After years and years of speculation, Ewan McGregor confirmed his return as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a new series on Disney+ at the 2019 D23 Expo. But the Obi-Wan Kenobi series has suffered many delays and setbacks over the years. First as a movie, then as a series. However, things are finally back on track, with the series set to debut in 2022. Here’s everything we know about Obi-Wan Kenobi so far:
The series is called Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s Plot
Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s first teaser trailer gave us a good look at the show to come. As ever, the overarching message of the show is hope in the face of great odds.
The teaser’s description offered more insight into the series, sharing:
The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. The series stars Ewan McGregor, reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master, and also marks the return of Hayden Christensen in the role of Darth Vader. Joining the cast are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie.
In the first look, we see new faces, such as Moses Ingram’s Reva. According to Entertainment Weekly, Reva is “the franchise’s fearsome new villain.” She takes “the form of a relentless Inquisitor.” According to director Deborah Chow and writer Joby Harold, the character is “ruthlessly ambitious.” Reva is also force-sensitive and on the hunt for Obi-Wan.
As the force-sensitive Inquisitor Reva, Moses Ingram will prove a formidable new foe in #ObiWanKenobi as she seeks out Jedi-in-hiding for the Empire. Director Deborah Chow and writer Joby Harold describe the character as ruthlessly ambitious. https://t.co/brdtgkB0J4 pic.twitter.com/XjXD0CXVky— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 9, 2022
In addition, Ingram hints at the relationship between Reva, Vader, and the Grand Inquisitor (whom we previously saw in Star Wars: Rebels and see now in Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s teaser trailer). She says, “They share a common dark-side goal. They’re on the same team.”
A previous sizzle reel for the upcoming show revealed more context about the show’s overall setting. In the short featurette, fans are treated to Ewan McGregor and director Deborah Chow discussing Kenobi. They share that it’s a dark time for Obi-Wan. Even just being a Jedi isn’t safe. Despite this, his one task is to keep Luke safe. But the journey, Chow shares, only unwinds from there.
Overall, Entertainment Weekly notes, the series “fills in the gaps of what happened in the 19 years between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.”
Concept art from the show additionally reveals the Empire’s Jedi Hunters accompanying stormtroopers, as well as what looks to be Coruscant, and possibly other planets too. Additionally, we get a glimpse of Hayden Christensen training for a lightsaber battle and wearing a breathing mask. We even glimpse a fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in yet more concept art.
There have been rumors, that suggested Kenobi‘s original storyline focused on the Jedi protecting a young charge (maybe Luke?) from being hunted down. But this was too close to the plot of The Mandalorian. Current rumors suggest that the story is focused on Darth Vader’s quest to find Obi-Wan. If this is the case, it will be interesting to see how the producers create drama from this scenario, as we know Vader fails in this mission. But as of now, all of these reports about the story are unconfirmed.
We also recently got to see Obi-Wan on the planet of Daiya. Writer Joby Harold describes Daiya as having a “sort of has a Hong Kong feel to it. It’s got a graffiti-ridden nightlife and is kind of edgy. It’s just got a different lane and a different feeling.”
Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan will visit a new planet, Daiyu, in the series.— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 9, 2022
Joby Harold describes the planet having “a Hong Kong feel to it. It's got a graffiti-ridden nightlife, and is kind of edgy. It's just got a different lane and feeling.”
(Source: https://t.co/vl8dcqqJtm) pic.twitter.com/Pey9pWO7fu
Entertainment Weekly also released several other first-look images of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Although they don’t reveal too much more about the show, we’re excited to see them.
First look at Joel Edgerton’s return as Uncle Owen in ‘OBI-WAN KENOBI’. pic.twitter.com/ko99BvndCQ— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 9, 2022
First look at Moses Ingram as the Inquisitor Reva in ‘OBI-WAN KENOBI’. pic.twitter.com/gxFTQyNHIu— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 9, 2022
In a recent Vanity Fair article, we learned a bit more about Darth Vader’s role in the project. Although he wasn’t initially going to appear on the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, Deborah Chow felt his relationship with Obi-Wan was too important not to explore. Chow offers:
For me, across the prequels, through the original trilogy, there’s a love-story dynamic with these two that goes through the whole thing,” Chow says. “I felt like it was quite hard to not [include] the person who left Kenobi in such anguish in the series.” What intrigued her was the idea that despite what Vader had become, Kenobi might still care deeply about him. “I don’t know how you could not,” she says. “I don’t think he ever will not care about him. What’s special about that relationship is that they loved each other.
While #ObiWan anguishes over his past, Anakin Skywalker is a man at war with himself. Showrunner Deborah Chow tells V.F. that what intrigued her most about the series was the thread between them: “I don’t think [Obi-Wan] ever will not care about him… They loved each other.” pic.twitter.com/E6uvJVQl4k— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) May 17, 2022
We can’t wait to see how all these pieces fit together. To get a better idea, you can watch our trailer breakdown and get a taste of Easter eggs that you may have missed.
Will It Be A Limited Series?
So far, it appears that the Obi-Wan show is a “one and done” standalone season. While speaking to Entertainment Tonight, McGregor said, “As I understand, it’s a standalone season.” But he leaves open the possibility that there could be more when asked about a season two. “We’ll see. Who knows?” It doesn’t sound like he’s permanently closing the book on Old Ben.
Why a Series and Not a Movie?
As most Star Wars fans know, Lucasfilm originally conceived the Obi-Wan series as a feature film. But after Solo flopped at the box office, the studio decided to hold off on doing more standalone movies. Rumor has it that the Josh Trank Boba Fett movie simply morphed into The Mandalorian. And thus, the Obi-Wan movie became a series as well. Rumors became fact when Ewan McGregor finally confirmed the series on stage last summer at the D23 Expo. He even admitted he’d kept it a secret for nearly five years.
How Many Episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi Will There Be?
Right now, Kenobi‘s episode count is six episodes—at least according to McGregor. But it wouldn’t be shocking if it increased or decreased. We’ll be happy to take whatever McGregor lightsaber-wielding, Force using action we can get.
Behind the Scenes
The Obi-Wan Kenobi director is Deborah Chow. She directed tw0 episodes of The Mandalorian last year, both fan-favorite episodes (“Chapter 3: The Sin” and “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”). Lucasfilm officially announced Chow as helming the series back in September 2019. As with all things Star Wars, Kathleen Kennedy is also an executive producer, along with Michelle Rejwan, star Ewan McGregor, and Joby Harold, who assumed writing duties after Hossein Amini departed the project.
Variety reported in February that John Williams composed and recorded the theme for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vanity Fair revealed in April 2022 that composer Natalie Holt worked on Obi-Wan Kenobi, which makes her the first woman to score a live-action Star Wars project.
Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s Cast
Of course, Ewan McGregor will be returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi. But the bigger news is that Disney confirmed that Hayden Christensen is returning as Anakin Skywalker. And that makes sense as there will be plenty of flashbacks to the Clone Wars era.
Rounding out the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast are: Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie. Edgerton and Piesse are reprising their roles as Owen and Beru Lars. Pen15 star Maya Erskine will also appear in the series.
Ahead of the series’ premiere, Entertainment Weekly interviewed Kumail Nanjiani about his character, Haja. Nanjiani describes Haja as a sort of con-man working for credits. He works the streets of Daiyu. Then he meets Obi-Wan. Nanjiana says, “And then he has a run-in with Obi-Wan and suddenly he sort of gets stuck in the bigger conflicts at play, which is the thing that he really tries to avoid. So he is this street-level con-man guy who then gets embroiled in stuff that’s way too big for him. And he has to make a choice.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Release Date
The series was originally slated to debut on Disney+ on May 25. This would have marked 45 years since the first Star Wars movie was released in theaters. However, the series has since been delayed and will now premiere on May 27. It will release two episodes during its premiere.
Originally published on January 23, 2020.