Ewan McGregor and fans have been talking about returning to his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for a while, but with the recent news that we’re getting a new Star Wars movie every year, fans are speculating what’ll come down the pike. And a story about Obi-Wan would not only fit with the idea — it’s something that’s overdue.
Obi-Wan has gotten short shrift in the Star Wars universe. To some degree, we’ve had an Obi-Wan movie: Attack of the Clones had him as the driving force of the plot. Unfortunately, there was also a lot about Anakin and Padme having feelings at each other, even after Anakin massacred an entire village of sand people. It also features Obi-Wan taking a tour of a manufacturing facility, because George Lucas knows there’s nothing that thrills audiences like industrial films. The giant brawl at the end is some great monster-movie cinema, but too little, too late.
More importantly, though, there’s a huge gap between the general who goes into exile at the end of Episode III and the hermit Luke runs into at the beginning of Episode IV. And he’s at a crossroads. The Jedi order has been destroyed, the Empire is in ascendance, and Obi-Wan himself needs to keep a low profile lest Luke be found. More to the point, Obi-Wan’s not really a Jedi anymore; he’s not accountable to a council, or to anybody other than ghosts. So what does he do with his time? It’s hard to imagine Obi-Wan just herding nerfs and shooting womp rats for nearly 20 years waiting for Luke to realize he’s a space wizard. He also has friends and connections well beyond the Jedi Temple, and there was a rebellion well before Obi-Wan went to Mos Eisley with the droids you’re not looking for.
And there have been hints, however vague, that Obi-Wan has something to do with Rey’s parentage. If you’ve got a sharp ear, you’ll notice his voice is mixed in with Alec Guinness’ when Rey touches her lightsaber and has flashbacks. And it can get lonely out in a desert for two decades. We’re just saying, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Rey has a Jedi grandfather.
It’s not the only direction Disney should go; we’d like to learn more about just what happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, for example. But if a bounty hunter who’s barely in the original trilogy is getting his own movie, then Obi-Wan deserves a little time in the sun without Anakin holding him back.