Ewan McGregor Playing Obi-Wan Kenobi Again for New Disney+ Series

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BY September 2, 2019

Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm fan grumbling radiates across the internet demanding a specific Star Wars project featuring a specific Star Wars star. No matter how they feel about the prequel trilogy, most Star Wars fans want Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again. Well, after numerous rumors and false starts, the long-rumored project will land on the new streaming service Disney+ sometime after it’s first year. The latest report broke on a few Star Wars fan blogs, but Variety eventually confirmed the story using their sources at Lucasfilm and Disney. No official comment came from the studio, the production company, or McGregor, likely because those entities are still “in talks.” However, we know that Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again is something the star is willing to do. He’s said he’d return to the character many, many times.

The possibility that this will be yet another false start exists as a very real one. In fact, after Solo: A Star Wars Story (unfairly) flopped, standalone Star Wars film stopped development. Yet, Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again is too good an opportunity to pass up for long. So, if films are off-the-table, then a Disney+ series will be the next best thing. With upcoming titles like The Mandalorian and the Marvel phase 4 series, Disney+ will be home to high-quality cinematic offerings. Meanwhile, Ewan McGregor appeared on television recently as a pair of twins in FX’s Fargo.

Ewan McGregor Playing Obi-Wan Kenobi Again Is a Prequel Fan’s Dream

Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again Image via Reddit

For Star Wars fans of a certain age, the prequel trilogy falls far short of what they expect from a Star Wars movie. Yet, no Star Wars trilogy gets made for adults, but rather that generation’s children. Now that the first of these prequel films celebrated its 20th anniversary, the kids who grew up with “their” Star Wars give the movies their due. An entire subreddit exists just to share memes from the films, mostly just quotes from the films. One of the most well-known comes from 2005’s Revenge of the Sith when McGregor’s Kenobi drops from on-high and says, “Hello there,” to the villains. (This is also the first line spoken by Obi-Wan Kenobi, as played by the late Alec Guinness, in the original trilogy.) Even those fans who claim to “detest” the movie (translation: they’ve only watched them a dozen times) praise McGregor’s performance as a high-point.

Also likely delighted Ewan McGregor is playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again is the actor himself. He frequently tells stories about people recognizing him from the role. One such incident happened after some bad driving. Nearly cut off, he raced up and yelled at a young driver. McGregor told Graham Norton he saw “in his eyes” the bad driver stunned that Obi-Wan Kenobi just cussed him out. McGregor maintains a great affection for the role, including adding a snippet of dialogue to 2015’s relaunch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s not as if McGregor can’t find work. In fact, his unquestioning willingness to return to the franchise despite his busy acting slate further underscores how much he enjoys playing Old Ben.

So, What Would the Series Be About?

Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again Image via Marvel Comics

The only problem with Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again is that he simply doesn’t have that much to do. As fans know, he keeps vigil over young Luke Skywalker until he meets up with him in A New Hope. So, that leaves little for the character to actually do. Yet, this is the Star Wars universe. Where Luke Skywalker grew up sits a “a wretched hive of scum and villainy” like nowhere else. In the Star Wars comic series by Marvel Comics, a few issues featured “entries” from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s journal. He reconciles living his life according to his vow to protect Luke and not being a Jedi. The show could adapt these adventures, where Ben deals with bounty hunters, pirates, and other low-rent villains.

Yet, there is another story that does not exist in the canon that many fans are curious about. And it involves everyone’s favorite asthmatic Lord of the Sith. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi thinks he’s the Jedi Formerly Known as Anakin Skywalker. In a book now de-canonized, Kenobi later learns his apprentice and friend survived their fight via the Star Wars equivalent of an exposition news report. So, the story about how Obi-Wan Kenobi discovered Darth Vader lives is one that deserves a better version. Upon learning that his apprentice survives, Kenobi could abandon his vigil and try to track down the villain. (Though, we know they don’t meet until the Death Star.) Even if the show ends up being something else entirely, that moment deserves to be fully realized on screen.

Update: The Announcement of the Series at D23 Fan Expo

Are you happy to hear about Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again? What story do you hope to see? Tell us in the comments below or by sharing the article on social media.
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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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