The Star Wars anothology-verse is officially expanding with the news that Disney’s proposed Obi-Wan Kenobi stand alone film may be getting a director very soon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, thrice Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry is currently in talks to helm the Ben Kenobi origin story.
After last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the new Obi-Wan flick will be among three other Star Wars spinoffs, including the Han Solo, Yoda, and Boba Fett standalones. It is clear that Disney and Lucas Film are looking to capitalize on their already established Star Wars characters while also telling new stories in the new sequels also in development (The Last Jedi, Episode IX).
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Ben Kenobi is a weary former Jedi living in the desert as a hermit and carrying old war wounds with him. Luke Skywalker soon discovers his true identity, and Kenobi serves as his mentor for a brief period before suffering his fate at the hands of his first pupil, Darth Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker). Alec Guinness portrayed him in the original trilogy and earned an Oscar nomination. In the Star Wars prequels, we see the lithe and young Jedi version of Obi-Wan, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, as he mentors an even younger Anakin. It will be intriguing to see at what age and at which point in the already established timeline that we will see Kenobi in the new standalone. It would be even more interesting if they brought back McGregor and revealed Kenobi’s adventures after the tragic events from Revenge of the Sith.
Daldry is quite a telling choice for director if his deal goes through. With directing credits including The Reader, The Hours, Billy Elliot, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Netflix’s The Crown, we can likely guess the tone of the Kenobi film. Being the most high-brow character in the series, it isn’t too surprising that Disney would choose a director experienced in somber prestige films. In the very least, it is definitely a step aside from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were recently let go from the Untitled Han Solo Project.