Obi-Wan Kenobi is without a doubt one of the most popular and best Star Wars characters in the history of the franchise. Originally played by Alec Guinness in the Original Trilogy, he was embodied by Ewan McGregor in the Prequel Trilogy. The latter only affirmed the character’s status within the franchise and built well on the foundations laid by the late Alec Guinness. This is why it did not come as a surprise when Obi-Wan Kenobi was the overwhelming winner in a poll that asked fans, back in August 2016, which Star Wars character deserved their own spin-off series.
Disney, who had bought the franchise from George Lucas in the meantime, seemed to listen to the fans, as an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off series was officially announced sometime during 2018, after the studio decided to abandon their original idea of a movie, titled Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story. In this article, we are going to reveal all the information we know about the upcoming series.
As of yet, not much is known about the plot. Disney stated that “the series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: 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”, and we also know that it will focus on Obi-Wan protecting a young Luke Skywalker on the desert planet of Tatooine.
The series is going to be set in the “vacuum” between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and will expand the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Alec Guinness died in 2000. Ewan McGregor was a worthy successor to the role and seeing how popular his interpretation was, it was only logical for the studio to approach McGregor to reprise his role in the upcoming TV series. After short negotiations, it was revealed, in 2019, that Ewan McGregor signed on to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“There’s a hunger for this character to come back,” McGregor said in a video during the official presentation of the project. “The fans have been waiting long enough, you know?” And he is right! Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most-wanted characters in the franchise and we couldn’t really imagine anyone besides McGregor playing the role.
But that wasn’t all.
We all know that the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi is not complete without either Anakin Skywalker or Darth Vader, preferably both. Anakin was Obi-Wan’s former Padawan who was predestined to bring balance to the Force but was manipulated by Darth Sidious into turning on the Jedi and becoming Darth Vader. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan fought Anakin on Mustafar and left him for dead, considering Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side his biggest failure.
Anakin and a young Vader were played by Hayden Christensen in Revenge of the Sith and it is exactly because of that that we were delighted to hear that Christensen would be reprising his role from the movie in the Obi-Wan series.
“It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker,” said Christensen. “Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them… It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back.”
Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, described this “reunion” as “the rematch of the century”, seemingly hinting that Vader and Obi-Wan will clash directly sometime in the series. It will be interesting to see how the writers have added this clash to the story, as the main focus will be Luke Skywalker, whose existence Vader was not aware of until the Original Trilogy.
Joel Edgerton is also set to return as a young Owen Lars, reprising his role from the Prequel Trilogy, as well as Bonnie Piesse as Beru Whitesun Lars. Other cast members, whose roles haven’t been disclosed yet, 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 Uncut Gems director Benny Safdie.
Crew and production
Obi-Wan Kenobi was initially supposed to be a movie written by Hossein Amini and directed by Stephen Daldry, a continuation of a series of “anthology” movies that started with Rogue One. Still, after Solo became a commercial failure for the studio, Disney decided to rework the idea into a limited series focusing on Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Joby Harold replaced Amini as the series’ writer and is credited for all six episodes. Daldry was also replaced, by Deborah Chow, who signed on to direct the series not long after it was confirmed that Ewan McGregor would be reprising his role.
The series was supposed to begin production back in July 2020, but the studio wasn’t all that satisfied with Amini’s scripts, which is why they put the project on hold and replaced Amini with Harold, as stated above, which resulted in a rewrite of the story. Filming officially began in May 2021 and wrapped in September 2021, with the series entering post-production from that point onwards.
One of the reasons for the show’s delay was, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, but from what we gather based on different reports, the pandemic allowed Harold to rewrite the story and we hope that Lucasfilm used the time on their hands well to deliver a story worthy of Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of Lucas’ best characters from the whole franchise.
Obi-Wan still doesn’t have a fixed release date, but we know that the filming has been completed and that it is on schedule to release sometime during 2022 on Disney+. The series has filmed six episodes and it remains to be seen whether the series will remain a miniseries or if the producers are going to continue it after season one.