Lucasfilm and Disney could be making the next Star Wars standalone film all about Obi-Wan Kenobi. Word about the possible solo film for the Jedi dropped on Thursday from The Hollywood Reporter, and while the project is reportedly in quite early development with no script or cast attached, Lucasfilm and Disney are “in talks” with director Stephen Daldry. And if the Obi-Wan focused movie happens and if it takes place during the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Ewan McGregor is the Chosen One for the role.
First of all, McGregor is more than willing to return to the Star Wars universe. While promoting a film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2015, McGregor shared enthusiasm about reprising the role of Obi-Wan. He said: “I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode III, that I finished in, and Episode IV that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.”
Yes, they should.
McGregor made a similar statement to Collider in 2016 about wanting to do an Obi-Wan movie in that time period. Collider asked him about whether he’d discussed the possibility with Lucasfilm or Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and he replied with a mysterious: “I’m not sure I’m at liberty to say, really, but I’m very interested in doing that. That would be great. Maybe there’s even a trilogy!”
And of course, McGregor’s voice was in The Force Awakens. He can be heard in the Force vision Rey has while in Maz Kanata’s castle. Obi-Wan says, “Rey, these are your first steps.” The first part, Rey, is pulled from Alec Guinness’ performance as Obi-Wan in A New Hope, and the rest is McGregor.
So, McGregor’s already come back to the Star Wars universe, and he seems to be ready to be Obi-Wan once again. He’s possibly already discussed the matter with Lucasfilm, too. Those are solid reasons for him to become the crazy old wizard known as Ben Kenobi, but they’re not the only ones.
He’s just the right age to play an older and more grizzled Obi-Wan. It’s been 12 years since Revenge of the Sith. Roughly 19 years passed in the Star Wars galaxy between Episodes III and IV. Much is made about how rapidly Obi-Wan aged in that time and went from McGregor to Guinness (desert climates are harsh, y’all), but if they set the film five or so years into Obi-Wan’s self-imposed exile, it all balances out.
On top of being in the right age range to be convincing in the role, McGregor knows the character. He played Obi-Wan in three films. He spent time as Obi-Wan in different stages of the Jedi’s life. McGregor was the young and earnest learner under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn, he was the reluctant teacher and mentor to Anakin, and then he was the confident and wise Jedi. It’s only natural for him to pick up the baton and take Obi-Wan into the hermit protector era of his life.
Finally, McGregor was one of the best parts of the prequels. He took wooden and/or silly dialogue and owned it. He infused Obi-Wan’s lines with a certain energy and often brought an edge of humor to his scenes. He could also flip the table completely with his delivery of words such as “You were the Chosen One.” Merely thinking about the intensity McGregor gave that line almost brings me to tears.
Imagine what McGregor could do with a pensive and maybe bored Obi-Wan who’s trying to restrain his impulses to get involved and instead stay out of sight and out of mind. He could kill it. Plus it means he would have to grow out his beard again, which I count as a win.
Do you think McGregor should play Obi-Wan? Tell us what you think and/or share your pick for Obi-Wan in the comments.
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Images: Lucasfilm/Disney, Giphy