Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series)

American streaming television series

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Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series) logo.jpg
Genre
Based onObi-Wan Kenobi
by George Lucas
Written byJoby Harold
Directed byDeborah Chow
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producers
CinematographyChung-hoon Chung
Production companyLucasfilm
DistributorDisney Platform Distribution
Release
Original networkDisney+
External links
Production website
Infobox instructions (only shown in preview)

Obi-Wan Kenobi is an upcoming American limited series created for the streaming service Disney+, featuring the Star Wars character of the same name. Set ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith (2005), the series is written by Joby Harold and directed by Deborah Chow.

Ewan McGregor executive produces and stars as the title character, reprising his role from the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Hayden Christensen also stars, reprising his role as Darth Vader. The project originated as a spin-off film to be written by Hossein Amini and directed by Stephen Daldry, but it was reworked as a limited series by Amini following the commercial failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). McGregor was confirmed to be starring in August 2019, and Chow was hired to direct a month later. Production was scheduled to begin in July 2020, but the series was put on indefinite hold in January 2020 because producer Lucasfilm was unhappy with the series' scripts. Harold was hired to rewrite the series in April 2020, and additional castings were announced in March 2021. Filming began by May 2021 in Los Angeles, using StageCraft video wall technology, and wrapped by September.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is scheduled to be released in 2022, and will consist of six episodes.

Premise

The series begins with Obi-Wan Kenobi watching over Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, ten years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), and takes the character on a "rollicking adventure".[1][2]

Cast and characters

Additionally, Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, and Maya Erskine have been cast in undisclosed roles.[6][7]

Episodes

All episodes are written by Joby Harold and directed by Deborah Chow.[8]

Production

Background

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the development of several Star Wars standalone spin-off films in February 2013.[9] Obi-Wan Kenobi was the overwhelming winner of a poll by The Hollywood Reporter in August 2016 that asked which Star Wars character deserved a spin-off film.[10] Stephen Daldry entered talks to direct a film featuring Kenobi in August 2017. Daldry would oversee the development and writing of the film with Lucasfilm. Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, was not yet attached to the project but had previously said he was open to reprising his role.[11] Daldry contacted Hossein Amini about writing the film, and Amini joined the project around late 2017.[12]

In May 2018, the film was reported to be titled Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story, with a plot involving Kenobi protecting a young Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine amid tensions between local farmers and Tusken Raiders.[13] Production on the film was expected to take place in Northern Ireland under the working title Joshua Tree,[13][14] beginning in 2019 at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast once production on the final season of Game of Thrones ended in late 2018.[15] However, Disney cancelled their planned Star Wars spin-off films, including the Kenobi film, following the financial failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Lucasfilm's focus changed to making series for the streaming service Disney+, such as The Mandalorian.[16] In August 2018, McGregor said he had been asked about a Kenobi spin-off for "years and years" and was happy to be involved, but said there were no plans for such a film at that time. He was interested in exploring the character in the time between his portrayal in the prequel films and that of Alec Guinness in the original trilogy.[17]

Development

McGregor entered negotiations to star in a television series for Disney+ centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi by mid-August 2019.[16] Later that month, at Disney's D23 event, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and McGregor officially announced that the actor would be reprising his role as Kenobi in a new series for Disney+, set eight years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).[3] Filming was scheduled to begin in July 2020,[12][18] and scripts for the six-episode limited series had already been written by Amini at the time of the announcement.[12] McGregor said the announcement was a relief, explaining that he had been lying about his involvement in a Kenobi spin-off for four years.[19] A month later, Kennedy announced that Deborah Chow would direct the Kenobi series after impressing Kennedy with her work directing episodes of The Mandalorian.[20]

In November 2019, Amini said the series' time period was fascinating since Kenobi is dealing with the loss of his friends and the Jedi Order, which allowed Amini to explore aspects of the Star Wars franchise other than action, such as its spiritual side. He took inspiration from the sources that Star Wars creator George Lucas was originally inspired by, including Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Samurai history and culture, and Buddhism. Comparing the series' scripts to his original film plans, Amini said he was able to explore the character, politics, and history more in the series than in a two-hour film where "there is always an imperative for the action and the plot to move particularly fast".[12] Chow felt her work on The Mandalorian was the best training she could have for the Kenobi series, learning from that series' executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.[21]

Pre-production on the series was underway at Pinewood Studios in London by January 2020,[22] and screen tests were taking place with potential actors opposite McGregor.[23] By the end of the month, rumors began circulating that the series had been cancelled due to production problems. While this was not the case, the series was put on indefinite hold and the assembled crew was sent home.[22][23] Kennedy was said to be unhappy with the series' scripts, which reportedly featured a storyline with Kenobi and Skywalker that was similar to the story of The Mandalorian, in which the title character protects "The Child". Lucasfilm began looking for a new writer for the series to start over on the scripts, with Chow still expected to direct.[23] The goal was for pre-production to begin again in mid-2020 once the scripts had been rewritten.[22] The series was also reportedly being reworked from six episodes to four,[23] but McGregor said he did not believe this was the case. He added that Lucasfilm had decided to spend more time working on the scripts following the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), and filming had been postponed until January 2021, but he did not think this would impact the series' planned release schedule.[24]

Joby Harold was hired to take over as writer from Amini in April 2020.[25] That October, filming was delayed until March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[26] At Disney's Investor Day event on December 10, Kennedy announced that the series was officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, and confirmed that Chow was directing.[1] In February 2021, McGregor revealed that filming for the series would take place in Los Angeles rather than London and Boston, Lincolnshire, England, as had previously been reported.[27][28] The series is executive-produced by Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Chow, McGregor, and Harold,[6] and consists of six episodes, all written by Harold.[8]

Casting

Along with the series' announcement at D23 in August 2019 came confirmation that McGregor would star in the series, reprising his role as Kenobi from the prequel trilogy.[3] Kennedy announced in December 2020 that Hayden Christensen would reprise his role from the prequel trilogy as Darth Vader in the series.[1] McGregor said reuniting with Christensen on the series was "the most beautiful thing of all", while Kennedy described it as the "rematch of the century".[2]

In March 2021, Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie joined the cast,[6] with Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse reprising their roles as Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun Lars, respectively, from the prequel films. Ingram was reported to be playing a "very important role" for the series.[5] A month later, Maya Erskine was cast in a supporting role, reportedly for at least three episodes.[7]

Design

Todd Cherniawsky serves as the production designer on the series,[29] with Suttirat Anne Larlarb as costume designer.[30]

Filming

Filming was expected to begin in April 2021,[6] in Los Angeles,[27] with Deborah Chow directing;[1] McGregor confirmed that filming had begun by May 4, Star Wars Day.[31] Chung-hoon Chung serves as cinematographer for the series,[32] which uses the StageCraft video wall technology that was previously used by The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.[33][34] McGregor did costume tests for Obi-Wan Kenobi on the set of The Mandalorian,[35] and said the StageCraft technology allowed him to enjoy working on the series more than he did on the prequel films due to their use of blue and green screen.[33][36] McGregor confirmed that filming had been completed by September 19.[36]

Release

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to be released on Disney+ in 2022 and will consist of six episodes.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Future Lucasfilm Projects Revealed". StarWars.com. December 10, 2020. Archived from the original on December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Bonomolo, Cameron (December 11, 2020). "Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Footage Description from Disney Investor Day 2020". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
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  4. ^ Davis, Brandon (October 28, 2019). "Ewan McGregor on Playing Obi-Wan More Like Star Wars' Alec Guinness". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Romano, Nick (March 29, 2021). "Obi-Wan Kenobi series reveals main cast, set 10 years after Revenge of the Sith". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 29, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Otterson, Joe (March 29, 2021). "'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Disney Plus Series Adds 10 to Cast, Including O'Shea Jackson Jr, Joel Edgerton, Kumail Nanjiani". Variety. Archived from the original on March 29, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Wiseman, Andrea (April 22, 2021). "'Obi-Wan Kenobi': Disney+ Star Wars Series Adds 'PEN 15' Star Maya Erskine". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Abramovitch, Seth (April 28, 2021). ""I Have the Career I Started Out Wanting": Ewan McGregor on Reviving Obi-Wan and "Going to the Extremes" to Play Halston". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
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External links

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