Recently, numerous outlets have reported that the original script for Obi-Wan Kenobi was “too bleak” for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. This has sparked heated discussions about Kennedy’s misguided role in the show and her lack of understanding of Star Wars — assumptions that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It all started with a quote that, taken out of context, has brutally misinterpreted what Kennedy actually meant.
The quote originated in an interview published in Entertainment Weekly in which Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Kennedy and others spoke about the events that led to the birth of the Obi-Wan series. Kennedy stated the following:
"“We’re looking, ultimately, to make a hopeful, uplifting story. And it’s tricky when you’re starting with a character in the state that Obi-Wan would be in coming off of Revenge of the Sith. That’s a pretty bleak period of time. You can’t just wave the magic wand with any writer and arrive at a story that necessarily reflects what you want to feel.”"
EW reported that, in an effort to craft a more hopeful narrative, production was put on hold and a new writer was hired. What many reacting to the above quote didn’t take into account when taking Kennedy’s words out of context is that production stalls and story rewrites happen quite often in Hollywood. We don’t always hear about them. The reason we hear about them with Star Wars projects is because it’s Star Wars — a mega-franchise that couldn’t keep production secrets from the public even if it tried.
Kennedy never said the original script was “bad.” She simply stated the goal of the project was to tell an uplifting story after the very dark events of Revenge of the Sith. And looking at the state of the real world right now, it’s possible Kennedy also feels we could all use some hope through a longtime fan-favorite character.
Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor with appearances by Hayden Christensen and Kumail Nanjiani and is directed by Deborah Chow, who previously directed an episode of The Mandalorian. The series is set to premiere May 25, 2022 exclusively on Disney+.
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