When George Lucas released the very first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, in 1977, movie theaters were originally skeptical of the space opera. 20th Century Fox — now Disney-owned 20th Century Studios — even had to make an illegal deal to get the film onto some screens.
The Star Wars franchise, of course, exploded and has become one of the most famous movie series in Hollywood history. From the moment the original trilogy’s core trio of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) graced movie screens for the first time, fans were hooked.
Now, the Star Wars faithful are about to get a story they’ve dreamed of for years — the details of what happened to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi between the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) and A New Hope.
Although Sir Alec Guinness originally played the legendary Jedi Master in George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Ewan McGregor cemented the character’s legacy for a new generation in Lucas’s prequel trilogy, which released between 1999 and 2005.
The trilogy was not initially well received, but nostalgia has reigned and the fandom is now thrilled to see McGregor reunite with Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
While specific details of the series are being kept under wraps, which is par for the course for the Star Wars franchise on Disney+, we do know that the show will follow Kenobi’s exile on Tatooine about eight years after Revenge of the Sith and the execution of Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) Order 66.
It has long been known that Darth Vader’s Inquisitors will make their live-action debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi and that we will see the origin of the iconic Jedi’s time looking after young farm boy Luke Skywalker from afar.
Now, Obi-Wan Kenobi director, Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian), has spoken out about her commitment to keeping Lucas’s original vision for the Star Wars story alive in her upcoming special event series. Chow recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly, saying:
“It was definitely something we were very mindful of. And for me also taking on [George Lucas’] legacy, it’s an honor to take these characters and be able to tell a new story with them. So I wanted to be very respectful to what exists and not change anything that George intended originally or anything like that.”
Lucas famously sold Lucasfilm, Ltd. to The Walt Disney Company in 2012 when Bob Iger was CEO. At one point, the Star Wars creator spoke out about his decision to sell his life’s work:
“In 2012, I was 69. So the question was, ‘Am I going to keep doing this the rest of my life? Do I want to go through this again?’. Finally, I decided I’d rather raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while. I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn’t retiring. On The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi I tried to stay out of the way but I couldn’t. I was there every day. I’m one of those micromanger guys and I can’t help it. So I figured I would forgo that, enjoy what I had and I was looking forward to raising my daughter. I’ve spent my life creating Star Wars, 40 years, and giving it up was very, very painful. But it was the right thing to do.”
As for the rest of the cast in the upcoming show, McGregor and Christensen will be joined by fellow prequel actors Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton, both of whom are set to reprise their roles as Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars. The series will also feature newcomers like Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sung Kang will join the Star Wars galaxy for the first time.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is also expected to feature numerous cameos, including the return of Princess Leia (Vivian Lyra Blair) and the reported appearance of droid bounty hunter 4-LOM, who originally appeared in the iconic “bounty hunter scene” in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
What do you think about Deborah Chow vowing that Obi-Wan Kenobi will honor George Lucas’s legacy?