"How I’d" Write an Obi-Wan Kenobi Show
I start by calling it “KENOBI: SHADOW OF THE JEDI”
My name is Pete, and I sometimes like to write down how I would have written a movie or a TV series. With the Obi-Wan Kenobi show premiering this Friday, May 27th, on Disney+, I was thinking now would be a great time to take another look at “How I’d” have written and Obi-Wan show BEFORE the show comes out. I wrote the synopsis below back in 2020 just before the pandemic hit.
Most of the stuff I write is entirely my own or critiques of things others have written but sometimes, I like to write down my own ideas for a show or movie that is being produced before it comes out just to see if I would have gone in a very different or better 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 direction. I wish I had done that for The Book of Boba Fett (instead I wrote it after I finished watching the first season). I did write my own Star Wars: Episode 3 and my own finale for the Battlestar Galactica reboot and was definitely happier with my results than I was with what eventually was released by the copyright holders.
ANYway, I am a trained writer with some experience writing in Hollywood (even for pay sometimes!). Though I live in NYC now, I have a book on Amazon that I self-published, was a freelance writer on Cow & Chicken back in LA and I also had my own animated series in development for a bit. I’ve written several screenplays and novels, as well. My focus is generally more on creating than selling—nobody’s perfect, but you can tell that I take this “writing” stuff seriously. So have a look at my logline and synopsis for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series as I would write it below. It is called:
KENOBI: SHADOW OF THE JEDI
Logline: When a seasoned veteran of a brutal war, that saw many of those serving under him die, is forced to be alone with the sorrow and pain of losing not just friends and fellow soldiers, but of everything he has ever known, he struggles to focus on keeping a young boy safe. But his mind may not let him...he may even have to go dark.
Synopsis: Dealing with galactic case of PTSD after narrowly surviving a war that seemed to have left his best friend embracing the Dark Side and dead, Obi-Wan Kenobi struggles to keep focus on his duty to protect young Luke Skywalker, while simultaneously trying to lay low, and somehow get over the incredible loss and failure he's just experienced. He gets a job at what passes for a diner in Anchorhead, not far from the Lars Homestead, Luke’s current home on Tatooine. Eventually allowing himself to make friends with some locals, and some from out of town, Obi-Wan holds his dark demons at bay, but it is a constant struggle.
In public, he is quiet, does a good job waiting tables and whatever else his boss needs. But at night, with the help of an old Jedi holocron, he trains to stay fit, battle-ready, and sane all while using the Force as little as possible just in case anyone Force-sensitive is around.
It's a challenge, not only because he needs to use the Force to keep tabs on young Luke, but because nightmares of Anakin's massacres (he’s not sure if he was there, saw them through the Force, or just imagined them) and Kenobi's own failure to save more lives haunt him by night and visions of people he once knew haunt him by day.
No Jedi is an Island
One living friend he's made is a female Weequay named Aiiko who is trying to buck the stereotype that all Weequay are roughnecks and thugs by being a successful local real estate broker--the most successful in Anchorhead--at least that is her plan.
If dealing with his demons isn't enough, Aiiko has found “Ben,” as he is now known, to be her good luck charm. Since he served her that first Ronto Morning Wrap, she's had a string of good fortune. Things change, however, when a rival developer comes to town to open a casino and in the process brings intergalactic organized crime to Anchorhead. Wanting to keep Anchorhead a safe, reputable place, this makes Aiiko's job very hard to do.
So, Ben pays the developer a visit, telling him politely to take his business elsewhere. When the developer fails to take Kenobi's advice, Aiiko is distraught, convinced she will lose her business and everything she had tried to do for the town--trying to bring investors and make the lives of our neighbors better. She asks Ben to talk to the developer again (or maybe more than just talk) but Ben knows he has to lay low and he knows he is just not mentally equipped to resist the temptation to use the Force if things get messy. He is still seeing the dead all around him, some seem so real... but that night, a dark, hooded figure busts up the developer's casino and the developer's thugs.
Anchorhead is a small town, Ben…
The next day, word travels quickly that the casino and all related businesses have been shut down and the developer has left the planet. Aiiko is sure it was Ben who busted up the place, but he insists it wasn't him and in fact, he is sure it wasn't him.
Soon, there's a new Weequay in town--Aiiko's brother happens to be visiting. He had a deal to pick up a shipment of spice from a local businessman new to the planet, but his casino and offices are closed--no one knows what happened to him. Aiiko tells him everything--a story that ends with her good friend, Ben, driving the guy off-world, singlehandedly. He asks to meet this friend--that's when he and Ben recognize each other from the Clone Wars.
But Ben, having grown out a long beard and showing some age, tells Aiiko's brother and old “friend” (and sometime enemy), Hondo Ohnaka, that Ben is not who Hondo thinks he is. Hondo insists Ben is Kenobi, but Ben doesn't give in. Ben also denies having anything to do with driving the developer from the planet.
Let it go, Hondo…
Hondo gives up on Ben (but says he’s not giving up on him) and continues his search elsewhere, eventually learning that the developer left for Batuu. He lets Aiiko know that he's headed there next but she's a little worried about him traveling by himself--the guys he was supposed to deliver the spice to is probably after him now. Aiiko begs Ben to go with him, and Hondo admits he could use the help. Ben and Aiiko go with Hondo to Batuu only to discover it's a trap and that Hondo was paid by the developer.
Finding himself outnumbered, Ben realizes fighting back will only raise his profile so he lets them beat him down. He also feels like he deserves it.
He wakes, chained to a wall in the developer’s office. Only, as Ben admits, he is not feeling himself. He uses the Force to escape his chains and kill the developer and his thugs once and for all but falls short of killing Hondo. Hondo tells Aiiko a nutshell-version of who Ben really is ending with the fact that "He's got a lot of baggage from the war. But who doesn’t? Not him. Not me. Nobody…"
You think it’s over? It’s not over…
Aiiko, being disgusted with her brother's betrayal, cuts ties with him, nurses Ben back to health on Batuu and, together they board a transport back to Tatooine. Aboard the transport, they meet two people: Azkaya, a blue skinned Pantoran woman, and Wyshok, a pale skinned human male. Both are investors looking for somewhere to put their credits. Aiiko goes into sales-mode and talks up her new plan for "Little Coruscant"--she wants to turn Anchorhead and then Tatooine into the Coruscant of the Outer Rim but that Azkaya and Wyshok can be in on the ground floor of this exciting opportunity.
"You really are Hondo's sister, aren’t you?" Ben says.
The two investors are intrigued by the possibilities and decide to take Aiiko up on her offer and come with them to Tatooine. Once back on the desert planet, Ben learns from Aiiko that her new investors are interested in buying up farmland-- farmland that includes the Lars Homestead. Ben is immediately suspicious and, after nightfall, heads out to check on Luke.
Before he spots young Luke, he sees Azkaya and Wyshock approaching the Lars' front door on foot. Before they reach it, they circle around to the back and head out into the farmland, itself. Ben follows, using the Force to hide his presence from their senses. He follows them until they stop and hold their hands out over a spot of sand and seem to use the Force to cause the sand to clear a hole. Ben feels himself compelled to join them and does, beginning to help them, holding out his own hand, and using the Force. They eventually clear an opening to a tunnel carved out of solid bedrock.
"I knew you were like us!" Azkaya says. “Handsome and powerful with the Force…”
Not thinking, Ben follows them down the tunnel and sees both of his new friends exhibit abilities only Force wielders have (and a few abilities he’s never seen anyone exhibit). Finally, they enter a massive cavern, inside of which is an equally massive and ancient temple. Azkaya and Wyshock are overjoyed, so happy they've “…finally found it!”
"But this is a Sith temple," Ben says, recognizing carvings on the walls.
"We know," Wyshok says as Ben looks down at his had to find a lightsaber in it. Instinctively, he activates it and the blade that appears is blood red. Ben's eyes are red with the reflection of the blade as he looks at the others. "Tell me more..."
END OF SEASON 1
As you can see, we already know I went in a different direction from the Obi-Wan Kenobi show we’re about to get. I figured producers would want to keep Obi-Wan away from the Inquisitors we see in the trailer because, frankly, if they come across him, they’ll know pretty quick that he is a Jedi. Having them not sense Obi-Wan is a Jedi would be pretty unrealistic in my mind.
Also, I was trying to not do things other shows have already done. I love the Inquisitors but after Star Wars Rebels, Marvel’s Star Wars comics, and the Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order video game (I’m pretty sure they’re in a book or two, as well), I figured it made sense to focus on something that hadn’t already been done a few times. Then again, how many times has Star Wars brought us back to Tatooine?
Speaking of which, this brings me to a question that had been nagging me for a long time…
Why did Palpatine impregnate a slave woman on this specific planet in the middle of nowhere?
“Because he chose that one.” is not a strong choice when you are telling a story.
And why did Yoda and Obi-Wan dump Luke with his family but handed Leia off to a rich senator? I remember reading somewhere that Palpatine, in one of the Star Wars novels, is shown as a young man being obsessed with Sith culture and relics. So, I decided there is an ancient Sith temple buried on Tatooine.
If you’ve read my “How I’d” for The Book of Boba Fett, you know that I ended season one with the Pykes finding an ancient door under their spice mine with Sith markings all over it. I just really like the idea of Tatooine having a background reason to be the focal point of all these stories. Otherwise, Disney/Lucasfilm really need to stop coming back to Tatooine. I’m beginning to feel like Martin Sheen’s character at the beginning of Apocalypse Now.
“Tatooine… I’m still on Tatooine…”
That said, I have a LOT of other details that I have written down but left out of the above synopsis. Fun stuff like random customers that come to the diner graphically reminding him of those he saw die in the war and of Anakin's victims (he sees visions of them looking like horribly wounded clone troopers). I also have this idea that maybe one of the visions of the dead is a real (Force) ghost. Also, I think my idea for the weapon he trains with and ultimately uses to bust up the casino is pretty cool (hint: it's not a lightsaber).
My favorite thing that I came up with is who Obi-Wan confides in while trying to keep his mental health issues under control. It’s not Aiiko.
So, that's the general idea of what I would do. Leave a comment here or hit me up on Twitter if you want to tell me what you think. If it's just a lot of very negative criticism, I hope you won't mind when I don't reply. I am open to constructive criticism, of course.
Thanks for reading!
-Script Dr. Pete
OH and STAR WARS and all the already existing characters I mention above are (c) Lucasfilm and Disney.