Obi-Wan Kenobi writer Andrew Stanton admits he felt some frustration while writing for the Disney+ Star Wars series. Stanton is best known for his writing on Pixar films such as Mission Nemo and Wall-E, the latter of which won an Academy Award and is the first Pixar film added to the Criterion Collection library. But while you work with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Stanton felt a limitation he had not felt in his other writing. Talking to io9, Stanton remembers how exciting it could be to write dialogue for iconic characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, but the pressure of always having to ask, “does it fit the canon?” feels “bittersweet,” he says. “[The reason that happens is] because people care, but it also doesn’t allow, sometimes, things to venture beyond what they maybe should to tell a better story. So that can sometimes really inhibit what I think are better narrative options.”
Stanton continues, “And so I was frustrated sometimes—not a lot—but I just felt like it wasn’t as conducive to [the story]. So I love it when something like Andor is in a safe place. And it can only do what it wants. But I felt, you know, Joby [Harold, Obi-Wan Kenobi co-writer and executive producer], to his credit, kept the torch alive and kept trying to thread the needle so history wouldn’t suffer, but it would please all the people trying to keep it in the canon. But I have some moments in there that I’m very happy with.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi caused some debate in the Star Wars fandom about certain aspects of the canon. These include how many people know about Darth Vader and that he is the fallen Jedi Knight, and Obi-Wan’s old padawan, Anakin Skywalker. It’s a problem born out of writing a series set between two major, seminal movie trilogies, about two of the main characters in those trilogies.
As Stanton suggests, Andor don’t have that problem. Instead, it follows a character who has only had one previous appearance in a spinoff film through rarely explored corners of the Star Wars universe far removed from the main thrust of the Skywalker saga. Conversely, the lack of iconic characters and connections to Star Wars’ primary trilogy of trilogies may be why Andor does not draw in the same number of viewers as Disney+’s previous Star Wars series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi now streaming on Disney+. Andor debuts new episodes weekly on Wednesdays on Disney+.