Obi-Wan: Deborah Chow on Star Wars Series Future, Season 2 Chances
Director Deborah Chow discussed the process of turning Obi-Wan Kenobi from a Star Wars film to a Disney+ limited series and its future.
Director Deborah Chow has become such a pillar for Star Wars' success on Disney+ from her work on The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with the latter seeing star Ewan McGregor reprise the role after over 15+ years. The limited series, similar to projects like 2016's Rogue One and its sequel series Andor, is designed to help bridge the gap between 2005's Revenge of the Sith and 1977's A New Hope. Whereas Rogue One and Andor focused on the players behind those who stole the Death Star plans that helped the Rebel Alliance launch their counteroffensive, OWK found the titular hero having lost his way, demoralized for years following the Jedi purge of Order 66, and living incognito as a rumor.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: From Standalone Film to Disney+ Limited Series
"It was pretty intense," Chow told Deadline Hollywood, doing all her pre-production prep from Toronto as productions were adapting to changes due to the COVID pandemic. She didn't meet her key creative department heads in person until filming began. "Anything with background was always stressful because we had little Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) running around," she said. However, "we didn't get shut down." OWK found McGregor's character get a renewed sense of purpose searching for and protecting Alderaan's Princess Leia from her kidnappers while Vader (Hayden Christensen) was still seeking revenge on his former master.
While OWK teased Ben's (the alias Kenobi adopted) bond with Luke (Grant Feely), the series mainly focused on his adventure with Leia. The series eventually shifted to the younger Skywalker and his surrogate guardians, Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Aunt Beru (Bonnie Piesse). Ben was able to battle with Vader as he was struggling to come to grips with the fact that his former padawan and best friend was gone. During their second battle with Vader's mask cut open by Ben's lightsaber, we hear James Earl Jones' Vader voice blended with Christensen's in telling his former Master, "You didn't kill Anakin Skywalker. I did." As far as a second season goes, Chow said, "This was conceived as a limited series; it is closed." She did offer, "There's 10 more years before New Hope, so never say never."