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Sounds Like Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi Could Be Star Wars' (And Disney+'s) Bleakest Project Yet

Star Wars is bringing back Ewan McGregor in Obi-Wan Kenobi and, as exciting as that is for many fans who grew up during the prequel era, there is a downside. The bummer in all this is that Kenobi's return to the galaxy far, far away will occur during a period in the Star Wars timeline that's arguably one of the worst for Jedi. And it's sounding like upcoming Obi-Wan-led Disney+ series might be the bleakest project yet on the platform, and with good reason. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi writer Joby Harold recently spoke about the series and laid out just how dire the situation is in the Star Wars universe during this period. Harold talked to EW about what’s happening in the franchise at the time the show takes place, and his words give us a better idea of what life is like for the Jedi at that point:

The Empire is in the ascendancy. And all the horrors that come with the Empire are being made manifest throughout the galaxy. And the Jedi Order as we know them are being all but wiped out. So everything that was in the prequels has crumbled. Those surviving Jedi, those that do survive, are on the run, and they're in hiding. And Vader and his Inquisitors are chasing them to the end of the galaxy.

Order 66 wiped out a great number of the most powerful Jedi in existence but, as Star Wars Rebels (which Disney+ subscribers should stream now) and other works revealed, other Force-users besides Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi survived the ordeal. Many of them like Ahsoka Tano, another character with a series on the way, survived not just by being skilled but by staying on the move and keeping a low profile. It’s fair to assume not every Jedi was as skilled as those names, though, and fell victim to either Darth Vader or his Inquisitors. 

A life of fear and hiding, even if you’re a powerful warrior, isn’t exactly an ideal existence. This sets the stage for the Disney+ series, and Joby Harold further explained where Obi-Wan Kenobi comes into the story:

Within that hopeless fatalistic world, we find possibly the most famous of all our surviving Jedi in hiding struggling with that faith that defines the Jedi and wanting to hold onto it and hoping to regain that faith within that sort of hopeless world.

It's safe to say Kenobi's journey won’t be an easy one. This is partially due to the fact that the series will bring in Darth Vader (who will be slightly different), which means Obi-Wan will likely have to face off against student-turned-enemy, who was once known as Anakin Skywalker. It’s possible that the man soon to be known as Ben Kenobi feels some measure of guilt due to Anakin's dark descent. Add on the fact that the Imperial Inquisitors are trying to pick off surviving Jedi, and it’s not hard to see how this show might be more upsetting than inspiring. In either case, I’m excited to see it all the same and hoping fans enjoy the adventure as well. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi kicks off on Disney+ on Friday, May 27th, and the first two episodes will be ready to stream at launch. Here’s hoping that even if the show is a downer, it'll possess the quality fans are looking for and will make Ewan McGregor's return to Star Wars well worth the wait.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.