Lucasfilm and Disney are reportedly placing their upcoming streaming series about Obi-Wan Kenobi on hold, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Collider. The series is being “retooled” after issues with the scripts for the series arose, prompting the company to start over.
THR says that Lucasfilm is looking for a new writer to tackle the series, and that it’s looking to reduce the series order from six episodes to four. Reportedly, the series “treated similar ground as [The] Mandalorian, seeing the Jedi master lending a protective hand to a young Luke and perhaps even a young Leia,” which might have been a problem.
Despite the setback, sources tell the outlet that Ewan McGregor is still set to reprise his role as the title character, and the Deborah Chow remains attached to direct the project. It’s not clear when work on the project will begin again — Collider says that the crew assembled at Pinewood Studios have been told the project is on hold “indefinitely.”
At a press event for Birds of Prey, McGregor confirmed the delay, saying tht “I think the scripts are great. They’re in really good shape. They want them to be better. I think we can keep our same airdate,” and noted that they will likely begin shooting in the summer of 2021, rather than the summer of 2020.
For years, there had been persistent rumors that Lucasfilm was planning a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film, with Stephen Daldry (The Hours) slated to direct, which later morphed into the Disney+ series. However, after Solo hit theaters in 2018 to tepid reviews and an underwhelming box office, Disney pumped the brakes on the franchise, with CEO Bob Iger saying that the company would slow down its release tempo for the franchise. A rumored film about Boba Fett was axed in favor of The Mandalorian, and last year, Lucasfilm announced Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney + — the third in the works after a previously-announced series about Cassian Andor and K-2S0.
In the meantime, Lucasfilm is working to figure out what comes next for Star Wars in theaters. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has something in the works, but Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recently dropped out of their scheduled trilogy. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is already working on one film, while Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) is rumored to have been approached to come up with another one.
The Obi-Wan series was supposed to begin production this year, and was to have been set eight years after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It seems as though Disney and Lucasfilm are still committed to the project, and it looks like we’ll just have longer to wait. Fortunately, we’ve got a second season of The Mandalorian coming later this fall.