As a 10-year old in the summer of 1977, I vividly recall seeing “Star Wars” , and remembering how it fundamentally changed movies forever. The motion picture industry has been trying to recapture the magic of that first film ever since, as it fundamentally changed the moviegoing experience forever. “Star Wars,” with its imaginative, unprecedented visuals, made me truly cherish the theatrical experience. At that young age, I felt the magic of Star Wars couldn’t possibly be reproduced faithfully on the clunky 25″ Zenith TV in my parents’ living room. “The (godawful) Star Wars Holiday Special” that aired on CBS in November of 1978 only confirmed my assumption. However, modern TVs (or in my case, digital home projectors) make watching movies/TV at home an experience on a par with (or arguably superior to) the theatrical experience.
Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, Star Wars has enjoyed an even greater presence on TV/streaming than I would’ve ever imagined as a kid–then again, we couldn’t imagine television being the immersive experience that it is today. And yes, it all looks great, too.
Currently there are two live-action Disney+ Star Wars series; “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett”, as well as a slew of animated series, and Disney seems almost hellbent on making all corners of the Star Wars universe fit together (cinematic, animated, literary, and otherwise). The next live action Disney Star Wars series will be “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” starring Ewan McGregor in the role that earned the late Sir Alec Guinness an Oscar nomination. McGregor previously played the role of younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005).
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will be released as a six-part limitedseries, or, as we used to call them back in the Bronze Age, a miniseries. This is a smart move, since much of Kenobi’s time on Tatooine was probably spent waiting and communing with the Force, and that might not make for a terribly exciting series. This week, a new teaser trailer was released and it promises a lot more action than I expected, as the voiceover of “the Grand Inquisitor” (Rupert Friend) tells us that Order 66, the Jedi purge initiated in “Revenge of the Sith,” is not over…
Note: Just hoping this series keeps its focus primarily on Kenobi, and not a myriad of other stories within the greater Star Wars universe–see:“Book of Boba Fett,” where Fett became a largely peripheral character within his own show.
The trailer conveyed a lot of information in its brief running time. While I admit that I’m not too well-versed on the entirety of animated Star Wars, I am a fan of “Rebels,” and I did appreciate the final few episodes of “The Clone Wars”. Hopefully, I won’t miss too many details/references from other Star Wars cartoon series, since Disney is clearly embracing all of Star Wars (prequels/sequels & cartoon series) in its new live-action productions.
If any readers spot anything else of note that I’ve missed in my screencap captions, please feel free to tell me so in the comments section below this column; I love informative reader feedback!
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will begin streaming on May 25th, 2022 exclusively on Disney+. May 25th is also, of course, the 45th anniversary of “Star Wars” “Star Wars” (1977). I am looking very forward to this limited series, and in seeing how well it dovetails with the prequel and original trilogies, as well as the rest of the Star Wars expanded universe.
Note: Star Wars was out in theaters in various re-releases for four years before “A New Hope” was added in 1981; a year prior to its home video release in 1982, and two years after “The Empire Strikes Back” was released in 1980 as “Episode V.” Yes, 14-year old me was very confused at the time.To this day, I’m still more comfortable just calling the 1977 movie “Star Wars,” without the “A New Hope” subtitle.
Stay Strong and Stay Safe
With the recent invasion of Ukraine, here’s hoping the courageous Ukrainian people will see daylight from this nightmare. Wishing the people of Ukraine perseverence, and that this hideous aggression ends sooner than later. Meanwhile, the current number of COVID-19 related deaths in the United States is over 959,000 (over six million worldwide) as of this writing, and while cases have significantly dropped in the last month, please use caution and good judgment when it comes to masking and safe distancing, as many states are now easing prior COVID restrictions due to decreasing numbers of infections. In these challenging times, be safe and stay strong!