Fans of Obi-Wan Kenobi have clamored for a movie focusing on the character for years — ever since Disney started rolling out side story theatrical releases. Now, at D23 just about a month ago, the truth is finally out, and a Kenobi series for the new Disney+ streaming service is in development, starring Ewan McGregor.
Over the years, rumors about a stand-alone Kenobi project circulated, claiming that a movie was in the works. Reports of McGregor stepping back into the role of Kenobi started and were denied multiple times, with some sources going so far as to suggest the movie would be released in 2020. Through it all, McGregor continued to say he was more than ready to reprise the iconic role, if only Disney would ask him.
Originally, “Kenobi” was slated to be a full-length theatrical release, but after other “Star Wars” spinoffs like “Rogue One” and “Solo” didn’t do as well as Disney hoped, the project was quietly shuffled off. Only after the creation of Disney+ did the company consider picking the project back up in a new form, and the series was born.
While some might be disappointed that the full-length theatrical release will never become a reality, many others have fully embraced the TV series as a more than acceptable replacement, or even, in some cases, an improvement. With the serial format, the series will be better able to facilitate a complex storyline and multiple plots at once, while ultimately providing more content overall. The series will be four hours long, and with the script already written, production is set to begin in 2020.
After the rocky road to a release date, what was once a Kenobi movie will instead air on Disney+. As Disney has prepared its service for launch, it’s chosen to rival its competitors by featuring exclusive content that it already has a viewership platform foaming at the mouths for — most notably, the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Kenobi.” In both these cases, fans have clamored for the stories for years, so by providing the content exclusively on their own platform, Disney insures their streaming service will take off quickly.
After years of informing Disney and fans alike how willing he was to come back to “Star Wars,” Ewan McGregor will be reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. When the scrapped Kenobi movie was first announced with no confirmation of McGregor in the lead role, many fans cried out, claiming they wouldn’t watch the movie if McGregor was not cast. Whether that outcry influenced Disney’s decision or not, it’s clear that Disney is listening to fans when considering this project. Fans don’t need to be afraid of the series straying from the character they know and love from the original Star Wars saga, as McGregor has proven again and again that he’s just as much of a fan as everyone else.
The series will take place 10 years before the events of “A New Hope,” which has fans speculating on who else might enter into the story. Ten years before “A New Hope” means an appearance by Han Solo is entirely possible, as well as many characters from “Star Wars: Rebels” and other “Star Wars” stories. Considering the cameo of Darth Maul at the end of “Solo” and Maul’s connection to Kenobi, an appearance by him seems especially likely and has fans excited to see how the series develops.
Ten years before “A New Hope” puts Obi-Wan firmly in the middle of his self-imposed exile in Tatooine, after the creation of Darth Vader and while Luke is in something like middle school. Fans don’t know much about what stories the Kenobi series will follow, but those who are already speculating suggest it could have something to do with his ongoing guilt about his former pupil and his role as Luke’s protector.
Another pretty popular guess is that fans will see Qui-Gon Jinn in Force ghost form as he teaches Obi-Wan mysteries of the Force that have thus far only been explored briefly in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” when Qui-Gon appears to teach Yoda. At the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” Yoda informs Obi-Wan that he will have training to do on Tatooine, so the appearance seems like a pretty plausible choice for the series.
After the shock of the Empire’s rise to power and Anakin’s descent into Darth Vader, it’s a safe bet that Obi-Wan will have a lot of personal trauma to work through. Whether or not that will become a main thrust of the series remains to be seen, but just as his training with Qui-Gon seems likely, so does seeing a wealth of emotion from the exiled Jedi, especially with Ewan McGregor taking back the role.
The original script of the Kenobi movie would have depicted a battle between Tatooine moisture farmers and the Tuscan Raiders, putting Luke in danger and forcing Obi-Wan to come out of hiding long enough to intervene. Fans haven’t had any confirmation or denial of the movie’s script being used in any form, so the series could still focus on a conflict like the one fans would have seen in the scrapped theatrical release.
Years of waiting are finally paying off, and the Kenobi series will soon be in production. Throughout the process, it’s certain that fans will comb press releases and any information they can find to discover as much about the series as possible before its eventual release date. As the information leaks, the hype will only increase. The Kenobi series will have big expectations to meet, but with Ewan McGregor in the lead role, it’s safe to say that the character will be well represented in any appearance, and Disney will be able to meet fan demands of the long-awaited series.