Obi-Wan Kenobi - Disney's Limited Series

ctg

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We have our first glimpse of concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the six-episode series coming to Disney+ next year, as well as a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel featuring star Ewan MacGregor and director Deborah Chow. There's no actual footage, but fans are buzzing about the concept art showcasing Obi-Wan and none other than Darth Vader, lightsabers locked in battle. The sizzle reel briefly leaked online yesterday before being pulled. It was unveiled during the streaming platform's Disney+ Day. (You can check it out on Twitter here.)

We first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi, with McGregor reprising his role as the iconic character. The actor himself made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a showcase presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney's annual fan extravaganza. Then came the big news that Hayden Christensen was reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy called it "the rematch of the century" at the December 2020 Disney Investors Day.

"There's hunger for this character to come back," MacGregor said in the sizzle reel. "The fans have been waiting long enough, you know?"

Yes, we do know. Back in 2016, the Hollywood Reporter conducted a poll asking fans which Star Wars character they'd most like to see feature in a spinoff film. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the overwhelming winner, yet for some reason, the studio opted to first make Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) instead. That film wasn't quite the stinker many made it out to be, but it bombed at the box office. So Disney canceled plans for a Kenobi-centered feature film and reworked the concept into a limited series for its nascent streaming platform.

Here's a teaser trailer. Focus on the voice, you know it!


It is Maul. Old Man Maul. So, we are going to have the fight in the desert, before we will have Vader matches. I love that they are going to do justice to the Fallen One. That being Kenobi in his downfall after the Rise of the Sith. We don't really know what he were doing in those years, other then being a mad old desert rat. A menace to the Sand People. The Guardian for the Promised One.

It is a struggle, especially as Kenobi is so affixed into the traditions of the Jedi. It's all he has ever known and being a desert rat instead of Jedi Master is a difficult trade off. So I am intrigued to know what they're really going to show and how much into the Emperor business they're going to go into, because the premise suggests that he didn't stayed in the desert all of the time.

It is going to be intriguing to find out what they'll show us with those six episodes.
 

Rodders

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I hear that Hayden Christensen has signed up to play Vader. That is pretty cool.
 

Rodders

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Not sure to be honest CTG. I don't know where this sits in the time line. (I'd imagine after RotS?) I just read that he was returning and i liked that.
 
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ctg

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I suspect that it's Vader since he's in the trailer, but if Anakin comes in, it has to be meaningful but it also opens a door for Ashoka to pump in.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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That trailer in your original message was put together by fans, there isn't a single frame or sound in it that comes from the actual Kenobi series.
 

ctg

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Dude, even if it's on a fan channel, it's still an official trailer, showing scenes that you cannot find in the movies.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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Dude, even if it's on a fan channel, it's still an official trailer, showing scenes that you cannot find in the movies.

What do you mean? There is not a single shot in this trailer that comes from the Obi-Wan series. All the shots of McGregor in the desert come from the 2015 film Last Days in the Desert. The shots of the Imperial forces mostly come from Rogue One. Darth Maul's voice over comes from the Rebels cartoon. Some other shots seem to have been created by cosplayers or come from other fan films.

Again, not a single official image from the Obi-Wan Kenobi series has been released by Disney. This trailer is 100% fake. I'm not saying it was made with the intention to deceive*, it was clearly an act of love and took some dedication. But it is completely fake.

* the person who uploaded the trailer wrote it himself in the video's description:
Made/Edited By TeaserPRO Team. This trailer is a concept-mashup that shows my idea of how the teaser trailer for Obi-Wan KENOBI might look like.

And he linked to the fan-made short films he used to create it.
 
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The animated series Star Wars Rebels delivered audiences a number of compelling characters, including the villainous Grand Inquisitor, who gave the other threats of the galaxy far, far away a run for their money. According to a new report from Bespin Bulletin, not only will the Grand Inquisitor be making his live-action debut in the upcoming Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he'll be played by Hitman: Agent 47 star Rupert Friend. ComicBook.com has reached out to Lucasfilm to request clarification on the casting rumor. Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi is expected to debut on Disney+ later this year.

In Rebels, Darth Vader tasked the Inquisitors with hunting down and killing any Jedi who had survived Order 66, so it would make perfect sense for Obi-Wan Kenobi to incorporate them to some degree, with the Grand Inquisitor being the highest-ranking member of the elite group. As if the concept of the new series didn't align enough with the Inquisitors, Hayden Christensen is confirmed to appear in the project, which adds even more credence to the casting rumor, as Christensen's involvement would allow him to deliver orders to the nefarious figures.
 

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John Williams has been reported to be writing the theme to this. That's pretty significant, i think.
 

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The hype for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show is very real, especially after got our first real glimpse of it earlier in the week. Star Wars’ newest Disney+ series is winding back the clock to post-Revenge of the Sith, with Ewan McGregor returning to the luxurious beard of the titular Jedi. But back in 2020, his show was unexpectedly put on indefinite pause, with the scripts being not quite cited as a reason why.

Turns out, the scripts were indeed the reason for the delay, but not because they weren’t ready. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly for their cover story, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy revealed that the original scripts were “too bleak,” hence the delay and change in writers from Hossein Amini (brought on when Kenobi was originally planned as a film) to Joby Harold. There was difficulty in finding that balance, she admitted, given how Obi-Wan ended Revenge now tasked with guarding the child of the best friend he just believed he executed. “You can’t just wave the magic wand with any writer and arrive at a story that necessarily reflects what you want to feel,” she said. “We’re looking, ultimately, to make a hopeful and uplifting story.”
 

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It’s probably for the best that Darth Maul isn’t the big bad in the upcoming Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series, avoiding a retread of the character’s terrific bow on Star Wars Rebels. But director Deborah Chow and original writer Hossein Amini pitched a much darker take in which the character would return, but it was paused by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.

According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter, there was an iteration of the upcoming Kenobi story that did feature Darth Maul (with Ray Park reprising the role) to serve as main antagonist, as well as young Luke Skywalker in a more prominent role. Sources told THR that when the story was reviewed by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the pair “were concerned about Obi-Wan covering similar ground as Mandalorian—the Lone Wolf and Cub-like story of Kenobi coming out of hiding to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker.”

Filoni is known for also having delivered the definitive ending to the Kenobi/Maul storyline on Star Wars: Rebels. In a past interview with io9, he noted that his take offered more a poignant closure for the character, as opposed to a build-up to another lightsaber battle. “It was just the right time to tell the story and bring that thread to an end,” he said of the quick death. “I felt strongly Obi-Wan, if he could help it, would really rather not kill Darth Maul. Obi-Wan is at a point, in my mind, where he’s become rather enlightened. He’s been in the desert discovering who he is, really evolving as a character. He’s not that young brash kid that went into a fight with Maul out of anger for the fact his master was killed. It can’t be that same situation this is so many years later. Maul, for his part, is pretty much hung up on that exact moment. That’s where his life went wrong. He can’t let it go.” At the time there was nothing planned for Maul in the future.

The THR story also mentions a source claiming that Ray Park has shown up for a shoot and stunt training since being participating in early pre-production; a Lucasfilm rep contradicts the account stating that Maul was never intended for the series. Building off the suggestion from Favreau and Filoni to “go bigger,”Chow and her team leaned into a way for Darth Vader to become the main antagonist for the series with Hayden Christensen reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker.
 

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A new report reveals a "creative overhaul" changed the child actor playing a young Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi. In 2020, Disney-Lucasfilm replaced original head writer Hossein Amini (Drive, The Snowman) with Joby Harold (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Army of the Dead), who reworked the scripts for the six-episode series set a decade after Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Following the disillusioned Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) into his exile on Tatooine, the Jedi Master watches over a 10-year-old Luke to protect him from Jedi-hunting Inquisitors and the boy's Sith Lord father: Darth Vader, the fallen Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen).

Playing the young Luke Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi is actor Grant Feely, who appeared in an episode of Creepshow. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm chose another boy actor before the rework, but "no scenes" were filmed with the unnamed actor. (The creative overhaul reportedly replaced Ray Park's Darth Maul with Christensen's Darth Vader, but a Lucasfilm source disputes this claim, according to THR.)

Feely, who appears briefly in the first Obi-Wan trailer released March 9, is the latest actor to portray Luke Skywalker in live-action. Famously played by Mark Hamill in the original Star Wars trilogy and Disney's sequel trilogy, Aidan Barton appears as the newborn Luke in Episode III. Actors Max Lloyd-Jones and Graham Hamilton helped portray a Return of the Jedi-era Luke in episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, respectively.

Obi-Wan returns to the sands of Tatooine, where the son of Darth Vader is in the care of his Aunt Beru (Bonnie Piesse) and his Uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton). Luke's sister, Leia (reportedly played by Bird Box's Vivien Lyra Blair), was adopted by Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and raised on Alderaan.

"We find Obi-Wan at the beginning of our story rather broken, and faithless, and beaten. [He's] somewhat given up," McGregor recently told Entertainment Weekly. "He's different because of what's happened at the end of Episode III with Order 66 and the Jedi Order being slaughtered and everyone who survived going into hiding. After dealing with his personal failure with Anakin, he feels the responsibility that he allowed Anakin to be tempted over to the Dark Side."
 

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Disney+ originally picked an auspicious date for the premiere of its new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi: Wednesday, May 25, the same date that Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977 (back when it was known simply as Star Wars). That film celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. But the streaming platform announced today—via a video featuring star Ewan McGregor—that it is shifting that premiere date to Friday, May 27, right before Memorial Day weekend.

We might have to wait a couple of extra days, but at least Disney+ will simultaneously release the first two episodes. As Deadline Hollywood pointed out, May 27 is also the premiere date for the fourth season of Stranger Things (Part 1), so our holiday weekend viewing is pretty much sorted.
 

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When Alec Guinness was 62, he started playing Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Ewan McGregor is 51. They could spend the next ten years doing a decade’s worth of stories leading up to A New Hope.
 

ctg

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I get what you're saying but Obi-Wan wasn't that active. He stayed in Tatooene a length of time, just doing not much at all, other than making sure that the boy was safe. Making him more active would rewrite some of that history. It's better that this is only a limited series.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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When Alec Guinness was 62, he started playing Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Ewan McGregor is 51. They could spend the next ten years doing a decade’s worth of stories leading up to A New Hope.

I don't mean this as a takedown at all but the ages of the actors playing Obi-Wan should not be taken into consideration at all. Who knows if Obi-Wan was even supposed to be 62 in A New Hope. At the time in 1977 he may have looked like your average 55-year-old. To modern audiences he looks more like a 75 year-old man. And McGregor could realistically pass for a 45-year-old today. Who knows, with the right diet, physical exercise and... luck, maybe in 20 years he'll still look like a man in his early fifties.

And that's also assuming one season of the show equals one year in-universe.

Anyway, if Disney wants to milk the cow dry, they can release three decades' worth of Obi-Wan TV series and then some. And when McGregor bites the dust, asks for too much to come back or quits, whatever happens first, they'll just replace him with a Deep Fake McGregor.
 
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