After years and years of speculation, Ewan McGregor confirmed his return as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a new series on Disney+ at the 2019 D23 Expo. But the Obi-Wan Kenobi series has suffered many delays and setbacks over the years. First as a movie, then as a series. However, things are finally back on track, with the series set to debut in 2022. Here’s everything we know about Obi-Wan Kenobi so far:
Who’s Obi-Wan Kenobi?
If you really don’t know, you should watch a few Star Wars movies. The quick version: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi master who first appeared on screen in 1977’s A New Hope, played by Alec Guinness. This movie saw him helping young Luke Skywalker take his first steps into the larger world of the Force. Later in that movie, Obi-Wan was struck down by his former apprentice Darth Vader, who was ultimately revealed to be Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father and a Jedi turned to the Dark Side.
Despite his death, Obi-Wan returned as a spirit (a Force ghost, in Star Wars-speak) to guide Luke in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He even gave Rey a little help in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.
The prequel trilogy, which kicked off with The Phantom Menace in 1999, brought in McGregor as a younger Obi-Wan and introduced us to his master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Qui-Gon discovered Anakin on the desert planet Tatooine but was slain by Darth Maul, and the responsibility of training the boy fell to Obi-Wan.
Anakin succumbed to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith and became Darth Vader, then helped Emperor Palpatine wipe out the Jedi as they established the Galactic Empire. Obi-Wan survived and fled to Tatooine with Luke, the son Anakin didn’t know he had, while Luke’s twin sister, Leia, went to live with the royal family of Alderaan.
When in the Star Wars timeline is it set?
It’ll take place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope, in an era after the Jedi Order has been all but wiped out.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Trailer
We’ve had one trailer drop for Obi-Wan Kenobi so far – the teaser trailer that was unveiled on March 9. As trailers go, it’s pretty fantastic. We get to see Obi-Wan, the inquisitors, and most importantly, we get to hear the absolutely phenomenal Duel of the Fates once more.
Aside from McGregor returning as Obi-Wan, Hayden Christensen — who played Anakin in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith — will return as Vader. The actor rewatched all the movies, along with The Clone Wars and Rebels, to prepare for his return as Anakin, told Entertainment Weekly in April.
Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse will return as Owen and Beru Lars — better known as Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. At this point in the timeline, they’re raising Luke far away from now-evil dad Darth Vader. We also see someone new playing a young Luke in the trailer.
The trailer shows Moses Ingram as Jedi-hunting Imperial Inquisitor Reva and what looks like Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor, and it appears that Sung Kang is playing the Fifth Brother. The Dark Side-wielding Inquisitors were previously seen in CGI animated series Rebels and the video game Jedi: Fallen Order — their fortress from the end of the game appears in the trailer too.
Reva is a new character, but the Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother previously appeared in the CGI animated series Rebels. Indira Varma, whom you might remember playing Ellaria Sand in Game of Thrones, is seen as an Imperial officer.
Joining them are Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie. None of them has previously been in Star Wars, and Nanjiani told USA Today in November that his experience on the show was “absolutely amazing.”
In April 2021, Variety reported that Maya Erskine (seen in Hulu comedy PEN15) had been cast in the show. But her role is unknown.
There’s one other actor who’ll almost certainly show up, as suggested near the end of Revenge of the Sith.
“In your solitude on Tatooine, the training I have for you. An old friend has learned the path to immortality — one who has returned from the netherworld on the Force. Your old master,” said Yoda as he and Obi-Wan go into exile. “How to commune with him, I will teach you.”
Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn died in The Phantom Menace, but Neeson returned to the role in The Clone Wars. He was the first Jedi ever to become a Force ghost and guide his allies in the material realm. By the time of the original trilogy, Obi-Wan has learned this skill, having been taught by Qui-Gon. We’ll presumably see this in the show. Neeson told Collider in October 2020 he hadn’t yet “been approached” about reprising the role, but it could happen.
Obi-Wan Kenobi plot
“During the reign of the Galactic Empire, former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi embarks on a crucial mission. Kenobi must confront allies turned enemies and face the wrath of the Empire,” reads the official synopsis.
Which… reveals nothing really, but consider us intrigued!
If there’s one thing we know about the Star Wars universe, is that it’s shrouded in secrecy, and there is very little information out there that Lucasfilm and Disney don’t want us to know.
But that obviously leads to a lot of speculation, which is kind of half of the fun.
As McGregor says, the last time we saw him in the role, “the Jedi Order was falling apart. 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 the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III. It’s quite something to get over.”
McGregor also confirmed the narrative would unfold over six episodes, which will each be roughly an hour long. He added that it was planned as a one-off limited series, so this may be the only time we see Obi-Wan in action again.
President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy has also confirmed that Obi-Wan and Darth Vader are set to go lightsaber to lightsaber once again.
In a statement about what to expect, she said: “Obi-Wan Kenobi begins 10 years after the dramatic events of 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.
“Our fans will be thrilled that Hayden Christensen will be returning in the role of Darth Vader. This will be the rematch of the century.”
So for better or worse, get ready to relive the prequel era of Star Wars to its fullest.
But does this mean Vader’s former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, will appear too? Rumors suggest this could be a possibility now that Anakin is back in the picture.
Other rumors state the story will see Obi-Wan on a rescue mission that eventually sees him once again facing off against Darth Vader.
“I’ve never met Darth Vader,” McGregor said (via IndieWire). “I had rehearsed the scene with Vader, but not with the helmet on or anything like that. When we came to do the scene, when they shouted ‘action,’ he had to come from behind me. I turned around, and fucking Darth Vader was coming at me.
“It was like I was six again. It scared the shit out of me. I’m not joking. It gave me a proper jolt of absolute fear. I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not acting. That’s real. I’m really, truly frightened right now.’
“I’d worked with Clone troopers before, but so many of them were CGI. I never worked with Stormtroopers, and, again, I was like seven years old again. Because when you’re actually faced with a Stormtrooper, with a blaster, it’s like: ‘F**king hell.’
“It’s like actual childhood memories of being scared. That’s how deeply it’s in us. I’ve acted for 30 years, and I’ve never been genuinely frightened when I’m acting frightened… But I had moments on this that were genuinely quite scary. It’s so funny.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Release Date
Obi-Wan Kenobi will join Disney Plus on May 27, 2022. Originally planned for May 25 to celebrate the theatrical release of A New Hope, the show has been pushed back a few days, per an announcement video featuring Ewan McGregor himself.
But, as he says, there’s good news… now, both episode 1 and episode 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi will be released on May 27, 2022. It’s believed that episode 3 will then join the service two weeks later, with subsequent episodes joining on a weekly basis. The finale is currently scheduled for June 29, 2022.
How Many Episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi Will There Be?
Right now, Kenobi‘s episode count is six episodes—at least according to McGregor. But it wouldn’t be shocking if it increased or decreased. We’ll be happy to take whatever McGregor lightsaber-wielding, Force using action we can get.