If “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hadn’t disappointed at the box office in 2018, then “Obi-Wan Kenobi” could have been a full-length movie trilogy instead of a Disney+ six-episode limited series. Screenwriter Stuart Beattie has “story by” and/or writing credits on several episodes of “Obi-Wan,” but he recently told The Direct that he had no involvement with the Disney+ series. Beattie’s credit came from her draft work on the first film in the “Obi-Wan” trilogy.
“I wrote the movie they based the show on,” Beattie said. “I spent a year, a year and a half working on it. And so when the decision was made not to do spin-offs anymore after ‘Solo’ came out, I left the project and went on to other things. joby [Harold] came and took my scripts and turned two hours into six. So I didn’t work with them, I just got credit for the episodes because they were all my stuff.”
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Beattie said his original “Obi-Wan” pitch for Lucasfilm was “three stories, because there are three different evolutions that the character needs to go through to go from Obi-Wan to Ben. [in ‘A New Hope’]. The first was the first movie, which was the show, which was ‘Surrender to the Will of the Force’. Transport your will, surrender your will. Leave the child alone.’”
“The second [movie] I was thinking about where Kenobi is going to end up,” Beattie continued. “And one of the most powerful and probably most powerful moments in all of Obi-Wan’s history is that moment where he sacrifices himself in ‘A New Hope.’ Big moment, you know, makes you cry. But if you stop and think about it, it’s a very sudden thing, kind of fighting a guy, seeing Luke and saying, ‘I’m going to die.’ You know, that for me, that required forethought. That required pre-acceptance that this was going to happen.”
Beattie’s second “Obi-Wan” movie would follow the character coming to terms with his own mortality, thus giving more clarity to his “A New Hope” sacrifice. The film “would take him to the point where Obi Wan accepted the idea that he’s going to die, and that he’s going to die voluntarily at a pivotal moment.” A second “Obi-Wan” film never went into development, as Beattie was still working on the first film when the studio shut down.
“It was ‘Solo’ that changed the direction of the system,” Beattie said. “I like ‘Solo’ personally, but it didn’t make a lot of money… it certainly crushed us. Devastated, absolutely devastated. But, that’s the thing, you know, ups and downs. I’m glad it was done. I’m glad the show was done. I’m proud of my story that [got] said. I’m glad my characters made it through. And I’m glad I got credit for that. I wish, I wish they could make my movies.”
Beattie confirmed that the film’s original plan was for “a complete trilogy”, adding that Ewan McGregor was in agreement with the plan. The screenwriter said that if he has the chance to “have anything to do with the second season of ‘Obi-Wan’, then he will re-launch his idea for the second mortality-themed movie. “Obi-Wan” was billed as a limited series, but McGregor is ready for more.
“I really hope we do another one,” McGregor recently told British GQ. “If I could make one of these once in a while – I would be happy with it.”
All six episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” are now streaming on Disney+.
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