The canon storylines of beloved franchises like Star Wars are often highly protected — if not gatekept — by fans. However, as prequel storylines like Rogue One and Obi-Wan Kenobi aim to play more with established characters, writers and directors need to be extra careful to not destroy what fans already know.
Obi-Wan Kenobi director on Star Wars canon
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Obi-Wan Kenobi director Deborah Chow discussed the difficulty of keeping to canon. With every writer and director all wanting to do unique things with characters, it's hard to continue making stories that play well with canon and don't just re-tread old ground.
Chow explained that working on The Mandalorian was the perfect training for playing with Kenobi. “it was interesting,” she said. “And I think for me having gone through The Mandalorian — and thank goodness I did — that was really my introduction to the responsibility to this universe and how to tell stories in this galaxy. So, it was so helpful having gone through that already before taking this one on.
The director continued to explain that there's a high degree of “responsibility” when created new Star Wars stories. “You want to respect the canon,” she said. “But you also want to have your voice in the canon, and you don't want to just retread or do the same thing again. So there were definitely people that were extremely helpful.”
Just like with Star Wars movies, Chow got to work with a team at Lucasfilm that helps everything make sense in canon. Similar to Rian Johnson’s film The Last Jedi, this team makes sure that nothing acts opposite against established lore.
“Lucasfilm has a great team that helps support that,” she said. “But I would say Dave Filoni was very pivotal for me, both in terms of The Mandalorian and in terms of the Star Wars of it all, as well as Jon Favreau. But Dave also was a touchstone, and remains a touchstone for me for this series. Anytime I have a question about canon, I go to him."
The state of Obi
In the same interview, Deborah Chow teased that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will play with the hero’s emotional state. After the fall of the Jedi Order, the iconic Jedi is left in a lost state, not sure what his next steps are.
“At this point, both for him and for the galaxy, it's quite a dark period. And that actually made it really interesting to be telling a story in this period. It's a time when the Empire's ascending, it's post Order 66. So most of the Jedi have been killed. A lot of them are being hunted by the Inquisitors. So it's a very dark time to be a Jedi and most of them are hiding or dead. So for him at this point 10 years later, we're dealing with post Order 66 after Anakin, who he believes he killed, and then all his friends — everybody sort of gone or hiding. So it's a tough period for Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to be attempting a lot for a six-episode series. The huge limited run storyline will let fans see Obi-Wan on the back foot in a more action-focused role than A New Hope. It makes sense that fans everywhere are excited to see it.