Unless you live pretty much nowhere (Jakku, perhaps?) you’ve likely heard by now that Ewan McGregor will reprise his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi. We fully expect the Star Wars Kenobi spinoff to take the form of a multi-part mini-series on Disney+. (The new streaming service debuts November 12). Don’t be shocked to get the *official* Lucasfilm announcement this coming weekend at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim.
Now that we know it’s coming, media outlets are already comparing the Kenobi spinoff to Solo: A Star Wars Story, and postulating as to why it will fare better than the stand-alone Han Solo backstory film. One article from Forbes lays out the reasons…. But it pretty much completely missed the mark in its analysis.
First, the article only offers two reasons the Kenobi spinoff will do better. First, it cites the fact that the Solo spinoff came fresh on the heels of Han Solo’s death in The Force Awakens. Secondly, it claims that the Han Solo character never really progressed throughout all the films. Therefore, because Obi-wan Kenobi had more of a character progression, the new venture will fare better. That’s it. Those are the reasons the article cites. And they’re both wrong.
Why Kenobi spinoff will fare better than Solo
Those aren’t the reason Solo “failed”, at all, and give no insight into why the Kenobi spinoff would do better. Granted, there were a myriad of reasons Solo didn’t do as well as expected. Those included poor marketing and the baffling decision to release it against the opening of Avengers: Infinity War. Add in the director debacle with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, questionable casting of Alden Ehrenreich, and the fact that no one really wanted a Han Solo backstory spinoff in the first place? Well…. Solo was behind from the get go.
The Kenobi spinoff, on the other hand, is something fans have literally been calling for now for years. For many fans, it was Ewan McGregor that truly embodied the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi in live-action Star Wars. Unlike Ehrenreich, who did a passable job as Han Solo, McGregor couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for his role.
Plus, if the Kenobi spinoff does indeed take the form of a mini-series on Disney+, it has no film juggernaut with which battle for box office dollars. It will stand apart, likely drawing viewers to the streaming service all on its own. McGregor’s Kenobi was arguably the best part of the prequels, after all. (Okay, fine, Forbes got that part right.)
We have no doubt that the Kenobi spinoff will be regarded as roaring success, perhaps more so than Solo. But it’s not because Han was a “one-note character”. It’s because Disney has, hopefully, learned from its mistakes.
Stay tuned here for all your D23 Expo updates this coming weekend, when we anticipate learning more about Ewan McGregor and Obi-Wan Kenobi.