Hello everyone and welcome to The Sarlacc Pit. With “Rogue One” coming to theaters in a little over a month and casting news and rumors circulating about the standalone Han Solo movie slated for 2018, many have begun wondering about the third anthology movie planned for the year 2020.
To give those who may not know some context about these standalone movies, these movies are made to stand separate from the “Sequel Trilogy” (ST) which consists of “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015), Episode VIII (2017), and Episode IX (2019). These movies will tell stories from all sorts of points in the Star Wars timeline and will be released between each ST movie. The first “anthology” movie we will receive will be “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” coming out this December, then we will get a Han Solo movie in 2018 which will supposedly tell a sort of origin story of a young Han Solo.
Originally the 2018 anthology film was supposed to be directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle” and “Fantastic Four”), and was widely thought to be a Boba Fett movie (although this was never confirmed). The Han Solo movie was then originally going to be the third anthology film. However, after “Fantastic Four” absolutely bombed (9% on Rotten Tomatoes) and rumors circulated about Trank’s difficulty working with the production studio, Trank decided to pass on the Star Wars anthology film. This decision came two weeks after Trank was a no-show to Star Wars celebration in Anaheim in 2015, so many believe that while the official statement is that Trank left for his own reasons, Lucasfilm actually dropped him for an actor who played better with the production studio.
Anyways, what this means is that instead of Trank’s maybe Boba Fett, maybe Yoda film in 2018, we are getting a Han Solo movie in 2018, and an unknown film in 2020. What I want to talk about this week is why that 2020 anthology slot should be filled with a movie all about everyone’s favorite Jedi Knight-turned-desert wizard: Obi-Wan Kenobi. This will have spoilers for “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” as well as mild spoilers from Marvel’s Star Wars, so read at your own risk.
When Would This Movie Take Place?
Ok, an Obi-Wan Kenobi prequel movie might be cool. We could see a young Obi-Wan Kenobi become padawan to Qui-Gon Jinn and see how he learned about the Force. However, what I have in mind, and what many other people have in mind as well, is a movie taking place between the PT and the OT, as Obi-Wan Kenobi struggles to survive hidden among the sand dunes of Tatooine.
This time period would be perfect for numerous reasons. First off, we can bring back Ewan McGregor as Kenobi. I have already expressed numerous times that I think McGregor did a fantastic job in the PT, and I think he has earned a chance to reprise this role in a better-made film. If Ryan Reynolds gets a good Deadpool movie after playing a terrible version of Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” then Ewan McGregor definitely deserves another shot at Kenobi.
Secondly, while we have some (two comic issues-worth) content about what Obi-Wan did during this time period, it’s relatively little, and only shown through the pages of a journal that he kept with the intention of giving to Luke Skywalker. So we have about 19 years worth of time to play around with (which is why many people think this should be a triology, I’m not trying to be greedy here, just give me one good movie).
Finally, Ewan McGregor is all for it. While rumors began circulating a year ago about McGregor being courted by Disney to reprise his role as Kenobi, he repeatedly claimed that he would be down to do so. I mean who wouldn’t really, am I right? Like you could walk up to a guy who played a random Jawa and I’d bet a ton of Republic credits that he would reprise his role, but still. The fact that McGregor is totally down for another Kenobi movie is pretty exciting. Having McGregor reprise this role would really only work for this time period between Episodes III and IV, unless you did some crazy CGI to make him look way younger. Note: technically you could say McGregor came back as Kenobi in “The Force Awakens” during Rey’s vision scene where he can be heard saying “…these are your first steps.”
What Would We See?
I don’t want to pretend that I know better than the writers at Lucasfilm. I’m far more interested in watching and reading Star Wars content than making it, so instead of trying to write up a plot, I’m just going to list a few things that I would hope would be in a standalone Kenobi movie. I will say that I think that the movie should center around two main themes, the first would be how Kenobi coped with the destruction of the Jedi Order, and how he continued to train in the ways of the Force while trying to star hidden from the Empire, and the second would be how Kenobi survived on Tatooine in almost complete isolation and surrounded by the scum and villainy of Tatooine. With those two ideas in mind, here are a few of my ideas of what should be seen in an Obi-Wan movie.
Qui-Gon Jinn and Force Ghost Training
In Star Wars: Ahsoka, we a given a brief interlude that focuses on Obi-Wan meditating in the desert of Tatooine. He focuses on a sensation in the Force, and eventually is able to hear Qui-Gon Jinn’s voice. Qui-Gon Jinn is the first known Jedi to have mastered maintaining his identity in the Force after death, and at the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” Master Yoda gives Obi-Wan a final assignment: to train in this ability with the help of Qui-Gon. It would make sense for this to be at least some aspect of a standalone Kenobi film, as it was mentioned in “Episode III.” It would also be cool to see Liam Neeson reprise his role as Qui-Gon Jinn as well. Fun fact: Neeson voiced Qui-Gon in a couple episodes of “The Clone Wars.”
Jabba the Hutt
In the comics and in “A New Hope” it is clear that Ben Kenobi knows a bit about the criminal underworld of Tatooine through experience. Perhaps we would see a bit more of Old Ben making things difficult for Tatooine’s number one gangster: Jabba the Hutt.
Luke Skywalker and the Lars Family
Ok so this is important: in “A New Hope” it was made relatively clear that Luke Skywalker had not had any real interaction with Obi-Wan “Old Ben” Kenobi. However, the Marvel Star Wars series shows that Obi-Wan did a lot to protect Luke throughout his childhood, and spent a lot of time watching over him from the shadows. Obi-Wan also had a good deal of interaction with Ben Lars, who wanted Obi-Wan to stay as far away from Luke as possible (apparently Owen had a problem with Obi-Wan taking his half-brother out into the galaxy for a life of adventure and limb amputation). While I do not think the movie should center around Luke Skywalker in any way, a story about Obi-Wan’s time on Tatooine needs at least a Luke Skywalker cameo.
What We Should Not See
Just as I have a few opinions on what we should see in this movie, I have a lot of opinions on things that should not happen. I feel like this will be a more controversial topic, but I think it is important that the movies make sense in the context of the movies alone, as well as the extended canon. What this means is I think that you should not have to read all the comics and watch all the animated series to understand the movie. I will explain this more shortly.
Obi-Wan already got his romance story. In “The Clone Wars” we were informed that Obi-Wan had strong feelings for Satine Kryze, Duchess of Mandalore, going as far to say that he would have left the Jedi Order for her if she had only asked him to. This romance is my favorite in all of the Star Wars franchise (yep, I will go down with this ‘ship) as it was a story of two pretty bad-ass characters who were in love but knew that they were needed elsewhere. It’s not the most romantic love story, but I really enjoyed seeing the more emotional side of Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, with Rey’s parents being a hot topic among Star Wars fans, many have circulated the idea that perhaps Obi-Wan is Rey’s granddaughter, and that Kenobi impregnated someone during his time on Tatooine. I don’t buy this (as I have said in an earlier post). If Kenobi was going to be with someone, it would have been Satine, and she was killed by Darth Maul on Mandalore. I think it would be odd to see Obi-Wan Kenobi, staunch adherent to the rules of the Jedi Order, suddenly drop his convictions for a short-lived tryst in the desert of Tatooine. I just don’t see it.
This is where people are going to disagree with me, but before you get angry, let me explain. In “The Phantom Menace,” Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced Darth Maul in half and pushed him down a bottomless pit. However, in “The Clone Wars” we find out that the pit did have a bottom and Darth Maul’s hatred for Kenobi kept him alive. After teaming up with his brother, he faced Kenobi two more times, and was defeated each time. Eventually he was captured by Darth Sidious, rescued by the Mandalorian terrorist group Death Watch, and became a drifter through the galaxy, until he met Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, and Ahsoka Tano on Malachor about 15 years after the end of the Clone Wars. Maul’s hatred for Kenobi never waned, however, and the last time we have seen him (so far) he is flying his ship through the space yelling “he’s alive,” which I believe is a reference to Obi-Wan being alive on Tatooine, and Maul’s renewed hope in his goal of vengeance.
This is where many people would like to see a Kenobi movie come into play. Sure, it would be cool to see Ray Park reprise his role as Maul and get one last grudge match between Maul and Kenobi. However, as I said earlier, I believe it is important that the movies be accessible and easily understandable to an audience that has no experience with extended canon. Imagine that you have only watched the movies and suddenly Darth Maul pops up decades after Obi-Wan sliced him in half on Naboo. This wouldn’t make sense. It would leave many audience members very confused, and probably a little bit angry while only the people who have watched “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” would understand what happened. At this point, Darth Maul belongs to the animated series, and that is where we should see the final Maul/Kenobi grudge match, not in a live-action movie.
Jedi, Sith, or Rebels
The main reason Kenobi took Luke Skywalker to his family on Tatooine was that it was far away from the center of the galaxy. The point was to stay hidden and let the galaxy think Kenobi was dead and Luke was never born. With this in mind, I do not think Obi-Wan would ever reach out to any Jedi, wanting to keep his life, and that of Luke Skywalker, safe and isolated. I also think that if he were to encounter a Sith such as a member of the Inquisitorius, it would have to end in a way that did not alert the Empire to a Jedi presence on Tatooine, as both Darth Vader and the Emperor believed Kenobi to be dead. Finally, while the Rebel Alliance was known about on Tatooine, they had little presence that far away from the action, so it would not make sense to see Obi-Wan team up with an early version of the Rebellion.
I think keeping these aspects out of the movie may be asking a lot, however I think that a Kenobi film should focus less on the worries of the galaxy, and more on Kenobi, fallen Jedi Master, abandoned by the only life he had ever known, find a way to survive on a planet that is not kind to people. He may have to interact with Imperial stormtroopers or low-level Imperial officers, but for the most part I think that the planet Tatooine itself might prove to be a difficult adversary to face in its own right.
Now, with all my opinions out there, I will be honest: the movie could literally be two hours of Obi-Wan Kenobi meditating in total silence and I would still probably pay to see it in IMAX 3D. No matter what kind of direction they took in an Obi-Wan movie, I would still thoroughly enjoy it. However, I have faith in Disney’s ability to make good movies, and while we may never get a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film I have no doubt that whatever movies we get in the future they will continue to maintain a standard of excellence for the Star Wars universe.
Speaking of Disney making Star Wars movies, next week I will have a somewhat controversial post about why I believe Disney buying Star Wars was one of the best things to happen to the franchise. As always, thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!