Even though the Skywalker saga just ended in movie theaters, the most famous Skywalker of them all, Luke, might be poised to return to TV, and this time, he won’t be played by Mark Hamill. A new rumor suggests that a “young” Luke Skywalker might be cast for the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series. If true, we could see a period of Luke’s life only glimpsed before, and it might even have ramifications for The Mandalorian Season 2.
Speculation and possible spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 2 and Kenobi ahead.
On Sunday, ComicBook.com reported a rumor claiming Disney is looking to cast a young Luke Skywalker for the forthcoming Ewan McGregor-focused TV series. The rumor says that such a casting would be “cementing the show’s timeline sometime immediately before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.” While this rumor is exciting there’s one problem. According to official Lucasfilm source the Star Wars Show, the timeline was described like this:
“The untitled series is set eight years after Revenge of the Sith.”
This would put the series around 11BBY or 10BBY, or about a decade before the Battle of Yavin as depicted in A New Hope. This previous statement is decidedly at odds with the new rumor, which suggests a time period right before A New Hope. This doesn’t necessarily mean the Kenobi show won’t feature Luke Skywalker, it’s just we have to kind of curb our expectations for what this might mean.
Here are three things a “young” Luke Skywalker in Kenobi could mean for Star Wars.
3. A ten-year-old Luke is kind of essential for the Kenobi Disney+ show
If we’re all being honest, if the Obi-Wan series happens and Old Ben never meets a young Luke Skywalker, what kind of game are we even playing?
In A New Hope Luke clearly has met Ben before and has fond memories of him. Plus, at least one in-canon comic book depicts Obi-Wan helping a very young Luke out of a few jams, only to be chastised by Uncle Owen. If you’re not going to at least touch on this in a Disney+ series where, ostensibly, Obi-Wan’s entire job on Tatooine is to watch over Luke, then, seriously, what’s the point? If Disney+ is casting a young Luke, you can bet it’s a little kid.
2. We don’t know how much time will pass during the Obi-Wan show, which could mean multiple Luke actors
One smart way around all of this is if the Obi-Wan series spans many years, which means it could start shortly after Revenge of the Sith and bridge the gap all the way up to A New Hope. If that’s true, then roughly a decade could pass during the show, and that means we could be dealing with a 17-year-old Luke by the end of it.
Casting an-almost 20-something new Luke actor makes a lot of sense. Plus, this has actually happened before, very recently. In 2014, J.J. Abrams filmed several scenes with actor Robert Boulter playing Luke, circa The Empire Strikes Back. These scenes would have been part of Rey’s flashbacks in that movie but were eventually cut from the film entirely.
Bottom line: Lucasfilm has already recast Luke Skywalker, and will totally do it again.
1. A twentysomething Luke would be great news for The Mandalorian Season 2
One thing to consider about bringing on a new twentysomething Luke Skywalker is that it would free-up Lucasfilm to bring Luke into all sorts of other projects which take place close to the same time period. Both Lando and Han Solo have already been recast in Solo, which means Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich could easily show up in either the Obi-Wan show or The Mandalorian Season 2 without anyone really blinking. (Let’s also keep in mind that Ewan McGregor himself is, duh, not the original Obi-Wan actor!)
So, if you cast a nearly 20-year-old-looking actor to play Luke Skywalker in the Obi-Wan show — perhaps for the season finale — then you’d have that person canonically established as Luke. Which means if you wanted to then have him show up as a slightly older Luke in The Mandalorian, you’d be all set.
This is kind of like what the Star Trek franchise did by recently casting Ethan Peck as Spock on Star Trek: Discovery. Now Ethan Peck is available whenever CBS wants to do a new story with “young” Spock. (Which is exactly what happened when CBS debuted a flashback minisode centered on Spock called “Q&A.”)
Luke Skywalker is the Spock of Star Wars, and right now, Lucasfilm doesn’t have a new actor to play “young” Luke. If new Disney+ shows continue to explore the edges of events in the original trilogy, then it makes sense Luke will be popping in from time to time. This isn’t to say he’ll be a main character, but let’s face it, the influence of this Skywalker is still a force to be reckoned with.
The untiled Obi-Wan series has no release date at this time.
The Mandalorian Season 2 is set to debut in Fall of 2020 on Disney+.