Lucasfilm’s latest Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, saw the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in their iconic roles from the Prequel Trilogy. Many wondered how the series came together and what may have led to the project ending up on the Disney+ streaming service. It turns out that writer Stuart Beattie initially pitched the project as a film trilogy. Initially, he wrote the first of three films that would eventually be stretched out into the six episodes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
I wrote the film that they based the show on. 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 stuffStuart Beattie
He goes on to highlight how he initially pitched the project to Lucasfilm, which would’ve been three stories that explore the different stages of his evolution into Ben Kenobi from the Original Trilogy, most notably how we meet him in A New Hope.
So 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.Stuart Beattie
He also highlights that very transformation and wanting to explore that storyline of how he goes from the man we see in the Prequels into the role of sacrificing his life to let Luke Skywalker follow his own fate.
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.Stuart Beattie
Hearing that an initial film idea was stretched out into the first six episodes doesn’t seem too surprising given the slower pace of the project. Obi-Wan Kenobi has strengths but there are moments where it felt like it was initially planned as a singular film that was broken down into three arcs with two episodes each. It was marketed as a limited series, which makes it curious that the initial pitch of a trilogy could’ve been made for at least three seasons. So, we’ll have to see if they backpedal on the idea after all.
Source: The Direct