"Obi-Wan Kenobi": 19 Things To Know About The Show

Star Wars fans, rejoice! There’s a new series coming your way to Disney+, and this one is set to offer a whole load of nostalgia.

Disney+ / Via giphy.com

"But there’s so many TV shows to keep up with," I hear you say? Well, I have a feeling that this one's going to be a good one...

1.Obi-Wan Kenobi is not the first Star Wars series to air on Disney+.

The Mandalorian wearing his armour and looking down

Since the launch of Disney+, Star Wars fanatics have had a whole host of intergalactic shows to enjoy. In 2020, the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars became available to watch on the streaming giant. Soon after, the platform released two seasons of the well-received live actions: The Mandalorian, and one season of The Book of Boba Fett.

Now, Obi-Wan Kenobi will be added to the mix! But that’s not all, as Disney have announced four more planned live action series set to land on the platform in the future. The subsequent shows have so far been given the following titles: Andor, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, and Lando.

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

2.So, what’s Obi-Wan Kenobi about?

Obi-Wan Kenobi riding a horse through the desert

Both the IMDB and Disney+ synopses barely seem to be giving much away about the series, leaving our minds to wander! All we truly know about the storyline is that it's centered around Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi as he watches over young Luke Skywalker, and evades the Empire’s elite Jedi hunters during his exile on the desert planet of Tatooine.

Doesn’t that leave you wanting more? Well fear not, because I also deduced some pretty cool key takeaways from the trailer! The most pivotal news of all being that Darth Vader is back. The snapshot of the series signals the return of Darth Vader as we see his cybernetic arm and chest-piece being re-attached to his body, along the backdrop of his ominous, yet iconic, heavy breathing.

The trailer also hints at Obi-Wan being on the run as it looks like every possible bounty hunter in the galaxy has been tasked with finding him, and that’s not forgetting about the Empire and Vader himself! Plus, it looks like we’ll have a strong mix of Stormtroopers, Purge Troopers, and the Inquisitorius (aka Jedi hunters). I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting some serious lightsaber fun in this one!

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

3.The show is set 10 years after Revenge of the Sith.

Palpatine in a hooded cloak

[Star Wars spoiler alert]

Cast your minds back to 2005, and you’ll remember the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Episode III). The Obi-Wan Kenobi plotline is set a total of 10 years after the film which saw the dramatic downfall and corruption of Obi-Wan’s best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, as he turned to the dark side and became the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

This also means that the series is set years before A New Hope, so Luke hasn’t yet destroyed the Death Star in the midst of the war between the Empire and Rebellion.

Lucasfilm Ltd. / Via youtube.com

4.So, what do we already know about Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Younger Obi-Wan Kenobi sitting in Jedi outfit

[More Star Wars spoilers ahead]

By this point in the Star Wars timeline, Obi-Wan has had quite a ride. Let’s recap the hero’s journey so that you can go into the new series without any gaps in memory…

So, firstly, Obi-Wan Kenobi was born on planet Stewjon, and he was quickly trained and made a Padawan under Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. Later, he witnessed the death of his Master and then managed to kill the perpetrator, Darth Maul.

Sticking to the promise he made to Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan trained Anakin Skywalker. Over time, the evil Chancellor Palpatine managed to corrupt Anakin and convert him to the dark side. All the while this was happening, Obi-Wan defeated the feared Jedi-hunter, General Grievous.

After finding out about Anakin’s corruption, Obi-Wan engages in a brutal duel, and Anakin is left to burn in the planet’s lava. Obi-Wan then makes it his quest to conceal Anakin and Padmé's twins, Luke and Leia, from the Sith (with the help of Yoda). The last thing we see is Obi-Wan going into exile on the planet of Tatooine, to watch over Luke Skywalker.

Given that Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to pick up a mere 10 years after these dramatic events, I’m going to take a wild guess that Darth Vader is going to be hell-bent on getting his revenge. Eek!

Lucasfilm Ltd. / Via youtube.com

5.The new series introduces Rupert Friend as the first live action interpretation of a pivotal character.

The Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) stood menacingly

Rupert Friend (Homeland) takes on a pretty prominent role for the show. The actor is the first live-action interpretation of a character called the Grand Inquisitor in the Star Wars franchise. So far, the character has only been portrayed in the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels. For those who aren’t familiar with the Grand Inquisitor, he’s part of the Pau’an species of humanoids, and his appearance is characterized by grey skin, sunken eyes, and sharp teeth.

A formidable foe, the Grand Inquisitor is tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down and kill all remaining Jedi Knights, so it looks like Obi-Wan is going to have a few confrontations ahead!

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

6.The Inquisitorius will also make their live-action debut.

The Grand Inquisitorius marching through a town whilst bystanders watch

Along with the Grand Inquisitor, the upcoming series will be introducing us to the live-action version of the Order of Inquisitorius, the group of force-sensitive assassins led by Darth Vader.

Judging from the trailer, it’s hard to tell just how many of the Inquisitorius army we’ll be introduced to, but we know it’ll be more than one! The trailer features appearances from the Fifth Brother, Reva, and an unknown Inquisitor that we just about get a glimpse of.

If you know your Star Wars history, then you’ll already know that the Fifth Brother is a villain who first came to life in Star Wars Rebels, and Reva is a new Inquisitor being introduced. Sung Kang (Fast & Furious franchise) and Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) will be playing the characters respectively.

DIsney+ / Via youtube.com

7.Obi-Wan Kenobi brings a new planet with it.

A shadowed figure overlooks a neon-lit city

Obi-Wan may have exiled himself to Tatooine, but he won’t be stuck there for the duration of the series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer, Joby Harold, explains how Obi-Wan will visit a new planet in the Star Wars universe, called Daiyu. He describes the planet as having a “Hong Kong feel to it,” and that “it’s got a graffiti-ridden nightlife and is kind of edgy” with a “different feeling” to it.

I for one am really looking forward to seeing this new world come to life!

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

8.There’ll be some throwback cast members...

Younger Anakin Skywalker stood looking confused

One of the most exciting things for Star Wars fans is the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. The actors last played their characters in full in Revenge of the Sith over 17 years ago, with McGregor voicing Obi-Wan more recently in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Though there’s been a fan divide over the years on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, one thing has remained consistent, and that’s the love a lot of fans have for McGregor as the Jedi Knight. Personally, I have also always loved Hayden Christensen’s version of young Anakin-turned-Vader, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the character in the new show, too.

It sounds like Christensen is also excited to step into the suit again! In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he expressed how “it felt very natural” coming back to the character, and that it feels like a “natural continuation of [his] journey with the character.”

Joel Edgerton (Red Sparrow) and Bonnie Piesse (Sundays) will also be returning to the Star Wars saga, after appearing in the prequel films as Owen and Beru Lars, the owners of Lars moisture farm who were tasked by Obi-Wan to look after young Luke.

Lucasfilm Ltd. / Via youtube.com, Disney+ / Via youtube.com

9.…and some new cast members will be joining the saga!

The castlist of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Along with the new cast of Inquisitors, the show is bringing in a whole host of familiar names. Let’s have a little run-down, shall we?

Kumail Nanjiani: Known for his more recent role as Kingo in Marvel’s Eternals, and The Big Sick, which he co-wrote (and starred in), as it was based on the love and culture struggles him and his now-wife faced.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: You’ll likely know him as the son of rapper Ice Cube, and because he portrayed his own father in Straight Outta Compton.

Simone Kessell: Known for her roles in the TV mini-series, Reckoning, and Pine Gap.

Benny Safdie: You may recognize the Safdie name from the notion of the Safdie brothers, Benny and Josh Safdie, who have collaborated together as directors for indie-hits Good Time and Uncut Gems. Benny has also acted previously in Pieces of a Woman.

Indira Varma: Actor Indira Varma previously starred in Game of Thrones as Ellaria Sand, along with her wider portfolio of movies such as The One and Only Ivan and Crisis.

Maya Erskine: A newer actress to the Industry, Maya has been securing roles since 2019. You may recognize her if you have watched PEN15 or Wine Country.

Disney+ / Via press.disney.co.uk

10.The show has a familiar director taking charge.

Deborah Chow and stormtroopers at Obi-Wan Kenobi event

All episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are being directed by none other than Deborah Chow, who you’ll recognize for her directorial talents on two episodes of The Mandalorian (Chapter 3 and Chapter 7 to be precise). Chow has also directed one-off episodes for a variety of shows, including American Gods, The Man in the High Castle, and Lost in Space.

When speaking to Entertainment Weekly about taking on the new show, Chow teased that it’s a “very dark time to be a Jedi, and most of them are hiding or dead,” and that she was glad to have gone through The Mandalorian because that was “really [her] introduction to the responsibility to [the Star Wars] universe and how to tell stories in this galaxy.”

If Obi-Wan Kenobi is going to be anything like Chow’s two Mandalorian chapters, then I’m sold.

Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage / Via Getty Images

11.An epic cinematographer will be setting the visual tone.

Cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung at an event

South Korean cinematographer, Chung-hoon Chung, is the artist behind the series’ visuals, and I am ecstatic about this! Chung-hoon Chung has a range of unbelievably beautiful films under his belt, having been the cinematographer on the striking romance-thriller The Handmaiden, the electric action-drama Oldboy, and more-recently, the dark and moody Last Night in Soho.

I’ve seen so much of Chung-hoon Chung’s work, and he has such a varied, playful, and dreamy style, so I am anticipating great things as he steps into the galaxy!

Tristan Fewings / Getty Images / Via Getty Images, Disney+ / Via youtube.com

12.Composer Natalie Holt scored the series, and John Williams took on the Obi theme.

Composer John Williams accepting an award

Yep, you read that right! American composer, John Williams, who composed the music for the primary feature Star Wars films came back to deliver us the Obi theme for the show! If that’s not good enough for you, then composer Natalie Holt, known for her work on Marvel’s Loki, has scored the rest of the series.

In conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, Holt discussed how she didn’t get to collaborate with Williams as he came on for just two weeks to write the Obi theme, but it was perfect, and a gift for her, which then paved the way for her to dive into the rest of the project.

*Listens to “The Imperial March” on repeat*

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Turner / Via Getty Images, Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

13.Obi-Wan Kenobi could have gotten canned.

Disney+ / Via giphy.com

The most shocking news of all is that the series may not have made it into production! According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show was put on hold in 2020 because it was said that Lucasfilm was unhappy with the script. The story describes that there was more to it though, as when Chow showed the scripts to Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, there were concerns that there were too many similarities between The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The end result was that a new writer, Joby Harold, was onboarded.

14.Darth Maul might have had an on-screen comeback.

Animated Darth Maul surrounded by smoke

One of Star Wars most memorable villains, Darth Maul, could have been set to appear in Disney’s latest series. It was stated in the Hollywood Reporter that not only was the Sith Lord intending to return to the saga, but apparently, actor Ray Park was preparing to reprise his role as the original Maul. It’s indicated that the character was changed in favor of Darth Vader, amidst the creative overhaul of the show.

Plus, the animated Star Wars Rebels series had already previously dove into more about both Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, across a similar time-span that the creators of Obi-Wan are basing their storyline on.

Disney Xd / Via Getty Images

15.The show doesn’t look like it’s going to be as dark as expected.

Young Luke Skywalker playing in the desert

Disney+ has listed the Obi-Wan Kenobi series with a TV age rating of 9, which I was quite surprised by as this is notably lower than The Mandalorian, which had a rating of 14+, and The Book of Boba Fett, which was rated 12+.

This makes me think that Obi-Wan Kenobi may be a little more family friendly than the likes of The Mandalorian, for example. Plus, given some of the mild violence or language in other Star Wars flicks, we can only assume that there’ll be even less of it in the new series. I personally was expecting Obi-Wan Kenobi to feel a little darker given the return of Vader, but learning of the lower TV age has swayed my opinion quite a bit!

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

16.It’s another series filmed with stagecraft technology.

Spaceship flying to a pyramid shaped building

Stagecraft technology is an on-set virtual production of visual effects that uses giant screens and photorealistic 3D modeling software to create an environment. Stagecraft has been used in the likes of The Mandalorian and The Batman, and the former pretty much set the standard for how the technology could be used. The method calls for less reliance on green screens and allows actors to actually visualize the settings around them, making the filming experience much more immersive, and adding a sense of realism to viewers watching at home.

In an interview with Variety, Ewan McGregor expressed how much he liked the technology he was able to work with, stating that “it’s like the beginning of Hollywood. It’s almost like when they had three-sided sets all in a row, and a bunch of guys with windup cameras, and you would just go from one stage to the other, one background to the other. Well, we’re doing sort of the same thing, except just the background changes instead of the stage. I’m excited about it because I feel like anything’s possible now. That you can invent stuff, interiors or exteriors that don’t exist in the real world, and put us into that environment.”

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

17.What do I need to watch in order to keep up?

The Queen in Phantom Menace, dressed in an excuberant headpiece

If you’re already a Star Wars fan, then no doubt you’ll be going into the show well-equipped with the knowledge and expectations for what's to come. Fear not if you’re a newbie though, because you’ll be safe by just watching the prequel trilogy of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

This is a spin-off series after all, so I’d always recommend going in with some form of knowledge before watching, as it’ll boost your viewing experience. That said, if you really haven’t got the time, it’s probably not essential given that I know many people who’s first Star Wars experience came via The Mandalorian, and they still had a good time with it!

Lucasfilm Ltd. / Via youtube.com

18.Obi-Wan Kenobi will be an easy binge.

Kumail Nanjiani looking frightened, donned in hooded cloak

Coming in at 6 episodes strong, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes for easy binge-viewing. Plus, when chatting to Men's Journal, McGregor let it slip that the average run time would be about an hour long.

I mean, that’s not even a full working day, so fans will have the show ticked off their list in no time!

Disney+ / Via youtube.com

19.It begins at the end of May.

Will you be watching Obi-Wan Kenobi? Tell me in the comments what you’re most excited to see in the show!