Sorry, Folks – ‘Lando’ Not The Next Star Wars Story – Is ‘Obi-Wan’, Though?
You have probably seen other websites and media outlets reporting that the next anthological film in the Star Wars franchise would be one centered around the Old Pirate himself, Lando Calrissian. I find it amusing (albeit a bit frustrating) when one person quotes an “unnamed source” or one sound-bite is taken out of context and the rest of the outlets latch on to that and run with it without verification, corroboration or due diligence.
So let’s do a bit of clean-up together, shall we?
First, let’s take a look at how this rumor got started. Kathleen Kennedy, the Grand Moff of LucasFilm, appeared at the Han Solo premiere during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. She spoke briefly with Sylvestre Picard of Premiere France and she gave this quote;
“We think that the next spinoff will be dedicated to Lando Calrissian. Of course, there are still many stories to tell about Han and Chewbacca but Lando will be next.”
And that’s what people ran with, coupled with the fact that Alden Ehrenreich has gone on record to say he is contracted for three outings as Han. “Three. I don’t know if that’s officially, uh, public. But—yeah” were his words.
But apparently, KK’s words were misheard or, at the very least, misinterpreted. In fact, Premiere France retracted some of their commentary and added in this statement later on as follow up;
“Following the publication of our article, Lucasfilm informs us that there would have been a misunderstanding between our journalist and Kathleen Kennedy. ‘We would love to tell a story about Lando Calrissian one day, but it’s not relevant, it would be fun to tell the story of Han and Chewie …’” A different translation puts that new quote as “We would love to tell a story about Lando Calrissian one day, but this is not news. It would also be fun to tell the story of Han and Chewie.”
So there you have it. But that is only half of the story. If ‘Lando’ is not the next movie in the ‘A Star Wars Story’ anthology series, what is?
The website FanthaTracks has a “well-placed source” who informs them that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie may in fact already be in pre-production. Ethan Van Sciver will be happy to learn that it is not ‘Tico: A Star Wars Story’. (Or maybe not, it would make good fodder for his ComicArtistPro Secrets YouTube channel).
Anyway, here’s what the fine folks at Fantha are reporting from their “source”;
The project is sufficiently along that an art department is now in full pre-production mode at Pinewood Studios, England with ancillary work being carried out at Industrial Light & Magic in London. A number of concept artists, prop modellers, and storyboard artists are working as a team across the two locations on the film, with the group growing in numbers every month.
Contracts have also been extended to a number of crew who have worked on various Star Wars films produced at Pinewood under the Disney era, to join the production when their work on Episode IX ends. This will see the Obi-Wan crew grow gradually over the remainder of the year but primarily from October on wards.
Pre-production will continue at Pinewood whilst Episode IX shoots from this summer through the end of the year, at which point production of the Obi-Wan movie has been scheduled to move onto stages in mid January 2019 with the main shoot to begin in April of 2019.
The project is being developed under the corporate name of PLT Productions (UK) Ltd.
The scheduled release date is December 2020.
We also have a report published in August of 2017 from THR splashed across the title line of the article indicating that a ‘Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi Film is in the works’. The report indicates that Stephen Daldry was (at the time at least) in talks to direct the film.
Apparently an ‘Obi-Wan’ movie will be a prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope: “Obi-Wan is on Tatooine being an elusive hermit and stuff, but secretly watches over an infant Luke Skywalker, whom he delivered to his uncle, Owen. Tensions between the local farmers and a tribe of Sand People — headed by a ruthless war chief — eventually brings Obi outta hiding … and into Jedi kickass mode. Scene.” says the alleged plot synopsis reveal/leak.
Let’s not forget that Solo and Obi-Wan knew each other so well that Han and Leia decided to name their baby Ben Solo(Kylo Ren) after Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi. It is not a stretch to think that one of those remaining two movies on Alden’s contract could include Obi-Wan.
Finally, look who was with Kathleen Kennedy at the Solo Red Carpet premiere in Cannes.