Fire up your lightsabers, Star Wars fans, because it’s official: Ewan McGregor is back to being a Jedi. Not only will the veteran actor slip back into Obi-Wan Kenobi’s robe again for Disney+, but Lucasfilm has announced that The Mandalorian director, Deborah Chow, will also direct the entire, still-untitled Obi-Wan series.
The show has yet to receive an official premiere date, but it does have a new writer. Here’s everything we know about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series so far.
With production set to begin in April, Disney released the complete cast of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Twitter. While we know Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen will reprise their roles as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, respectively, the remainder of the roles remain a mystery. Nonetheless, the cast is full of exciting names:
The incredible cast includes Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie. pic.twitter.com/VltHs5Aw6r
— Star Wars (@starwars) March 29, 2021
Speaking with Eddie Izzard, Ewan McGregor confirmed that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will begin filming this spring in Los Angeles — not Boston (Massachusetts or otherwise). “It’s so funny – every week there’s a new report … there’s another tabloid expose that we’re shooting it in some bizarre town somewhere,” McGregor said. “Then we’re meant to be making it in Boston, then, ‘No, it wasn’t Boston, it was Boston, England.’ But we’re not. We’re shooting it in L.A.”
#EwanMcGregor chatted during Eddie's final marathon about the new #ObiWanKenobi project, #TheMandalorian series and #StarWars filming. Use the force to donate and #MakeHumanityGreatAgain at https://t.co/8m60VqJ7vE – The Beekeepers pic.twitter.com/T21FGoCS2P
— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) February 1, 2021
At Disney’s 2020 Investor Day, the studio announced that Hayden Christensen will return to a galaxy far, far away to reprise his role as Darth Vader. Or, well, really begin playing Darth Vader as he spent most of Episodes I-III as Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and this story picks up 10 years after Skywalker turned to the Dark Side.
Hayden Christensen returns as Darth Vader, joining Ewan McGregor in OBI-WAN KENOBI. The Original Series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Revenge of the Sith, and is coming to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/9WR2npRUkk
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 10, 2020
In January, development on the Obi-Wan series reportedly stumbled, with Lucasfilm and Disney scrapping the scripts penned by Hossein Amini, who wrote the Ryan Gosling thriller Drive and was nominated for an Oscar for The Wings of the Dove. The studio decided to pursue a new script for the series and hired screenwriter Joby Harold to pen a new draft.
Harold is best known for executive producing 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow and 2019’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, but also penned the scripts for 2017’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Zack Snyder’s upcoming zombie movie Army of the Dead.
According to McGregor, the change in writers won’t affect the series’ planned premiere date, which remains unknown to the public at this point, and production is still expected to begin in early 2021.
In February, the working title for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was revealed to be “Pilgrim.” While that’s not the show’s official title, it might offer an indication of the tone of the project, which has Kenobi journey to the remote planet Tatooine to watch over the person who might hold the key to the galaxy’s future, Luke Skywalker.
Deborah Chow, who has directed episodes of Jessica Jones, Lost in Space, and Better Call Saul, is no stranger to Star Wars. Previously, she directed two episodes of The Mandalorian, the gritty Star Wars series that premiered on Disney+ on November 12, 2019 — and features a cuddly young creature called Baby Yoda.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy says that Chow’s work on The Mandalorian was “phenomenal” and convinced Lucasfilm that she’s “the right director to tell [Obi-Wan’s] story.”
The Obi-Wan series will take place eight years after Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, the last film in which McGregor played the old Jedi master.
The series will reportedly follow Kenobi during his self-imposed exile on Tatooine as he watches over a young Luke Skywalker while simultaneously tangling with the various criminal elements and other threats on the planet.
After years of rumors regarding an Obi-Wan spinoff being developed in some form, confirmation of the long-rumored miniseries came during the Disney+ presentation at Disney’s D23 convention in August.
The series confirmation follows years of rumors regarding a potential Obi-Wan solo project, including a possible feature film. Previously, a report by TMZ indicated that Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Crown) would helm and write the Obi-Wan movie. The film reportedly would’ve on Kenobi’s time as a hermit on Tatooine and involved a war between the desert planet’s moisture farmers and vicious Tusken Raider tribes.
Reportedly, the disappointing box office returns for Solo: A Star Wars Story scuttled plans for the big screen Obi-Wan movie. It’s not clear if the upcoming Disney+ series is a reworking of Lucasfilm’s previous project or something new.
In the past, McGregor said that he was open to reprising the role, which was originally played by Alec Guinness in the first Star Wars movie. McGregor played Obi-Wan in all three of George Lucas’ prequel films.
McGregor later confirmed his return as Obi-Wan in August 2019 during the Disney+ presentation at that year’s D23 convention.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. He trained Anakin Skywalker, who ultimately turned on Kenobi and the Jedi Order and became Darth Vader.
After Anakin’s betrayal, Kenobi went into hiding on the desert planet Tatooine, where he quietly watched over Anakin’s son, Luke, until he was ready to follow his own Jedi path.
The Obi-Wan show is one of several Star Wars projects slated for Disney+, including The Mandalorian and an untitled series centering on Rogue One‘s Cassian Andor.
Aside from the Obi-Wan series, there is plenty of Star Wars action on the horizon. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on his own trilogy of films, while the seventh and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars recently premiered on Disney+.
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