The folks behind the show explain why not to expect tons of cameos from other live-action Star Wars series.
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While Disney+'s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series (debuting May 27) will focus on what happened to the Jedi master in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, is it possible we might also see some familiar faces from other live-action Star Wars streaming shows?

It's a reasonable question, because even though the new six-episode limited series takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and 18 years before the events of The Mandalorian, there are certainly a few characters whose presence looms large in both timelines, with none looming larger than Ahsoka Tano.

First introduced in the Clone Wars animated series before also appearing on Star Wars Rebels and then making the jump to live action on The Mandalorian, Ahsoka (who recently cracked the top 10 on EW's ranking of the top 100 Star Wars characters ever) not only has a history working with Obi-Wan before she left the Jedi order, she also has a close and tragic relationship with another character who will be appearing on the new series: Darth Vader.

Ahsoka served as the former Anakin Skywalker's Padawan up until Order 66 sent her into hiding, and she later faced off against her former mentor on Rebels. It has already been announced that Hayden Christensen will not only be donning the black armor for Obi-Wan Kenobi, but also suiting up for Disney+'s upcoming Ahsoka live-action series, starring Rosario Dawson.

Rosario Dawson on 'The Mandalorian'
Rosario Dawson on 'The Mandalorian'
| Credit: Justin Lubin/Lucasfilm Ltd.

With all those connections and the opportunity to set up events for the future series, it would seem an Ahsoka appearance would be a solid bet — but the makers of Obi-Wan say you may want to step away from the sabacc table before placing it. Without naming any specific characters, Kenobi director Deborah Chow tells EW that viewers should expect more cameos and appearances to derive from the films, as opposed to characters who have already been introduced into the live-action universe.

"Given the nature of our characters, the strongest connective tissue is to the prequels for us," Chow says. "Because in large part, that's where our characters are coming from and that's where their stories started. So really the prequels are sort of the most connected to our series."

While Chow, who previously directed episodes of The Mandalorian, acknowledges some crossover in terms of style and tone, she cautions that may not extend to actual characters. "Obviously I came from The Mandalorian, so a lot of that DNA is in me," she says. "And a lot of my Jedi masters, with John Favreau and Dave Filoni, are also just sort of embedded in me now, but I wasn't looking to tie in necessarily anything. It was just trying to tell the story with integrity to the character, and so that was the connection to the prequels."

That would certainly explain the already announced return of prequel characters like Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (played once again by Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse) and rumors of a possible appearance by Jimmy Smits' Bail Organa.

As for Ahsoka specifically, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy makes it sound like the character's upcoming series will follow her later live-action timeline, with her on the hunt for Grand Admiral Thrawn, whom she first encountered on Rebels. "Dave Filoni has explored that particular part of the timeline extensively in Rebels and what he did with Clone Wars," Kennedy says. "We've been mining a part of those stories inside of The Mandalorian, and there's nothing that Dave is more excited about than taking the character of Ahsoka with Rosario and exploring stories beyond anything he did in Rebels and Clone Wars. So that's something very specific to the development that he's doing and all of that falls within the kind of Mandalorian timeline."

Of course, Rebels also seems to be a big inspiration point for Obi-Wan Kenobi, with the Grand Inquisitor — who was first introduced on season 1 of the animated series — making his live-action debut. Played now by Rupert Friend, the fallen-Jedi-turned-Jedi-hunter appears to play a large role in the new series, at least judging from the trailers.

Ming-Na Wen and Temuera Morrison on 'The Mandalorian'
Ming-Na Wen and Temuera Morrison on 'The Mandalorian'
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Another character besides Ahsoka with a prominent role both before and after A New Hope as well as a prominent link to Obi-Wan is Boba Fett. Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) clashed with Fett's dad, Jango, both on the watery planet of Kamino and in space outside Geonosis, with young Boba cheering his father on in battle ("Get him, Dad! Get him! Fire!"). With Boba having been brought back from the dead on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison), could we see a younger version of the bounty hunter show up on Tatooine or Daiyu?

Like Chow and Kennedy, Obi-Wan writer Joby Harold draws a distinction between what the creative team is doing on this show and linking up too much with the ones that have come before. "From the beginning, we've all thought of this as its own unique story," he says. "I had always thought of it as its own chapter in bigger canon between the prequels and the original trilogy. There was a story that hadn't been told, which to me was sort of episode 3-and-a-half. And so within that vacuum, I've personally been thinking about it as its own close-ended story, whilst knowing that it's already connected to the past and connected to what's coming. But wherever possible, I've thought of it that way, as opposed to it existing within a larger tapestry of some of the other shows that are coming out. So it's its own story."

Of course, in a universe where seemingly everyone is connected to someone with the last name of Skywalker or Palpatine, Harold knows it's impossible to completely wall oneself off. "You can't ignore the connectivity of all these stories, because they're all playing within the same worlds and characters that George created," he says. "So there's an undeniable connectivity between all of them. But that said, it's its own story. It's its own six-part movie. And to that end, I thought of it as this six-chapter story that's just its own tale."

While that may sound as though characters like Ahsoka and Boba Fett are a definite no-go in Kenobi, keep in mind we were once told Ray's parents were simple junkers and that Darth Vader killed Luke's father, so anything could be possible. As the cagey Obi-Wan once said, "What I told you was true… from a certain point of view."

Related content:

Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series)

Ewan McGregor returns to Tatooine to fill in the gaps of what happened to the Jedi Master between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

 

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