Ben there, doing that?
Lucasfilm is officially developing a brand new Star Wars anthology film that will focus on Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi. Rumored to be a possibility for a long time now, in large part due to prequel-star Ewan McGregor‘s outspoken desire to make one, Lucasfilm announced their plans to move forward with the concept.
Although no details were given (not even McGregor was confirmed in the press release), a lead creative has been tapped to spearhead the project: Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of movies such as Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader (those last two efforts earned Academy Awards for Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet, respectively). Daldry is also an award-winning theatre director, and recently helmed early episodes of the Netflix series The Crown.
No deal has been finalized, but Daldry is negotiating to direct from a script that he writes (or at least oversees). The likelihood is that this latest Star Wars stand-alone would focus on Kenobi’s time as a hermit on Tatooine, between the events of Episodes III and IV, when the Jedi Master kept a distant eye on the young Luke Skywalker.
If this ends up being the approach, as most expect, it’ll be interesting to see if a young Luke Skywalker would be woven into that narrative as well, and if they’d cast a young boy as opposed to a young teenager. Going younger would allow Lucasfilm to pursue sequels if that first anthology effort strikes a chord.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the story would go much further back to a very young Obi-Wan, perhaps with his master Qui-Gon Jinn, but that seems less likely as that’s not really the story that Star Wars fans are clamoring for. People want to see McGregor’s Kenobi outside of George Lucas’s flat tonal confines. Plus, McGregor would sell more tickets.
Whatever the Obi-Wan movie ends up being, let’s hope it’s some damn fool idealistic crusade.