Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus has led to the creation of beloved shows like The Mandalorian and WandaVision. However, not all of the shows we see on the streaming service were originally pitched for the TV format.
In a new interview, Obi-Wan Kenobi writer Stuart Beattie revealed that the just-finished Disney Plus show was not designed for TV. In fact, the series was initially pitched as its own movie trilogy before Disney Plus was a thing.
Was Obi-Wan Kenobi a movie trilogy?
In an interview with The Direct, Beattie revealed that the pitch for Obi-Wan Kenobi existed before the release of Disney Plus. With Star Wars being almost exclusively a movie franchise and the Sequel Trilogy wrapping up, there was space to create a new trilogy that could fill time while Disney figured out its next steps.
Beattie revealed that the first season of Obi-Wan Kenobi is based off a script that he wrote for the first entry in his imagined trilogy. The writer confirmed that his scripts were converted from a two-hour movie to a six-hour series for the streaming service.
“I wrote the film that they based the show on,” the writer said. “So, yeah. I spent like a year, year-and-a-half working on it. And then, when the decision was made not to make any more spin-off films after Solo came out, I left the project and went on to other things. Joby came on and took my scripts and turned it from two hours into six. So, I did not work with them at all, I just got credit for the episodes because it was all my stuff."
The writer explained that each one of the three movies would focus on restoring an aspect of Obi-Wan and having the character accept his inevitable death in A New Hope. He continued:
“When I pitched my Obi-Wan story to Lucasfilm, I said, 'There's actually three stories here. Because there's three different evolutions that the character has to make in order to go from Obi-Wan to Ben.' And the first one 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 kid alone.' So then, the second [movie] was thinking about where Kenobi ends up. And one of the most powerful and probably the most powerful moment in all of Obi-Wan's story is that moment where he sacrifices himself in A New Hope. Great moment, you know, makes you cry. But, if you stop and think about it, it's a pretty sudden thing, to just kind of go be fighting a guy, to see Luke and go, 'I'm gonna die.' You know, that to me, that required forethought. That required pre-acceptance that this was going to happen."
Obi-Wan accepts his death
Beattie explained that the next two movies would’ve been crucial in seeing Obi-Wan truly become the hermit we see in A New Hope. While the first act of the trilogy gets him partway there, McGregor’s Kenobi is still very different from Alec Guinness’.
With this in mind, Beattie wanted Obi-Wan Kenobi to know about his upcoming death onboard the Death Star. Through conversations with Qui-Gon Jinn, Kenobi would learn of his fate and need to accept that.
“It’s one of those universal things we all struggle with, to come to terms with our own mortality,” he explained. “So, that was the second step of the evolution for me, that Obi-Wan now has to come to terms with his own mortality, somehow in a prophecy, or Qui-Gon telling him, 'There's going to come a moment where you're gonna have to sacrifice yourself for the good,' And then [Obi-Wan] is like, 'What? No, no, no, no, I'm here to help... I can't, no.' And get him to that point where Obi Wan has accepted the idea that he's going to die, and that he's going to die willingly at a crucial moment, and you will know when that moment presents itself.”
Did Ewan McGregor want to do more Obi-Wan Kenobi movies?
According to Beattie, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was looking good for production. Not only did Lucasfilm enjoy the trilogy’s ideas, but Ewan McGregor was excited to come aboard.
“Ewan was on board, everyone. We were like, 'Yeah, ready to go.' And we were so excited about it, too,” the writer said. “It's a great story to tell, right? It's such a fitting character and Ewan is just so fantastic at it. And he's the perfect age, everything.”
One day, Disney may end up making the rest of Beattie’s proposed trilogy, likely in TV form. However, right now, we have a strong standalone series that doesn’t require a follow-up.