While no Star Wars movie has been officially announced after Episode IX, the current rumor is that a film focusing on Obi-Wan Kenobi may be the next Star Wars Story on the agenda, and it looks like it may be further along than we thought. Apparently, the word going around Belfast, Northern Ireland is that the city's Paint Hall film studio will be busy throughout this year and next, because after Game of Thrones finishes filming there, Star Wars is coming to town, and the rumor is the franchise is coming to film the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie.
The rumor mill apparently began to swirl at the end of last year because George Lucas himself was in town, and people were wondering what the Star Wars creator was up to. According to the Belfast Telegraph, he was there to check out the studio in order to give his seal of approval for the next standalone Star Wars movie. An unnamed source confirmed to the paper that Star Wars was planning to shoot there either later this year or early next year, though the source does not mention the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie by name, just the franchise. It's not clear why the paper is so sure that Obi-Wan will be the source of the planned film.
With no Star Wars currently on the schedule for 2020 and beyond, though several projects have been announced, it makes sense that Lucasfilm is planning something to be filming by 2019, though if the studio is already deciding where it wants to film things, then the project would seem to be further along than we thought. If Lucasfilm is this confident where and when filming will start then there must be enough of a script completed to know that Paint Hall studios in Dublin will serve its needs. We know there's a pretty good chance Lucasfilm has its lead actor locked down, as Ewan McGregor has been open to returning to the franchise for years.
Still, this is just a rumor at this point and it is a somewhat odd one. While George Lucas has never been far from the Star Wars universe since selling Lucasfilm to Disney, his role so far has been to visit sets during filming to tell the director he's doing a good job and to give an opinion of the finished film after it premieres. This is the first we've heard of Lucas being on the vanguard of a production. Maybe his visit wasn't official but he happened to know what Lucasfilm was planning and wanted to check out the site? Or maybe he was just on vacation in Ireland and wanted a tour of the local studio.
Whatever the details, the evidence does appear to be building that Lucasfilm has a plan for the post-trilogy franchise which is moving forward, even if the studio hasn't officially announced anything to the rest of us.
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