As its surprise major Emmy Award nomination made clear, Obi-Wan Kenobi was designed to be a limited series. Set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan is in exile and has closed himself off from the Force. he's sparked into action by Bail Organa, whose adopted daughter Leia is kidnapped. From there we get six episodes wherein Leia is actually held captive not once, but twice. We get a somewhat interesting if not fully fleshed-out new character in Inquisitor Reva Sevander, and probably not enough of Hayden Christensen's return as Darth Vader.
The original plan for Ewan's return as Obi was to make it into a movie. You can tell the creative team had to really strain to make the story six episodes. This has been a problem with many Disney+ series in the Star Wars and even Marvel universes. Showrunner and director Deborah Chow did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that just dropped, where she confirms that McGregor was already pitching ideas for a second season before camera stopped rolling:
"You always think you’re going to end a series like this in some magnificent way, but instead you end up in a parking lot with second unit and hardly anybody there. It’s always so anticlimactic, but as Ewan and I finished our very last shot on second unit and I was literally taking off my headphones, he was already pitching me ideas for season two. There’s another 10 years with plenty of stories, and I don’t think it’s off the board. It is a 'never say never' situation, but we really did conceive this to be a limited series."
Admittedly this isn't much different from what I've heard Chow say before, save for leaving the door slightly ajar on the possibility of a Season 2. So………what better excuse for a "things I hope to see" blog than this? We aren't getting more Star Wars movies for quite a number of years, The Acolyte doesn't drop till 2024, and the only thing immediately on the horizon is Ahsoka.
Fewer episodes, and/or faster pacing
Kind of hinted at it in the intro. It's a Marvel/Star Wars/Disney+ in general issue. I'm not saying we want a Rise of Skywalker-esque romp of going from MacGuffin to MacGuffin and half-payoff to half-payoff until we somewhat find our footing near the end. What made the OG Star Wars so captivating was masterful pacing. That's in large thanks to the editing team who took what could've been a shambolic situation of a ballooned budget, tight deadlines and a rough-shape assembly cut and turned it into a masterpiece.
I'd be down for, like, four 45-minute episodes. Or six 35-minute ones that clip along fast. No need minute-long POV tracking shots of a character walking a la The Mandalorian. No need for yet another undercover-at-an-Imperial-base escape plan. No need to spend a literal third of the series before you reveal the antagonist everyone wants to see. Just get down to business. Fucking send it.
More backstory on Exegol and Palpatine's First/Final Order plan
In order to tie the nine films together in a way that Rise of Skywalker couldn't quite achieve, it'd be nice to have more connective tissue without — ha-ha-ha — forcing it. The comic books which I don't read show Vader and Palpatine visiting Exegol as Sheev is already scheming up contingency plans and backup plans for those contingency plans and so on. It's such an interesting world that we've barely gotten to see.
This excerpt from the novel Shadow of the Sith involving Luke Skywalker and…somebody…is an absolute banger:
Since Exegol is located in the Unknown Regions, you could try to finagle a way to introduce a younger Thrawn, or more saliently to the story, the Chiss Ascendancy. Maybe they had a role in building that hilariously large fleet of Star Destroyers from Episode IX many years in the making.
Perhaps this is a good way to keep Darth Vader preoccupied while Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 2 makes way for the reintroduction of one of Kenobi's mortal enemies…
DARTH MAUL as the main villain and more live-action adaptation of certain animated story points
The famous, red-faced baddie with horns and a double lightsaber from The Phantom Menace was once bisected by Obi-Wan to presumably fall to his death. Only Maul didn't die. He fashioned himself some metallic spider legs, scavenged on scraps and emerged once again to factor heavily into the Clone Wars. AND he seized the throne of Mandalore by winning the darksaber in combat. Not to mention, he killed the love of Obi-Wan's life, the GOAT pacifist legend Duchess Satine Kryze, right in front of him.
Yeah, the animated shows did a hell of a job fleshing out Maul's character. His sole purpose for existing is to exact revenge on Kenobi. What a sad way to go through life, eh pal? Especially since it doesn't work out at all. I would love to see Maul be the main villain of Kenobi, with live-action translations of his survival during the Clone Wars and what he gets up to in Star Wars Rebels in the years just before A New Hope.
We've already gotten our mega Vader vs. Obi-Wan grudge match. It'll feel way too contrived to have them face off again. I can buy one more time around. A second duel? It'd just feel like shoehorned fan service. Not the good kind either. There's so much great flashback potential for Maul and the stuff on Mandalore, too. Mando Season 3 returned to the planet when it was already a scorched wasteland. The Clone Wars showed it in much more glorious fashion.
Maul's reign as the leader of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate can also bring back Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Another fun way to tie in more canon fodder from the galaxy far, far away.
More Hayden Christensen outside the Vader suit
…That's not to say we can't still get some Haydo action. Some have advocated for a limited series about Vader. I wouldn't hate this, but if we're sticking to Obi-Wan in particular, I'd want to see a version where Vader is on his own, hunting Jedi around the galaxy, serving Palpatine's every whim. In fact, it'd be cool to see the Emperor actively assign Vader tasks in order to avoid another confrontation with Kenobi.
Sort of like in "Part V" of the first season, where Obi and Vader connect through the Force and have flashbacks to the prequel era, we could see some of that. I'd be down. But I want to see Vader at the peak of his dark side powers, spearheading the Inquisitorious, only becoming more brutal after his embarrassing defeat at the hands of his former Jedi master.
Cal Kestis becomes Obi-Wan's apprentice
I suspect Disney will want to complete a trilogy of video games starring Cameron Monaghan's Cal Kestis. Since we don't see him in the OG trio of movies, introducing him in the live-action realm would add real stakes with his fate up in the air at any time. Obi-Wan could be inspired to take on an apprentice after the events of Season 1. Reva is too damaged-goods at this point and she got stabbed by a lightsaber. She's probably out of the picture. Obi-Wan already saved her in essence.
Cal has quickly become a fan favorite because of the success of the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Survivor games. Those stories take place right around the same time when the first season of Obi-Wan Kenobi was set. Monaghan will still be in the perfect age range to make a seamless transition to the streaming screen.
A Cal and Obi vs. Maul finale
We saw Maul obsessed with finding a young apprentice in Rebels beginning on Malachor, as he tried to court Ezra Bridger to the dark side. I could see something similar with Cal. What better way to stick it to Kenobi than to kill his new pupil?
Even cooler, Cal is also somebody who rocks a dual-bladed saber. I'd be down to see two Jedi, one with a two-blader, take on Maul. We've never seen quite that style of fight choreography in Star Wars. It'd also be a nice parallel to the Duel of the Fates, where Maul killed Obi-Wan's initial master, Qui-Gon Jinn.
This would also justify why Obi-Wan would return to Tatooine, be in exile and have his powers so diminished by the time A New Hope rolls around. Earlier I mentioned the adaptation of certain animated beats without getting specific. You could cap this whole-ass series by showing off the brief Kenobi-Maul clash from Rebels' "Twin Suns." Could be one of the most powerful Star Wars moments ever. Intercut flashes of Qui-Gon, Satine, and Cal before Maul meets his end.
So here could be the general structure to kick things off (very, very, very rough informal outline, totally off the cuff):
Episode 1 — Obi-Wan immediately duels a couple Inquisitors, one of whom escapes with his life. Obi has heard rumors about the Unknown Regions and is trying to gather intelligence to stop Palpatine from executing his sinister plan. Obi-Wan finds out Vader is still alive from their last encounter. He's able to find out where Vader will be next from the Inquisitor. By this point, Palpatine has freed Maul from his capture at the end of the Clone Wars, is using him as a perpetual lackey and is helping to fund Crimson Dawn. Once Palpatine gets word of Kenobi still being a nuisance from the surviving Inquisitor, he dispatches Maul to chase down the latest Kenobi lead, and demands that Lord Vader return to him to continue his training in the dark side, as he continues to tease him about the possibility of bringing Padme Amidala back to life.
Episode 2 — We start from Cal Kestis' POV. Just like in the video games, Darth Vader is hot on his trail with a couple Inquisitors by his side. Obi-Wan uses the Inquisitor's intel to locate Vader. Already we might be getting another confrontation! While Vader hunts for an in-hiding Cal, Obi pulls up. Vader is distracted. Everyone's close enough to where everyone can see each other. Cal can't believe Obi-Wan is alive. Vader can't believe Obi-Wan snuck up on him like this. Obi-Wan still finds it surreal that Vader is full Vader, no trace of Anakin remaining. Suddenly, MAUL enters. Basically tells Vader, "The Emperor demanded you leave Kenobi alone. He is mine." Vader obliges when Maul tells him he must return to Sheev's side to continue his training. Cal continues to hide. He's not taking any chances. Not many people encounter Vader twice and live to tell the story. Now he's like who the fuck is this MAUL guy? Obi and Maul duel, Maul is getting the upper hand, but Cal jumps in at the last minute and saves him. Unfortunately, he has to tap into the dark side to do so. We find out Cal is still grieving over the death of multiple friends from Survivor (flashbacks: Vader killing Cal's friends) and seeing Vader again, even after he leaves, triggers him into a blind rage at seeing another Jedi potentially fall. This causes Cal to shock Maul with Force lightning. That leaves him indisposed enough to stop fighting. Maul is weakened and barely conscious but laughs at Cal, saying that one day he'll be his apprentice. End episode.
Cal's clearly got some dark side in him.
Episode 3 — Vader gets out of a bacta tank bath. Suits up. Kneels before Palpatine, who berates him when he senses his lingering feelings for Obi-Wan and Force lightnings the shit out of him. From here we can dive into flashbacks from the Clone Wars era that haven't been seen in live-action before. Then obviously back to their duel from the end of Season 1. In a moment of weakness amidst the pain, we see inside Anakin's helmet for a Force connection with Obi-Wan. Anakin, helmetless but with the Vader suit on, appears in a ForceTime-esque connection with Obi-Wan, who's sitting by a campfire while Cal sleeps off his horrible dark side experience. The empathy Obi suddenly feels for his former Jedi brother is overwhelming. He was right. There's still light there, but Palpatine is doing all he can to snuff it out. Obi simply says he's sorry to Anakin and has to let him go once and for all. Anakin's thoughts then cut to — gasp! — PADME. Paplatine then sends Vader into the Unknown Regions to build relations with the Chiss Asendancy, continue conquering all the planets around Exegol for resources, and to train/mentor with the Sith Eternal cultists. All the while keeping up with his experimental dark side studying re: the quest to resurrect Padme. Could be a clean-break way to cut Vader out so that the primary focus is on Maul/Crimson Dawn, along with the Grand Inquisitor and his ilk looming as antagonists for Cal and Kenobi to contend with. Before Vader goes to the Unknown Regions, he stops by Padme's grave.
…That's enough. Just a collection of ideas that are probably mediocre to horrible. I'm doing this all on the fly over here, OK!?
I think I'm totally fine without a second season of this show unless they find a really compelling reason to do it. I'm tripping all over myself trying to justify its existence. But if Ewan McGregor has some good ideas, at least have the conversation if you're Lucasfilm/Disney+, right?
OK. Done here. Go ahead, get your floating space rocks off in the comments. Wouldn't hate some lukewarm-to-not-quite-hateful feedback since it's my birthday on Friday, though.