‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ rewritten to avoid ‘The Mandalorian’ comparisons

Image via Lucasfilm / Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)

Obi-Wan Kenobi will land on Disney Plus in May and is set to be the centerpiece of Lucasfilm’s 2022 lineup. The show will see Ewan McGregor reprise his iconic prequel trilogy role in an adventure taking him far from the Tatooine sands as he tries to evade the Empire’s Jedi Inquisitors. But it hasn’t been an easy road to get the show made.

The original plan was to bring back McGregor for an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff movie, though this was shelved after the disappointing box office and critical reception of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Focus then shifted to a Disney Plus show. McGregor signed on, pre-production began, and by January 2020 sets were being constructed at Pinewood Studios. Then, mere days before the cameras began rolling, Lucasfilm slammed the brakes on. Now, thanks to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, we may know why.

They’re reporting that Hossein Amini’s original scripts were considered overly similar to The Mandalorian. The report shares that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau were “concerned about Obi-Wan covering similar ground as Mandalorian — the Lone Wolf and Cub-like story of Kenobi coming out of hiding to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker.”

It appears that the primary antagonist would have been Darth Maul, with Ray Park apparently already rehearsing stunts for the show. However, Filoni urged the show to go bigger, which has eventually resulted in Vader’s return. It’s also likely that Filoni wasn’t happy that this story could have retconned Maul’s death at the hands of Kenobi in Star Wars: Rebels, one of the best moments of that series.

Whatever the case, The Hollywood Reporter says Favreau and Filoni’s doubts about Obi-Wan were taken seriously by Kathleen Kennedy. She promptly paused all work on the show and ordered a complete overhaul, with writer Joby Harold on script duties. The publication reached out to Lucasfilm for confirmation but a source close with the company shot down the claims made in the article and refuted that Park ever came to the sets of the upcoming series.

We’ll see the results when Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on May 25, though it’s likely fans will be left wondering about the alternative version of the show that could have been.