The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series was originally pitched as a trilogy of feature films.
According to writer Stuart Beattie, who is credited on four episodes of the Disney+ series, his work on the show was based on a screenplay he wrote for the planned feature film – which was scrapped due to the poor box office performance of spin-off film Solo.
Speaking to The Direct, Beattie said: “I wrote the film that they based the show on. So, yeah. I spent like a year, year-and-a-half working on it. And then, when the decision was made not to make any more spin-off films after Solo came out, I left the project and went on to other things.
“Joby [Harold] came on and took my scripts and turned it from two hours into six. So, I did not work with them at all, I just got credit for the episodes because it was all my stuff.”
Beattie’s original pitch to Lucasfilm in 2016 involved “three stories” for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first became the show’s first season, while the second was pitched as “thinking about where Kenobi ends up” in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope.
“One of the most powerful and probably the most powerful moment in all of Obi-Wan’s story is that moment where he sacrifices himself in A New Hope,” Beattie said.
“Great moment, you know, makes you cry. But, if you stop and think about it, it’s a pretty sudden thing, to just kind of go be fighting a guy, to see Luke and go, ‘I’m gonna die.’ You know, that to me, that required forethought. That required pre-acceptance that this was going to happen.”
While he didn’t share details on the third film, Beattie said he was “devastated” when the film trilogy was scrapped as Disney and Lucasfilm pivoted towards TV shows.
“It certainly crushed us,” Beattie added. “Devastated, absolutely devastated. But, that’s the business, you know, highs and lows. I’m glad it got made. I’m glad the show got made. I’m proud of my story that [got] told.”
Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, who reprised their roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader respectively, have both expressed interest in returning for a second season.
“Well, it was definitely conceived as a standalone story,” Christensen told the Radio Times. “But I would love to continue with this character. You know, I think there’s certainly more there to explore and I would be so excited to get to do so.”
In a four-star review of the series, NME wrote: “Walking the line between nostalgia and novelty as well as shouldering the entire Skywalker saga, Obi-Wan Kenobi has one of the toughest jobs in the galaxy. As long as no-one tries to bring Jar Jar Binks back in the next few episodes, it might just pull it off…”