Obi-Wan Kenobi's Kumail Nanjiani Reveals Details About His Star Wars Character

Kumail Nanjiani as Haja in Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi series
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Six months after making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as the jacked Kingo in Eternals, Kumail Nanjiani  will soon be seen in the Star Wars universe thanks to Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Until today, we didn’t have any idea now Nanjiani fits into this story set in a galaxy far, far away, although we did catch a peek at him in the latest Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer. and know he got intimidated when Ewan McGregor went into Star Wars mode. Now Nanjinai has revealed who his Star Wars character is, where we’ll see him and how crosses paths with McGregor’s title protagonist.

Kumail Nanjiani stopped by Entertainment Weekly’s Dagobah Dispatch podcast to talk all things Star Wars, including how long he’s been a fan of the franchise and how he came to be involved with Obi-Wan Kenobi. On the subject of who he’s playing in the show that will be available exclusively to Disney+ subscribers, Nanjiani started off by saying this:

His name is Haja, and he's this guy who works on the streets of Daiyu, which is this new Star Wars location that we haven't seen before that's absolutely gorgeous. And he's the guy who's worked really hard to stay out of the bigger conflicts at play. He just kind of wants to be his own guy. Survival for him is all that matters.

As we’ve seen in the Obi-Wan Kenobi previews released so far, the series won’t just take place on Tatooine, where the Jedi Master has been camped out over the last decade to keep an eye on Luke Skywalker. Something will lead him to travel to other locations, including Daiyu, a new planet to explore within the Star Wars mythos. But rather than being a Jedi who survived Order 66, an operative for the Rebellion or an Imperial agent, Kumail Nanjiani’s Haja is just a regular guy who’s doing his best to survive from day to day, and he’s doing so through… shall we say, illicit methods. Nanjiani continued:

He's this sort of con-man guy who cons people for money. That's what's important to him. And then he has a run-in with Obi-Wan and suddenly he sort of gets stuck in the bigger conflicts at play, which is the thing that he really tries to avoid. So he is this street-level con-man guy who then gets embroiled in stuff that's way too big for him. And he has to make a choice.

Kumail Nanjiani didn’t open up further about what we can specifically expect from Haja in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but whatever his fate ends up being, the actor is already preparing for the possibility he may get to reprise the character. After all, even if Haja is killed in Obi-Wan Kenobi, there’s nothing to say he couldn’t appear in a project set earlier in the Star Wars timeline, like a future season of The Bad Batch, for example. Nanjiani also mentioned that he did “a lot of research on con men and magicians (since they are “tricking people” too) when he was preparing to play Haja.

Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ May 27, and its lineup of players also includes Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars, Bonnie Piesse as Beru Whitesun Lars, Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor and Moses Ingram as the Third Sister, among others. Until then, there are plenty of other Star Wars movies and TV shows available to watch on the streaming platform.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.