Star Wars is returning in a big way in 2015, with Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm set to release their first official episodic film Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December. Upcoming ‘Episodes’ in the new Star Wars trilogy will be complimented by standalone ‘Anthology’ films, starting with Star Wars: Rogue One (in December 2016) and potentially a Boba Fett origin movie, thereafter. Meanwhile, one ‘Anthology’ adventure that’s been rumored for years now is a spinoff featuring Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
If there’s one element of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III) that fans agree was well-done, it’s Ewan McGregor portrayal of the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi. The character was originally brought to life by Alec Guinness in the first Star Wars film (released in 1977), more than two decades before McGregor stepped into the role. Obi-Wan has since been featured in everything from Star Wars video games to the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars TV show.
It’s been rumored in recent months that McGregor has been talking with Lucasfilm and Disney about him reprising as Obi-Wan in a future Star Wars movie. The actor didn’t shed any light on the matter while attending the 2015 Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland, but nonetheless made it clear where he stands on the matter. Here’s his quote on the matter, when asked by the Daily Record:
“I’d be happy to do the story from episodes three where I finish up and Alec Guinness starts.”
The actor went on to say that Star Wars is the film that inspired him to become an actor, specifically seeing his uncle Denis Lawson (who plays pilot Wedge Antilles) on the big screen. He also joked about the cross-guard lightsaber seen being wielded by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in the Force Awakens trailers, saying “I’m not sure about the hilt on the lightsaber. If you fight with a lightsaber properly you don’t need one.”
There’s been no official confirmation that an Obi-Wan film is actually being considered, but McGregor’s readiness to return to the galaxy far, far way might give the executives at Disney another push in that direction. Not only is McGregor a well-established actor who’s more than capable of carrying his own movie, but he’s one of the few cast members of the prequel trilogy (along with Samuel L. Jackson) who wants to return to the franchise.
Obi-Wan has already been explored more thoroughly on-screen than most characters in the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, having appeared in all six live-action movies to date (in some form). We’ve seen him rise through the ranks of the Jedi Order, from Padawan to Jedi Master over the course of thirteen years. The only time period remaining for a film would have to come between Episodes III and IV.
Obi-Wan’s life during that period was previously detailed in John Jackson Miller’s novel “Kenobi”, though this book was removed from the canon less than a year after its release. It essentially played out like a western, with Obi-Wan rallying to protect a group of Tusken Raiders against a corrupt settler’s vicious attacks. The book was successsful both critically and commercially, but it suffered from the same problem any film starring the character will: a lack of tension.
It’s a problem that prequels and franchises often suffer from. Dramatic tension is a key part of engaging the audience and keeping them interested. However, the tension evaporates almost instantly when the ending has already been established. Which is to say: despite his popularity and importance to the saga, it might be time to move away from Obi-Wan and explore less developed characters.
… On the other hand, the ‘Anthology’ Star Wars films are seemingly meant to explore the untold stories behind important events in Star Wars history – for example, Rogue One will detail the mission to steal the original Death Star’s plans. There could be an interesting story to tell about Obi-Wan, concerning what he got up to while he was watching Luke grow up from afar (one that the ongoing cartoon series Star Wars Rebels hasn’t touched on yet, either). What do you think?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015, followed by Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16, 2016, and Star Wars: Episode VIII (subtitle TBD) on May 26th, 2017.
Source: Daily Record