Kathleen Kennedy recently lit a fire under the Star Wars fandom when she not only claimed the franchise was going to actively shy away from recasting legacy characters with new actors, but appeared to blame the box office failure of Solo as the reason for changing an approach that had become a key part of the Disney era, for better or worse.
Of course, it was deliciously ironic that the Lucasfilm president would make these comments right before the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a six-episode series where Ewan McGregor’s title hero, Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader, Joel Edgerton’s Owen Lars, Bonnie Piesse’s Beru, Vivien Lyra Blair’s Leia Organa, Rupert Friend’s Grand Inquisitor, and Sung Kang’s Fifth Brother are all roles to have been played in either live-action or animation by other actors first.
It would appear that Kennedy has finally caught wind of the furor, then, after the high-level executive backtracked on her statement during an interview with Total Film at Star Wars Celebration.
“I never say never [with regard to recasting characters]. It’s certainly not something that we’re doing with any intention right now. We’re still talking about Lando with Donald Glover, for instance, but I don’t think we would intentionally just look back at some of the characters like Luke and Leia and whatnot and decide arbitrarily to do a story. There would have to be a really strong reason why.”
There’s a balance to be struck between fresh perspectives and the legacy of Star Wars, even if it would be safe to assume that we’ll regularly be seeing old favorites under new guises as the saga continues to move forward and evolve.