Hayden Christensen to play Darth Vader in new Obi-Wan Kenobi series
This is where the fun begins.
The Star Wars prequels actor is set to reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, in the new Obi-Wan Kenobi drama series coming to Disney+.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy teased the casting as leading to "the rematch of the century" between the former master and apprentice turned bitter enemies.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi begins 10 years after the dramatic events in Revenge of the Sith where he faced his greatest defeat: The downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader," Kennedy said. "Our fans will be thrilled that Hayden will be returning in the role of Darth Vader. This will be the re-match of the century.”
“This is quite a dark time we’re coming into with him," director Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) added. "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.”
The Obi-Wan Kenobi also stars Ewan McGregor reprising his iconic role as the Jedi Master and marks his first appearance as the character since 2005's Revenge of the Sith.
“There’s a hunger for this character to come back, the fans have been waiting long enough,” McGregor said. “I’m closer in age to [original Obi-Wan actor] Alec Guinness now, more worldly and wise… [Obi-Wan] has this one task left: To keep Luke safe. We start on Tatooine and go on quite a rollicking adventure.”
The project has been described as a six-episode limited series that will begin filming in spring 2021.
The news was revealed during an investor conference presentation Thursday, just one part of a massive surge of Star Wars news in the presentation. Kennedy also revealed the title and teaser video of the Cassian Andor series starring Diego Luna, Andor; the development of a series centered around Lando Calrissian; two Mandalorian spin-off series (including one centered on Rosario Dawson's fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano); the title of Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland's series – The Acolyte ("a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era"; and that Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will helm a new Star Wars feature film titled Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
The company added that it’s planning a whopping 10 Star Wars series for Disney+ over the next few years, along with an equal number of Marvel series.
Emphasizing the quality of Disney+’s programming, Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman Bob Iger told investors, “The only difference between [our TV series] and our feature films is length.”