From a certain point of view, it seemed talk of Ewan McGregor reprising his role from the Star Wars prequels in a new solo movie was nothing more than a rumor. Well, the truth, as it turns out, is that an Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show is in the works. If that is not enough to excite you, it has also been confirmed that Hayden Christensen is also returning to the galaxy far, far away.
As one would expect from a series that was kept under wraps for years and spun-off from the famously secretive Star Wars movies franchise, there is not very much else about the plot of Obi-Wan Kenobi that we can reveal, save just a couple of details. However, there is even more we can confirm about about the series, including who else is in the cast and the crew. We will be sure to let you in on all of that and more in the following quick, convenient breakdown of the long-awaited TV show, starting with a promising update in production.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Begins Shooting In Los Angeles April 2021
It has been since the summer of 2019, during Disney’s annual D23 expo that year, when a TV show focused on the Jedi Master previously played by the late Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars trilogy was confirmed to be true. The news came after years of speculation that a feature-length Obi-Wan Kenobi movie was the real project in development. According to an official press release, the filming of Obi-Wan Kenobi is beginning April 2021 and is also taking place Los Angeles, as star Ewan McGregor revealed while speaking to Eddie Izzard in a February Twitter video.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Will Stream Exclusively on Disney+
Neither Ewan McGregor’s interview with Eddie Izzard nor Disney’s press release offered any insight as to when Obi-Wan Kenobi will be available to watch, outside of further confirmation that Disney+ will be its exclusive streaming home. I am not positive if it would be safe to expect the series to show up on your list of 2021 TV premiere dates to mark on your calendar. However, it is possible that it could drop on the platform later that year or early 2022.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Takes Place 10 Years After Revenge Of The Sith
Disney's announcement did, however, indicate when in the Star Wars timeline the solo TV series will take place. In the following excerpt from a Men’s Journal interview in 2019, Ewan McGregor also revealed details of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s time setting:
The storyline sits between Episode III and Episode IV. [Last time,] the Jedi Order was falling apart. 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. It’s quite something to get over.
Disney’s press release more specifically explains how the story begins a decade after the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, in which Ewan McGregor’s character failed to preserve the Jedi Order and keep his friend and apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, from being lured to the Dark Side. Well, as we now know, the Obi-Wan Kenobi show intends to touch on that conflict again by, apparently, bringing these frenemies back together.
Hayden Christensen Has Joined The Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast As Darth Vader
In mid 2020, another rumor that Obi-Wan Kenobi was recruiting another Star Wars prequel trilogy star began swirling. By the following winter, it was confirmed that Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader is coming back indeed. After all the hate the Canadian actor received from playing a young adult Anakin Skywalker, seeing him get a second chance to play the iconic Sith Lord again, and for more than a few seconds at Star Wars: Episode III’s ending, is some of the most exciting to come about this series, if you ask me.
Ewan McGregor Reprises His Role And Executive Produces Obi-Wan Kenobi
Of course, even without any formal appearances by Darth Vader, Ewan McGregor returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi is more than enough reason to watch the Disney+ TV show. The 50-year-old, Golden Globe-winning Scotsman, and everybody’s favorite thing about the Star Wars prequels, has also signed on as an executive producer for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Also executive producing are Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Senior Vice President of Live Action Development & Production Michelle Rejwan, series co-writer Joby Harold, and Deborah Chow, who has another position on the series we will talk about soon.
Kumail Nanjiani And Other Star Wars Newcomers Are In The Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast
Among the saga newcomers on the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast are Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani, Moses Ingram from the Queen’s Gambit cast (and speculated to be a young Ahsoka Tano), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (who played his father, Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton), and Benny Safdie, who wrote and directed Uncut Gems with his brother, Josh. Along with other newbies Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, Simone Kessell, Sung Kang, this is looking to be a pretty great ensemble, but we suspect one important cast member is missing. With returning Star Wars vets Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen Lars and Bonnie Piesse as Aunt Beru, we wonder if a young Luke Skywalker cameo is upon us.
The Mandalorian Director Deborah Chow Will Helm Obi-Wan Kenobi
Speaking of Luke Skywalker cameos, I imagine that this new series will likely fall prey to fans comparing it to The Mandalorian - which would be hard to blame anyone for, if we are being honest. Luckily, Deborah Chow, who helmed two of the Disney+ mega-hit’s most acclaimed chapters, is directing all six confirmed episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Chow has explained that this show will be different from The Mandalorian, despite its star actually claiming the contrary.
Ewan McGregor Says Obi-Wan Kenobi Will Use The Same Technology As The Mandalorian
To clarify, Ewan McGregor’s explanation for how Obi-Wan Kenobi will be like The Mandalorian has more to do with the technical work going on behind the scenes than the story. This is what the actor had to say in that Twitter interview with Eddie Izzard:
We're shooting it much in the way The Mandalorian series was shot. We're using some of that technology ... I really liked it and I liked the format of it. I liked the western nature of it, like it's an old-fashioned TV western, you know? It's brilliant.
The technology Ewan McGregor referred to was a large-scale virtual film stage used when filming The Mandalorian called The Volume. Built by the visual effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic, the set replicates any desired location in the background and perfectly match up with camera movement to convincingly create the illusion that actors really are wherever in the Star Wars universe they appear to be. The makers of Obi-Wan Kenobi will apparently be using the safe method.
Also, given how beloved The Mandalorian has proven to be, it is nice to know that Ewan McGregor is a fan, too. Perhaps, its “old-fashioned TV western” style may inspire a few new ideas for his performance on Obi-Wan Kenobi, such as going the reverse route and portraying the disgraced Jedi Master like a ronin samurai in exile, a la Yojimbo.