I can’t even tell you how long ago it has been since I recall watching Star Wars for the very first time. I have specific memories, and most of them surround the many viewings spent watching the original trilogy on various releases of VHS tapes: there’s the half face of Yoda set in the foreground below Return of the Jedi while a son and his father clash lightsabers in a duel for the ages (I’m still calling them lightsabers, Luke, and not laserswords, by the way) and the gold boxed VHS set including special editions fitted nicely between the iconic headgear of Darth Vader. Throughout that period of time, anticipation grew for the long-gestating prequel trilogy and with each release, excitement (and disappointment, too) settled as the saga expanded to a once-was-for-certain end. Since the sale of LucasFilm to Disney in 2012, that all has changed. With four theatrical features in the can and upcoming spin-off shows taking place in the sandbox that is Star Wars, a new hope looms along the landscape.
When I heard of rumors for a narrative including Obi-Wan Kenobi, I thought to myself: interesting, and yes. As time has gone on by, and as fans and critics of the saga have spent many efforts critiquing and defending the legacy and impact of the Prequel Trilogy, a fondness for elements including Obi-Wan Kenobi has prevailed without much question or debate. In fact, I imagine most fans and enthusiasts would agree, myself included, that Ewan McGregor’s presence and portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the highlights of the entire Prequel era. With much charm and a nice balance between dramatic seriousness and quick wit we’ve come to know, we got a much more consistent and fully-fleshed out character in Obi-Wan that felt more genuine and in line with the older sage we meet in A New Hope.
As Star Wars expands and dives off into more uncharted territories, my hope remains that those characters we adore and have come to know get their just time in the sun. We haven’t really been able to explore what makes Obi-Wan tick. We’ve seen him in action and subservient to the driving force of narrative, but with little to know of his personal motives and intentions outside of monitoring a troubled prodigy and acting as investigative lead, there’s not much we’ve been able to draw in his own personal struggle with anything else. When the task is done, what then? I think with a legacy character as beloved as Obi-Wan, it’s about time we give him the spotlight and delve deep into the inner workings of man who for his entire life does nothing but serve those around him.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about Star Wars, story-telling, and life, it’s about the journey moreso than the destination that oftentimes deserves attention and care. Who knows where Star Wars will be 5-10 years from now, let alone at the end of our respective journeys. I’m excited for what is to come, aside from some reservations and opinions I have about certain characters (here’s to looking at you, Casian Andor), but it’s nice to see that we may be getting a return to a much beloved character if all goes well with the Mouse House, Ewan McGregor, and the creative team behind the endeavor. Obi-Wan Kenobi, you may not be my only hope, but you’re one of them. Like a visit with a beloved friend or family member, it sure would be nice to hang out and touch base for awhile.
What are your thoughts concerning the current discussion of an Obi-Wan Kenobi narrative set to expand our understanding of the man and myth? Leave a comment below, and let’s keep the spirit alive!