When Disney+ announced that Ewan McGregor would be reprising his role as Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi, fans everywhere rejoiced. The best character of the prequel trilogy coming back? Yes—we need that now. Well, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer as Disney+ and Lucasfilm decided to delay the Obi-wan series, though rumors it was canceled are false. Oh Disney—you were supposed to save the Jedi, not delay them!
Why Would Disney+ Want to Delay Something Fans Are So Excited For?
Image via Reddit
Well, as Collider reports, Kathleen Kennedy wasn’t thrilled with the initial scripts from the Hossein Amini, who wrote the hit indie movie Drive. Sources explained to Collider that Disney+ and Lucasfilm not only sent the crew home, but that the delay on Obi-Wan would last “indefinitely.” The Hollywood Reporter confirmed these rumors, but added that Kathleen Kennedy wants to replace Amini with a new writer.
But the problem goes beyond lukewarm scripts. One major reason Disney+ decided to delay Obi-Wan is that the story they have so far is too similar to The Mandalorian. And while Deborah Chow is still set to direct the mini-series, they don’t want to rehash the hit series they already have.
IGN caught up with McGregor for comment:
“It’s just slid to next year, that’s all. The scripts were really good. Now that Episode IX came out and everyone at Lucasfilm has got more time to spend on the writing, they felt they wanted more time to write the episodes…. I’ve read about eighty, ninety percent of what they’ve written so far, and it’s really, really good. Instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that. It often happens in projects, they just wanted to push it to next year. It will have the same release date, I don’t think it will affect the release date. They are still shooting towards having the film release when it was going to be originally.”
While McGregor has been known to lie about the series (i.e. that he was returning at all), he seems to be downplaying the tumult as overblown by the entertainment press. The delay could simply be about retooling the story and telling the best tale they can with what will probably be a one-off return for the character.
Despite Not Being Canceled, Obi-Wan Delay Is Another Bump in the Rocky Disney/Star Wars Era
Image via screengrab
Since Disney took over Star Wars, they’ve had a lot of turnover and sudden changes. For Rogue One, they completely changed the third act in reshoots (though it still turned out to be one of the best Star Wars films). When tensions flared on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller jumped spaceship. Even with Ron Howard coming in to direct, the film was the franchise’s first flop. In fact, Disney scrapped all future Star Wars Story projects—including Obi-Wan. Oh, and let’s not forget that they fired Colin Trevorrow from Star Wars Episode IV: Duel of the Fates…the original title. The 6-episode Disney+ Obi-Wan series, just on delay, has possibly canceled two of their episodes. Sources say the series will now be four episodes, though it’s unclear if that number will stick.
The good news is that the series is still going to happen…we just don’t know when. Hopefully the new writer and Deborah Chow behind the camera, they can bring this series in for another happy landing.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.