Not moved by The Book of Boba Fett? You might be tempted by another live-action Star Wars show that’s new to Disney+: none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi has gotten his own series, starring Ewan McGregor himself.
The Obi-Wan show joins The Mandalorian, the seventh series of Clone Wars, and the Rogue One prequel Andor among the Star Wars content that’s exclusive to Disney+, but it’s fair to say that a show following one of the most iconic Jedi yet could be the biggest draw out of the lot.
Here’s what we know so far.
When is Obi-Wan Kenobi coming out?
The new Star Wars live-action series hit the platform on 27 May – well, officially at least, as technically Disney+ shifted things at the very last minute and dropped the first two episodes a few hours early on 26 May.
Although the first two episodes arrived together on a Friday, the remaining episodes air weekly on Wednesdays, with the finale expected to air on 22 June.
How many episodes will there be?
The series will last for a total of six episodes.
Is there a trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Disney has now unveiled the official trailer, which includes a very familiar piece of music, a young Luke Skywalker and The Grand Inquisitor. Take a look below:
The official trailer for Obi-Wan has the first teaser for Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan attempting to convince Owen Lars to let him train a young Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi.
Who’s in the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast?
In the starring role is of course Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor. 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 also features 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 know he’ll be providing the body, but what about the voice? After all, it’s hard to imagine hearing anyone other than James Earl Jones from under that mask.
The Queen’s Gambit actress Moses Ingram will be playing Reva, a force-sensitive Inquisitor who will be a new villain in the series. Homeland star Rupert Friend will also play another big bad, The Grand Inquisitor – best known for appearing in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels.
Fast and Furious actor Sung Kang will be playing the Fifth Brother, another Rebels character and Inquisitor.
The Star Wars Twitter account has confirmed a big cast list for Obi-Wan Kenobi, which you can find below:
Production begins soon on Obi-Wan Kenobi, a special event series coming to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/9z49eW9Vgx
— Star Wars (@starwars)
March 29, 2021
The list includes star of Game of Thrones Indira Varma who will be playing an Imperial Officer, Eternals actor Kumail Nanjiani who will be playing conman Haja, and PEN 15 star Maya Erskine.
We’re also seeing the return of Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse, who played Luke’s aunt and uncle in the prequel trilogy.
Who is 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 was also 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.”
Another Star Wars legend has also returned behind the scenes. John Williams, the composer of the music for the films, will be scoring the theme of Obi-Wan Kenobi, according to Variety. Williams rarely creates music for TV, so this is a rare treat.
What’s it about and when is it set?
Obi-Wan Kenobi 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.
The trailer reveals Obi-Wan is hiding on Tatooine, 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. As the voice-over indicates, he is dealing with the fight he lost – something star Ewan McGregor alludes to:
“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.”
Deborah Chow recently compared the tone of the series to Logan and Joker, in that it is completely character-driven and dives deep into Obi-Wan’s behaviour.
All the shots in the trailer show Obi-Wan wielding a blaster rather than a lightsaber. If previous Star Wars properties give us any indication, there could be a big lightsaber moment with Obi-Wan further down the line.
The Inquisitors will be some of the main antagonists of the series, with Reva taking centre stage. The trailer shows her interrogating the citizens of Tatooine – so it is likely that she’s on the hunt for Obi-Wan. She seems to be acting on the orders of the Grand Inquisitor, who claims that the secret to hunting the Jedi is patience (he also wields a very scary looking dual spinning lightsaber).
Some of the show will be set on a new planet called Daiyu, a Hong-Kong inspired setting with nightlife and graffiti. It’s a breath of fresh air from the sandy shores of Tatooine, which has been more than overdone in Star Wars at this point.
“We’re going to see a very powerful Vader,” promises Hayden Christensen as EW presents the exclusive first look at the return of Darth Vader in #ObiWanKenobi. https://t.co/VI2efrRAZU
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW)
March 10, 2022
Darth Vader made an appearance in the second trailer, and Hayden Christensen has promised a “very powerful” version of the character to EW.
We don’t know yet whether we’ll see Vader remove his helmet, but our guess is that it is likely, considering they’ve brought Christensen back.
Writer Joby Harold teased that Vader “is very much a part of the show emotionally for Obi-Wan, and possibly beyond that as well.”
The two will face off against each other, according to Total Film. McGregor discusses how during filming, he was “genuinely frightened” filming opposite the masked figure, as he had never truly faced Vader in full costume before.
Vader’s return came following rewrites of the series. Director Deborah Chow and original writer Hossein Amini pitched a much darker version of the show, with Darth Maul as the main antagonist (with Ray Park set to return), and a young Luke Skywalker featuring heavily in the show.
However, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were allegedly worried that the guardian and ward relationship was too close to that of The Mandalorian, and as such the show was rewritten, with Vader as the main antagonist rather than Maul.
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/$7.99 per month for a rolling subscription and £79.90/$79.99 for an annual pass. You can sign up for Disney Plus here.