Since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans have been asking a multitude of questions. Is Finn ‘force sensitive’? Who are Rey’s parents? Should Kylo Ren have a redemption arc? What was the deal with the Obi-Wan Kenobi voice-over in Rey’s Force-driven flashback? When The Last Jedi trailer arrived, there were more questions: Why does Obi-Wan have a voice over in the trailer? Does this mean he’s going to be in the movie?
With the new toy release on September 1st featuring Force Ghost Kenobi, it seems as though LucasFilm and Disney are reviving the much-loved character. At first, it appeared that the toy was making a nod to the Original Series; however, it was released with toys featuring The Last Jedi characters, including Finn, Rey, and Luke. The inscription on the box has also led fans to believe that Kenobi will be making an appearance in Episode IX. The description reads, “Even after his untimely demise, Obi-Wan Kenobi remains a mentor to those strong with the Force.”
Kenobi’s likely return to the Star Wars epic is also highlighted by reports confirming that an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff movie is in the works. It’s working title, ‘Joshua Tree,’ heavily implies that the movie will be set between Episodes III and IV on Tatooine. Several Tatooine shots in the Original Trilogy were filmed in Death Valley National Park, which is geographically similar to Joshua Tree National Park in California. Though there’s been no official word from LucasFilm about the working title leak, most fans are overjoyed at the prospect of a Kenobi movie. According to social media (such as Twitter and Tumblr), as long as Ewan McGregor is cast as Kenobi, many fans don’t care what happens plot-wise. Some go so far as to claim they would watch the movie even if it was two hours of Kenobi sitting in the desert and crying. Other fans are excited about the possibility of tying in other Star Wars characters seen only in the TV shows The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Set between Episodes III and IV, it would make perfect sense for Bail Organa, a longtime fan favorite, to make an appearance, especially after seeing him in Rogue One. Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s former padawan turned Rebel informant named Fulcrum, could also make an appearance. Even Breha Organa could have a cameo, along with toddlers Luke and Leia. It could feature some of Obi-Wan’s adventures on Tatooine, or it could go so far as to make him some sort of agent for the Rebellion.
The overall tone of the movie is also something fans are looking forward to. As this movie would take place during the Rebellion era, it would be easy to make the overall tone of the movie ‘screw the establishment, screw fascism, and screw the government,’ a maxim that mirrors Rogue One, The Original Trilogy, and, so far, the newest trilogy.
One other avenue that some fans want the movie to explore is the Force. The Force is, at heart, a religion, one that Rogue One touched on. Again and again, it is stressed in Star Wars that the Force is the fabric of all existence, not just a weapon. For Jedi, it is akin to talking to God. Not necessarily a sentient God, or even a personifiable one, but a higher power, nonetheless, that Speaks and has a Will and a Way. The Force is a flame that always burns, and when the galaxy has become so Dark, what other choice does Kenobi have but to put his faith in the Light? Kenobi will still be dealing with the aftermath of Order 66, the death and destruction of the Jedi Order, not to mention that Anakin turned into Darth Vader, who at the end of Episode III, Kenobi assumes dead.
Still, there is time to speculate as wildly as fans wish. The movie won’t be ready for release for a few years yet, but one thing is certain: Obi-Wan Kenobi is coming back.