Filling in the blanks between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope had been an Olympic-worthy sport for Star Wars fans for years. While some details have recently been sketched in by the animated series Star Wars Rebels, that 30-year period remains fertile ground for storytellers, with the standalone Rogue One and the solo Han Solo movie along with tie-in novels mining that era.
That’s great, but a core group of fans has been clamoring for more cinematic adventures featuring another iconic Star Wars character: Obi-Wan Kenobi. And although Lucasfilm isn’t ready to oblige them yet, an aspiring filmmaker named Rich Williamson has stepped up.
This week, the director released a trailer for Kenobi: A Star Wars Story, starring Ewan McGregor (watch above).
Pieced together from McGregor’s surprisingly apt latest film, Last Days in the Desert — the story of Jesus in the desert, which debuted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, had an art-house run in May, and is now available digitally — with some flashbacks from Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi finds the Jedi Master adrift on the dunes of Tatooine, waiting in exile for Luke Skywalker to come of age. Along the way we get glimpses of Anakin, Padmé, Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, and even Qui-Gon Jinn. The 1-minute, 17-second clip is set to John Williams’s stirring “Jedi Steps,” the concluding song from The Force Awakens.
“I’d love if Star Wars started doing different genres, especially with the Star Wars Story films,” Williamson writes on his Vimeo page. “One film might be a heist movie, one a horror, this one more of a meditative Western. Shake it up.”
Williamson’s teaser arrives just a few weeks after Marvel’s main Star Wars comic series delved into Obi-Wan’s years on the sandy wasteland. The one-off story found him a bit adrift; over the course of the comic, he winds up tangling with some of Jabba’s henchman and having a brief interaction with a tween-aged Luke.
The Marvel story has been the most complete official accounting of Obi-Wan’s post-Sith adventures since Lucasfilm’s acquisition by Disney. Before that, there was a 10-book YA novel series called The Last of the Jedi, which covered similar ground. In that series, a brooding Obi-Wan went into hiding on Tatooine to shadow young Skywalker; the master eventually finds a new Padawan to train while assembling a band of surviving Jedi and dodging Imperial forces. Those stories have since been relegated to “Star Wars Legends” status and are no longer considered canonical.
Whatever any movie plot would be, Ewan McGregor is up for another go as Kenobi. Speaking at the Edinburgh Film Festival last year, he declared, “I’d be happy to do the story from Episode III [Revenge of the Sith], where I finish up, and Alec Guinness starts.”
You heard the man, Lucasfilm. Let’s get this cranking.