The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on a stand-alone Obi-Wan Kenobi film being developed by Lucasfilm. Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) is in talks to direct and oversee the writing/development of the project.
Not a lot is known at this stage, but considering Kenobi (played by Sir Alec Guinness) died in the original Star Wars film, one would imagine the new film would have to be a prequel. In fact, the character was already a part of the Star Wars prequel films directed by George Lucas (Episodes I, II, and III) — where he was played by Ewan McGregor.
Look, I know that nobody really likes to talk about those prequels. The dialogue was laughable. The chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, who were supposed to be coming together to birth the future heroes Luke and Leia, was nonexistent. Jar Jar Binks happened right in front of our faces and we were powerless to stop it. But given how painful and wooden those three films were, McGregor stands out by being, well, not wooden or painful. His performance in any given scene reminded you just how much fun the Star Wars universe could be. And he was committed, all the way down the line, no matter how many bad reviews came out between installments. He always looked like he was enjoying the ride. In fact, his Obi-Wan Kenobi was what convinced me that McGregor wasn’t some flash-in-the-pan pretty boy actor with a good eye for roles and a helluva lucky streak, but a genuine talent in his own right. Anyone can look cool in Danny Boyle flicks, but to come out of The Phantom Menace smelling like roses takes real skill. Hell, he even turned in a line of dialogue in The Force Awakens with practically no notice:
I think Lucasfilms owes the poor man a shot at starring in a good Star Wars movie for a change. He’s barely aged, and as long as the story takes place after Revenge of the Sith but sometime before A New Hope, he’ll be all set. Hell, make it a domestic comedy with Ben Kenobi arguing about recycling bins with the Jawas next door. Just let Ewan have this.
Unless the plan is to dive into the supernatural realm with an all-ghost Jedi flick, in which case ignore me. I would absolutely pay to see the Dead Jedi Society. Apparently Lucasfilm is also eyeing stand-alone flicks centering on Yoda and Boba Fett, so maybe there is room to create an entire purgatorial franchise in that galaxy far, far away.