An Obi-Wan Kenobi 'Star Wars' Story Is Probably In The Works

obi wan ewan
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lucasfilm

As part of Vanity Fair’s recent cover story focusing on all things Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kathleen Kennedy told the magazine Lucasfilm will decide the focus of the third Star Wars Story film by June, and recent interviews with Ewan McGregor suggest he’s very open to playing Obi-Wan again.

When asked about a potential follow-up for the (still untitled!) Han Solo movie, Kennedy told Vanity Fair, “We haven’t identified it yet, but yes. We have a couple of things right now that we’re circling, and we’ll make a decision between the two pretty shortly. It’s probably for 2020, and we will make a decision by June.”

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Last month, Entertainment Weekly asked McGregor about the prospect of taking up the lightsaber again, carefully noting that the Kenobi movie has been a favorite topic of speculation online, but “there’s been exactly zero confirmation” such a film is actually in the works.

“There’s no official offer, and I haven’t met them about it or anything,” McGregor told EW. “But I’ve always said that I’d be happy to do it if they wanted to do it. It would be a good segue between the last episode of the prequels and the new episodes. I think they’ve got films to make until the 2020s, so I don’t think it’s going to happen soon if it happens at all.”

Full disclosure: I’m not a Prequel Trilogy fan, at all (sorrynotsorry), but McGregor was the best thing about those movies. Alec Guinness’ shoes would be tough for any actor to fill, but McGregor brought a lot of charm and gravitas to the role, honoring its originator while still making it his own. An Obi-Wan anthology film seems like a great idea.

With such a large time gap between Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars, there’s plenty of latitude for a standalone story. Obi-Wan didn’t seem especially dejected and eager to exile himself at the end of Revenge of the Sith, like Yoda did. So he must’ve been up to something before he decided to hide in a cave on Tatooine with only Jawas for company.

An Obi-Wan movie makes sense for a number of practical reasons for Lucasfilm, too. Audiences love jedi and lightsaber fights. Rogue One didn’t have much of that, and from the sound of it the Han Solo movie won’t either. One last hurrah for Obi-Wan could be a great way to give fans what they want, perhaps even opening the door for appearances by Prequel Trilogy heroes and villains.

It could also offer some interesting possibilities for connecting all nine saga movies, allowing for insight into the relationships between the Skywalkers, Solos and Kenobis. After all, Obi-Wan is Ben Solo / Kylo Ren’s namesake. Why did Han and Leia name their son after him, anyway? Han met him briefly and didn’t seem to like him all that much. Leia obviously knew of Obi-Wan, but it’s not clear she knew him personally. With Episode IX slated for a summer 2019 debut, a standalone Obi-Wan movie the following year could tie up some loose ends and/or offer another perspective on Rey and Kylo Ren’s story.

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Of course, there’s always the possibility that Obi-Wan could use the fall of the Republic as an excuse to go tomcatting around the Outer Rim, meet a nice girl in some wretched hive of scum and villainy, and eventually become the grandfather of Rey. A recent article from Screen Rant makes a compelling case that Rey’s a Kenobi, instead of the Skywalker many fans have assumed. (After all, she does hear Obi-Wan’s voice in her force vision when she discovers Luke’s lightsaber.) While we can only speculate at this stage, there’s plenty of fairly obvious ways in which an Obi-Wan movie could tie into the events of the Sequel Trilogy and still work as a standalone film.

Then again, Lucasfilm might decide to make a Boba Fett movie instead, which is likely the second option Kennedy and the Star Wars Story Group are currently mulling over. But the odds seem to favor Obi-Wan here, given that the studio is highly attentive to fan feedback, especially where leaks and speculation are concerned. (Remember those rumors about Luke’s severed hand flying through space that made the rounds before The Force Awakens came out? That was actually going to be in the movie, but they changed it in response to negative fan reactions.)

In any event, there’s a lot of Star Wars action on the horizon for fans to look forward to, with The Last Jedi coming Dec. 15. After that, the Han Solo movie debuts May 25, 2018. Episode IX has a provisional release date of May 29, 2019, and the third Star Wars Story movie (the one that’s probably about Obi-Wan) is provisionally slated for summer 2020.  

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