The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show lands The Mandalorian's Deborah Chow as director. With this December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marking the end of an era for the franchise, Lucasfilm is going to put the Star Wars movies on hiatus for the next few years. During the gap between Star Wars 9 and a mystery film set for release in December 2022, the galaxy far, far away will have a sizable presence in the live-action TV medium. Lucasfilm is taking full advantage of all the opportunities the Disney+ streaming service provides, and they have multiple shows in various stages of development.
Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ this fall and already has its second season in the works. Additionally, there's also a Rogue One prequel show starring Diego Luna's Cassian Andor that's expected to debut at some point in 2021. But arguably, the series that has fans most excited is the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, which is Ewan McGregor's much-celebrated return to his prequel role. Lucasfilm reportedly has all of the Obi-Wan scripts set, with production on tap to commence next year. We now know who will be calling the shots.
Today, Lucasfilm announced Chow will direct the Obi-Wan show. She will also serve as executive producer, alongside McGregor and writer Hossein Amini. Judging by the language used in their confirmation, it sounds like the plan is for Chow to direct the entire series, rather than just select episodes. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had this to say about the development:
“We really wanted to select a director who is able to explore both the quiet determination and rich mystique of Obi-Wan in a way that folds seamlessly into the Star Wars saga. Based on her phenomenal work developing our characters in The Mandalorian, I’m absolutely confident Deborah is the right director to tell this story.”
The Mandalorian was directed by multiple heavy-hitters, including Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, and Bryce Dallas Howard. It says a lot about the job Chow did on that show that Lucasfilm was quick to bring her back for another one. They're obviously big fans of her work, and it'll be exciting to see Chow's Star Wars career continue. If she delivers on the Obi-Wan show, perhaps this could be a stepping stone towards her being called upon to helm one of the many Star Wars movies in development. Lucasfilm has been criticized in the past for a lack of diversity behind the camera, so Chow's increased role is a welcome turn of events. And if anything, this news should only raise excitement levels for The Mandalorian, since it'll be fascinating to see what Chow did that impressed Lucasfilm brass so much.
In her comments, Kennedy mentions Obi-Wan's "quiet determination" and "rich mystique," which may provide clues about their approach for the show. Given its place in the franchise timeline, the expectation is the Obi-Wan show is going to be more of an intimate, character-driven drama than what fans are accustomed to seeing in the films (which is probably why Disney+ is the perfect platform for this project). One thing this series needs to overcome is the fact much of Obi-Wan's life has already been covered extensively in canon, and on the surface, there doesn't appear to be much more to do. But if Chow is able to channel her sensibilities and provide some compelling developing for Obi-Wan, then this show could be a real treat.