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Rumors that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is on the way have persisted even though nothing official has been revealed. While the sheer volume of rumors would seem to put some weight behind the concept, we still had no idea when we were potentially going to see such a thing materialize. Now, it looks like the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie might be arriving relatively soon, as the newest report says the film is looking to start shooting in April of 2019.
Previous rumors had indicated that the project was currently in pre-production and that it would be the first Star Wars movie we got after Star Wars Episode IX, but especially after another rumor claimed Lucasfilm might be taking a breather to consider the future of the franchise, we had no idea when this movie might actually come out. However, the Belfast Telegraph now says that the movie is expected to start production in April of next year. This is the same source that first reported that the film would be using the city's Paint Hall Studio following a visit by George Lucas to the location at the end of 2017.
The news that the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie could be filming in less than a year is certainly an indication that the report that Lucasfilm had decided to pause future spinoff films was inaccurate. Either that, or the studio did put things on hold, but have already decided the way forward.
The other reason that an April 2019 start to production feels early, however, is that it's not clear where Disney might be planning to release it. Filming in the spring of 2019 could mean a release date as early as the summer movie season of 2020. However, Disney just did a pretty significant reshuffling of its release schedule, and it just set Maleficent 2 in the Memorial Day Weekend window that Solo: A Star Wars Story had this year, and previous Star Wars films had been once set to have. While it's possible that the schedule could see another shakeup down the road or that Lucasfilm has decided, following Solo's performance, not to release Star Wars movies that weekend, Disney already has a lot of 2020 scheduled out so there isn't a lot of room in the release calendar, unless Disney wants to wait until December, and bet that James Cameron's long-delayed Avatar 2 will be delayed once again.
Actual production is something Lucasfilm will have a significant problem hiding, which means, if this report is true, we're almost sure to get an official announcement sometime between now and April that this movie is actually happening. At some point, the future of Star Wars will become more than rumors and nebulous projects, but that day isn't here quite yet.