One word could describe a top reason for fans’ disappointments in Star Wars productions. Perhaps it’s “expectations.” For instance, fans didn’t like the prequel trilogy. One reason for that seems to be that they already had so much of the story already written in their heads. I stuffed my dresser with Star Wars stories beyond the original trilogy as a nine-year-old. Thus, I somewhat understand this trap into which fans fell.
And I must be cautious to not theoretically worry Admiral Ackbar. That’s given my hopes for really specific plot points in Obi-Wan Kenobi. I even had a plot in mind after an Obi-Wan film was announced in Aug. 2017. I recognize the realization of even half of my hopes that follow in this article. It would mean that so very many things that were significant in Obi-Wan’s life would take place in quick succession. (In parallel fashion regarding Han Solo, that’s my only complaint about Solo: A Star Wars Story.)
Below are the 10 story items I hope the show about my favorite character from any story includes.
Obi-Wan Kenobi learns that Anakin Skywalker survived and that he is Darth Vader all at once
Given the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan may think that Anakin is quite possibly dead. Thus, if Kenobi director Deborah Chow and her team chose to execute it;, perhaps the most powerful moment of the show could be Obi-Wan learning that Anakin is not just alive, but is the phantom menace chiefly carrying forth the evil reign of the emperor. It seems possible that the best-known way to do this would be for Obi-Wan to learn both at the same time.
Obi-Wan Kenobi learns that Anakin is Vader by seeing Anakin’s face revealed from under Vader’s mask
Obi-Wan could hear that Anakin is Vader. Or he could see it with his own eyes, face to face. One seems much more powerful than the other.
The unmasked approach could happen. When Entertainment Weekly asked Hayden Christensen, who is playing Vader in Kenobi, if viewers will see Vader without his mask in the show, this was Christensen’s response, as EW reported it:
“‘I wish I could tell you,’ Christensen tells EW with a coy smile on his face. ‘I’m sworn to secrecy.'”
If Christensen didn’t have anything to hide, it seems possible that he would just say that’s not the case. Kind of like how Kathleen Kennedy and others said that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wouldn’t have a sequel.
Obi-Wan Kenobi learns that the Jedi were fatally flawed during the Clone Wars
Perhaps the greatest aspect of the mythology of the galaxy far, far away that Star Wars showrunner Dave Filoni has given is this: the Jedi erred in the worst of ways between Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. (Perhaps that is at least partially because Star Wars creator George Lucas told Filoni that the Jedi got too “political” during the Clone Wars.) Despite this, Obi-Wan never wavered in his devotion to the Jedi, save his love for Satine Kryze. But even then, it only was romance that maybe would have made Obi-Wan want to leave the Jedi Order. It doesn’t seem that Obi-Wan had any questions about the Jedi’s political behavior, their observation of their role in the galaxy, their warmongering, or anything else.
Obi-Wan Kenobi communes with Qui-Gon Jinn
This may not happen, sadly. Qui-Gon actor Liam Neeson said he would return to Star Wars only for a film. Of course, Qui-Gon could have been recast, but I question if that happened. If we do not see Obi-Wan communing with Qui-Gon, that will be highly disappointing. That’s because, at the end of Revenge of the Sith, Yoda said he would teach Obi-Wan how to communicate with his Jedi master. Yoda said Qui-Gon had “returned from the netherworld of the Force.”
Obi-Wan learns how to return from the netherworld of the Force
“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine,” Obi-Wan said. It’s one of the most spellbinding remarks in the mythology. Obi-Wan also learned this during his 19 years in exile. But how?
It may be too much to hope that Qui-Gon helped him learn this. However, that would be a dream come true. That’s especially given how strong in the Force Qui-Gon was. He even understood the Jedi’s failure before others in the Jedi Order did, as Lucas helped Filoni understand, Filoni said on Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian.
Obi-Wan learns that he was wrong to think he could give top training to Anakin
Obi-Wan admits this to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi. Given the events of the timeline of the series, it seems clear that he would have come to this realization. And that he would have done so at least at some point while he was in exile for 19 years.
How Obi-Wan becomes known as Ben
We know from Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope that Obi-Wan was known on Tatooine as Ben. That’s why when Luke hears a reference to “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Luke wonders if it’s a reference to Ben Kenobi. I wonder how the Ben nickname came to be. Is it something that Obi-Wan pushed, for protection? And would he have done that not just since Vader and Inquisitors (the Star Wars Rebels tie is so excellent) were hunting Jedi not killed through Order 66 or in the decade since, but because that could have impacted the boy he was protecting (Luke) as well? Or was there another reason(s)?
Why people find Obi-Wan to be a strange, old hermit
I could see a lot of explanations for this being satisfying, but an excellent one is provided in a Legends book. In Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, James Luceno wrote that people thought Obi-Wan was talking to himself when he was actually communing with Qui-Gon which touches on Obi-Wan’s exile near its end. Other factors could have been roadblocks from that happening, but we have seen Lucasfilm incorporate formerly Expanded Universe items since Disney bought the studio.
Vader in his prime
The horror scene of Rogue One was enough for me in terms of seeing Vader in action. But we know that Vader will figure prominently into Kenobi. (He originally wasn’t going to be, but that changed due to Filoni and Star Wars showrunner Jon Favreau, according to THR,) Further, Christensen told EW, “We’re going to see a very powerful Vader.” Which makes sense. The show is set nine years before Rogue One. Thus, Vader would be more potent than he was in Gareth Edwards’ remarkable film.
Anakin in the show
Of course, Christensen, who played Anakin in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, will be in the show. But is he playing Anakin as well as Vader, or just the latter, given the point on the Star Wars timeline on which the show is?
According to Making Star Wars, which has been reliable in the past, Christensen will be de-aged as Anakin in flashbacks. I didn’t consider it before the report from MSW’s Jason Ward, but I would love to see it after considering it. That also strengthens the argument that when Obi-Wan actor Ewan McGregor said that Christensen will play Anakin, he didn’t misspeak as a result of working with Christensen when he played Anakin or anything to that effect. (Talking about him and Christensen acting together, McGregor said “we got to play scenes together again as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.”)
Also, the tie to an occurrence during Revenge of the Sith in The Book of Boba Fett, where Grogu recalls clone troopers’ Order 66 raid on Coruscant’s Jedi temple, made me consider that reliving powerful story beats from the prequels would be welcome. (And I welcome any callback to the prequel era.)
On an underlying note, since a lot of groundwork has been laid for Chow and her team, hopefully, they prioritized working off that in telling the limited series’ story.
A Real Hope
Perhaps having specific hopes for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the film production I have most looked forward to since the runup to Avengers: Endgame, sets up disappointment less than hopes for past Star Wars productions set up, however. My basis for that is that McGregor, commenting on the show, told Forbes, “I think it’s really going to satisfy Star Wars fans.” (It seems clear that fans could place their hopes in comments like that more than in the Kenobi trailer where Duel of the Fates played, the trailer that shows a strained Obi-Wan as Vader’s breathing is heard, or any other Star Wars trailer since Disney owned Lucasfilm. After all, they have arguably been misleading. They have shown a shot immediately after another and the two shots seem like they could have been related, but haven’t been.)
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