Not moved by The Mandalorian? You might be tempted by another live-action Star Wars show coming to Disney+ in the near-ish future: none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi is getting his own series, starring Ewan McGregor himself.
Here’s what we know so far.
When is Obi-Wan Kenobi coming out?
There’s no set release date for the Obi-Wan series just yet, which will be exclusive to Disney+ whenever it does start airing. That’s also where you’ll find The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, alongside the Star Wars movies, if you fancy signing up.
The show was first confirmed – after extensive rumours – at Disney’s D23 expo in 2019, when it was announced that all the scripts had been written and filming would begin in 2020.
That should have had the show on track for a debut in late 2020, but those hopes were scuppered in January when it was reported that the show was on hold over script issues, and that Lucasfilm was on the hunt for a new writer.
McGregor himself downplayed the claims, but admitted that filming had been delayed, meaning we’ll see the show in late 2021 at the earliest.
“It’s just slid to next year, that’s all. The scripts were really good,” McGregor said. “Now that Episode IX came out and everyone at Lucasfilm has got more time to spend on the writing, they felt they wanted more time to write the episodes.”
How many episodes will there be?
We’re also not sure. The series was reportedly initially meant to include just six episodes, but the Hollywood Reporter report on the production delays also suggested that the episode count was being dropped to a mere four as a result of the alleged script issues.
It’s unclear right now how much of that is true, but it doesn’t look likely that the series will have more than six episodes.
Who’s in the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast?
Well, Ewan McGregor for one. There had been rumours that the actor would return to the part he played across the prequel trilogy for years, originally expected to be in a standalone movie, but he’s now confirmed to star in the Disney+ series.
“It’s been four years of saying ‘well, I don’t know’,” he told fans at D23 2019. “Now I can say ‘yes, we’re going to do it’.”
This show will also feature the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, years after he made his name as Anakin and made his feelings on sand very well known. We’re not sure yet if he’ll be providing Vader’s body, voice, or both though – it’s hard to imagine hearing anyone other than James Earl Jones from under that mask.
Deadline has also confirmed that star of Game of Thrones Indira Varma will be joining the show in an unnamed role.
Who’s writing and directing Obi-Wan?
While The Mandalorian boasted a host of different writers and directors, the Obi-Wan show will have a more singular focus.
Initially the plan was that every episode would be written by Hossein Amini, the screenwriter behind the likes of Drive, 47 Ronin, and Snow White and the Huntsman. She left in January 2020 however – sparking the speculation around delays and problems – and has since been replaced by Joby Harold, who’s worked variously as a producer and writer on the likes of John Wick 3 and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army of the Dead. Harold is now expected to be the show’s sole writer.
There will also be one director across the lot. Deborah Chow, who’s also worked on episodes of The Mandalorian, Mr Robot, American Gods, Jessica Jones, Fear the Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and The Man in the High Castle, will direct the full show.
“We really wanted to select a director who is able to explore both the quiet determination and rich mystique of Obi-Wan in a way that folds seamlessly into the Star Wars saga,” LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a press release.
“Based on her phenomenal work developing our characters in The Mandalorian, I’m absolutely confident Deborah is the right director to tell this story.”
What’s it about and when is it set?
Understandably the creators have mostly remained tight-lipped about the finer details of the upcoming show, but we do know a little. It is expected to be set ten years after Revenge of the Sith, which at its climax showed the Jedi Order destroyed by Palpatine and the clone army, with the help of Obi-Wan’s Padawan Anakin.
That means we’re likely to see Obi-Wan in hiding on Tatooine, potentially watching over a young Luke Skywalker from a distance, a good few years before the events of A New Hope, the original Star Wars movie.
“It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him…Well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with that the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III,” McGregor told Men’s Journal. “It’s quite something to get over.”
Set photos taken from the UK village Little Marlow, Bucks, show what appears to be a street scene on an alien planet – you can see these over on starwarsnews.net.
Beyond that we’re not sure what to expect. It’s likely we’ll see a young Luke, though probably only in passing or from a distance. We might find out why he picked the not-so-subtle name ‘Ben Kenobi’ when he went into hiding, and will hopefully see some sort of adventure across Tatooine – and maybe even beyond it.
How can I watch the Obi-Wan Kenobi series?
Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to be another Disney+ exclusive, which means you’ll only be able to watch it on the streaming platform. At the time of writing, Disney+ costs £7.99/$6.99 per month for a rolling subscription and £79.90/$69.99 for an annual pass. US pricing will increase to $7.99 a month or $79.99 annually, starting 26 March. You can sign up for Disney Plus here.