As many viewers know by now, the Star Wars film series is not just merely the saga of the Skywalker family anymore. Beginning with this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm is going to release standalone anthology films in the years between the numbered episodes, fleshing out the universe with stories that are not connected to the primary narrative. The studio obviously has big plans for this line of movies, given that they are already planning installments through the next decade. Many fans are curious to see which projects are green lit, since only two spinoffs have been confirmed so far.
One popular rumor that’s kept popping up over the past few years is Ewan McGregor reprising his prequel role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for a movie centered around the wise Jedi. The actor has said he would happily return to the galaxy far, far away, but nothing has come into fruition just yet. As fans pass the time by editing their own trailers, imagining what an Obi-Wan film would look like, McGregor is beginning to hypothesize what topics he’d like to explore as well.
In an interview with Premiere (hat tip Den of Geek for English translation) while promoting his directorial effort American Pastoral, McGregor stated that he hasn’t been approached for a spinoff, but remains open to the idea. “I’ve always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness’ first one,” he said, referring to the nearly two-decade gap in franchise canon that exists between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. McGregor elaborated by saying he’s the right age to do multiple films:
“It would be fun to film that story now I’m older. I’d be the right age. I’m forty-five, Alec Guinness was what, sixty? I could do two of them!”
Guinness was 63 when the original Star Wars film premiered in 1977, meaning that McGregor definitely wouldn’t be limited to a single installment (even if he had to wait a few years). Lucasfilm is reportedly developing a trilogy for the young Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, and they could very well do the same for McGregor’s Obi-Wan. How Kenobi spent his days on Tatooine watching over Luke Skywalker is one of the franchise’s biggest mysteries remaining, and it seems ripe for a film. The Star Wars comics have had appearances from Obi-Wan, so the story group could very well be planting the seeds for bigger things to come. Obi-Wan is a popular character, and McGregor’s performances in Episodes I – III were well-received. The demand for this project is certainly there.
At this point, it seems all but a given that an Obi-Wan spinoff will be announced sooner or later. McGregor’s passion is high, and Lucasfilm would be smart to bring him back to serve as a friendly face of the series. In the event that the likes of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac move on following Episode IX (Ridley in particular has no shortage of offers), McGregor could fill the void and headline his own series, perhaps alternating with tales of young Han Solo. Though Obi-Wan has been heavily featured in the movies of the past, there’s still much potential for a compelling story in his own standalone. If Han Solo is getting this treatment, there’s no reason why Obi-Wan can’t.
McGregor’s claim that nobody at Lucasfilm has floated the idea to him seems dubious at best, especially since there’s a writer in place for the anthology due in 2020. He could be playing things close to the chest for now until something is finalized in an effort to not get anyone’s hopes up. But since McGregor is still part of the Star Wars family (making a vocal cameo in The Force Awakens), chances are he gets another chance to play Obi-Wan in the flesh in the near future.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.