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As the release date for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII has been officially pushed to December 2017, there's plenty of time for new details to be added, and of course whispered all over the internet. The latest rumor suggests that Obi Wan Kenobi will be back to guide a new generation of Jedi, and he'll do so as a Force ghost.
Naturally, this report is a rumor, and even the original tweet from Kristian Harloff, via Making Star Wars, warns folks that this item is up in the air. But if someone's dreaming of an Obi Wan return, they're dreaming big, as you'll see in the additional detail included in said tweet below:
Right out of the gate, the choice of Ewan McGregor to play the Force ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi is an interesting hypothetical decision. The biggest reason being that Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker never met the younger version of Obi Wan, but instead met Sir Alec Guinness' hermit "Ben" Kenobi. So to suggest that McGregor is playing the Force ghost of a character we saw Guinness play at the end of Return Of The Jedi, is almost suggesting that this is a change brought on for the kids. This not only applies in the sense that some younger kids remember the prequels better than the original trilogy, but also to the fact that if Obi Wan is returning, it'll be Rey's first encounter with the sage Jedi.
However, this strategy isn't unheard of, as another rumor pertaining to Star Wars: Episode VIII has hinted at Hayden Christensen coming back in some sort of capacity. Whether it's a flashback or a Force ghost is yet to be seen, but if Rian Johnson and his team are looking into bringing Christensen back into the Star Wars universe, then bringing back Ewan McGregor would make a little more sense. Not to mention, McGregor's rumored participation would actually a better option than the alternative, which would most likely be some sort of digitally manipulated performance cobbled together from archive footage of Sir Alec Guinness. Seeing as they'd probably ask McGregor for his vocal talents in that scenario, bringing him on whole hog would be the wiser / more respectful choice.
The legends of the past have been resurfacing in the Star Wars universe, promising an all out conflict between the dark and light sides of the Force. If some familiar faces start to resurface with said history, Star Wars: Episode VIII could be a story focused on the cyclical nature of history, and how if we're not careful, we're doomed to repeat it. Or, at the very least, the promise of Ewan McGregor's return will serve as another loving nod to the past history of the franchise. We'll see if the rumors are true when Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15th, 2017.