Obi-Wan: Mark Hamill Offers Grant Feely His Luke Skywalker Support

It's been a bit of a rollercoaster of a month for Lucasfilm & Disney+'s Ewan McGregor & Hayden Christensen-starring "Star Wars" spinoff series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Set to hit streaming screens on May 25, fans were treated to an impressive teaser trailer that did an excellent job setting the series' tone. But then a few days after, The Hollywood Reporter reported from sources some changes that have gotten the "Star Wars" fanbase rumbling. First, Ray Park was actively preparing to reprise his role as Darth Maul before a larger creative overhaul resulted in Maul being scrubbed from the script and Christensen's Vader brought aboard. Along with that came the news that an actor had been selected to portray a young Luke Skywalker but scenes were reportedly never filmed and now Grant Feely (Creepshow) has joined the cast in the role. Regardless of whatever the truth turns out to be, if there's anyone who understands the difficulties of being a young actor who would become an integral part of a storied franchise, it's geek icon & legend Mark Hamill (too many excellent credits to narrow down). So Hamill took to Twitter to make sure Feely knew that he has Hamill's support and that he thinks Feely "looks like a perfect Luke Skywalker."

Image: Screencaps

Here's a look at Hamill's tweet from earlier today letting the universe know that #TheForceIsWithFeely:

It was reported previously that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was dissatisfied with how original writer Hossein Amini's storyline was mirroring The Mandalorian too much. Much like the Pedro Pascal-starrer's focus on the main character protecting Grogu ("Baby Yoda"), Amini's take saw McGregor's Obi-Wan seeking to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker. But according to sources in THR's reporting, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau also expressed those same concerns to director Deborah Chow when they were given a chance to read over the scripts, as well as being left with the feeling that the series needed to go bigger. At this point, Darth Maul was one of the villains who would be hunting the two (with Christensen's Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader not included in the cast). Reportedly, those concerns found their way to Kennedy, who also shared their sentiments.

Before the reset button was hit, Park was reportedly already on set for pre-production and was taking part in stunt training. It's also still unclear if footage of Park as Maul was filmed, and if that was footage intended for the series or was meant as test footage. When production was paused for a creative shift, Park's Maul was apparently written out with Filoni devising a way for Darth Vader to return as the villain (with the Grand Inquisitor reportedly also being brought into the story. For their part, a Lucasfilm source spoke to THR to contradict the account, pushing back on the idea that Maul was ever supposed to return in the series. As for how far along things were before the changes were made still remains unclear. Apparently, a search for a young actor to play Luke resulted in someone being cast but scenes were never filmed. THR reported that Feely had been picked as the new actor to portray the young Skywalker.

During an interview with Forbes in support of his Expedia Super Bowl ad running this Sunday, McGregor had some interesting personal perspectives to add into the mix- including why he thinks "people are going to like it." Here are some of the highlights:

On Returning to the Role After So Long: "Oh my gosh, well I loved playing him again. I mean it's quite interesting, after the experience of making the first three films and living through sort of their reception in the world, which wasn't always glowing, I have to say. And then now, meeting the generation who we made those films for, the children then – and now, people in their late teens or early 20s, those people who were kids who we made those films for, they loved them. To them, they're their Star Wars films, you know? For us, it was the original films of the '70s, but for them, it was our films that were their Star Wars. So to step back into his shoes again now and do a series, a whole series about Obi-Wan Kenobi for those fans, it just makes me really happy."

On What Working with Director Deborah Chow Was Like: "It was a great experience. Deborah Chow directed all the episodes and she's really good. She directed a couple [episodes] of 'The Mandalorian' and she's a really great director. She really knows the 'Star Wars' world, inside out, far more than I do (laughs). We just had a great time. I think it's no secret that Hayden Christensen comes back and we got to play scenes together again as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and it was just fantastic to work with him again. I'm not going to give away anything else about the storyline, only I think it's really going to satisfy 'Star Wars' fans. I always felt there was a story between Episode III where I finished playing Obi-Wan in the movies and Episode IV where Alec Guinness is Obi-Wan Kenobi. The ['Obi-Wan Kenobi' series] writers and Deb and I and everyone, I think we crafted or they crafted a very fine storyline. I think people are going to like it."

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Obi-Wan Kenobi – Image: Lucasfilm

Joining McGregor & Christensen are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, and Maya Erskine– with the series taking place 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. Director Deborah Chow moves from directing episodes of The Mandalorian to directing the entire run of the series with directorial "geek cred" that also includes American Gods, Better Call Saul, Lost in Space, Jessica Jones, Reign, and Mr. Robot. In April 2020, Joby Harold (Army of the Dead) was tapped to replace Hossein Amini (Drive) after reports surfaced that Kennedy was dissatisfied with Amini's scripts. Legendary composer and "Star Wars" franchise Hall-of-Famer John Williams is set to compose the theme for the series.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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