in captivity.
Remember these are hypotheticals, so insert whatever dilemma you like, but whatever it is, Obi-Wan lends his skills to the cause and off the film goes. Somewhere along this journey, Darth Vader gets involved. Obi-Wan is brought face-to-face with Vader by the end of the film and senses something he did not on Mustafar…Anakin Skywalker. Hear me out. In the new canon, a great deal of ink has been dedicated to the inner monologue of Darth Vader. If you have not read any of these yet, all you need to know is Vader is anything but settled in his turn to the Dark Side of the Force; whether it be his subservience to Darth Sidious or the death of Padme, Vader is a Sith Lord conflicted. The authors of these novels and comics, who are under the guidance of the Story Group, are no doubt planting the seeds leading to the climax in Return of the Jedi. Back to the Obi-Wan film, the Jedi Master feels these parts of Anakin growing inside of Vader and tries to convince the Sith Lord to embrace them and that it’s not too late. They duel, Vader dominates Obi-Wan, but does not kill him, and Obi-Wan escapes. Through some means, the filmmakers show Vader obviously let Obi-Wan escape, but it’s not obvious to Obi-Wan. Maybe it’s not obvious to Vader, either. The film ends with Obi-Wan completing his training and returning to his life on Tatooine. They could even throw a young Luke Skywalker cameo in there. Sound good?
There is also another possibility for an Obi-Wan film. In the early days of The Force Awakens plot and casting leaks, a character was rumored to be of Kenobi lineage. So, there’s that, and a Kenobi character very well could still play a crucial role in the Sequel Trilogy. Let’s pretend it is. Obi-Wan Kenobi is no longer a Jedi Knight and is no longer bound by their codes. Say Obi-Wan sets off on this journey to complete his Yoda-assigned training, encounters a Rebel cell, decides to help them, but instead of the aforementioned Vader conflict, it turns into a love/adventure story. Scratch Vader out all together and replace him with some up and coming, Imperial sap who is trying to move up the ranks by catching Obi-Wan themselves. As we learn with each new story in the canon featuring Vader, plenty of people were trying to step over him to get in Palpatine’s good graces. Scratch out Vader and the Imperials all together and make it a world that is something of a criminal hub. Have Obi-Wan working against whatever crime syndicate controls the world with the Imperials never getting a whiff of the seemingly forgotten Jedi Master.
Obi-Wan, who lost a woman he cared for, Satine Kryze of Mandalore, in the Clone Wars, embraces his attraction to whoever this new lady is, and they “get busy”. By the end of the film, Obi-Wan and she agree they have their own causes to fight for. He needs to return to Tatooine to watch over Luke and she needs to keep fighting the Empire. They go their separate ways with the knowledge they will probably never one and other again. The film never outright says she is pregnant with Obi-Wan’s child and that is something only explained in the Sequel Trilogy (which will have concluded by the time this Anthology film is released).
If a Kenobi shows up in the Sequel Trilogy fans are going to be screaming for an explanation. It would be pretty convenient at a ComicCon or Celebration panel to announce an Obi-Wan Kenobi Anthology film promising to tell the story of how a descendant of the Jedi Master came to be. In the Sequel Trilogy, the (grand)child, who at this point is an adult, could say their father’s identity and their Force abilities were hidden from them most of their adult life to protect them. The story of how another Kenobi came to be would be a mighty-big plot hole to leave in the Sequel Trilogy, but if fans knew a film was in the pipeline to explain this they would probably be a little forgiving. The Sequel Trilogy would also serve as a perfect tool to pump this Obi-Wan Anthology film up, as it would tell the backstory of a well-established Star Wars character (the (grand)son/(grand)daughter of Kenobi) while adding more to Obi-Wan’s story.
Theoretically, Darth Vader could show up in this scenario, as well. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader often spent a great deal of time meditating. This is expanded upon in the new canon and we could find Vader reaching out through the Force. Perhaps Vader gets close to finding Luke or Leia, and Obi-Wan throws his presence in front of it. They communicate through the Force, ala some sort of dream state, and Obi-Wand senses good in Vader. Vader tells Obi-Wan he’s foolish for thinking that and warns him to stay away. For a few moments, Obi-Wan really picks up on the shreds of Anakin, but then Vader sends the chills Kanan, Ezra, and Asohka felt in the last episode of Rebels; Obi-Wan is left convinced his former apprentice is forever lost.
(And here’s a more recent addition to the story possibilities by our own Tim Levers:)
I think they have a great opportunity if they get this Obi-Wan film off the ground to use the combo of McGregor and Joel Edgerton together. I feel like they could really do something with that pairing.
I could also see them pulling back Sam Jackson for this one as well. I can see a scenario where Mace comes in all grizzled and angry and tries to pull Kenobi in on a suicide mission to go take out Vader and the Emperor (Like Unforgiven on Tattoine). They could easily play up the drama with Uncle Owen and Kenobi abandoning protecting Luke to go with him (spurring on their animosity) and explore themes of revenge and anger in Mace and how Obi-Wan rejects them and tries and fails to turn Vader.
Could make for a great and dramatic movie with one of the better actor line-ups available to a Star Wars film while incorporating some prequel elements in a more OT gritty style.
I don’t like the idea of the standalone films relying too much on existing characters, but have to admit I’d be really excited if this is the next one. I think Ewan could do great things with Obi-Wan under the proper circumstances.
There are many possibilities of how a Kenobi Anthology film could be made. These are just hypotheticals posed by myself. It is entirely speculative and everyone probably has their own idea of what Kenobi did in those years between the established trilogies. Everyone’s ideas and speculations have merit, but fans should rest assured whomever Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team decide to bring onboard to write the stories in whatever medium it ends being told in, will no doubt find someone capable of telling a great story, whatever that story ends up being.
However this Anthology film or Obi-Wan’s story is told, fans should assume there is more Obi-Wan on the way. Whether that is in print, pixels, or celluloid remains to be seen; but it would make NO SENSE for the powers-that-be to ignore one of the great Star Wars characters. We could watch a man tormented and driven by his own guilt, trying to make a small difference in the galaxy that he believes his mistakes altered terribly.
There is no reason to believe Disney is going to stop writing big checks and green-lighting Star Wars projects across all media. Let’s hope some of those checks have the words “Kenobi Film” scrolled in the lower left hand MEMO box.
What do you all think? What are your thoughts for further Obi-Wan Kenobi adventures? Join or start that conversation in The Cantina!