This has been rumored about for quite a while, but it looks like it’s finally going to be happening: according to multiple reports, Ewan McGregor is in talks to reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a limited series on Disney+!
Multiple outlets, including media stalwarts like Deadline and Variety, have reported the news, saying that the return will be for a 6-8 episode run on Disney’s new streaming service. The news was first reported on Thursday by Cinelinx’s Jordan Maison, but was actually mentioned all the way back in February by Star Wars News Net’s John Hoey. According to that report, a Kenobi standalone film was set to be announced shortly after Solo‘s premiere, but the box office reception to the movie shifted plans a bit.
But make no mistake: a series on Disney+ isn’t exactly Lucasfilm relegating Obi-Wan Kenobi to the backburner. As studios shift more and more into streaming I think our perceptions of films will change (that is, they won’t have to be in theaters to be considered big projects), and we know for a fact that Disney+ is a massive priority for Disney. They’re pouring tons of resources into the streaming service (which is set to launch in a few months), and studios like Marvel and Lucasfilm are developing many projects for the platform. That includes the upcoming The Mandalorian, an untitled Cassian Andor series, and a seventh season of The Clone Wars.
I actually think this might be the best medium for an Obi-Wan Kenobi story. Assuming they are hour-long episodes, we actually should get enough content in a 6-8 episode series to make up the length of a couple of films, so we’d be getting even more than with a theatrical release. But it also allows them to do different things with the series through the episodic format, which is nice.
When it comes to Ewan McGregor returning as Obi-Wan, I’m all in. He was the star of the prequels and brought so much depth and character to the wise Jedi Master, and so it doesn’t take much beyond that casting to get me excited. My only hope is that they have a story worth telling, as Obi-Wan’s years in the Tatooine desert can make that a bit difficult, but other storytellers have managed to make that period of time interesting, and I have confidence that whoever Lucasfilm taps to head this series can do the same. One thing that I really would love to see happen are flashbacks to the Clone Wars, giving us more live-action material from that period, showing what Kenobi goes through in the transition from warrior to hermit. Plus, I would love to see this series dive deep into the mythology of the Force, seeing Obi-Wan continue to learn from Qui-Gon Jinn and grow stronger in the Force. And all of this can take place to support the main storyline of the show. I think something like that would be a home run.
So again, it’s not official until Lucasfilm confirms it, but this is the most real it’s ever been. It seems like Ewan McGregor is very close to returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I’m absolutely ecstatic about that!