Star Wars fans are a famously argumentative bunch, fond of debating endlessly about the relative merits of Episodes One through Nine and speculating about the proper “direction” the franchise should take. But there’s at least one thing that fandom tends to agree on: They want to see more of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his legendary single-bladed lightsaber. This often-vocalized desire has not gone unheeded.
As most fans are aware at this point, Lucasfilm has been trying to launch a special project starring Obi-Wan in a solo outing of some nature. After several years of behind-the-scenes activity, resulting in a number of tantalizing updates released on a periodic basis to the press, the project has morphed into a TV series that is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2021.
The road to this point has been a long and winding one; here’s a quick overview of the various stages that the Obi-Wan project has passed through over the last few years.
The Obi-Wan Spinoff: A Brief History
- October 2014 – A follow-up report, also unconfirmed, claims that the Obi-Wan project is not a standalone film but a trilogy(!) “set between Episodes III and IV.”
- March 2017 – Another uncredited report hits the internet, alleging that the proposed Obi-Wan trilogy has been scaled back to just one movie with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the Jedi Master.
- August 2017 – Respected trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry is in discussions to helm the Obi-Wan movie. At this juncture, however, the movie still has no script, and there is no confirmation about who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- May 2018 – Tabloid site TMZ reveals that it obtained a production bulletin indicating that the movie, now called Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story, will commence filming in the spring of the following year. Daldry is still attached as director. The film’s synopsis describes Obi-Wan dealing with local conflicts on Tatooine while keeping tabs on a very young Luke Skywalker.
- August 2019 – At Disney’s D23 Expo, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announces a major change of course for the Obi-Wan project: it has been reconceived as a six-part TV series to be aired on the soon-to-be-launched Disney+ streaming platform. Shooting is scheduled to begin in 2020. Ewan McGregor joins her onstage to verify all those long-standing rumors that he’ll be returning as Obi-Wan.
- October 2019 – McGregor tells Men’s Journal that the Obi-Wan TV series will take place between Episodes III & IV (the same time-frame that was proposed for the now-abandoned standalone film).
- January 2020 – The Obi-Wan series gets put on indefinite hold, purportedly due to issues with the existing scripts (although McGregor praised them as “really good”). Reports say that the series, when it resumes production, will be shortened from six parts to four.
- February 2020 – The upcoming show gets a new title: Pilgrim. Meanwhile, McGregor reveals on a TV interview that the production will begin shooting “very early next year.”
That’s where things stand right now (February 2020), with a four-part Obi-Wan TV series scheduled to arrive on Disney+ sometime next year. Given the history of this project, though, it’s not unlikely that there will be additional updates and revisions before fans will be able to see Obi-Wan on his very own TV show.
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