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.
The Obi-Wan show will join The Mandalorian, the seventh series of Clone Wars, and the Rogue One prequel Andor among the new 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?
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.
Of course, the pandemic and various issues around the creative staff delayed everything. However, filming has finally kicked off on the show. Ewan McGregor confirmed this in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel – and you can see his appearance for the show below:
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?
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 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.
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, The Queen’s Gambit actress Moses Ingram, Fast and Furious actor Sung Kang, Homeland star Rupert Friend and Silicone Valley actor Kumail Nanjiani.
Sung Kang revealed to Screen Rant that his character will carry a lightsaber, which correlates with previous rumours that he will be playing a member of the Imperial Inqusitiorius (via Gizmodo)
From the Star Wars universe, we’re also seeing the return of Joel Edgerton who played Owen Lars, and Bonnie Piesse who played Beru. Both actors played the characters in the prequel trilogy – in the originals they are better known as Luke Skywalker’s ‘aunt and uncle’. Therefore, it could be possible that we may see a younger Luke appear in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Maya Erskine is also joining the cast, with a supporting role in at least three episodes according to Deadline. Erskine has previously had roles in PEN 15 and Insecure and Scoob!.
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/$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.