In recent weeks, The Direct ran a series of articles on their interview with Stuart Beattie, who was originally hired by Lucasfilm to work on an Obi-Wan Kenobi project.
Beattie worked on the project while it was still planned to be a movie, and he revealed that there was actually plans for a trilogy of films. That all changed and it was turned into a series instead, with Joby Harold coming on board to write the show instead. But the series wound up adapting some of the major beats from Beattie’s draft of the first film (the only one he actually wrote a script for), such that Beattie received both story and writing credits on the finished Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
So Beattie has been sharing details about what his draft looked like, sharing interesting tidbits like the fact that Reva was going to be killed by Darth Vader in his version. Then in a subsequent article, Beattie revealed that his script for the project included a familiar face: Commander Cody.
You can check out Beattie’s full comments here, but I’ve compiled the gist of it all regarding Cody’s role in the script:
- Cody was going to function as a sort of “secret buddy” for Obi-Wan on Tatooine. When we last saw Cody (in Revenge of the Sith) he was trying to kill Obi-Wan, but in this project he would be “someone who is now devoting his life to protect him.” Cody has had his chip removed and is driven by guilt over what happened, just like Obi-Wan. “So you got these two kind of old warriors bickering like this old married couple, bitching about, ‘God, it was so much better when we had an army at our backs,’ you know?”
- At one point, as Obi-Wan goes into town (for the first time), and Cody sneaks up on him with a knife and attacks him, making a point about how Kenobi needs to be more careful.
- Obi-Wan was still going to leave Tatooine in Beattie’s script, but when he did so he would have tasked Cody with watching over Luke.
- Cody was going to be a character “racing against the clock obviously, because he’s aging twice as fast. He’s trying to atone for the worst thing he’s ever done in his life.”
- When asked for a scene that didn’t make it into the series but that he wished had, Beattie explained a scene with Obi-Wan and Cody on Tatooine. Basically, some bounty hunters found out about Kenobi, so Obi-Wan and Cody had to get rid of their bodies – by going to the Sarlacc pit to dump it. While there, another speeder comes up, and there’s a tense moment not knowing if there will be a blaster fight… but the other speeder then dumps some stormtrooper bodies into the pit and drives off. Later, another speeder comes up, and a drunk Jawa shoves a dead alien into the pit.
- As for why Cody was cut from the series, Beattie doesn’t know but speculated that it might be because Temuera Morrison was busy, or that they simply felt they didn’t need him.
It’s a pretty significant change to cut Cody’s role in the series, it sounds like, since he would have had a big role in Beattie’s project. I like the idea of him and Kenobi being buddies and both driven by guilt over what had happened, but from a storytelling perspective I think there are other ways to explore Cody’s story that might be more effective. And Cody is returning soon, as he’ll be in The Bad Batch season two, where he seems to be questioning the Empire and its ways a bit. This story is specifically about clones and happens not long after Order 66, so that seems to be an even more natural way to continue his story.
But Cody’s appearance wasn’t the only thing that Beattie wished had still made it into the final version of the story that we actually saw. He also described a pretty interesting scene in which Obi-Wan would actually wind up having a lightsaber duel with… Luke Skywalker. Basically, Obi-Wan was going to encounter a group of refugees who worshipped the Force, and they would test Kenobi by showing him a vision of being back on Mustafar. While there, he would see a figure with a dark robe and a red lightsaber, thinking it to be Anakin – but instead finding it to be Luke, looking like he did in A New Hope. They then engaged in a lightsaber duel, with Luke almost killing Kenobi before the vision ended.
The idea behind this scene was to allude to the vision Luke has in the cave on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. And, according to Beattie, it was going to serve an important thematic purpose in the series: it was intended to show that “if Obi-Wan keeps training Luke and putting all his guilt on this kid, Luke’s gonna turn to the Dark Side.” He continued:
“So… it’s one of those moments that makes Obi-Wan realize, ’I’ve got to let this go, because this is the future I’m headed on right now. Luke is going to become a Sith and try to kill me on Mustafar at some point. So I love that. I love bringing in Luke… and this was before they brought back Luke in The Mandalorian. We were gonna be the first to do that, which would have been really fun. And a nightmare… Yeah, that’s probably the one I miss…”
I think the scene sounds extremely intriguing and could have been really cool and really meaningful, if done well. The series did a good job of showing Kenobi’s guilt and how he couldn’t place those feelings on Luke, but this could have added to that.
I really loved the series we wound up getting with Obi-Wan, and I generally don’t think it’s any good to judge a show based on what they didn’t include, because there are always plenty of options for any series – far too many to possibly hope to include. So the reason I spend time highlighting this in an article is not as ammunition to suggest that they should have done things better, but simply because I find it interesting to see how things changed from an earlier draft of the script that this series was apparently based on quite a bit. These moments are significant ones that were not included in the final product we got, so it’s intriguing to think about what might have been.