On the heels of Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian and the Rogue One spinoff following Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, Lucasfilm’s next stab at episodic Star Wars is reportedly an Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series, with Ewan McGregor stepping back into the role for the first time since Revenge of the Sith. But what will the show actually be about? The answer may have been in front of us for years.
In the final issue of the first arc of Marvel’s Star Wars, which relaunched in 2015 in the lead up to The Force Awakens in order to establish what is and isn’t canon, we’re introduced to a character claiming to be Han Solo’s wife, we see the moment Darth Vader discovers he has a son, and Luke finds a book titled “The Journals of Ben Kenobi”.
Told across three standalone issues (Star Wars #7, #15, and #20), the journals find Obi-Wan (now calling himself Ben) living in Tatooine and trying to stay under the radar. Writer Jason Aaron and artist Simone Bianchi turn the story of old Ben Kenobi into a kind of Western, with the former Jedi master acting like Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name or Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, roaming the land without saying much, a gritty old man trying to escape his past while being unable to do so.
The comic book issues tell the particular story of “The Great Drought” of Tatooine, and how Ben Kenobi found himself saving the day while attempting to train young Luke. Of course, every time he tries, Uncle Owen refuses to let the two meet. The issues have little dialogue and instead rely on narration, with Old Ben resenting his monotonous life and talking to his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn about his frustrations and doubts.
The episodic nature of the comic book issues are perfectly made for television, with enemies that leave the story as quickly as they enter it. While a movie adaptation may be considered too slow or lack the amount of action from other Star Wars movies, a TV series could faithfully tell the internal, turmoil-filled story across several hours. We’d see Obi-Wan attempting to connect with Luke, being shut down by Owen, and also seeing some dangerous thing happen on Tatooine and debating whether to help or not, building to a season finale that involves some big bad like Jabba.
While the comic book issues focus on the inactivity of Obi-Wan’s life, there are some great action moments that could easily translate to live-action. In Star Wars #7, Old Ben steps in when he sees Jabba the Hutt’s thugs trying to collect a made-up water tax from families in Tatooine during a great drought, and helps the people fight back from the shadows.
In the third issue, Jabba sends mercenaries to hunt down the person who messed up his tax collection, more specifically the Wookiee Black Krrsantan. Revenge of the Sith and Solo: A Star Wars Story opened up the world to Wookies not named Chewbacca, but we haven’t seen a Wookie use its might to brutally murder people and act as a villain. We’d get that in adapting Aaron’s imaginative take on Tatooine. And though Obi-Wan purposely tries to avoid using his lightsaber so he won’t get recognize, a Disney Plus series might build up to that first time he lights it, making for a truly memorable grand fight or season finale.
Though he doesn’t appear in the comic book issues, Disney and Lucasfilm also recently showed us a character who could easily be a part of an Obi-Wan series: Darth Maul. Though an episode of the Star Wars Rebels animated series had Maul and Kenobi meet for the first time in years shortly before the events of A New Hope, that doesn’t mean the former Sith can’t make an appearance and influence the story of the Disney Plus show.
As we last saw him in Solo, Maul had become the leader of the criminal organization Crimson Dawn, ruling from the shadows rather than be a visible force. You don’t even need to have Maul and Kenobi meet face-to-face, but you certainly can have Maul be a part of the story via his criminal organization, tease fans with an epic showdown, and even throw in Jabba for good measure.
Though we still haven’t seen an Obi-Wan series be confirmed, the prospect is enough to make fans wonder and eagerly wait for more news. In the meantime, there are plenty of stories starring good old Ben Kenobi to keep us company.
Readers can find the Obi-Wan Star Wars issues on Marvel Unlimited.