Obi-Wan Kenobi Headed To Disney Plus!

denofgeek.com

The great Jedi master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the most legendary and respected figures in Star Wars lore, is apparently being dished out to the Mouse House’s fledgling streaming service, Disney+, in a new show set to (presumably) cover Kenobi’s exploits in the decade between the Star Wars prequels and the original trilogy.

But don’t give up hope just yet: Disney is making a valiant effort to have this show look and feel like movie-quality material – so much so, that they’ve gotten Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the prequels, to reprise the iconic role. There’s no hint yet of how large McGregor’s paycheck for the series is, but I’m guessing it’s got to be pretty big to tempt the actor to the small screen – then again, he seems to have a pretty comfortable relationship with Disney already, having previously portrayed a grown-up version of Christopher Robin in the 2018 film of the same name.

As of right now, the show has no official title, so we’ll call it “Kenobi” because I like the sound of that. More details will probably be announced at Disney’s D23 event later this month, but until then we have a few things to think over.

Firstly, the fact that Kenobi is only a Disney+ streaming show is already upsetting fans (by the way, I’ve begun to spell the name of Disney’s streaming service with a + sign instead of writing the word Plus, since apparently that’s how we do things in Hollywood nowadays). That’s a pretty rational complaint: it’s still unclear how large the budgets for these shows will be, and whether they’ll actually maintain the same level of quality as the movies they’re based on – let’s not beat around the bush; people are worried that it’s going to look like a CW show. I’m sorry, CW, you get a lot of flack for stuff you have absolutely no control over (except the ridiculous costumes; those are entirely your fault), but this is how the public thinks. Some are also frustrated that someone of such prestige in the franchise would be demoted in such a way, instead of getting his own film trilogy: in my opinion, the Star Wars prequels were already a perfectly good Obi-Wan Kenobi trilogy, since he was arguably more of an interesting protagonist than Anakin Skywalker. But yeah, this news probably means that all those rumors of a Kenobi movie are just that – rumors. Even if they did come from Deadline.

As for the show’s setting, we have no indication as of yet: but we have to assume it will take place in the decade or two between The Revenge Of The Sith and A New Hope, while Kenobi is off…wandering the barren wastelands of Tattooine? I don’t know about you, but a whole series of Obi-Wan just hanging out with Jawas sounds like fun to me: unfortunately though, the showrunners probably will deny us the content we deserve, and instead give us some half-baked story about Obi-Wan before he arrived on the desert planet, stoking the fires of rebellion, fighting rogue Sith lords and running into CGI reconstructions of characters from the original trilogy. Nowhere near as entertaining, I know.

Do I sound slightly cynical and annoyed in this post? It might be because I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about this news: am I happy, or am I one of those angry fans ranting about how Obi-Wan Kenobi, the greatest Jedi in history, was demoted to a Disney+ series? Or is it just because I’m annoyed that I have to use a dumb + sign from now on?

You know…it might be that.

“Indiana Jones 5” Begins Filming Next Year!

deadline.com

All the way back in 2008, it seemed like Harrison Ford was finally going to pass on the mantle (or, rather, fedora) of Indiana Jones to Shia LaBeouf, who played Indy’s long-lost son, “Mutt” Williams, in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Eleven years later, the fifth and presumably final installment in the franchise has yet to be released, and continues to get pushed further and further back, while Ford himself continues to get older and older, and…well, nobody even knows what Shia LaBeouf is up to these days, but most sources agree that he’s not planning on returning for the fifth film (which is fine, because he was one of the worst things about Crystal Skull), leaving the door open for a newer, fresher actor (or actress?) to enter the franchise at this late stage, and possibly even continue after Ford has exited. Then again, Ford himself is understandably upset with the idea that anyone could replace him: “When I’m gone, he’s gone”, the actor proclaimed in a recent interview, before telling Chris Pratt that, as long as he has any say in the matter, the franchise will die with him.

The possibility of the franchise ever having a satisfying “death”, however, is seemingly almost unlikely at this point, though. Indiana Jones 5 was originally set to release…a week ago. Obviously, that didn’t pan out, and the film is currently suspected to be aiming for a 2021 release date. News has just broken today that Harrison Ford will start filming in London, in April of 2020, giving the movie just enough time to become a summer blockbuster the year after. But the film’s success largely depends on how good a movie it is, and right now we simply don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes: Steven Spielberg will direct, but he’s been vague about whether or not George Lucas will be helping him in bringing almost forty years of tomb-raiding and whip-cracking to an end. Meanwhile, writers on the project have come and gone, with Jon Kasdan’s original script (which apparently brought the story back to its roots of Nazi-defying adventures in a late thirties environment) being scrapped in favor of a new, completely mysterious one by Dan Fogelman.

Personally, I’d love to see Indy go back to fighting Nazis, as much as I loved Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of a Soviet psychic in Crystal Skull (though she never actually got to show off said psychic powers, so that was a bit of a letdown). But the franchise definitely needs to change its tune – the aliens and atom bombs from the last installment felt very out of place in a series that’s supposed to be rather old-fashioned (though, we could probably do without some of the original films’ old-fashioned racism and sexism). But with Harrison Ford nearing eighty, it perhaps makes sense to have him in a slightly more modernistic setting – probably the late sixties or early seventies: in which case, we could still have him fight Nazis, but they would have to be rogue former scientists or generals living in hiding. There could be a pretty interesting story there, actually, if it was done well.

Since I just recently binge-watched all four movies and still loved them (Last Crusade is the best of the franchise; prove me wrong), I’m very excited to see what Spielberg and Ford have to offer for Indy’s final adventure. And if the fedora absolutely has to be passed on, I hope it’s to someone worthy of that honor (i.e, not Shia LaBeouf).