The Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series may seem like a slam-dunk from Lucasfilm, but the recent cover story from EW describes the lengthy process it took to get it right. It’s been a long journey for Kenobi cast and crew, some of whom initially signed up for a theatrical film to be directed by Stephen Daldry. Which died on the vine after Solo failed in theaters.
Reconceived as a Disney+ series, with Deborah Chow set to direct, the Kenobi story started to go too dark for Kathleen Kennedy’s tastes. “We’re looking, ultimately, to make a hopeful, uplifting story,” she says. “And it’s tricky when you’re starting with a character in the state that Obi-Wan would be in coming off of Revenge of the Sith. That’s a pretty bleak period of time. You can’t just wave the magic wand with any writer and arrive at a story that necessarily reflects what you want to feel.” She hired writer Joby Harold to work with Chow, replacing Hossein Amini, who’d worked on the movie script.
Harold describes Kenobi’s arc thusly: “When we last saw Obi-Wan in the prequels, he’s very emotional. There’s a passion to him. And when we get to see him again in A New Hope, he is the Zen master. That was the story that I wanted to understand — what had happened to Obi-Wan between the guy that Ewan had brought to life and the guy that Sir Alec Guinness brought to life.”
Adds Ewan McGregor, “He’s a broken man after what happened with the Jedi order at the end of Episode III, but also what happened with Anakin; that he lost him to the dark side. He feels an enormous amount of responsibility for that, and guilt.”
As for the setting, which the article confirms as halfway between Episodes III and IV, “The Empire is in the ascendancy,” says Harold. “All the horrors that come with the Empire are being made manifest throughout the galaxy, so everything that was in the prequels has crumbled. The Jedi order are being all but wiped out, and those Jedi that have survived are on the run and they’re in hiding.”
And unlike Boba Fett, Obi-Wan’s not staying on Tatooine the whole time. Chow confirms “we definitely go to new worlds. Part of what makes Star Wars is getting to visit different places.”
Recommended Reading: Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin
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