Obi-Wan Kenobi will be the first Star Wars Disney+ show without multiple directors

Obi-Wan Kenobi. Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm. 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd ™ . All Rights Reserved
Obi-Wan Kenobi. Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm. 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd ™ . All Rights Reserved /

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series will be the most unique Star Wars series Disney+ has released so far. It will be the shortest (only six episodes in length). It will be a live-action series that takes place between The Bad Batch and Star Wars: Rebels. And in terms of direction, only one person will — literally — call the shots.

Deborah Chow, who has directed several episodes of Star Wars television in recent years, is directing the entire 6-episode limited series. This means Obi-Wan Kenobi will be the first Disney+ Star Wars show directed by only one person — and that’s a good thing.

There are many benefits to assigning multiple directors to shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Behind the scenes, opening the floor to more directors allows for more diverse storytelling and collaboration, and can lead to bigger opportunities such as entire miniseries the way it has for Chow.

On-screen, having a different director for most new episodes of a season of TV makes each installment of a series feel unique in its writing, style, and tone, even if the core storyline and characterizations remain. You know you’re watching an episode of The Mandalorian, for example, but it feels almost like a new experience week to week depending on the director. That can make weekly releases feel less static.

But there are also downsides to all of this. Some viewers don’t want different episodes of a show to feel unique from one another — they’re expecting one cohesive story in tone, writing, and direction, and often feel upset when this isn’t the case. For some, a cast of directors all taking turns makes a project feel less organized and harder to follow, even if that isn’t the intention of the creators behind the series.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a story many fans have waited on for a long time. And because it’s a limited number of episodes, the creative team has to be very strategic with every second of screen time. For such an important story told in such a small number of episodes, it might be best to have only one director overseeing the entirety of the narrative. It’s not that multiple directors couldn’t work together to achieve the same goal. More likely, it’s simply been easier to manage such a delicate piece of media with slightly fewer creative hands.

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 27, 2022 exclusively on Disney+.

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