We have our first taste of concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the six-episode series coming to Disney + next year, as well as a sizzling reel behind the scenes with star Ewan MacGregor and director Deborah Chow. There are no actual footage, but fans are thrilled with the concept art showing Obi-Wan and none other than Darth Vader, lightsabers locked in battle. The sizzling reel leaked briefly online yesterday before being picked up. It was unveiled during the streaming platform’s Disney + Day. (You can check this out on Twitter here.)
We have learned before as of August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spin-off series with Obi-Wan Kenobi, with McGregor reprising his role as an iconic character. The actor himself made a surprise appearance at the end of a featured presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney’s annual fan extravaganza. Then came the great news that Hayden Christensen was reprising her role as Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. President Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy called her “revenge of the century” at Disney Investors Day in December 2020.
“There’s a hunger for this character to come back,” MacGregor said in the sizzled reel. “Fans have waited long enough, you know?”
Yes, we know. In 2016, the Hollywood Reporter conducted a survey asking fans which one Star Wars character they would like to see in a spin-off movie. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the overwhelming winner, but for some reason the studio decided to do it first Solo: a Star Wars story (2018) instead. That movie wasn’t quite the stinky that many thought it was, but it is bombed at the box office. So Disney canceled plans for a Kenobi-centric feature film and reworked the concept into a limited series for its fledgling streaming platform.
Pre-production for the series began in January 2020, but was then put on hold, partly due to the pandemic, but also because Kennedy was reportedly dissatisfied with the script, which bore too many similarities to The Mandalorianthe introduction. Disney chose Joby Harold to handle the rewrites. Shooting would finish in September.
Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are reprising their roles as Owen Lars and his wife Beru, who have taken on the task of raising young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. The cast also includes Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Maya Erskine and Benny Safdie in unknown roles.
The series will be set 10 years later Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith—You know, the movie where Obi-Wan faced Anakin Skywalker, who went to the dark side and eventually became Sith Lord Darth Vader. Fans have long wondered what exactly happened to our favorite Jedi in the years that followed before his return A new hope. According to Chow (who directed several episodes of The Mandalorian), that time will be “a dark time” for Obi-Wan, as he faces the loss of all his friends.
Chow said Obi-Wan and other Jedi survivors of Order 66 were hunted down by the Empire’s Jedi Hunters in the company of Stormtroopers. (There have been unconfirmed rumors that Kang will play an Inquisitor.) Obi-Wan is on Tatooine with a mission to protect young Luke Skywalker, at least at the beginning of the series, although the concept art suggests other familiar settings to the Star Wars fanbase, especially Coruscant. So Obi-Wan’s journey is likely to take him away from that initial mission at some point.
There’s also a tantalizing short shot of a masked Christensen training with a lightsaber and concept art with Vader in what appears to be his castle on Mustafar. “We couldn’t tell Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story without talking to Anakin or Vader,” Chow said.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is slated for a 2022 release on Disney +.
In another Star Wars news, Disney has unveiled a short teaser for a special documentary, which debuts today on Disney +, exploring the legacy of Boba Fett. It arrives earlier than the next premiere of Boba Fett’s book. That series is played by Temuera Morrison (Attack of the clones, Aquaman) as titular bounty hunter and Ming-Na Wen (SHIELD agents) as the mercenary and assassin Fennec Shand who works for him. Disney official trailer released November 1st, giving us a first look at what we can expect from this latest project by showrunner Jon Favreau.
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