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Where The Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Fits Into The Star Wars Timeline Explained

It's a good time to be a "Star Wars" fan. After the one-two punch of "The Mandalorian" Seasons 1 and 2, followed by "The Book of Boba Fett," Disney isn't letting up. It's only a short wait until May 25, the day "Obi-Wan Kenobi" lands on Disney+, with the titular role reprised once more by Ewan McGregor. He will be joined by his former castmate Hayden Christensen, who returns as Anakin Skywalker, now known as Darth Vader. Even more "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" alums are along for the ride as Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse return to their roles as Owen and Beru Lars, Luke Skywalker's uncle and aunt. It even appears Jimmy Smits may return as the Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa.

In terms of new faces, comedian and "Eternals" star Kumail Nanjiani is on board in a still-unknown role. "Game of Thrones" alumna Indira Varma and Moses Ingram of "The Queen's Gambit" fame had similarly secretive roles until the new teaser trailer dropped on March 9. The sneak peek at the original series reveals Varma is playing an Imperial officer, and Ingram will be taking the role of Reva, an Imperial Inquisitor (via Entertainment Weekly). 

With so many characters from the prequel trilogy making their return amidst so many new faces, many fans have wondered when, exactly, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" takes place and how it fits into the larger "Star Wars" timeline. As it turns out, those questions have quite intriguing answers. Despite so much about the show being shrouded in Sith-like secrecy, here's what we know about where "Obi-Wan Kenobi" fits into the history of "Star Wars."

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set a decade after Revenge of the Sith

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" will take place about 10 years after the rise of the Empire in "Revenge of the Sith," as confirmed by a tweet from the official "Star Wars" Twitter account from December 2020. To date, the Disney+ "Star Wars" shows have primarily focused on the post-Imperial era. Both "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett" are set in the years after the death of Emperor Palpatine in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," so it will be fascinating to finally see a story that takes place during the height of Imperial power.

Based on what we've seen in trailers and from casting announcements, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" will follow its titular character as he watches over a young Luke (and perhaps Leia) Skywalker from afar. It appears the Clone Wars general is being pursued by Imperial forces all the while, including several red-lightsaber toting figures who appear to be Imperial Inquisitors, Force-sensitive hunters tasked with exterminating the last of the Jedi Order, led by the former Jedi known now as the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend). It appears the Empire is still busy hunting down those who managed to save themselves after Order 66 and will stop at nothing to purge the galaxy of them. Obi-Wan is sure to be a major target in their campaign, especially since Hayden Christensen is slated to return as Darth Vader. Something tells us he's not going to let his former master slip off into the twin sunsets of Tatooine so easily.

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place nine years before A New Hope

The final act of "Revenge of the Sith" ends with the birth and ultimate separation of newborn twins, Luke and Leia. After Padmé dies in childbirth, a decision is made to separate the twins and keep them in hiding. Senator Organa and his wife become the adoptive parents of Leia, who will grow up on Alderaan. Meanwhile, Luke is destined to grow up on Tatooine, where Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi leaves him in the care of Owen and Beru Lars.

"Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" takes place 19 years after "Revenge of the Sith," which means Luke and Leia are also 19 years old when the original "Star Wars" trilogy kicks off. This puts Disney+ limited series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" almost smack in the middle of the two films in regards to the "Star Wars" timeline. This is seemingly confirmed by the brief shot of what appears to be a young Luke, who appears to be nine or 10 years old, in the new teaser trailer. Raised by Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, Luke is seen through Obi-Wan's futuristic binoculars living on their moisture farm and pretending to podrace. This may be a deliberate callback to "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," in which a much younger Obi-Wan meets a much younger Anakin (Jake Lloyd), also a podracer, on that same sandy planet.

Being set nine years before "A New Hope" also means that "Obi-Wan Kenobi" takes place two years after "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (11-12 years BBY), which follows a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). It's unlikely that Obi-Wan will cross paths with any of those characters, both because none of the "Solo" actors have been cast in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" and because the Jedi-in-hiding doesn't meet Han Solo until the cantina scene in "A New Hope." Still, it's thrilling for fans to finally see the years between the prequels and the original trilogy explored in such depth.