Everything We Know About Disney+'s 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
The latest Star Wars spinoff looks VERY good.
It's been a while since we've had any new Star Wars stuff in theaters, and the first in-development theatrical installment won't arrive until 2023. Since The Rise of Skywalker came out in 2019, we've filled the void with the final season of the animated series The Clone Wars, the second (very good!) season of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, the streaming service's newer animated Star Wars series The Bad Batch, and the first-ever Star Wars anime, Visions. But what about all the rest of the aliens, Jedi warriors, and Sith lords hanging out in that galaxy far, far away?
The good news: We'll soon see quite a few of our old friends on Disney+, starting with the eagerly awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off series, where we'll learn once and for all exactly what the heck the Jedi master was up to before he trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force in the original movie. Here's everything we know about the show so far.
Does the Obi-Wan Kenobi show have a title?
Yep! The show has officially been titled Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is no surprise but a bit of a mouthful. We'd be fine with just calling it The Obi-Wan Kenobi Show, as if he's some late-night host.
When does Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere?
Mere weeks before the show was set to debut, Disney+ announced that the premiere date was moving two days, from Wednesday, May 25 to Friday, May 27, 2022. Yes, that means we have to wait two extra days to see it, but it's not all bad news: the first TWO episodes of the show will both premiere on that date. (This is the second time a Disney+ show has shifted premieres after Loki moved from Fridays to Wednesdays and their other originals followed that lead. Looks like Disney+ may be back to Friday premieres for now.)
The show is set to arrive about three years after it was first announced as in the works in 2019, and comes about a year after filming began in spring 2021, so now's about the time that fan excitement can really start to kick in.
Is there a trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Yes! On Star Wars Day 2022 (May 4th), Disney+ released the first full trailer for the show, which has a lot more to it than the first teaser trailer they released in March. Obi-Wan Kenobi promises an action-packed look at the events directly after the fall of the Republic. Kenobi is now a Jedi master in hiding, marooned on Tatooine where he watches over young Luke Skywalker and broods over his failed apprentice who turned to the Dark Side. But the Empire apparently has an army of Jedi hunters searching the galaxy for any who survived Order 66, and they're bound to cross paths with Obi-Wan at some point. The new trailer even includes our first glimpse of the return of Darth Vader's iconic wheeze.
How many episodes will Obi-Wan Kenobi be?
For now, the show is being planned as a limited series, and specifically as a single season with six episodes. That's not enough! But we'll take it.
What will Obi-Wan Kenobi be about?
The doings of "Old Ben Kenobi" (as he was called in the original Star Wars movie) have remained a mystery thus far, but it sounds like the show will at least reveal how he escaped the Empire's bounty hunters and managed to live in hiding on Tatooine for so long. Maybe it'll just be six hour-long episodes of a former Jedi knight baking blue cookies and delivering them to Owen and Beru Lars.
On Disney+ Day in early November 2021, the company unveiled a first look sizzle reel (above), including some very exciting concept art of Kenobi and Darth Vader crossing lightsabers.
When will Obi-Wan Kenobi take place?
The show is set 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope, where we first met Obi-Wan Kenobi as an older man (played by Alec Guinness), sort of like how The Mandalorian is set a few years after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. All these time-jumps in between movie trilogies left a lot of space open for TV shows to fill, apparently.
Who's in the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast?
McGregor was the first and only cast member unveiled along with the the big series announcement back in 2019. In December 2020, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy surprised and thrilled everyone by announcing that Hayden Christensen would reprise his role as Darth Vader in the show, as it takes place so soon after his downfall.
In March 2021, Star Warsofficially announced the rest of the cast (so far): Moses Ingram (The Queen's Gambit), Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Rupert Friend (The Death of Stalin), O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Sung Kang (Fast & Furious), Simone Kessell (Reckoning), and... Uncut Gems director Benny Safdie??!! Plus, both Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse will reprise their Revenge of the Sith roles as Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru Lars. In April, Pen15's Maya Erskine officially joined the cast in an undisclosed role.
A casting call over summer 2020 may be a hint that Luke will appear (though it might not mean that at all). Another Tattooine-based Star Wars original trilogy character you shouldn't be hugely surprised to at least hear about on the show: Jabba the Hutt. Definitely expect to see Tusken Raiders and Jawas.
What other major Star Wars movie characters could conceivably pop up in Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Many! But one character superfans would love to see return is Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi master (played by Liam Neeson) who trained Obi-Wan and who died in The Phantom Menace fighting Darth Maul. It'd make some sense for him to reappear (beyond the certain exuberant reaction that a Neeson cameo would inspire) due to a line uttered to Obi-Wan by Yoda at the end of Revenge of the Sith: "In your solitude on Tatooine, 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. How to commune with him, I will teach you."
In Star Wars lore, Jedi who are pure of heart are allowed to return periodically to the physical world as Force ghosts, something that Kenobi later did in the original movies after his death. Obviously, the line in Sith was merely a throwaway reference to a motif we all knew would happen later, but this Kenobi series could pick up that thread. If so, expect a lot of Ewan McGregor sitting on rocks in the desert and meditating while Neeson's Force ghost periodically pops in. (Neeson himself has said that he has not "been approached" to star in the show, which would be 100% true, or could be meant to throw us off the scent.)
Will there be any crossover between Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian?
While it's possible that Din Djarin, aka the Mandalorian himself, will appear (the shows are set 18 years apart, so he would be approximately 20 during the announced time period of the Obi-Wan series), it's extremely unlikely. However, it's probably smart marketing for Disney+ to tie the two series together in some way, so don't entirely rule out crossovers, even low-level ones. Multiple episodes of The Mandalorian have taken place on Tattooine, after all. Could Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth, also known as the Marshal, turn up in his years prior to becoming a sheriff? How about a younger incarnation of Amy Sedaris' quippy Peli Motto? We're here for it. All that said, also don't be surprised if there's zero crossover. The Force works in mysterious ways.
Will Obi-Wan Kenobi be set on a desert planet again?
Of course! The entirety of the Kenobi show will take place on Tatooine, where the Jedi Master exiled himself after saving baby Luke and Leia at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Anakin, of course, hated sand, and we're a bit worn out by desert planets, but whatever, we'll definitely watch.