I’ve been waiting to write about this for a long time, ever since rumors/speculation hinted at an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars spin-off film. I’ve seen a lot of people supportive of the idea, but I’ve also seen a lot of head-scratching.
“How can they make an Obi-Wan film?” they ask. “I want a film with new characters and storylines. Obi-Wan was just sitting around guarding Luke for 19 years.”
First of all, was he? Second of all, even if he did, there’s plenty of potential stories there. Who knows what kind of trouble might have come for Obi-Wan or Luke in that time.
So with that in mind, here are all the reasons why I think an Obi-Wan movie will not be boring, or in other words, why I don’t think he was just chilling in his hut for 19 years.
1. Obi-Wan probably left Tatooine at some point.
Okay, now bear with me on this. I think most of Star Wars fandom has the assumption that once Obi-Wan entrenched himself on Tatooine to watch Luke, that he never left his post. On the other hand, I think the opposite is almost certainly true.
I base this theory on Obi-Wan’s dialogue with Luke when they reach Mos Eisley Cantina. “Most of the best freighter pilots can be found here, only watch your step. This place can be a little rough.” This and some of his other dialogue make it absolutely clear that Obi-Wan was familiar with the place.
Why would he be?
If Obi-Wan did indeed stay on Tatooine for 19 years, what possible need would he have of finding the “best freighter pilots”? It’s already odd that he’s familiar with Mos Eisley Spaceport, since that’s actually a good distance away from the Lars homestead. Sure, he could have arrived on Tatooine via Mos Eisley, but that still wouldn’t explain why he knew where to look for freighter pilots. Arriving on Tatooine, he wouldn’t need a pilot to take him off.
Now it’s true that Obi-Wan learned a lot in the 19 years he stayed on Tatooine, including where to find the best freighter pilots. Perhaps he simply learned, via hearsay, that Mos Eisley Cantina was a good place to find freight pilots. However, his lines in A New Hope hint at personal experience, and I am personally convinced that he left Tatooine at some point, then returned. At the very least, Lucasfilm could go this route, and it would still fit within the canon. There is absolutely no reason why Obi-Wan couldn’t have left.
But what about Luke? What could possibly tear him away from his duty to guard Luke at all costs? I wonder the same thing, and I would trust the creatives as Lucasfilm to come up with a good idea. If this happens, I look forward to finding out the answer.
2. Tatooine has its share of adventures.
But even if Obi-Wan never left Tatooine in all that time, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good story. Tatooine is a cesspool for the galactic underground. You have the Hutts, bounty hunters, Tusken Raiders, podracing, Krayt Dragons, not to mention the merciless desert. Surely one or more of those things could be used to tell a good story about Obi-Wan, especially since he would have to go up against all those things while keeping his identity secret and keeping Luke safe.
I also think it’s interesting that Tatooine was the birth place of Anakin Skywalker. I’m sure Obi-Wan would have wanted to do some investigation into that family line. Who knows what Force-y mysteries Tatooine could have in store.
And speaking of which…
Okay, so not really a plotline, but an Obi-Wan film would also be the perfect opportunity to bring Liam Neeson back as the Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn. We know from the animated show, The Clone Wars, that Qui-Gon visited Yoda and gave instructions that would help the little green Jedi maintain his consciousness after death. This training was something Obi-Wan would also go through on Tattooine, but we have no idea what that implies.
We still know very little about how one becomes a Force ghost. And while I doubt it would take up the whole plot, it would certainly make a good side-plot to have Obi-Wan learning about the Force during his isolation/travels. Who knows, perhaps the reason he might leave Tatooine would be to learn more, much as Yoda had to do by visiting several planets, including one that was the birthplace of midichlorians. If Yoda had to planet hop to learn his lessons, why wouldn’t Obi-Wan?
4. The film doesn’t need to be galactic in scale.
Many of you might have read the novel, Kenobi, by John Jackson Miller. That book is the perfect example of an isolated story that wasn’t galactic in scale, and featured Obi-Wan living his life on Tatooine. I won’t give away the plot, but it was a small story and one of the best Star Wars books. It featured Obi-Wan helping to protect a small group of people from various local threats. At no point did a planet or superweapon blow up. At no point was there an epic space battle. It just involved Obi-Wan and a few other minor characters. But the emotion was strong, and that’s really all you need to tell a good story.
I think we are used to big stories with Star Wars, but I don’t think that should always be the case. In fact, I would find it refreshing if we had a few films that weren’t all that galactic in scale. Just a small story about a small place with a small group of people over a short period of time. A tiny sliver in the greater Star Wars universe.
5. New Characters
Another idea is that maybe the film doesn’t focus on Obi-Wan as the main character, but instead gives us some new characters with Obi-Wan acting as a force (no pun intended) that helps shape the events of the plot.
Now I actually think this is unlikely. If there’s an Obi-Wan film, and Ewan McGregor is playing the role, you’re going to feature him as your main character. However, I do think it’s likely that this film would feature several original characters. And I’m not just talking about side characters, but one or more main characters. If you’re worried that we won’t get new, interesting characters because it’s an Obi-Wan film, I think it’s safe to say that won’t happen.
6. Romance in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Now romance isn’t exactly something that Star Wars is known for, even though it appears (however subtly) in most of the films. The big problem is that most of those relationships don’t work out well (the Skywalkers have problems), but that’s a discussion for another time.
This plays into my personal favorite theory relating to Rey’s parentage in the sequel trilogy. I like the idea that Rey is Luke’s daughter, and that the mother is the daughter of Obi-Wan.
“BUT WAIT! Jedi were celibate! Obi-Wan would never have a child!” Okay, I get it. Falling in love and having a child would be against the Jedi code, and Obi-Wan was a faithful believer in the Jedi code. Keyword: was. Let’s not forget that the Jedi Order is no more, Obi-Wan has had plenty of time to reflect on the error of their ways, and he even said he would have been willing to leave the Jedi Order to be with Satine, one of his old flames, during an episode of The Clone Wars. Plus let’s not forget that he probably thinks he and Yoda are the last of the Jedi, and may feel like it’s partially his responsibility to repopulate Force users. Desperate times.
In other words, I think a romance film highlighting the relationship between Obi-Wan and a mysterious woman unknown, would be a great premise for an Obi-Wan film.
7. Creators are creative.
Lastly, let’s not forget that storytellers are generally good about coming up with a story. These guys literally earn money to brainstorm the best way to tell this type of story. So therefore, if they want to tell a story about Obi-Wan, even if he holed himself up on Tatooine for 19 years, I have complete confidence that they can come up with a story that I will enjoy. Heck, I’ve come up with several ideas right here, and I’m just an amateur.
Even if the movie isn’t that good, it’s not for lack of options. If it sucks, it’s just due to lazy storytelling, not because Obi-Wan just sat around for 19 years. Obviou, ly they wouldn’t be making a movie if that was all the story there was to tell.
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