Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most highly anticipated new Star Wars shows being made for Disney+, but its origins pre-date the launch of the streaming service. When Disney relaunched the Star Wars franchise in 2015, the initial plan was alternating movies in the ongoing Skywalker saga with standalone spin-off films. A Kenobi movie was one of these potential spin-offs, and while the film was never officially announced, it was widely reported that Ewan McGregor was set to return as the Jedi Master, with Billy Elliot’s Stephen Daldrey on board to direct.
However, the commercial disappointment of 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story led Lucasfilm to rethink its plans for more spin-off movies. The studio’s eyes instead turned to the small screen. The arrival of Disney+ in 2019 meant that high-profile titles were needed to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, and franchises don’t come much bigger than Star Wars. The service launched with The Mandalorian, which was an immediate hit with fans. Mando came with none of the baggage that had affected some of the recent movies, and simply delivered crowd-pleasing intergalactic action in the way that only Star Wars can.
The Obi-Wan Kenobi series was announced before Disney+ even launched. McGregor revealed that he would be returning to the role at the D23 convention in August 2019, and the actor subsequently confirmed that its roots lay in the cancelled Obi-Wan movie. However, there have been some changes since then–production was delayed when the original writer Hossein Amini left, and there were reports that the entire show was being rewritten. And obviously the COVID-19 pandemic caused further delays. But cameras are finally about to roll on the series, so here’s everything we know to date about Obi-Wan Kenobi.
What’s the release date?
Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t have a premiere date yet. However, Lucasfilm has confirmed that production on the show will start in April 2021.
Who’s returning to Star Wars?
There are a few familiar names returning to the Star Wars universe for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as the titular Jedi Master, having previously played the character in the three prequel movies (plus brief lines in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker). Hayden Christensen is back as Anakin Skywalker–he was last seen being turned into Darth Vadar at the end of 2005’s Return of the Sith. The show also sees the return of Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Owen and Beru Lars, who were entrusted by Obi-Wan to look after young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Edgerton and Piesse played these roles in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Who are the new cast members?
Lucasfilm has announced a number of new cast members. No details have been revealed about their roles, but the list so far is:
- Moses Ingram
- Kumail Nanjiani
- Indira varma
- Rupert Friend
- O’Shea Jackson Jr.
- Sung Kang |
- Simone Kessell
- Benny Safdie
Who’s the director?
While The Mandalorian has multiple directors, every episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi will be directed by Deborah Chow. Chow previously helmed two episodes in The Mandalorian Season 1–“The Sin” and “The Reckoning.” Her other credits include episodes of American Gods, Better Call Saul, Jessica Jones, and The Man in the High Castle.
Who’s the writer?
The show is written by Joby Harold, whose previous credits include Zack Snyder’s upcoming zombie heist movie Army of the Dead, John Wick: Chapter 3, and Guy Richie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Harold is the second writer attached to the series, having replaced Hossein Amini in early 2020.
What’s the story?
Unsurprisingly, specific details about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story are under wraps, but we do know a few details. Lucasfilm has released an official synopsis, which reads, “the story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.”
As Star Wars fans know, Kenobi lived on Tatooine during this time, keeping a watchful eye over young Luke Skywalker. The casting of Edgerton and Piesse as Lars and Beru suggests that at least part of the show will be set there. And the fact that Christensen is returning makes it likely that Anakin is set to play a big part in the story too.
Are there any images of footage?
Obi-Wan Kenobi has yet to start production, so no official footage or images have been released yet. However, in January, aerial images of the show’s massive UK set were revealed. The set includes buildings that definitely look like the kind you might find on Tatooine. According to The Sun, local residents of the nearby town of Little Marlow are “up in arms” about the noise and disruption being caused by the construction of the set.