Kathleen Kennedy Rejected ‘Kenobi’ Script, Was Too “Bleak” For ‘Star Wars’

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ewan mcgregor (left) and kathleen kennedy (right) at d23 expo

Credit: Lucasfilm

The original script for Obi-Wan Kenobi was too bleak for Kathleen Kennedy.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Ewan McGregor’s return as the iconic Jedi Master is a dream come true for many Star Wars fans. After the actor announced onstage at 2019’s D23 that he would be returning to the Star Wars universe in a new spin-off project. Last week, fans got their first glimpse into what the six-episode series will look like as Kenobi will be facing a lot of dangerous enemies.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) as the series will be ten years before A New Hope. The show will start on Tatooine with Obi-Wan watching a young Luke from afar until the Empire shows up.

Frank Oz as Yoda (left), Ewan Mcgregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (middle), and Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The Inquisitors will be making their first debut into live-action — with some fans criticizing the Grand Inquisitor’s look — as the Jedi Hunters will be looking for Kenobi. Fans know that Hayden Christensen will be returning as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the series and that Kenobi and Vader will cross paths again.

During the early stages of development Kennedy shared that she thought the original script for Kenobi needed more “hope” because it was too bleak:

“We’re looking, ultimately, to make a hopeful, uplifting story. 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.”

Inquisitor and Stormtroopers on Daiyu in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Kathleen Kennedy Confirms ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Could Crossover with ‘The Mandalorian’

After seeing the first script written by Hossein Amini, Kennedy temporarily shut down production and pushed back the filming start date to August 2020 instead of January 2020. She hired a new writer, Joby Harold to take over with the new script. Harold made it clear from the beginning that he wanted to be involved with this project because Kenobi had become a “minor obsession” for the writer:

 “This was a character that’s always been a minor obsession of mine and when I heard it was a character they were exploring, I very aggressively told them all the things I thought they should do.”

Moses Ingram as Reva the Inquisitor
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This era of Star Wars is bleak and there isn’t a lot of hope to be found. With several of the recent projects, Star Wars Rebels and Jedi Fallen Order have done a good job balancing the darker themes with lighter moments as this era in Star Wars can be very dark.

Rebels did a great job at showing how the Galactic Empire took over planets and forced the citizens to agree to the Empire’s rules. The rights and freedoms for people under the Empire vanished and corruption and greed forced people to be fearful of those in charge. The animated series also brought in the Inquisitors and even Darth Vader for a few episodes as the Ezra and Kanan were revealed to be Jedi.

Ezra Bridger and the Grand Inquisitor
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order was one of Star Wars‘ first single-player story video games after Disney acquired Lucasfilm. The game focused on a Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis as he was forced out of hiding by the Empire. Kestis was also hunted by Inquisitors and the game explored Cal’s trauma after having the Jedi Order destroyed abruptly at the end of the Clone Wars.

If Kenobi does have some more hope in the series, fans will be disappointed if the series doesn’t explore Kenobi’s trauma and failure with Anakin. This would be a dark moment for Obi-Wan and it would be a shame if the series doesn’t focus on it.

jedi fallen order cal kestis battles inquisitors
Credit: Electronic Arts (EA)/Respawn Entertainment

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McGregor did share that Kenobi will be “lost” at the start of the series as the Jedi master will still be haunted by the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith:

“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.”

It’s hard to trust Lucasfilm with bigger characters like Kenobi as fans look back to Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2018) as an example of how Disney has already ruined a beloved character. Hopefully, Kenobi won’t follow the same path as the Sequel Trilogy. The series looks promising as fans hope it will be one of the best Star Wars show on Disney+ and be on the same level as The Mandalorian.

More on Obi-Wan Kenobi 

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Will Be “Connective Tissue” of the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

Here’s an official description of the new Star Wars Story:

The series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

The Inquisitors meeting on Fortress Inquisitorius
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The new Star Wars limited series stars Ewan McGregor, reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master, with Hayden Christensen’s return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Joining the cast are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney+ on May 25.

Do you think Disney will ruin Kenobi? Do you wish the script would’ve been darker? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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