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Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Series


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Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Series
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Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-05, 16:35

Been doing some thinking lately re: the Kenobi (he's probably my favorite character, as I've gotten older, in the entire saga; and I love Ewan McGregor's portrayal) project, and I've seen folks online (YouTube, etc.) saying things like "so, it'll just be a show about someone being a hermit in the desert? He can't travel anywhere because he's looking after Luke, and, being who he is, he'll want to keep a low-profile and not get into any attention-raising adventures/skirmishes throughout the galaxy...sounds like a real dud/bore", etc.

People have absolutely no vision, do they?

Episode IV tells us everything we need to know about how a series, set on one planet and centered around a "desert hermit" (who happens to be a Jedi knight) could play out (and in a satisfying, watchable way).

- First off, he's living a desert, hermit-like existence on Tatooine. We've already seen from The Mandalorian that encounters with Jaws and Tusken Raiders - both good and bad - are a thing folks in that environment have to go through. Re: sand people, we know from Episode IV that Obi-Wan knows a) how to scare them off (and, more importantly, that they're easily frightened, but will return, with more of them), b) why they ride in single file and c) something about their marksmanship abilities. He had to come across that knowledge somehow, right? I guess we could see all that in a Kenobi series, via his encounters and scrapes with them.

- Being that he's there to look after Luke, you have to figure he's going to put in some appearances on the farm. That the mere mention of Kenobi's name in Episode IV riled Uncle Owen to such a degree, that tells me that he and that "crazy old wizard" had many disagreements over the years about Luke, Luke's place in the galaxy, his safety/protection, his lineage, the danger and temptations facing such a person, etc. It might've been Obi-Wan who encouraged Owen to keep Luke around, away from the academy? He probably stopped by the homestead, uninvited, on his space camel a few too many times for Owen's liking, and, done right, the potential for some good drama/tension between these two characters is strong. Plus, depending on exactly when this is set - or perhaps it's intended to span several years as each season progresses - we could see toddler or 9-year-old Luke? Even if he doesn't loom large in the series (and I don't think he should; too distracting), how neat would it be to see Obi-Wan in the distance, watching a sandy-haired young boy playing with his spaceship models/toys in the sands around his house, realizing "oh shit...he's got that pilot/adventure gene...". And there wouldn't be a dry eye in SW fandom at a scene of a 10-year-old Luke, innocently playing with his spaceship toys as the twin suns lower in front of him and that music kicked in...can you not see that perfectly in your head?

Lots of good opportunities for drama and backstory building here, simply dealing with the Lars every few episodes.

But, best of all (and here's where the bulk of the action/fun could come into play...

- Obi-Wan, standing on that ridge with Luke and the droids, seemed to have a pretty good read on Mos Eisley and its inhabitants. How? Because that's probably where he hangs out, on the down low. Being a spaceport, he knows pilots, smugglers, traders, etc. are going to come and go from there. This is where he keeps tabs on what's happening in the galaxy...as the Empire grows. This is where he may first hear of some black-armored Sith Lord choking people all over the place...and starting to put two-and-two together over who that likely is ("why didn't I finish him off when I had the chance?!"). He's going to run into gamblers, smugglers and the like in such a place. While some may be friendly to him, you have to assume some are not...and there's where some blaster play/saber-igniting (or fist fights, chases, stand-offs, mind tricks, etc.) come into play.

Also, Obi-Wan knew "the best pilots" hung out at that Mos Eisley cantina, which means he's likely been a regular there. While many patrons probably saw a hooded desert hermit nursing a drink on his own, Obi-Wan is listening/overhearing all the talk among the pilots and others, hearing just how bad things are getting. That he knows the truth re: Anakin/Vader and Luke, this is going to be the source of drama or tension as well, especially as Luke gets older.

If that cantina kinda serves as his go-to haunt, then we're going to see some nice callbacks (or call-forwards, as the case may be, considering the timeline...this show, I presume, would be set in that time between episodes 3 and 4? Makes no sense to do a younger Obi-Wan (McGregor wouldn't be able to pull that off at this point), and...well, if they go too far into the future, he's dead (well, Force dead; but I still don't think people will tune in for a whole show about a blue glowing Force ghost).

Speaking of which, leading directly from the events/revelations Yoda spoke of at the end of Episode 3, part of this show would probably focus on Obi-Wan learning how to communicate with his former master. And I'll bet you they could throw enough $$$/incentive to Mr. Neeson to convince him to put in a cameo or three, even if it's just voice? But it wouldn't surprise me a bit if we saw Force ghost Qui-Gon at some point.

And you know Yoda, even if just Frank Oz phoning in some voice work from his home studio, is going to show up...either on the regular or at least a well-placed cameo, in some form.

And there's another popular character that could factor into such a show, even if only via a handful of guest appearances (and via static-y blue hologram)...Obi-Wan was good friends with Bail Organa (they all knew who was going where, doing what, so I'm betting those two stayed in touch during this period). So I see no reason why Jimmy Smits wouldn't don the cape and put in a cameo as well. With the timeline and all, some digital de-aging may be needed, but he looked pretty good in Rogue One. And if his appearances were to be exclusively via hologram FaceTime calls to Obi-Wan, then that static, fuzzy/scan-line and blue color tinting goes a long way to helping mask any digital de-aging they may want to do? Like Neeson, that's the kind of gig (being a blue Force ghost or communication hologram) where the actor just shows up on a sound stage for one afternoon, puts on a costume, stands in front a green screen and reads some dialogue. And then ILM takes it from there?

According to my making of the Empire Strikes Back book, that's exactly how Alec Guinness did his Force ghost scenes in that movie. He showed up, alone, did one day of filming in front of a black backdrop and then was later composited into things...he was never on set with the others, etc. And that was over 40 years ago, so you know they could make it just as easy/convenient on Neeson, Smits, Oz, etc. now, with technology being what it is.

And, not to make this character the centerpoint of everything, but the timelines/locations do lend themselves to a solid "maybe"...according to SW Wiki, Boba was 10 in Attack of the Clones, making him 13 in Revenge of the Sith, set three years later. If this Kenobi series is set in such a time that Luke is 8-10 years old (8-10 years after Episode III), then that puts Boba at 21-23...old enough to be plying his trade. And, with the connection between him and Boba's father (that fight on Kamino that Boba witnessed), there's enough of a grudge or raw feelings that may compel Boba to seek out this particular Jedi, on his own? He probably doesn't know what happened to him, but, being in the business he's in, he's probably going to be pursuing bounties in known shitholes like Tatooine/Mos Eisley from time to time...imagine him walking down the streets of Mos Eisley during one of his missions and bumping into Obi-Wan? Would they know each other? Boba would surely recognize the bearded Jedi who's only aged 13 years since he last saw him on that landing platform. And Obi-Wan would recognize the armor, the variant of it anyway, from Jango.

That could be one bodacious staring contest...each man waiting on the other to make their move?

Who says, during this period, that the Empire hasn't put bounties on unaccounted for Jedi? So maybe Boba Fett is actively searching for Obi-Wan and any of his fellow Jedi in this timeframe? And finds him? Maybe they fight to a standstill, and, for whatever reason, word never makes it back to Vader/the Empire...Obi-Wan and Boba just agree to disagree and leave their beef in the Tatooine sands after an episode with no decisive winner?

"We'll meet again, Jedi...better eat your Wheaties", as he flips Obi-Wan the bird and flies off in Slave I?

Oh, and one more thing...Jabba was certainly alive/around and in the mix during this period, right? We saw him at the pod race arena in The Phantom Menace, decades earlier, so he'd be even more powerful now. Maybe Obi-Wan crosses paths with him as well?

All the above are valid possibilities when you consider the involved timelines, things done/said in the prequels, things we eventually come to learn in the OT, the fact that all the relevant actors are a) still alive and b) seem friendly to their time spent being in a Star Wars project. Unlike Ford and Fisher, I've never heard Neeson or Smits bad mouth their time working on SW. So I assume it wouldn't take much to bring either/both back for some easy 1-2 day green screen work to help add to the show.

So, yeah...on the surface, a show about Obi-Wan's desert exile years might seem like a bit of a bore and "why"?

But if you take in all the above possibilities for drama, action, fan-service/nods to the prequels (and things that come to happen in the OT), the cameo possibilities...AND if the same type of outlook/mindset that's driving The Mandalorian is helming the Kenobi project...then yeah, things could be very cool. The same sort of fun and excitement of the current show, just with a different lead character and even closer ties to the known saga? Let's face it...Disney/Lucasfilm is never going to branch out/wade too far from that safe perch of established, beloved lore. Not in this lifetime, anyway. So they may as well do it right and have fun with it if they insist on adhering to the whole Skywalker/Jedi/Empire/OT/prequels trappings.

I said here, some time ago, that the future of Star Wars may very well rest on long-form episodic TV vs. "throw-everything-and-see-what-sticks" two-hour movies (especially if episodes 7-9 is the best they can manage). Besides, the way the world is anymore - and may never go quite back to "normal" - the future of entertainment may reside in those nice big HD TVs we all have in our house, and the days of going to the multiplex - and all the expense/hassle/horseshit that entails - are slowly winding down.

I'm not paying $8.75 for a box of Junior Mints, and filling out financial aid forms for a large Dr. Pepper.

I'd rather watch episodes of something like The Mandalorian - or other SW-related shows of similar quality - in my own living room than to roll the dice on further shitball movies if Abrams/Kennedy are still going to be in the mix. I'm done with that stuff. But the future looks very bright on the episodic TV front. You can get way more into the stories, just due to the longer running time. Even if each installment is less than an hour long, eight of them in a season is way longer than any theatrical feature film could ever hope to be, so...you know, things might actually get explained, and make some sort of actual sense, in this medium/format. And when you have creators who appear to be actual fans and possess a clue about the property/franchise, that goes a long way too.

Because between Jon Favreau and Rian Johnson, guess what?

Yeah...exactly.

So, yeah...good stuff on the horizon.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2020-11-05 at 17:27.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-05, 17:33

All very good thoughts. I can see old (young?) Ben hanging around space ports and bars, taking in all the scuttlebut, all the while having run-ins with Jawas, Sand Dudes, occasional Storm Troopers, etc. And that he knows who Darth Vader is, there could even be some squabbles with that guy, albeit on some other mission to an unknown hell-hole.

And I might either need to rename this thread, or spin off some Kenobi bits to a new one.

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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-05, 17:50

Do it. My novel above can be the kickoff.

I hear production begins this coming spring (assuming that doesn't get pushed back/altered like everything else has been). So, at some point, a Kenobi thread will be coming. May as well be now, since some are talking about it.

PS - I don't think Obi-Wan and Vader face off. Their duel on the Death Star in Episode IV seems to be the first time they've seen each other, just from some of the dialogue between them, before, and during, the duel. And, earlier, Vader talks about a presence he's not felt since...

Maybe they ran into each other in that ~20-year period between between episodes 3-4 (and Vader was referring to that), but I never saw it that way. I don't think anyone has. It's more dramatic if their last time seeing one another was Anakin screaming at him on that lava river bank on Mustafar, and Obi-Wan so distraught.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-05, 17:57

It's a series with a ton of possibilities, and I am so glad that Ewan MacGregor has signed on to do it. He was the only halfway believable actor in that whole 1-3 trilogy mess, and I love how much he has jumped on with the idea.

I suspect we are going to see some serious Obi-Wan bad-assery with the light saber, considering how detestable he found blasters.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-05, 18:10

I thought about that, but he also has to be careful and lay low during this time. If it’s a “him/them or me” scenario and there’s nobody else around, I’m sure he will.

Although he had no problem publicly lopping off that guy’s arm in the cantina. But he was older and maybe just didn’t care anymore. That happens...at 51, there's a entire encyclopedia full of stuff I no longer care/worry/think about the way I might've 15-20 years ago.

19-20 years prior, he might’ve been more careful when/where he pulled it out. But I’m sure it’ll get used. There will be riff-raff and lowlifes positively begging for it. There always is.

He just has to be careful...if word gets out that some robed, bearded guy on Tatooine is really good with a lightsaber, that’s gonna attract the wrong attention (and puts Luke in jeopardy).

Leave no witnesses, Obi-Wan! If you're gonna fire that thing up, make sure nobody's left around to talk about it, so word doesn’t get back to the Empire!

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2020-11-05 at 18:23.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-05, 18:16

I just want to see Obi-Wan be the guy we all know he is. Just like Boba Fett and Vader, there was all this talk about how awesome he was (and there's definitely some hints to that effect in the prequel trilogy, but they always seemed to get roped into corners and get beaten. I want to see him just flat-out be Obi-Wan!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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