Had “Solo: A Star Wars Story” not disappointed at the box office in 2018, then “Obi-Wan Kenobi” might’ve been a full-fledged movie trilogy instead of a six-episode Disney+ limited series. Screenwriter Stuart Beattie has “story by” and/or writing credits on multiple “Obi-Wan” episodes, but he recently told The Direct that he had no involvement with the Disney+ series. Beattie’s credit carried over from his work drafting the first movie in an intended “Obi-Wan” trilogy.
“I wrote the film that they based the show on,” Beattie said. “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 [Harold] 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.”
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Beattie said his original “Obi-Wan” pitch to Lucasfilm was, “three stories because there’s three different evolutions that the character has to make in order to go from Obi-Wan to Ben [in ‘A New Hope’]. 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.'”
“The second [movie] was thinking about where Kenobi ends up,” Beattie continued. “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.”
Beattie’s second “Obi-Wan” film would follow the character coming to terms with his own mortality, thus giving more clarity to his “A New Hope” sacrifice. The film would “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.” A second “Obi-Wan” movie never moved into development as Beattie was still working away on the first film when the studio pulled the plug.
“It was ‘Solo’ that changed the direction of the system,” Beattie said. “I like ‘Solo,’ personally, but it hadn’t made a lot of money… it certainly crushed us. Devastated, absolutely devastated. But, that’s the business, you know, highs and lows. I’m glad it got made. I’m glad the show got made. I’m proud of my story that [got] told. I’m glad my characters are all through it. And I’m glad I got credit for it. I wish, I wish they’d been able to make my movies.”
Beattie confirmed the original movie plan was for “a full trilogy,” adding that Ewan McGregor was on board with the plan. The screenwriter said that if he gets the chance to “have anything to do with the second season of ‘Obi-Wan,” then he’ll re-pitch his idea for the mortality-themed second movie. “Obi-Wan” was billed as a limited series, but McGregor is already game for more.
“I really hope we do another,” McGregor recently told British GQ. “If I could do one of these every now and again — I’d just be happy about it.”
All six episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” are now streaming on Disney+.
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