Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy recently explained why the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was delayed – and admitted the Star Wars franchise has an agenda.
star wars fans have all their attention focused on Ewan McGregor and the upcoming Obi Wan Kenobi series. The highly-anticipated Disney+ project just released its first trailer, and fans have been poring over every second of the footage in hopes of finding any important details. The trailer showed a glimpse of a young Luke Skywalker (who was endorsed by Mark Hamill) and introduced new Inquisitors.
The trailer also led to increased reports of Obi Wan Kenobi production. In a story of Weekly entertainmentLucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy explained some of the early delays that affected the series – and she also revealed something that has a certain star wars enthusiasts who are more nervous than excited. Why are some viewers not so thrilled to Obi Wan Kenobi?
Pre-production on Obi Wan Kenobi took absolutely forever. Rumors of an Obi-Wan project began as early as 2013; however, it was all very swashbuckling until 2019, when the Obi Wan Kenobi The series was announced at Expo D23. Since then, fans have learned more about what happened during those six years. Apparently Disney approached Ewan McGregor to reprise his role in 2015, but the logistics of Obi-Wan’s reappearance have changed several times.
First of all, Obi Wan Kenobi was to be a feature film directed by Stephen Daldry. But when Solo: A Star Wars Story disappointed and Disney started to focus on Disney+ content, Lucasfilm pivoted and transformed Obi Wan Kenobi in a six-episode miniseries. Still, that was not the end of the turmoil. In 2020, Kennedy suspended the series and replaced writer Hossein Amini with Joby Harold. According to EO interview, Kennedy had issues with the direction of Amini’s script and the tone of the series.
“We’re looking, ultimately, to make a story that’s hopeful and uplifting,” she explained. “And it’s tricky when you start with a character in the state that Obi-Wan would be coming out of Revenge of the Sith. It’s a pretty dark time. You can’t just wave the magic wand with any writer and come up with a story that necessarily reflects how you want to feel.
While that might seem like a harmless statement on the surface, there’s a major problem. Kennedy said Lucasfilm was trying to make a hopeful story, and to some extent star wars is meant to be a hopeful franchise. However, “hopeful” is not the right word to describe the galaxy during the Obi Wan Kenobi series. The time between Revenge of the Sith and A new hope is literally called “The Dark Times” because there was little to no hope in the galaxy during that time. Trying to impose a hopeful tone on one of the darkest points of star wars the story is a problem.
It also creates a larger creative problem. Going into any project with an agenda depreciates the story and character journeys. Boba Fett’s Book is an example; fans expected a nostalgic, badass bounty hunter and Disney gave them a heroic, talkative Daimyo. The series imposed a heroic frame on a character that did not suit him, and reception of the series was divided. Now they run the same risk with Obi Wan Kenobi changing his tone. Disney needs to focus on telling stories that are as true to the characters as possible, without focusing on a specific agenda — even if that agenda is based on Proof of Hope.
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