The Star Wars universe will never be the same after Obi-Wan Kenobi hit Disney+, but the six-episode mini-series was initially intended to be a film trilogy.
Hayden Christensen is officially back as Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker/Sith Lord Darth Vader, with Ewan McGregor reprising his role of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi 17 years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) hit theaters.
The Skywalker saga would never be the same without this iconic duo, but rumors of Obi-Wan Kenobi originally being written as a movie trilogy stirred trouble for the limited series early on.
Now, screenwriter Stuart Beattie reveals that his two-hour Kenobi movie script was turned into a six-episode series after things went south with Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018):
“Right, so not at all, none. I wrote the film that they based the show on. So, yeah. I spent like a year, year-and-a-half working on it. And then, when the decision was made not to make any more spin-off films after Solo came out, I left the project and went on to other things. Joby came on and took my scripts and turned it from two hours into six. So, I did not work with them at all, I just got credit for the episodes because it was all my stuff.”
Stuart Beattie virtually had no hand in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. The writer reveals with The Direct that screenwriter Joby Harold reportedly took his script for the first Kenobi installment and transformed it into the first three episodes of the now Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Beattie continues to reveal that he originally pitched the idea of a Kenobi trilogy to Lucasfilm in 2016, banking on the realization of “three stories” comprising the life of Ben Kenobi before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) takes place:
“So when I pitched my Obi-Wan story to Lucasfilm, I said, ‘There’s actually three stories here. Because there’s three different evolutions that the character has to make in order to go from Obi-Wan to Ben.’ And the first one was the first movie, which was the show, which was, ‘Surrender to the will of the Force. Transport your will, surrender your will. Leave the kid alone.’ So then, the second [movie] was thinking about where Kenobi ends up. And one of the most powerful and probably the most powerful moment in all of Obi-Wan’s story is that moment where he sacrifices himself in A New Hope. Great moment, you know, makes you cry. But, if you stop and think about it, it’s a pretty sudden thing, to just kind of go be fighting a guy, to see Luke and go, ‘I’m gonna die.’ You know, that to me, that required forethought. That required pre-acceptance that this was going to happen.”
Not stopping there, the second installment of Stuart Beattie’s Kenobi trilogy would have showcased Obi-Wan Kenobi coming “to terms with his own mortality” and realizing his importance in the Force:
“So again, it’s one of those universal things we all struggle with, to come to terms with our own mortality. So, that was the second step of the evolution for me, that Obi-Wan now has to come to terms with his own mortality, somehow in a prophecy, or Qui-Gon telling him, ‘There’s going to come a moment where you’re gonna have to sacrifice yourself for the good,’ And then [Obi-Wan] is like, ‘What? No, no, no, no, I’m here to help… I can’t, no.’ And get him to that point where Obi Wan has accepted the idea that he’s going to die, and that he’s going to die willingly at a crucial moment, and you will know when that moment presents itself. So that when that moment comes up in [A New Hope], you understand. He’s recognizing he’s been on this journey already, and he’s waiting for this moment, and that’s how he’s able to make it so easily. To do this [sacrifice], and die. So that to me was the second evolution, the second film, the second story. So for me, if I have anything to do with the second season of Obi Wan, that’s the character evolution that I would take him on. That, to me, is really interesting. And like I said, universal.”
Beattie goes on to confirm that his Kenobi movies were originally a “full trilogy” that George Lucas reportedly supported:
“Oh absolutely. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, Ewan was on board, everyone. We were like, ‘Yeah, ready to go.’ And we were so excited about it, too… It’s a great story to tell, right? It’s such a fitting character and Ewan is just so fantastic at it. And he’s the perfect age, everything.
But, not all that’s gold can last forever:
“It just was dying to be done. You know, unfortunately, it’s just, it was Solo that changed the direction of the system. I like Solo, personally, but it hadn’t made a lot of money. It is crazy in some ways to think about it how it [was directed by] of the best filmmakers working today. But, just because it didn’t hit a certain number, they just had to rethink. And, again, way above my paygrade, but it certainly crushed us. Devastated, absolutely devastated. But, that’s the business, you know, highs and lows. I’m glad it got made. I’m glad the show got made. I’m proud of my story that [got] told. I’m glad my characters are all through it. And I’m glad I got credit for it. I wish, I wish they’d been able to make my movies.”
With rumors that Obi-Wan Kenobi was initially planned as a film trilogy, having the confirmation by the man who penned the episodic new saga for Ewan McGregor changes the Skywalker game.
Given that Stuart Beattie only wrote the first treatment for the Kenobi trilogy, the possible second season of the limited series would explore beyond the pre-conceived world penned by The Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter.
More about Obi-Wan Kenobi
The story begins ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his most significant defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
“The rematch of the century” teased by Kathleen Kennedy, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm will be supported by Moses Ingram (Inquisitor Reva), Joel Edgerton (Uncle Owen), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.
The world of George Lucas is expanding beyond (Mark Hamill), (Carrie Fisher), (Harrison Ford), (James Earl Jones), Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), (Ray Parker), (Boba Fett (/Temura Morrison), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Moff Gideon(Giancarlo Esposito), the , the Death Star, and The Clone Wars.
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