Everything we know about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+
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Move over, Grogu: A familiar face from a galaxy far, far away is getting his own Disney+ series, too.
Disney+ will soon be debuting the Star Wars spin-off show Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as everyone's favorite bearded Jedi master. Billed as a "special event series," the show will mark the first time McGregor has donned Jedi robes since Revenge of the Sith, and it'll explore what Kenobi was up to in the period between 2005's ROTS and the original 1977 Star Wars. (It'll also reintroduce a few familiar faces.)
Rumors have swirled about a potential Obi-Wan solo project for years, but Disney officially announced the show at the D23 Expo in summer 2019, with The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow on board to helm the new series. Here, we break down everything we know so far about this new chapter in Obi-Wan's Star Wars saga.
Return of the Jedi
McGregor took over the role from Alec Guinness for George Lucas' prequel trilogy, following Obi-Wan from baby-faced Padawan to eventual Jedi master. In interviews over the years, McGregor often said that he'd be thrilled to pick up Obi-Wan's lightsaber once more, but it wasn't until August 2019 that the show became official.
"This is something that we've wanted for so long, but we knew how much the fans want it, too," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW in 2019. "And we know we have to get it right. [We're excited about] the fact that Ewan wanted to come back, and he's so excited to play the character of Obi-Wan again. He really does embody who Obi-Wan is."
Lucasfilm has confirmed that the series is set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, and notably, McGregor isn't the only familiar face returning to the galaxy. Hayden Christensen has been confirmed for the show, making his return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Christensen played Obi-Wan's doomed protege in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the master and apprentice became as close as brothers before splitting apart and eventually dueling on the lava-drenched planet of Mustafar. They famously met again in the original Star Wars, with Vader striking down his former master aboard the Death Star.
It remains to be seen how the allies-turned-enemies will cross paths again in Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Kennedy introduced the show at D23 in 2019, she teased Obi-Wan and Anakin's reunion as "the rematch of the century."
"This is quite a dark time we're coming into with him," Chow added at the time. "Just being a Jedi is not safe. There are Jedi hunters out there… We couldn't tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi without addressing Anakin or Vader. We all definitely see Obi-Wan and Darth Vader get into it again."
In EW's recent cover story on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chow recounted traveling to Christensen's farm to convince him to reprise his role for the show. Once Christensen got on set and donned Vader's iconic black suit, he said, "The whole experience was very surreal."
As for other Star Wars alumni? Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are returning for the show as well. The pair played Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in the prequel trilogy, adopting the young boy after the death of Padme (Natalie Portman) at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Plus, we also know that the show will feature a young version of Luke. During the events of the show, he'd be about 10 years old — and presumably learning how to shoot womp rats on Tatooine.
A galaxy of new faces
Obi-Wan Kenobi will also introduce a slew of new actors to the Star Wars universe. The cast is confirmed to include Moses Ingram (The Queen's Gambit), Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Rupert Friend (Homeland), O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Sung Kang (F9), Simone Kessell (Reckoning), and Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems).
While we don't yet know who some of these actors might be playing, a few have been revealed: The first teaser trailer introduced the return of the Grand Inquisitor, the leader of a group of ruthless, Force-sensitive Jedi hunters first introduced in the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Ingram is playing Inquisitor Reva, an elite warrior on a mission to track down and eliminate any remaining Jedi.
As for some of the other cast members? We'll have to wait and see whether they're new characters or any familiar names from the wider Star Wars mythos. It's also worth noting that Obi-Wan Kenobi is just one of the many live-action Star Wars shows that Disney+ has in the works, joining The Mandalorian season 3, Andor, Ahsoka, Lando, and The Acolyte. Not all are set during the same time period, but might we see some crossover between the various shows?
Interestingly, Lucasfilm has also confirmed that Obi-Wan Kenobi will journey to other corners of the universe. Much of the show will obviously take place under the familiar twin suns of Tatooine, as did previous Disney+ shows The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. But Chow promises that "we definitely go to new worlds" — including the new Hong Kong-inspired planet Daiyu, which has a neon-drenched underworld.
Disney recently announced Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney+ on May 25 — a few days before Star Wars Celebration 2022 in Anaheim. The show will only be six episodes, and it's being touted as a "special event series" — in other words, a one-season story, with no plans yet for future installments.
Still, there's a chance that the Obi-Wan Kenobi show may not be the definitive last time we see McGregor pick up a lightsaber. After all, as a certain wise Jedi master once said: Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
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