As revealed by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is in the early development stages of a stand-alone Star Wars film centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sources have also told the news outlets that three-time Oscar nominated filmmaker Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is the favourite to direct the spin-off movie. It would be the third stand-alone Star Wars film and scheduled for a 2020 release.
While there has been no word as to whether Ewan McGregor will resume the role he portrayed in the prequel trilogy, McGregor has expressed an interest in donning his Jedi robes once more. When asked about the possibility of an Obi-Wan film in an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this year, McGregor said, “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.”
Both last year’s Rogue One and next year’s Han Solo spin-off take place in between Episodes Three and Four, which suggest an Obi-Wan film would also take place during this period in the Star Wars storyline. However, as fans of Star Wars already know how, when and where the Jedi master’s story ends, it will be interesting to see how an Obi Wan-centred film would raise the stakes. While Variety reported that there is neither a script nor a writer at the moment, entertainment site Omega Underground claims that Sam Esmail (the creator of series Mr Robot) is Lucasfilm’s first choice.
Since news of the Obi-Wan movie broke, fan reaction on social media has been mixed. While some fans would prefer to see a movie exploring a new part of “a galaxy far, far away”, others are excited at the prospect of seeing one of science-fiction’s most beloved characters on the big screen again. McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan has been one of the few parts of the prequel trilogy to escape fan criticism. Some fans have even argued that the prequels would’ve been much better movies if they had focused on Obi-Wan’s journey. In fact, actor Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) was one such fan and re-edited the three prequel films into a single 85-minute movie where Obi-Wan was the central character.
Omega Underground has also claimed that the working title of the Obi-Wan film is Joshua Tree – the name of a US national park known for its desert landscapes. While Star Wars films have traditionally had working titles as inside jokes, Joshua Tree could also suggest the film’s main location – Tatooine. The planet Tatooine is, of course, home to both Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker at the beginning of A New Hope. Could we see how Obi-Wan became so intimately familiar with the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Mos Eisely spaceport, perhaps? Will there be pod-racing? Could a toddler Luke even make an appearance? Right now, it is anyone’s guess, but expect more news to drop after The Last Jedi comes out on December 14.
Edited by Ginny Wong