The love for Obi-Wan Kenobi is breaking records. Disney+ announced on May 31 that the show’s premiere was the most-watched Disney+ original series premiere globally. Fans turned out for Ewan McGregor returning to the beloved role of Obi-Wan. The series also featured the returns of Hayden Christensen and now James Earl Jones.
For years, there have been rumors of an Obi-Wan movie floating around, but Disney confirmed the Obi-Wan Kenobi series at D23 Expo in 2019. Ewan notably took over the role of Obi-Wan from Alec Guinness for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The Obi-Wan series is building up to an epic “rematch of the century” between Obi-Wan and Anakin/Darth Vader, who will be crossing paths for the first time since their battle in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith over 15 years ago. Here are the latest updates about all things Obi-Wan Kenobi.
‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Release Date & Where to Watch
Obi-Wan Kenobi will be a six-episode extravaganza event. The first two episodes will premiere on May 27, exclusively on Disney+. Then, the four remaining episodes will debut weekly on Wednesdays with the finale dropping June 22. Obi-Wan Kenobi has less episodes than the first two seasons of The Mandalorian and its spinoff The Book of Boba Fett. But all six episodes will undoubtedly be action-packed start to finish. Obi-Wan Kenobi is expected to be one season.
Cast & Crew
Of course, Ewan McGregor is back as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ewan portrayed the iconic Jedi in the Star Wars prequel films. “Obi-Wan is lost,” Ewan previously told Entertainment Weekly about his character’s journey in the show. “He’s a broken man after what happened with the Jedi order at the end of ‘Episode III,’ but also what happened with Anakin; that he lost him to the dark side. He feels an enormous amount of responsibility for that, and guilt.” Hayden Christensen is also returning in the role of Darth Vader. Obi-Wan was once a mentor to Anakin before he turned to the Dark Side and transformed into Darth Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi marks the first time Hayden is playing Darth Vader since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith “The whole experience was very surreal,” Hayden told EW about wearing Vader’s iconic suit 17 years later. “The first time that I saw Ewan as Obi-Wan again, that was a very special moment for me, and one that I’ll remember for a very, very long time.”
In the third episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which premiered June 1, James Earl Jones returned as the voice of Darth Vader. “Where is he?” James’ Vader asked Reva. He went on to say, “The Grand Inquisitor means nothing. Kenobi is all that matters now. Is that understood?”
The legendary actor originated the voice of Darth Vader in the 1977 film Star Wars, the movie that started it all. He’s voiced the role of Vader in several Star Wars projects over the years.
Two more Star Wars characters are back for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse return as Luke Skywalker’s step-uncle and step-aunt, Owen and Beru Lars. The duo previously appeared in 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith and took in a newborn Luke on Tatooine after Anakin turned evil and Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) died in childbirth. In Obi-Wan Kenobi, Owen and Beru will continue to look after a young Luke, played by Grant Feely, while Obi-Wan monitors them from afar. The show takes place prior to Owen and Beru’s deaths at the hands of Stormtroopers in 1977’s A New Hope.
Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) joins the Star Wars universe as Reva/the Third Sister in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Reva is a red lightsaber-wielding Inquisitor who hunts down Obi-Wan on behalf of the Galactic Empire. Just days after the epic premiere of the show, Moses was targeted with racist messages from so-called Star Wars fans. Ewan came to her defense to try and shut down the hate.
In a video message posted to Twitter, Ewan condemned those from the “influential fan base” who “decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrendous, racist DMs. And I heard some of them this morning and it just broke my heart.”
He continued, “Moses is a brilliant actor, she’s a brilliant woman and she’s absolutely amazing in this series. She brings so much to the series, she brings so much to the franchise. It just sickened me to my stomach to hear that this had been happening.”
A personal message from Ewan McGregor. pic.twitter.com/rJSDmj663K
— Star Wars (@starwars) June 1, 2022
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Carnival Row) will play an Imperial Officer, Rupert Friend (Homeland) will play the Grand Inquisitor, the highest-ranking Inquisitor of the Empire, and Sung Kang (Power) will play Inquisitor Fifth Brother. Additional cast members include Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, and Maya Erskine. Vivien Lyra Blair made her Obi-Wan Kenobi debut as a young Princess Leia in the first episode.
Kumail is making the transition from Marvel to Lucasfilm. He plays Kingo Sunen in Eternals. Joel is best known for his roles in Loving and Boy Erased, which he also directed. O’Shea had his breakout role in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton, playing the younger version of his dad, Ice Cube. Sung is widely recognized for his role as Han in the Fast & Furious franchise. Benny is taking a break from directing with his brother, Josh Safdie, to take on an acting role in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Simone recently starred in the TV series Reckoning. Maya stars in Hulu’s comedy series PEN15. Character descriptions for the new cast members have yet to be revealed.
Deborah Chow is the director of Obi-Wan Kenobi. She directed two episodes of The Mandalorian. Executive producers include Ewan, Deborah, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Senior VP of Lucasfilm Michelle Rejwan, and screenwriter Joy Harold. John Williams is the theme music composer while Natalie Holt composed the rest of the score. The show is produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Disney.
Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. For those that forget, that film ended with the Jedi being almost completely wiped out as Anakin turned into Darth Vader. Obi-Wan and Yoda each went into hiding. Luke was taken in by Owen and Beru and was separated from his twin sister Leia, who gets adopted by Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and his wife on Alderaan. Obi-Wan Kenobi will show Obi-Wan on the run from the Empire and trying to keep a young Luke safe. The teaser trailer, which can be seen above, and the official trailer have hinted at an epic reunion between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader that will surely involve an awesome lightsaber battle. Overall, the series should give fans a better idea of what Obi-Wan was up to before A New Hope, when he and Luke team up with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca to rescue Leia (Carrie Fisher) from the Empire at the Death Star. Obi-Wan ends up being killed by Vader in a lightsaber battle, which sets Luke on the path of becoming a Jedi Knight.
Following COVID-19 production delays, filming for Obi-Wan Kenobi started in Los Angeles on May 4, 2021. Ewan confirmed filming concluded in September 2021 following his win at the 2021 Emmy Awards for Halston. “We finished shooting our series, and it was really, really good fun. I really enjoyed working with Deborah Chow, and I think it will not disappoint. The new technology that we employed doing it is cool, and it was a different experience than making the original three films that I did,” he said.
Obi-Wan was originally supposed to be a film titled Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story. However, Disney canceled those plans in 2019 and focused on creating streaming shows starting with The Mandalorian. In August 2019, Ewan entered negotiations to play Obi-Wan for a TV series on Disney+. His involvement in the series was officially confirmed at the D23 event. Ewan told Men’s Journal in November 2019 that the show’s official announcement was “a f***ing massive relief” for him “because for four years, I’ve been having to lie to people about it.”
Exciting details about Obi-Wan Kenobi were revealed during Disney Investor Day in December 2020. The upcoming face-off between Obi-Wan and Anakin/Darth Vader in the Disney+ series was dubbed the “rematch of the century.” In exclusive footage for investors only, Ewan noted that “there’s a hunger for this character to come back,” according to ComicBook.com. Deborah Chow added, “This is quite a dark time that we’re coming into with him, just being a Jedi — it’s not safe. There’s Jedi hunters out there.”
Ewan also teased the Obi-Wan and Anakin reunion. “The most beautiful thing of all is that it’s brought me back together with Hayden,” Ewan said. “It’ll be amazing to bring those characters back together again, very unexpectedly.”