Disney has the perfect Obi-Wan in Ewan McGregor. So what are they waiting for?
With all the hype surrounding Disney’s upcoming Han Solo anthology film, someone’s got to ask: Where’s our Obi-Wan movie?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m pumped and totally on board with the excitement surrounding the Han Solo “space Western film” (yes, that’s actually how they’re describing it), and I fully plan to see it at midnight alongside everyone else. I mean, let’s be honest, any film featuring Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover is getting my money, whether it’s a Star Wars film or not. And Donald Glover playing Lando Calrissian may actually be the greatest casting decision in the history of cinema.
I also fully acknowledge that, as one of the most iconic, charismatic fan-favorite characters of the entire Star Wars universe, Han Solo getting his own movie makes perfect sense, both to please long-time fans with new material as well as to continue luring new fans into the Star Wars fandom (AKA the most gloriously wretched fandom of scum and villainy).
But here’s the thing: I’m not-so-secretly hoping that Disney’s new focus on Star Wars anthology stories (read my Rogue One review here) will eventually lead to Ewan McGregor reprising his role from the prequels in his own Obi-Wan anthology film.
Actually, with last year’s release of Rogue One and the electric anticipation surrounding the upcoming Han Solo origin movie, I’m wondering why it hasn’t happened yet, or isn’t currently in the works.
We know that Ewan McGregor would be on board for such a film. At the Edinburgh Film Festival in summer of 2015, Ewan McGregor formally stated the words that I’ve been unknowingly hoping to hear since being impressed by his performance (one of the truly great ones) throughout Episodes I to III:
“I’d be happy to do the story from episode three where I finish up and Alec Guinness starts.”
Again in October of 2016, while speaking to a French magazine, McGregor was asked about the possibility of Obi-Wan spin-off films. And again, he strongly hinted that he’d love the opportunity:
“I’ve always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness’ first one. It would be fun to film that story now I’m older,” he said. “I’d be the right age. I’m forty-five, Alec Guinness was what, sixty? I could do two of them!”
There it is. Hope.
Now, I know it’s generally painful for many Star Wars fans to re-live the various letdowns and assorted eek-inducing moments presented by the Star Wars prequels (for a refresher, feel free to Google any Anakin/Padmé scenes from Attack of the Clones, or literally any clip featuring Jar Jar Binks). But the prequel trilogy did have a few standout aspects, one of them including Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
First and foremost, Ewan McGregor is an absolute treasure. I’m not just talking about his acting chops — after all, Natalie Portman had them too and even she couldn’t save Padmé Amidala from (in my opinion) a horrible performance in Attack of the Clones.
Of every main character from the prequels, Ewan McGregor presented us with an undeniably strong performance. Throughout Obi-Wan’s entire character arc (particularly when viewers had, up until that point, only seen the late Alec Guinness in the role), McGregor took on the role of a solid action hero and trusted mentor, all while maintaining Guinness’ stern visage and subtly expressive demeanor.
He was — IS — the perfect Obi-Wan. So why does it seem like Disney might squander him?
Many fans (myself included) were hoping for an official announcement of an Obi-Wan origin story at 2017’s Orlando’s Star Wars Celebration this past April. Instead, we were met with silence from the studio.
Still, McGregor kept hope alive (bless his heart) during an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“There’s no official offer, and I haven’t met them about it or anything. But I’ve always said that I’d be happy to do it if they wanted to do it. It would be a good segue between the last episode of the prequels and the new episodes. I think they’ve got films to make until the 2020s, so I don’t think it’s going to happen soon if it happens at all.”