I was watching this video where Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer described her ideas about an Obi Wan “Ben” Kenobi spin-off movie. That encouraged me to contemplate my own version. This is not how it’s gonna go down, cuz I’m not a Disney executive, but this is the story of Ben Kenobi that I wanna tell.
I’d go for a three film plan, but make the first film self-contained. It would set up the characters around young Obi Wan as he develops the alter ego of Ben. It would also establish the parameters of how far they will stretch things and how tight they will keep to the original continuity. First film would take place two or three years after episode 3, and reviews how Kenobi gave Owen and Beru Luke to raise as their own with him being a kind of guardian angel type, while Organa preps Leia’s childhood, but just as they put all the pieces in place with ruses to throw Vader and the Empire off the twins’ scent, something more perilous crops up that forces both Organa and Kenobi to join forces off Tatooine to protect the rebellion in some way.
I really think it would be great to see at least one film with Jimmy Smits and Ewan Mcgregor as partners in crime. Perhaps they’re charged with saving another Jedi from certain death. Perhaps it’s to provide support for the rebellion in some way, but this leads to the final act where Kenobi’s and Organa’s ruses are foiled, and due to their negligence in sticking to their plan of protecting the twins, it appears the Empire will learn the secret of the twins if Kenobi and Organa don’t thwart the Empire soundly in a final battle with Darth Vader. The end result of this does ensure both Leia and Luke’s anonymity, but at the cost of what Kenobi believes to be the absolute last of the Jedi, aside from himself and Yoda. AND the Empire believes they’re dead too. Well. Vader sees with his own eyes Kenobi’s alleged death, but coincidence robbed him of dealing the death blow, and he doesn’t trust what he sees.
IF this 1st film is successful, the second film would take place a year or so after the first. Both of the twins are about five or six years old, and Organa and Kenobi have decided it’s best if they keep their distance from one another. Galavanting seems to draw attention to themselves, so less Jimmy Smits in this one. It’s the lesson the characters learn from the first film. No more adventuring. They protect their charges more by staying planetside in their respective homes: Alderaan for Leia and Organa. Tatooine for Kenobi and Luke. So Kenobi takes to attempting domestication of himself. He spends time with Owen and Beru but the farming life is not for him. He gets to know young Luke but Owen chastises “Ben” from getting too chummy or putting fanciful thoughts in Luke’s head about the stars and adventuring. Kenobi can’t help himself. Luke reminds him too much of young Anakin, before the dark side claimed him.
So Ben takes Owen’s advice to heart and keeps more of a distance. This brings him to lurk on the fringes of Uncle Owen’s farm, and we learn about the real threat to farmers on Tatooine: the sand people. The second act of the second film focuses on Ben Kenobi fending Tusken Raiders off from Owen’s farm, but at some cost to himself. The sand people also REALLY don’t like Jedi, and Kenobi figures out it’s because Anakin killed a lot of them in cold blood out of vengeance for his mother’s death. And the Sand People want to take their vengeance out on Kenobi, since he wields a similar weapon. That event has become an infamous tale of woe for the Tusken Raiders, and Kenobi barely escapes with his life. Kenobi then decides to elicit help from some mercenaries in nearby Mos Eisley to help him send a stronger message to the Sand People so they won’t keep bothering Owen’s farm. This leads to a compromising third act which is not unlike swallowing a spider to catch a fly. The mercs who stand alongside Kenobi to ward off the sand people want more than what Kenobi promised, and they decide to try to take it out of Owen and Beru. Kenobi’s able to dispatch his frenemies in a frenetic battle that almost leads to Beru’s death, and this causes Owen to put the hammer down. He tells Kenobi the only thing putting Luke in danger now is him. Owen promises he’ll ensure Luke’s well being from now on. He tells Kenobi he’s no longer welcome. The film ends with Kenobi leaving Tatooine, vowing never to return.
The third Kenobi film reveals Ben on a pirate spaceship in the opening sequence. In this film, McGregor looks as much like Alec Guinness as is physically possible. He’s greying. He’s not as agile and quick as he used to be. He’s beginning to feel his age. At first it looks like he’s joined a crew of scum and villainy, completely leaving his charge Luke to Owen and Beru’s care, but of course he’s spying on the pirates as a favor for his old friend Organa. Once he gets the information he needs, he overtakes the ship, dispatches the captain, which makes him the new captain, and gives the crew new orders. They’re no longer a pirate ship. They’re now on a rescue mission to save a young girl who has run away from home. If the crewmates turn over a new leaf and help him without treason in their hearts, he’ll get them a good deal with the Alderaan Royal Navy. If they screw him over in any way, he’ll kill them. Or he’ll leave them on the Empire’s door step and let them deal with the lot.
The threat of mutiny should be felt throughout the film, but as the story unfolds some of the pirates turn out to be more dependable than others, and they go after a very young impetuous Leia Organa, who is very resourceful and cunning for a nine year old, but she’s gonna get herself killed. Upset with her adopted parents, and learning that they’re keeping secrets from her but won’t tell her what they are, Leia wants to join the rebellion, unaware that her adopted father belongs to the rebellion. It’s one of many secrets the two have kept from each other. Jimmy Smits is in this one again, but more towards the end of the film, when Leia’s rash actions lead them to knowledge of an Empire base that’s threatening the Bothan homeworld. We get to see the Bothans in this film as they meet young Leia Organa, and the end result of Leia and Kenobi’s success in protecting their homeworld leads the Bothan people to becoming very loyal to the Organa household and The Rebellion in general.
At the end of this film we learn why Leia and her father sent R2D2 to Ben in the fourth film. She did have a brief but special encounter with Kenobi prior to the events of A New Hope. She believed if anyone could deliver hope to her it would be him, as she’d seen him do it once before when she was nine. We also learn that this final adventure has left a bad taste in Kenobi’s mouth. He’s just gotten too old for this sort of thing. He returns home to Tatooine, and invites Owen over to his hermit bachelor pad. Kenobi makes it clear to Owen that he won’t interfere with bringing up Luke, but that he’s available to help out if Owen ever wants it. Owen tries to be gracious with the offer, but makes it clear to “Ben” that his assistance will never be required. And to stay the hell away from Luke.