Qui-Gonn Jinn is not the only Jedi to learn the path back from the netherworld of the force. After years of being trampled on, Rumor has it Kenobi will finally rise once more behind the acting talents of Ewan McGregor. Rumor (and yes unconfirmed at this point) has it Ewan is not in talks for the role, he has SIGNED pen to paper to reprise the role for a Kenobi story.
Kenobi’s Beat Down Over the Years
When we last saw Kenobi, Rebels used him to push Ezra in the right direction and have one last confrontation with Maul. The last time we saw Ewan donning the cloak and saber, he began his exile on Tatooine after handing baby Luke to Aunt Beru.
Ewan’s Obi-Wan then surprised studio execs when he won the first ever Starwars.com 64 person, popularity bracket. Fans voted Ewan’s Kenobi as the #1 character in all of Star Wars. This proved his popularity.
When the new Star Wars movies relaunched under the Disney brand, a Kenobi movie became high demand from fans. Ewan even said he wanted to return. Ewan loves the role of Kenobi, and never hid that fact. Rumors became strong that the next movie to proceed Solo would indeed be a Kenobi story stand alone movie of some type with Ewan.
This rumor died with the mishandling of the Solo release. Everything in the pipe was shut down, including the Kenobi movie. At this point the fan base split horribly. Many cried out for the Kenobi movie to be made next, hoping it would reunite the fan base under such a great character and actor.
Along Comes Disney+
With the founding of Disney+ the opportunities with what could be done opened exponentially. Once again the fan push for Kenobi to return became loud. Mandalorians, clones, rebel spies all found new shows under the new streaming service, but once again there was no Kenobi.
With Episode IX fast approaching and Benioff and Weiss working on their trilogy rumored to be Old Republic, the future seemed to leave Kenobi in the dust yet again.
Movies are scheduled in years, but the new streaming service allows for wide open scheduling. One can do non-stop series after series, or do one series a year. The streaming series appears to have given Kenobi life once more.
Will Streaming Fit the Kenobi Story?
The ‘average’ streaming show runs 45 min to an hour with a season running 10 episodes. The little we know, Disney+ will stay fairly close to this model. Does a 10 hour episodic format benefit or harm the new Kenobi story?
The episodic format allows for a slower, more developed story and characters. A big question will be does this series run one season and done? or will Ewan stick with it for several seasons. If this show runs for several seasons, it could develop some rich characters and tell a long, involved story. In movies the project must hit certain beats at certain times and make sure its wrapped up within two hours.
In most every way, this format will be a HUGE bonus for Kenobi. Kenobi’s story can go anywhere in the galaxy, but most likely it belongs on Tatooine looking over Luke. John Jackson Miller wrote a fabulous book showing what the life of Kenobi could look like. There are no huge villains, no epic battles between armies. In fact with Maul now dead, there are no true enemies worthy of a Jedi Master.
Many fans want to see Vader and Kenobi clash one more time. In theory it is possible. During Episode IV, Vader senses Kenobi and says “…a presence I have not felt since…”. His incomplete sentence leaves the door wide open. In 20 years, there is plenty of time for Kenobi to leave planet and be back in time for Maul as well as Episode IV. The biggest problem I see with that is the conversation between Tarkin and Vader. Tarkin assumes Kenobi to have long been dead despite Vader’s insistence.
Old Faces Joining the New
With a serial format a show can take its time and introduce characters slowly, using them more efficiently. With movies characters must be either key components or they become relegated to background cameos. In Rogue One, Hera Syndulla was mentioned and used couple of times for mere seconds. In a serial style show Hera can be the pilot for a mission and used heavily for a show or two and then written out.
Of the old faces, Kenobi could bring back Master Qui-Gonn. In fact this would be KEY! With everything Obi-Wan went through, being able to talk with his old master about the events both set into tragic motion seems like a given.
Joel Edgerton expressed interest about bringing Owen back to life some time back, so he would be another familiar face to see along with Bonnie Piesse as Beru. Jabba might play a role given it is pretty much his planet. Hondo Ohnaka is a long time friend/adversary fans chop at the bit to see again. Given Obi-Wan’s history with the pirate, he would make a great add. Depending on when the show occurs, don’t be surprised if Jimmy Smits resurfaces as Bail Organa. Add all these names and many more for the new characters that are needed for a series, and the opportunities are rich and plentiful.
Timing of the Leak
Again this is all rumor, like everything about the Kenobi project has always been, but one must also look at the timing of these rumors. If the deal is officially inked and ready to go, when could they announce it? The D23 expo sits a mere week away. This may be rushed so they can make an announcement next weekend. Disney has been saying D23 will feature a lot of news about Star Wars and its future projects. Nothing really came out of San Diego Comicon this year.
May this rumor be true as it means a bright future for the Kenobi story. At long last our greatest Jedi hero may be returning.