News broke today that a standalone Obi-Wan Movie will be developed by Lucasfilm and Disney. Let’s explore this idea with help from Belated Media’s, Michael Barryte
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story today that an Obi-Wan movie is in the works. At the news, millions of voices suddenly cried out in excitement, and have not remained silent. I feel something amazing has happened.
When Disney and Lucasfilm announced their intent to produce Star Wars Anthology films such as Rogue One and Han Solo, many wondered if an Obi-Wan movie would also follow. Well, it appears we may get our wish. I’ve got four reasons for you to get happy about this news.
1. The Unanswered Questions
If you were an old mate of Darth Vader and wanted to take his secret love child into hiding, would you go to his home planet? Would you only slightly change your name and continue to dress like a Jedi? Apparently Obi-Wan would. The reason he did is either one of George Lucas’ biggest plot holes, or there’s something else going on. The answer to that question could well be the core story of the Obi-Wan movie.
If you managed to sit through the prequel trilogy, you might remember that Yoda had some training for Obi-Wan to complete in exile (it was mentioned in Revenge of the Sith, the least worse of the prequels). This training had something to do with Qui Gon Jinn and the after life of the Force. But what exactly does that involve? Is there a story there also?
What if this film explained the reason why Obi-Wan could hide in plain sight? That he was there under Vader’s sufferance to watch over his last remaining link to Padme? Could it be the beginning of Anakin’s redemption story? Something like that could add more weight to Obi-Wan’s exile, and Vader’s tragic story.
The time between Obi-Wan going into exile and meeting Luke in A New Hope is mostly unknown to us. Star Wars: Rebels has filled some of that in, including a fateful second encounter between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. So there’s plenty of room to explore the deeds of Luke’s debonair mentor.
2. More Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan is a great character. A compelling mentor in the original trilogy, we watched him grow from apprentice to Bombad General in the prequels. He had one of the more compelling story arcs in the prequel. So where would his story go in a Star Wars Anthology film?
I asked Michael Barryte (@belatedmedia), writer, film critic, and creator of the excellent YouTube channel Belated Media (check out: ‘What if Star Wars: Episode 1 was good?’ video) about his ideas for an Obi-Wan movie:
“Personally, if we’re existing in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it would be fun if Obi-Wan sort of reaches urban legend status on Tatooine or some other planets before he settles on our twin-sunned planet. I’d also like to believe he’s doing more for the rebellion than just watching over Luke, but we shall see.”
Michael’s idea is really cool. More of an Adventures of Obi-Wan than Star Wars: Episode 3.5. But as fun as that would be, we’re more likely to see a commercially safe film along the lines of The Force Awakens or Rogue One. Especially after the recent sackings of Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo movie, who were removed for not sticking to the tone laid down by the studio.
3. Act Two of the Obi-Wan Story
I imagine this movie being the second act of the Obi-Wan story. If the prequel trilogy takes us through the first act, the complication becomes the fall of his best friend to the dark side. The Obi-Wan movie could be his coming to terms with this and his new role as protector of the Skywalker progeny.
It’s much too early to get a feel for what the story will be. There’s still no script or any solid story in place. But whichever way they go, I’m sure I’ll be lining up at the theatre multiple times. After all, when has more Star Wars been a bad thing? (Note: the horrors of the prequel trilogy have been erased by the solid quality of the last two films for me).
3. A Great Director in Stephen Daldry
Stephen Daldry is apparently attached to direct the Obi-Wan movie. Not an obvious choice, he’s most know for Billy Elliot, The Hours, and the excellent Netflix drama The Crown. With that kind of pedigree, you know that he’ll be a great director of a dramatic film. Which doesn’t mean that there won’t be any action in the film, but maybe the emphasis here will be character and story.
Michael Barryte had this to say about his appointment: “It’s hard to say how much Daldry will actually affect the tone or style of the film – we’ve seen to an extreme degree with the Han Solo movie that when directors lean too large, they get the boot – but as long as Daldry’s willing to color in the lines Disney has put forward, I think he’ll do fine and maybe be allowed a few contemplative shots or some more artistic moments.”
As Michael rightly points out, Disney are very invested in these movies. And the high profile sacking of Lord and Miller wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by anyone signing up to direct.
When studios hire a director with a well known style or tone to direct their IP, it usually means they want that person to bring that style to their property. And though that may have backfired (initially) for the Han Solo film, if it works for the Obi-Wan movie, we would could be getting something pretty special indeed.
4. Will Ewan McGregor return?
Will he? And who else will star in the film for that matter? I’ve got to say, I’ve been very impressed with the castings of all the new Star Wars films. Starting with Adam Driver and Daisey Ridley as the leads of the sequel trilogy and everyone’s favourite motion capture actor, Andy Serkis as the mysterious Snoke. Through to Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk in Rogue One who were all great castings.
And I haven’t even mentioned the cast of the Han Solo film (and I’m not going to. The football is about to start and I want to wrap this up!).
They’ve gotten some tremendous actors into these films, and why wouldn’t they? It’s Star Wars! I have faith that they’ll get it right, but I really hope we’ll see Ewan swinging the blue blade again.
There’s no script yet, no start date, no release date and no actors attached to any roles. But damn I’m excited about this one! Hit me up on Twitter @benaldridge58 and tell me what you think of the news. Also, check out Michael Barryte (@belatedmedia) on Twitter and YouTube, who was kind enough to share his thoughts with us.