Thursday, January 23, 2020

DISNEY+ “STAR WARS” Spinoff Series “OBI-WAN” on INDEFINITE Development HOLD

While fans of the space opera epic “Star Wars” were originally skeptic of the “Star Wars Story” non-episode anthology films beginning with 2016’s “Rogue One,” they were intrigued at the possibility of using that movie sub-series to tell side-stories about established franchise characters outside the “Skywalker Saga” episodic films. This sentiment was reinforced with the initial announcement of “Solo” for 2018, but its failure and the scrapping of the anthology meant fan dreams of an “Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story” movie were dashed. Hope was revived when Lucasfilm announced retooling the concept into a streaming series for Disney+, but recent news is not being hopeful.

Gamespot has it that there seem to be some development troubles with Lucasfilm for an “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series on the Disney+ streaming platform. While earlier reports would assure that the project has not actually been scrapped, fans of “Star Wars” in general and of the wise and powerful Jedi Master might be waiting very long for the planned show to debut. Word is that the pre-production posse at Pinewood Studios in the UK has already been given leave with Lucasfilm President and slated “Obi-Wan” producer Kathleen Kennedy intimating that the series is on “indefinite” hold.

Details from the latest report is that only two scripts of the proposed series have been finished, but that Kennedy had found them unsatisfactory. Had this development not happened, then further production work might have started in summer of this year. For now the focus is on trying to rework the existing scripts to see if the timetable can still be met, but if the “timeframe could shift” with further delays, then it would be better to err on the side of caution and just say “Obi-Wan” is indefinitely postponed.

This is disappointing especially for “Star Wars” aficionados who like the portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi from the prequel trilogy as played by Ewan McGregor, who has been cast to reprise the role. The general plot, to be told in six episodes, would see Obi-Wan’s other adventures between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” the same storyline boundary between prequel and original films wherein “Star Wars Rebels” takes place. Inside sources report that the reason for the completed “Obi-Wan” being redone was because they were treading too similarly to Jon Favreau’s own already-streaming production “The Mandalorian,” and as a result of the rewriting the episode count was cut down from six to just four.

It has been pointed out that several Disney-Lucasfilm “Star Wars” have had similarly cloudy production histories. The “Rogue One” and “Solo” movies were similarly retooled, with the latter having a mid-filming directorial switch, similar to “The Rise of Skywalker,” only this occurred before filming began.

Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter


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