It’s getting to the point where you don’t need to be Force-sensitive to know that there’s behind-the-scenes drama with a new Star Wars project. The latest bad news from a galaxy far, far away is about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series headed for Disney+. According to multiple reports, the show’s development has been put on hold—or at least delayed—while Lucasfilm retools the scripts and possibly cuts the episode count from six to four. However, Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, says there’s no need to have a bad feeling about this.
Collider broke the news yesterday, and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed many of the details shortly afterwards. According to the reports, production was put on hold and a crew that had been assembled to work on the show at London’s Pinewood Studios has been told to go home. THR adds that Lucasfilm was reportedly unhappy with the scripts, and that they’re looking for a new writer to work on the series in addition to possibly cutting the number of episodes by a third.
Only two scripts were written before Lucasfilm scrapped them, according to THR, and part of the problem was that the series was shaping up to be too similar to The Mandalorian, as Obi-Wan would have been protecting baby Luke and Leia. (No offense to whatever child they would have cast to play Baby Mark Hamill, but Baby Yoda is cuter).
Ewan McGregor and director Deborah Chow are still part of the project, and at a press event for Bird of Prey, which stars McGregor as the villain, the actor seemed optimistic.
“It’s not been put on hold, it’s just been pushed back a little bit. The scripts are excellent and they just want them to be better,” McGregor, who played the Jedi in the prequel trilogy, told the Associated Press. “So we just pushed it back, but it’s not—it very dramatic, it would seem, online, there’s all kinds of shit online about it, but it’s only just slid back a bit. We’re still shooting it, I think it will still be aired when it was meant to be and I’m really excited about it. It’ll be fun to play again.”
In another interview with IGN at the same event, he indicated that the delay won’t change the release date, although it’s worth noting that Disney has not made the planned release date public, so we’d have no way of knowing if it’s changed. McGregor suggested that filming might start in January as opposed to August as originally intended.
So: is this a big deal? It’s hard to tell. On the one hand, it’s encouraging to see Lucasfilm wanting to get the Obi-Wan series right, especially following the success of their first Disney+ offering, The Mandalorian, and The Rise of Skywalker’s rough reception.
That said, Lucasfilm has a spotty track record when it comes to stepping in on Star Wars projects. They did extensive reshoots on Rogue One, and that movie was pretty good. They also canned Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Solo, and that movie ended up being... fine. They also replaced Colin Trevorrow with their old stalwart J.J. Abrams for Rise of Skywalker, and, well…
Ultimately, no matter what sort of bumps Lucasfilm encounters during the development and production process, it seems like a pretty safe bet that they’ll be able to deliver an exciting story about those years when Obi-Wan Kenobi was living as a hermit on Tatooine.
Originally Appeared on GQ