First reported by Omega Underground, it’s understood the Powers That Be have selected ‘Joshua Tree’ to be the film’s placeholder, whereas previous working titles within the Star Wars franchise have included the likes of Red Cup (Han Solo), Blue Harvest (Return of the Jedi) and Space Bears (The Last Jedi).
But as OU points out, the term ‘Joshua Tree’ has a particular relevance to Obi-Wan’s corner of the Star Wars universe. All throughout the original trilogy, California’s sun-kissed Death Valley National Park doubled as Tatooine, the far-flung desert planet that became home to Ben Kenobi upon leaving the Stewjon system.
Fast forward to now, and with a spinoff movie finally – finally – on the horizon, it’s understood Lucasfilm plans to revisit Cali while filming its Obi-Wan flick, with OU’s report noting that, “Joshua Tree (aka desert yucca palm tree) could be hinting to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California (along with other parks) as a possible shooting location for the new anthology film.”
And while it’s worth keeping in mind that many of Tatooine’s famous scenes – the twin sunset, for instance – were shot on location in Tunisia, political strife in the region, coupled with a renewed incentive to shoot in California, lends credence to these latest findings. Besides, the majority of Obi-Wan’s origin story unfolded on the sun-kissed plains of Tatooine – after the prequel trilogy, of course – so news that Joshua Tree National Park may double as Tatooine shouldn’t be all that surprising.
The nascent Obi-Wan spinoff is still without a script at this early, early stage, but we understand Stephen Daldry has come into contention to direct. Ewan McGregor, meanwhile, has expressed his desire to reprise as the wise old Jedi Master many times before, but whether Lucasfilm takes heed of those public requests is another question entirely.