How Moses Ingram made a Star Wars Halloween character for Black girls on Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Moses Ingram hit the jackpot. The Queen's Gambit star not only landed a part in the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi (premiering May 27), but she landed the role of a fearsome new villain — playing a lightsaber-wielding, Force-sensitive Inquisitor named Reva.
Talk to anyone on the creative team behind Obi-Wan Kenobi and they immediately get animated when talking about both the actress and the character she's playing. "I'm really excited for what she's doing to be seen because she contributes to the legacy of the Star Wars villain in a really interesting way in this story," series writer Joby Harold tells EW. "She brings her own energy to that world of silhouette villains. And I think that she's a worthy adversary, and the audience isn't going to be expecting what she brings either."
Director Deborah Chow is equally amped: "I was really excited about this character, because it's a new one that is not from the animated series and it's also, for me, really exciting also to bring a female villain and to have a dark side woman of a very significant role. She's very ambitious and she's got a lot going on, and I think Moses just did a fantastic job with it."
However, the combined excitement of Harold and Chow is still no match for the perma-smile attached to the face of Ingram herself, especially when the star received her lightsaber as a gift from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, which she now proudly has on display in her home.
But the lightsaber — a completely original design for her character, and one which she did not drop, unlike Ewan McGregor — is just one of the super-cool-looking things about Reva, who also, yes, gets to sport a cape. "Our costume designer, Suttirat Anne Larlarb was absolutely amazing," gushes Ingram. "I would tell people, putting on a cape was a dream I didn't know I had. I legit put on a cape and I felt like I was 10 again. It was really, really, really super dope."
But Ingram herself was instrumental in helping to create another key aspect of Reva's appearance, and one that could have a huge impact beyond the screen. "We had a lot of conversations about hair and what the right hair might be," explains the actress. "And Deborah was really great about moving from what the initial vision was for hair to what we arrived at for Reva's hair."
For Ingram, the mission was twofold: Create an amazing look, while also creating a look that kids who resemble her could easily emulate. "Part of that conversation when I was talking to Deb and our hair department head was really that I wanted kids to be able to have the opportunity with their own hair at Halloween. And that's huge If you look at all the kids of color or Black kids with kinky hair. When they want to be Elsa for Halloween, they can be Elsa, but they got to put on a blond wig. [Now] there are so many kids that'll be able to wear their hair at Halloween, and I think that's going to be really exciting as well."
As delighted as Ingram is to see mini-Revas with bags full of candy around Halloween time, she also can't wait to see mini-Revas in the form of toys bearing her likeness. "Everybody's like 'You have no idea what this is going to be like. This is going to be so crazy with the LEGO sets and action figures.'" LEGO sets and action figures that will now have Ingram-approved hair.
Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts May 27 on Disney+ with two episodes..
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