How did Obi-Wan fill his time in the desert?
Rumors of a solo Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie have been floating around for some time now, but a new report indicates that just such a film might be going into production in the near future, with director Stephen Daldry (The Hours, The Crown) helming the return of the famed Jedi Knight.
And not just that, but if this rumor is correct, it sounds like the Obi-Wan movie won’t be an origin story but rather a direct prequel to A New Hope, depicting the character’s lonely days in the deserts of Tatooine as he watched over a young Luke Skywalker from afar.
We’ve talked about what we would want to see from an Obi-Wan spinoff film, but those were pie in the sky sort of dreams. Now, though, we may have an actual time period for the film. To keep the focus on Obi-Wan (hopefully played by Ewan McGregor again) and to have more uncharted story territory to play in, the ideal setting for an Obi-Wan film is in fact on Tatooine in the 19-year gap between Episode III and Episode IV. Obi-Wan dropped his name and went by Ben, spending his days protecting Luke Skywalker from afar on the Outer Rim planet. But if the filmmakers choose to create a script in this era, what could actually be on the table when they have to work around canonical, pre-established material? Let’s look at Obi-Wan’s canonical timeline and activities between A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith and figure it out!
Caretaker: 19 years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY)
The end of Revenge of the Sith saw Obi-Wan leave a dead Padmé Amidala on Polis Massa; he took one of her twins far away to Tatooine to the child’s family. Obi-Wan dropped off a baby Luke Skywalker to a young Owen and Beru Lars. He told Yoda, “I will take the child and watch over him.” Obi-Wan rode into the twin sunset on an eopie and into exile. He established a home in the Jundland Wastes.
Getting Involved: About 11 years BBY
Obi-Wan had a hard time leaving behind his Jedi ways and staying under the radar. The Journals of Ben Kenobi, detailed in Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars comic, give some insight into Obi-Wan’s activities. In the first entry, he talked of a Great Drought and how it had been years since he touched a lightsaber. He talked about how Uncle Owen wouldn’t let him train Luke. But he still kept the boy safe.
When Jabba the Hutt’s thugs tried to collect a made-up water tax from families during the drought, Obi-Wan struggled not to get involved. When they went after the Lars family, Kenobi saved Luke from the thugs.
Helping in More Ways than One: 10 years BBY
A year after the Great Drought, Obi-Wan fulfilled his duties in a way Owen didn’t approve of. When Luke’s T-16 skyhopper broke down, he felt compassion for the boy. He took a job guarding a Jawa sandcrawler from Tusken Raiders and used the money he earned to buy new parts and sneak them to Luke. Owen wasn’t happy with this and went to Obi-Wan’s hut to command him to stay away, calling the Jedi dangerous.
But then, the Lars family was again attacked by Jabba’s mercenaries, including the Wookiee Black Krrsantan. Obi-Wan interfered and fought the giant Wookiee (and got bit by him, by the way) alongside Owen. Luke’s uncle almost died during the encounter, but by happenstance, a young Luke swooped in to save the day — without seeing Obi-Wan, of course.
An Old Foe: 2 years BBY
A shared vision with Ezra Bridger in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels helped Maul, formerly Darth Maul, discover Obi-Wan’s hidden location on Tatooine. Still longing for revenge against the person he blamed for the loss of the lower half of his body and for derailing his path to greatness as a Sith, Maul sought Obi-Wan because he wanted to kill him. Maul lured Ezra to the planet to serve as bait to draw Kenobi out, and it worked. Obi-Wan met Ezra and sent him away before he dueled and killed Maul.
At the end of the episode, titled “Twin Suns,” Obi-Wan looked over the Lars homestead as Beru called for Luke.
Crazy Old Wizard: 0 years BBY
Princess Leia Organa gave R2-D2 a message for Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, and the astromech took it upon himself to traverse the terrain of Tatooine to find the former Jedi. Luke went in search of his newly acquired droid, but he encountered trouble in the Jundland Wastes. Ben Kenobi emerged from his exile to help Luke escape Tusken Raiders with his killer krayt dragon impersonation skills. And Luke finally met the “crazy old wizard” his uncle had been keeping him away from all those years. The rest, as they say, is history…
What do you hope to see from the Obi-Wan movie? Should it be set between ROTS and ANH? Let’s discuss in the comments!
Amy Ratcliffe likes Star Wars a little You can follow her on on Twitter at @amy_geek.