Entertainment

The rumor of a ‘Star Wars’ series filming in Boston is fake, but the jokes it inspired are forever

No, 'Star Wars' is not filming in Boston. Here's how the rumor got started.

Star Wars in Boston?
C-3PO, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: A New Hope." File photo

Talk about a Jedi mind trick.

Last week, numerous media outlets, including CBS Boston, WHDH, MassLive, Uproxx, Vanyaland, and dozens of others, reported that filming of “Star Wars: Kenobi,” an upcoming Disney+ series, would take place right here in Boston, potentially adding another star-studded production to the local landscape this winter alongside “Don’t Look Up.”

The reports cited a production announcement posted by the Film & Television Industry Alliance (FTIA), which said that “Star Wars: Kenobi” would begin production on Jan. 4, 2021, with filming taking place in both London, England and Boston, Massachusetts.

The story even got the attention of Stephen Colbert, who commented on the news in his Dec. 4 monologue.

“Boston, really? Is this show about Obi-Wan Kenobi or his cousin from Southie, Obi-Sean Kenobi?” Colbert joked, before riffing on some Star Wars quotes in an exaggerated Boston accent. “‘Look, ya helmet’s wicked pissa but these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Now I gotta go park the Death Star on Alderaan and use the Fahce! I’m your fahthuh!”

Colbert also shared a humorous video mashing up the “Cheers” intro with the Star Wars universe during the monologue (starting at the 10:20 mark).

Over the weekend, however, FTIA amended its online listing to say that the series would be filming in Boston, England, a port town about 100 miles north of London.

The rumor that Disney and Lucasfilm were shipping up to Boston always seemed a bit fishy: None of the usually plugged-in local film professionals contacted by Boston.com had heard anything about the project. And “Kenobi” is set to take place on the remote desert planet of Tatooine, according to a plot synopsis posted by FTIA. In other words, the opposite of what Boston looks like in winter.

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Colbert noted the discrepancy in his monologue.

“But the setting, in Boston, might prove a little challenging because, according to the show’s description, the show is set on Tatooine, a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns. So the scenery around Uncle Owen’s moisture farm’s gonna look a little different this time,” Colbert said, before cutting to an image of a Luke Skywalker’s childhood home photoshopped onto Van Ness Street outside Fenway Park.

This isn’t the first time people have been disappointed by a debunked rumor of Star Wars filming locally: In 2016, thousands of people were fooled by a hoax news site into thinking “Rogue One” was being filmed in Massachusetts.

While the truth may be disappointing, Bostonians can still enjoy the hundreds of jokes this rumor inspired — some of which are catalogued below — and hold out hope that Bill Burr’s appearance on “The Mandalorian” remains a harbinger of Boston’s future introduction into the Star Wars universe.

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