The latest rumors about the Obi-Wan spinoff movie indicate it was going to be saved for Disney's streaming service that's launching in 2019. Following the underwhelming box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the future the Star Wars spinoffs has been in a state of flux. This past week, Lucasfilm allegedly put planned Star Wars Story entries (including Obi-Wan and Boba Fett) on hold, while still moving ahead on officially announced projects, such as Rian Johnson's new standalone trilogy.
Lucasfilm maintains there are several Star Wars movies still in development, but Obi-Wan has apparently encountered some problems. Even before Solo failed commercially, it reportedly lost director Stephen Daldry, who became attached last summer. As the studio attempts to figure out what their next step is, even more interesting information about Obi-Wan has come to light.
In their write-up on the current situation, The Playlist says the idea was for Obi-Wan to be an exclusive film to Disney's streaming service. They also heard about Daldry's departure "long ago," indicating he didn't stick around for long - if he ever was involved at all. Since Lucasfilm never confirmed Obi-Wan, it's difficult to make sense of all the rumors.
Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars television show (which reportedly starts filming this fall/winter) is being developed for Disney's streaming service, but it also makes a good deal of sense to roll out some feature-length films. In fact, the service's slate will include movies such as the Sword and the Stone remake and Noelle (which stars Anna Kendrick as Santa Claus' daughter). Considering how much pent-up demand there is for Obi-Wan, it would be a great way to lure people to Disney's streaming service by telling Star Wars fans they can see Ewan McGregor return as the Jedi Master. While the Mouse House isn't looking to kill Netflix with this venture, they obviously want to compete. Also, Obi-Wan seems like it would be better served as a mid-budget, character-driven piece, and that style of filmmaking might be a stronger fit for streaming, rather than theatrical tentpole.
It will be interesting to see if Obi-Wan does eventually happen, or if Lucasfilm leaves it on the back burner for good. A case can be made that the studio pursued the wrong types of Star Wars stories when developing their spinoff initiative, and it's difficult to find the hook for Obi-Wan at first glance. Much of the character's life has already been covered extensively in canon (including numerous movies and seasons of TV), so perhaps Lucasfilm should let the character rest and focus on telling new narratives about people audiences haven't met yet. That seems to be the drive for Johnson's trilogy and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series, so Star Wars could find success with that method.
Source: The Playlist
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019