The Star Wars Disney+ series centering around Obi-Wan Kenobi has been delayed, which is merely the latest drama in a galaxy far, far away.
Despite the new streamer’s raging success with The Mandalorian, apparently the Obi-Wan scripts weren’t up to snuff, per Collider’s exclusive report on the production halt.
Snarky knee-jerk reaction incoming:
Apparently, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy didn’t think the show’s quality merited proceeding into production. The report also states the series is set eight years after Revenge of the Sith, which, if memory serves, wasn’t common knowledge before now.
Let’s break down what all this means for the future of the franchise, what to expect in Obi-Wan’s Disney+ future and why this article’s title reflects fatigue about this sort of news, but also fatigue toward microwaved, micro-aggressive hot takes about it.
Kathleen Kennedy, Fandom Menace at odds (again)
It seems like Kennedy can’t do anything right. Fans are disgruntled no matter what she does. However, the considerable production turmoil in the Disney Star Wars era merits criticism.
When Michael Arndt took too long to pen The Force Awakens‘ screenplay, director J.J. Abrams took up duties with veteran Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan. The result was a frenzied production to make a tight release date, with Episode VII‘s main detractors criticizing how closely it paralleled the original 1977 film.
Rogue One underwent extensive reshoots. In a podcast interview, reshoots writer-director Tony Gilroy explained how the movie was in such terrible trouble that all he could do was improve their position.
Kennedy fired Colin Trevorrow as director/co-writer of Episode IX. We won’t even get into his Duel of the Fates leaks. Kennedy also let go Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Solo with less than a month of principal photography remaining.
Putting another project on hold, especially one fans have long been clamoring for, isn’t a great look — even if it’s the right move.
How The Mandalorian helps Obi-Wan, Disney+
The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau has hit an absolute home run with his bounty hunter-focused series. He’s already shooting a second season, which will be ready for Fall 2020.
A huge positive from Favreau’s brainchild is the emergence of Deborah Chow. Her exceptional work on the third and seventh episodes of The Mandalorian landed her the gig to run the Disney+ Obi-Wan show.
As long as Chow remains at the creative forefront, Obi-Wan should get off the ground smoothly.
Favreau reportedly will have “a lot of say” in Star Wars’ future, and why not? In the midst of a polarizing sequel film trilogy and negative Solo backlash, he’s made a wonderful show.
Should Disney continue to give Favreau free rein, it sets the stage for Kennedy to step down. Otherwise, she’ll likely leave Lucasfilm when her contract is up in 2021.
Great news from Kenobi himself
Acclaimed actor Ewan McGregor is returning for the Obi-Wan Disney+ series. He’s among the best elements of the prequels, and told IGN the show’s being fine-tuned — as opposed to overhauled:
It’s just slid to next year, that’s all. The scripts were really good. I think now that Episode IX came out and everyone at Lucasfilm’s got more time to spend on the writing, they felt like they wanted more time to spend on the writing.
I’ve read about eighty, ninety percent of what they’ve written so far, and it’s really, really good. Instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that. It often happens in projects, they just wanted to push it to next year. It will have the same release date,IGN
Hallelujah! Alas, toxic fandom: looks like Star Wars isn’t in as dire straits as it seemed. Count on Ewan’s Obi-Wan to be cool, calm and collected.
Although Kennedy is still bound to be in hot water regardless, she may well dodge the heat when all’s said and done. It’s also possible, of course, that McGregor is playing ball and helping Disney+ PR out.
But I choose to be optimistic in the face of potential Star Wars disaster and further drama. Let’s save the dramatics for when the cameras roll. If Obi-Wan says the show is still on track, that’s good enough for now!