Maybe There’s No Obi-Wan Movie Because Lucasfilm Is Ready to Let The Past Die
An Obi-Wan spinoff is not the movie Lucasfilm is looking for.
I guess we won’t be hearing that familiar “hello there” any time soon. Ewan McGregor said on The View that there are currently no plans for an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin off film at Lucasfilm, though of course, McGregor would be interested in returning, should the opportunity present itself. This contradicts earlier rumors that a spin-off was in development and that McGregor was slated to return to the role in a film set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
Outside of an untitled 2020 film and the upcoming trilogies, one helmed by Rian Johnson and the other by the showrunners behind Game of Thrones, Lucasfilm is keeping mum on most of the materials that will follow the upcoming Episode IX, billed as the final film in the Skywalker Saga. Even the books and TV shows are starting to trickle down into silence; beyond two prequel-era novels, the upcoming final season of The Clone Wars, and the incredibly-under-wraps Star Wars Resistance, we don’t have a lot of extra material to work with. It’s as if they’re saving the future of Star Wars for after the end of the Skywalker Saga is released. For what reason, I cannot say.
With that in mind, it might be time to realize that Lucasfilm might’ve learned a lesson from the difference in response to Rogue One and Solo. Rogue One, while set in a familiar time and with familiar faces, was a fresh and risky take on the Star Wars universe, with new faces. Solo, on the other hand, focused on perhaps the safest character possible and didn’t try anything new; even the big twist relied on bringing back a familiar face—one that’s already been brought back before. One received critical acclaim and high box office returns; the other underperformed and didn’t seem to have as much of a lasting impact on culture.
Even with The Clone Wars returning and two upcoming books set in the prequel era, it feels as though Lucasfilm is saving its future releases to focus on the new generation of heroes, rather than deciding to focus on older original trilogy favorites. Originally, there were rumors and plans for both an Obi-Wan and a Boba Fett spinoff, but these seem to be dead in the water. The Boba news disappoints me, as I love Mandalorians and would also enjoy some Maori representation, but the Obi-Wan news less so, as we’ve already seen the most interesting thing that happened to Obi-Wan during his exile, on Rebels.
Could it be, then, that Lucasfilm is trying to move away from legacy films and focus on the new? All discourse aside, The Last Jedi made some serious box office money on the thesis of letting the past die and new heroes like Rey, Finn, and Poe take over. Episode IX is being billed as the end of the Skywalker Saga, though that’s been said before; if we take it at face value, that means we might get more sequel trio fun but it could see the end of the Skywalker family drama.
Lucasfilm is also building up a steady ensemble of popular characters who don’t technically exist in the original trilogy but who could be touchstones for future projects. There’s Ahsoka and Sabine’s space road trip, which means we haven’t seen the end of Hera, Zeb, Ezra, and Thrawn. The book Last Shot, ostensibly a Han and Lando story, hints that characters from the Aftermath trilogy might make a reappearance at some point.
Star Wars Resistance will offer new characters who we can follow throughout the sequel era. Both new trilogies will focus on unique, non-legacy characters. The anthologies even offer hope that we can see familiar time periods through new eyes.
It might be wise for Lucasfilm to reinvent itself this way. To spend too much time clinging to Han, Luke, and Leia would be poor marketing; there are only so many stories that can be told about them, given what the sequels have established. Instead, changing it up and creating a whole new world of characters might be the best way to go, rather than just hoping for the best with rehashing the original trilogy.
To do that, they might have to let that idea of an Obi-Wan film go, which would probably be for the best. Given how popular Rey, Finn, and Poe are, focusing on them and a myriad of new characters would be a fresh way to continue the franchise and prove that it doesn’t need the Skywalker name to be our hero.
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