8. Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Star Wars Story
This may be number 8 on the list, but it’s probably the #1 most likely Star Wars spin-off movie to be made. The fans are behind it. Ewan McGregor himself has made it abundantly clear he’s behind it, even expressing his desire for a two-part Obi-Wan movie (yes please!). But for whatever reason, Disney seems to be a bit hesitant about it. It may have something to do with Star Wars-prequel stigma, given their attempts to move the Star Wars franchise in a direction closer to the original trilogy. It might also be a marketability concern, with a possible fear that the name Obi-Wan is not quite as big of a draw as, say, Han Solo.
While these fears may have been understandable at a certain point, the success of Rogue One makes it pretty clear that audiences are okay getting behind a prequel-era movie, not to mention a Star Wars film that was led by entirely new characters. Obi-Wan Kenobi, on the other hand, is a household name, and most people agree that Ewan McGregor was one of the best things about the prequels. It does look like Disney is finally going to be moving forward with the Obi-Wan film, with an announcement expected this summer. And that’s a great thing, because beyond the draw of seeing Ewan McGregor in the beard and tunic again, there’s so much juicy material to explore during Obi-Wan’s 20 year exile on Tatooine.
Not much is known about Obi-Wan’s stay on Tatooine, but I’m sure he got up to a bit more than Bantha sight-seeing. The biggest hint at the direction of his desert tenure came at the end of Revenge of the Sith, when Yoda revealed that he was in communication with the spirit of Obi-Wan’s old master, Qui-Gon Jinn. Yoda told Obi-Wan that he would teach him how to communicate with Qui-Gon.
This is the perfect set-up for a plot that can delve into Obi-Wan’s deep studies of the Force, not to mention a supporting role for Liam Neeson, who would so obviously be down to return as Qui-Gon’s Force ghost. This could pave the way for a movie that would explore the deeper nature of the Force, which, given the direction Star Wars: The Last Jedi is headed, would be very appropriate. Ever since Obi-Wan vanished into thin air at the slash of Darth Vader’s lightsaber, fans have wondered exactly how that trick works. 40 years later, we’re still wondering.
Considering Qui-Gon was the first Jedi to learn how to retain his essence within the Force, this film would be the PERFECT opportunity to show how Obi-Wan learned the technique from his master. It would also be a great time to explore the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, since we never got more than a paper thin master/apprentice dynamic in The Phantom Menace.
More deeply, we would finally get a chance to explore Obi-Wan himself. He was a major presence in the movies, particularly the prequels, but we never truly got to know who he was. He was always seen through the eyes of others – as an apprentice to Qui-Gon, and a master to Luke and Anakin. An Obi-Wan film would be the chance to finally explore the man inside that noble, dignified Jedi attire. What makes him tick?What does he truly want?
George Lucas’ vision of the Jedi struck them as cardboard cutouts, loyal to their order and nothing more. Now that the Jedi Order is exterminated, it’s high time we learned the true feelings of at least one of them. Who better to start with than the first Jedi we ever met?
Obviously the movie would need a bit more than just Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon meditating for 2 hours. It needs some action, and sporadic fights with Tusken Raiders seem like a boring prospect. One option would be the Empire invading Tatooine for nefarious purposes, with Obi-Wan forced to intervene. But that plot sounds a bit limited, not to mention runs the risk of a Darth Vader encounter that needs to stay the hell away from this. I love Vader, but his presence would completely hijack the movie.
The best strategy would be for Obi-Wan to leave Tatooine for a mission at some point during the film. Given Leia’s communication with Obi-Wan in A New Hope, it likely wasn’t the first time Obi-Wan left Tatooine to settle an off-world dispute (the comics and novels have also explored this). An off-world adventure would be the perfect solution to get Obi-Wan saber swinging again. Plus, since Qui-Gon’s an incorporeal being, he can follow Obi-Wan anywhere. They can continue their studies in a transport bunker, or a Coruscant hotel room, or wherever Obi-Wan’s journey may lead.
Bottom line, Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Star Wars Story offers nearly limitless potential, and so much great story material to explore. I’m frankly astounded Disney pushed for Han Solo before Obi-Wan. His story has the potential to be way more interesting than Han’s. Between the two, Obi-Wan is so much more tethered to the lore of the Star Wars universe and the legacy of the Force. Hopefully, Disney will pick up on this reality soon, and announce Obi-Wan as their next Star Wars Story.