Welcome to our new column, the Expanded Universe Wishlist. The plan here is to take a look at upcoming EU releases and talk about what we would love to see in them. The Expanded Universe Wishlist is going to kick off with Kenobi by John Jackson Miller. We hope for this to be a discussion, so please leave a comment telling us what you want to see in the novel!
Before I get into what I hope to see, I need to give some background. Ever since it was announced in October at New York Comic Con, Kenobi has been sitting right at the top of my list of most anticipated EU releases. Obi-Wan has always been one of my favorite Star Wars characters, so a novel focusing on what he was up to between the trilogies written by a great author is right up my alley. I immediately started imagining what could go into this story. The possibilities were endless! Then a few weeks later the huge news of Disney buying Lucasfilm with the intent to make new Star Wars films dropped, and recently we’ve received official confirmation that there will be character-focused spinoff movies in addition to the sequel trilogy. Ewan McGregor is on record saying that he’d love to play Obi-Wan again. Now, on top of the Kenobi novel, there’s the chance for an entire Obi-Wan movie with one of the best actors from the prequel trilogy reprising the role.
As someone that would like EU continuity to remain as intact as possible with these new movies, my wishlist for Kenobi has now become much more complicated. Now, instead of just thinking about how awesome it’d be if the krayt dragon skeleton from A New Hope was from a dragon that Obi-Wan was forced to kill, we can dream about two potentially very different Kenobi-centric stories.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for recent episodes of The Clone Wars.
I’ll start with my wishlist for the novel. In a post on his blog, Miller notes that “The greatest hero in the galaxy faces his toughest challenge yet: He must stop being Obi-Wan — and learn to live as Ben.” That quote sounds great for a novel, but a little slow and introspective for a big budget Star Wars film, which makes my job a little bit easier. I’d love Kenobi to focus on Obi-Wan bringing Luke to Tatooine and his inner conflict between taking on the “crazy old Ben” role and his desire to be taking a more active role in overthrowing the Empire and defeating the Sith. Getting into his head to know what he’s thinking is important, and much easier to do in a novel than a film. We’d regularly find Obi-Wan in Mos Eisley, keeping up-to-date on news from elsewhere in the galaxy while giving us a deeper look into that wretched hive of scum and villainy. Eventually the novel will need a bit of action though, and that’s where Bo-Katan, formerly of the Mandalorian group Death Watch, comes in. The two characters are connected through Satine Kryze, Bo-Katan’s sister, whom Obi-Wan was romantically involved with. Well, as romantically involved as a Jedi other than Anakin can be. Bo-Katan could be coming to Tatooine to warn Kenobi that Vader has hired Mandalorian bounty hunters to seek him out, and she can help him protect the secret of his location when they track him down. This could even tie back into his need to learn to be Ben rather than Obi-Wan, especially if the reason the bounty hunters found him was because he was making his Jedi presence too noticeable during his visits to Mos Eisley.
An Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff film could focus on similar themes while having an entirely different conflict. While I’d like the novel to take place soon after Obi-Wan’s exile begins, the movie could be set a few years later. Obi-Wan gets word of an opportunity to confront Darth Vader that he can’t pass up, even though it would mean leaving Luke alone and defenseless on Tatooine. What’s that you say? The last time Obi-Wan and Vader were together before A New Hope was on Mustafar during Revenge of the Sith? I beg to differ. Take a look at these two quotes from Vader in A New Hope: “I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since…” and “A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.” Neither of those say when the last time he felt Obi-Wan’s presence was. I don’t really have any plot specifics here, but I’d just love to see another confrontation between those two characters. The history between them is so rich it begs for a deeper look into how they both think Obi-Wan let Anakin down. Plus it’s an opportunity to see Darth Vader in the suit in a more prequel-esque lightsaber fight than any of the ones we saw in the Original Trilogy.
As you can tell, I’ve probably been thinking about what could go into Kenobi a little more than is sane. What do you hope to see in Kenobi? Please leave a comment letting us know!