Turns out The Last Jedi won’t be the last word in Jedi in the Star Wars saga. Sources have confirmed that Lucasfilm is courting Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stephen Daldry to helm a standalone film focusing on Obi-Wan Kenobi.
With the project in its nascent stages, there is no script. Daldry would help develop the story, which presumably would take place between the events covered in Revenge of the Sith — where the Jedi Master (played by Ewan McGregor) decamps to the desert world of Tatooine as protector of the infant Luke Skywalker — and A New Hope, where the aged Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) begins training Luke to help overthrow the Galactic Empire.
Although there is no word on casting, McGregor has repeatedly indicated that he’d love to return to the role he played in the three prequels. He once declared, “I’d be happy to do the story from Episode III [Revenge of the Sith], where I finish up, and Alec Guinness starts.”
In recent years, Lucasfilm has been exploring Obi-Wan’s post-Sith adventure in exile. In 2016, a one-off Marvel comic book showed Kenobi tangling with Jabba’s henchmen and having a brief interaction with a tween-aged Luke. Earlier this year, the animated series Star Wars Rebels, set in the years before A New Hope, featured a rematch between the grizzled warrior and his old nemesis Darth Maul.
The Daldry news, which was originally reported by the Hollywood Reporter, is bound to please Kenobi-philes, who have been clamoring for a solo film focusing on their favorite Jedi, channeling their hope into fan-made trailers and posters (below).
While Lucasfilm has not officially commented on the Kenobi film, the timing aligns with what company president Kathleen Kennedy told Yahoo Movies in April at Star Wars Celebration. We asked her whether the next standalone film after the current Han Solo project would focus on a fan favorite character like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, Yoda, or Ahsoka Tano.
“There are lots of rumors, but to be perfectly honest, we’re in the midst of talking about all of that right now,” she said. “We haven’t made a ton of decisions yet. We’ve had many, many ideas — we have a very strong story group inside Lucasfilm that we sit and meet with on a regular basis, we have a handful of filmmakers that we’ve been talking to about possibly bringing in. But we just started. … I’d say in the next six to eight months, we’ll have some concentrated meetings on what we’re going to move forward with.”
Lucasfilm seems to be going with a steady, proven hand at the helm for the Kenobi film. Daldry is adept with both dramatic and feel-good fare, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Director for The Reader, The Hours, and Billy Elliot. He stands in stark contrast to the likes of Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, whose work was plagued was reshoots and behind-the-scenes personnel changes, and the recently fired Han Solo tandem of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, dispatched only weeks before the film was scheduled to wrap and replaced by Ron Howard.
Watch: Mark Hamill on how his Last Jedi performance was influenced by Alec Guinness:
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