Obi-Wan Kenobi showrunner Deborah Chow recently shared her advice for future Star Wars creators telling them to ignore Star Wars canon.

Deborah Chow and Pedro Pascal on the set of THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids, Chow was asked, “What advice would you offer the next director of a Star Wars project?”

Chow responded, “Make sure all the creatures go to the bathroom before you bring them to set, otherwise you’re going to be waiting 45 minutes. (Laughs.)”

After the joke, she shared her serious answer, “The biggest thing I learned from The Mandalorian is to not get hung up on the Star Wars of it all. It’s hard on a project where there is so much canon and so much responsibility to a fan base, but I would always go, ‘If you take the Star Wars out of this and it’s just people and human emotions, does this story still hold up?'”

(L-R): Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

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Not only did Chow tell future Star Wars creators to ignore “the Star Wars of it all” and Star Wars canon, but she justified her canon-breaking decision to have Obi-Wan Kenobi leave Tatooine and cross lightsabers with Darth Vader before they eventually met on the Death Star in the original Star Wars film.

Davids asked Chow, “Did Alec Guinness’ “true, from a certain point of view” line — about having told Luke that Darth Vader murdered his father — give you license to imagine that there was more to most of what Obi-Wan said?”

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

She answered, “I don’t think anyone will ever know exactly what George Lucas intended or what the intention was with some lines. There’s so much room for interpretation, and so many people have different interpretations.”

“So for us, the big thing was emotional authenticity and that this felt innately like the right journey for these characters who were coming out of the prequels and into A New Hope,” she added.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

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However, Chow previously admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that she knew that Obi-Wan Kenobi was supposed to be sitting on Tatooine communing with Qui-Gon Jinn and watching over Luke Skywalker.

She told Davids, “You’re between two trilogies with these huge, iconic characters. Everybody knows what happened to them, before and after, and you’re starting with a character where the public perception is that he should be sitting on that rock for 20 years. But those 20 years [between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope] had so much to explore on an emotional level.”

Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The reason it was public perception is because George Lucas made it very clear through his films. In the original Star Wars film, Darth Vader tells Obi-Wan Kenobi, “I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”

Kenobi retorted, “Only a master of evil, Darth.”

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi faces off against David Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

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Then in Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi not only volunteers to watch over Luke Skywalker, but he is tasked by Yoda to begin communing with Qui-Gon Jinn in order to master how to become one with the Force.

Kenobi states, “I will take the child and watch over him.” Yoda responds, “Until the time is right, disappear we will.”

He then tasks Kenobi, “In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you. … An old friend has learned the path to immortality. One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force. Your old master. … How to commune with him I will teach you.”

Frank Oz as Yoda informs Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi about Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

Clearly, Chow knew what she was doing, but she was clearly taking her own advice. She also admitted she did this when asked about having Kenobi track down a 10-year-old Leia Organa.

She said, “There was a lot of discussion about it, and we didn’t know how the fan base would react and if they’d say that we were breaking canon. It’s tricky, because, on some level, everything could be perceived as breaking canon, but you have to take some swings.”

“There was also nothing that said they hadn’t met before. So we did obviously take some license, but we tried to hook it back into A New Hope to at least connect the two,” Chow concluded.

Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) holding L0-LA59 (Lola) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

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While Kenobi clearly met Leia when she was born, he did not meet her after that given he was on Tatooine in solitude watching over Luke Skywalker and learning to become one with the Force from Qui-Gon Jinn.

This is made abundantly clear in the original Star Wars film when Kenobi receives the message Princess Leia left inside R2-D2 for him alongside the plans for the Death Star.

Leia’s message states, “General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan.This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

It seems pretty clear that Leia had not met Kenobi outside of her birth as she pleads for Kenobi’s intervention by referencing Kenobi’s relationship with her father, not her.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi listen to Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia’s message in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), Lucasfilm

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The creatives at Star Wars know they are breaking canon, they know they are changing the story, and they simply don’t care. In fact, they are encouraging potential new Star Wars creatives to follow in their footsteps.

And Chow is not the only one to say this. Dave Filoni has said as much as well. He told ScreenRant at Star Wars Celebration in April, “People get into all of these debates of what’s canon, what’s not, and sometimes forget just the special nature of telling a good story and creating great characters.”

“Part of the fan debate in the past always used to be what’s canon, what’s not, because there was George and we always knew George was the canon. I look at it very broadly and just say, there’s just a love of Star Wars. Because I knew George, I worked with him. None of us are going to be him, but we love the galaxy he created and we are very much a product of it, growing up with it,” he concluded.

As people like Filoni and Chow continue to ignore Star Wars canon, the entire company suffers as previous moviegoers and fans of the franchise abandon it. The consequences of these actions were acutely seen with the recent closure of Singapore Lucasfilm’s shuttering of its VFX and animation facility in Singapore.

The Singapore government even noted in a statement to Variety about the closure, “Lucasfilm’s decision to wind down its Singapore operations is in response to changes in the industry and business conditions. The global media industry is facing disruption from rapid technological advancements, while studios are coping with challenges relating to talent and profitability.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

What do you make of Chow’s advice to future Star Wars creators and how she acted on this advice in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series?

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    John F. Trent
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    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.