“The Republic has fallen. Sith Lords rule the Galaxy. Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything. Everything but hope.” - Kenobi (novel), 2013
I am officially announcing that I am working on a Star Wars Legends inspired edit of “Obi-Wan Kenobi”. I promise this one will be unique!
In light of my work on the Sequel Trilogy transforming it into a relatively Legends-safe storyline, I will also be attempting to do that with the Disney+ show here. While there were some parts I did enjoy with this show, I had major issues with some extremely baffling lore contradictions that took place, in addition to feeling frustrated with some other general directing decisions.
I’d love to have your feedback and suggestions as I create this, so please be open and offer feedback where you feel it is useful.
Major changes in my Kenobi edit:
A main problem with this show for me is the depiction of Obi-Wan being another “Sad Luke” type of character. Obi-Wan cutting himself off from the force, succumbing to depression, and his inconsistent motivations towards Vader really ripped me out of the story in a similar way I felt watching the Sequel Trilogy the first time. This… wasn’t the Obi-Wan I grew up with. He was SO different from the Obi-Wan of the dozens of Legends novels, the comics, & games that I had read and played for 15+ years. Obi-Wan was smuggling Jedi, helping the townspeople, staying active to protect Luke. This Disney show was someone else’s vision of Obi-Wan. If you enjoy this new Obi-Wan, no worries! I am happy it brought you joy, but it is a vastly different retelling of a character I looked up to so it was very strange for me to experience this story. Like it was with the Canon Luke vs Legends Luke, it is hard to relate when a character is behaving unlike their previous depiction across hundreds of hours of content. And even with this new version of Kenobi, I didn’t feel like they did a good job of explaining WHY he was so depressed. A few prequel flashbacks don’t convey to me the reason he lost the force and essentially gave up on protecting Luke to the best of his abilities. I didn’t understand why he was so defeated and frankly… a loser. So I want to retell this show with the Kenobi I grew up with, a Jedi hermit consistent with the Legends stories.
While the point above is more of a preferential choice, this here is one that I’m going to stand on objectively… Obi-Wan CAN’T first learn that Vader survived at this point in the timeline. There is just no possible way to explain how he has gone 10 years without hearing the name Vader one single time. Unless they wanted to portray Obi-Wan as literally not having left his rock cave one single time in a decade, I cannot fathom how they wrote it in for Reva to inform him for the first time on Daiyu. Vader was a LEGEND in the galaxy post-Order 66. In the old novels, Obi-Wan hears of Vader on the news during a trip to town ~2 months after RotS, which is nearly as soon as Vader had begun his public campaigns for the Empire. 2 months… NOT 10 years. The Disney show made it clear that Obi-Wan was involved in the city to a degree, working jobs, hearing chatter etc. It is just a blatant lore error to write that he hadn’t heard or read one news report, hadn’t talked to Bail about it, hadn’t heard one trader make even the slightest mention of the name “Vader” for 10 years. Now, if you’ve read the behind the scenes on the production of Kenobi, you’ll see the directors realized their mistake… They admitted that they didn’t realize that Obi-Wan knew Anakin was named Vader. They literally just didn’t connect the dots from the plot points in RotS sadly, so in their world they had an excuse that even if Obi-Wan had heard of Vader, he just never realized it was Anakin. I still think that is a foolish explanation, as Obi-Wan definitely would have been able to connect the dots even in their own storytelling version, but objectively this is just a massive flaw that needs to be corrected from the top down.
The last major point I’ll mention here is one that many other editors have attempted to fix, but one that I feel I have a unique solution for. The directing for this show as a whole is just subpar. From the general sporadic pacing of the overall storyline, to the poorly written character of Reva (who was setup to have an incredible storyline, they just executed it so poorly), to some of the laughable action sequences (Chase scene, Wade death, Tala stormtrooper god-slap etc) and bizarre character motivations (Vader letting Obi-Wan leave, Roken 180 within 30 seconds, Reva “I let Obi-Wan escape” to “Obi-Wan is the ONLY thing that matters!” etc). There are so many things that kept me from getting absorbed into this story as I should have. I’ll write more in my changelog, but a major unique fix to the pacing is having Obi-Wan and Leia get separated on Daiyu, leading to Obi-Wan being on Mapuzo alone. This helps get rid of the whole “we have to rescue Leia from scratch” all over again plot, because now it seems like Act 2 of the film is a direct continuation of the Act 1 rescue plot. We don’t have the awkward pause of pacing where they are together for the middle portion of the story, and then ripped apart for 20 more minutes etc. I’ll explain more later on, but it is a change that I am very excited about. Many of the major story changes done by other editors will be replicated as well, but I will have some very unique plot deviations too!
Before I get into a full changelog, I’m going to leave you with a few ideas I’m developing. I currently have ~1hour of the film in a workprint cut, so I still have a lot to do, but here’s something to whet your appetite for now.
New Color grading: https://imgur.com/gallery/PSBOr9O
Fun little scene I’ve been working on. Not finished with audio (matching stormtrooper voice modulation) or visuals (will rotoscope Leia’s head out of everything), but just a concept idea for a new conversation on the Mapuzo tractor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR0Kx6FMWOM
Workprint of Leia and Obi-Wan getting separated on Daiyu: https://streamable.com/4vl02m . Will appear as though the Mapuzo workshop is a part of the Daiyu warehouse. Check out the color grading draft here: https://imgur.com/a/2pVhCkC
I think I’m scrapping this idea in favor of just having Reva kill him like in Kai’s edit, but here’s a fun little concept for the Grand Inquisitor killing the Tatooine Jedi on the spot: https://streamable.com/9yq57e
Like I said, I’ve got about a full hour of the workprint in a watchable state, but this will be a long production. I’ve got to catch up on watching a few other Kenobi edits to see what works and doesn’t for me personally, watch the original show again, and finish up work on some other projects. Also I’m drooling over the PixelJoker VFX work and am very thankful for his time, will definitely implement his additions when he releases his work to fan editors. But in the meantime I will be writing up my drafted changelog soon. Let me know if you have any questions for now.
Changelog in progress:
(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit
(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit
(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit
(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit
(The Mandalorian+Boba) The Way of Mandalore | A Compilation Edit