News from a galaxy far, far away tells that Oscar nominated director Stephen Daldry is in early talks with Disney and Lucasfilm about a solo film featuring the famous Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. If these early negotiations are successful, Daldry will be in charge of development and writing alongside Lucasfilm because at this moment, there is no script nor any actor set to play the role previously portrayed by actors Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor. There have been opportunities in the past to tell stories within the Star Wars universe which have had mixed results (remember those stand-alone movies featuring the Ewoks?) But the success of Rogue One has shown that the Star Wars universe is indeed extremely big and that Star Wars continuity has more than a few places where great cinematic storytelling could fill in blanks within its iconic history.
We were first introduced to Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope where he is a mysterious desert drifter in brown robes who saves Luke Skywalker and his two droids. Later we learn he is one of the last Jedi Masters in existence, that he knew Luke’s father and that the Rebel Alliance has entrusted him with information vital to defeating the Empire and their new weapon the Death Star. Armed with his symbolic lightsaber, he not teaches Luke the ways of the Force but also manages to inspire an entire generation of fans with his performance much to the chagrin of Guinness later in his life. While avoiding the capture of the Death Star, Obi-Wan comes across Darth Vader, a former pupil swayed to the Dark Side of the Force, and is killed in battle. Obi-Wan would however transcend to continue as a spiritual advisor to Luke throughout the trilogy but his early years remained a mystery until years later.
In the Star Wars prequels, we were introduced to Obi-Wan first as a Padawan and then as a Jedi played by Ewan McGregor. Here, we met a young, brash, and at times impulsive Jedi who struggled to fulfill a promise to his master to train a young Anakin Skywalker. His role as a teacher was further complicated by the war between the Republic and the Separatists which was further elaborated on by the animated Clone Wars series. Here, Obi-Wan voiced by James Arnold Taylor struggled to be a warrior and a teacher as this series transitioned from The Clone Wars to Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan would witness the rise of the Empire, the destruction of the Jedi Temple and the transformation of Anakin into Darth Vader. His regret over his failure to save Anakin was not enough to prevent him from keeping his children Luke and Leia out of their malevolent father’s reach. Obi-Wan would even transcend the physical death of Alec Guinness to encourage Rey in The Force Awakens when she first touched the lightsaber that belonged to Luke and his father before him.
Clearly there is a real chronology of events and an evolution of a character that could easily find a place to have a defining adventure or two with right actor and director. Ewan McGregor has said on multiple ocassions that he would love to reprise the character. Director Stephen Daldry has a background in theater and his movies such as Billy Elliot or The Hours have earned him Oscar nominations and his recent work on Netflix’s The Crown has also earned him an Emmy nomination. But more importantly, this movie is just one of several Lucasfilm and Disney are working on that will expand the Star Wars universe beyond the Skywalker family. The current Han Solo movie directed by Ron Howard is in its final month of shooting. There are rumors of movies focused on the legendary Jedi Master Yoda and famous bounty hunter Boba Fett being discussed behind closed doors. If the Obi-Wan movie materializes and becomes successful, it could lead to new Star Wars movies for both a newer and older generation and that is something worth hoping for. Until there’s more, may the Force be with you, always.
Also if you want to live the Star Wars beyond your living room, watch this and take a shot on the wild side of the Force!