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Obi-Wan Kenobi Release Date, Cast, And Trailer - What We Know So Far

It's been 17 years since we've seen Obi-Wan Kenobi in a live-action "Star Wars" project, and how we've missed him! Sir Alec Guinness made the character a fan favorite back in 1977's "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope," and though his face off with his friend-turned-nemesis Darth Vader was, admittedly, a little anti-climactic, his portrayal of sage old Uncle Ben was a hard act to follow. Fans may have a wide range of opinions about the prequel trilogy, but just about everybody can agree that Ewan McGregor — who took on the daunting challenge of playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in his younger days — was a revelation.

Still, the iconic Jedi was always relegated to a supporting character (at least in live-action form), without all that much to do and without a true moment to shine. Fans have been clamoring for more Obi-Wan content featuring McGregor ever since he hung up his Jedi robes in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith." Thankfully, the Scottish actor told Forbes that he was always excited to return to the role, especially as younger generations who grew up with the prequels increasingly expressed their love for those films and his performance.

Well, it was a bumpy ride through space to get here, but the stars have finally aligned and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" starring Ewan McGregor is set to hit Disney+ tantalizingly soon. This is everything you need to know about the upcoming "Star Wars" series:

When and where is Obi-Wan Kenobi arriving?

Like all Disney-owned properties, this hotly anticipated new series will stream exclusively on Disney+. It was initially announced that "Obi-Wan Kenobi" would land on the streaming service on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 (which just so happens to be the same release date as the original "Star Wars" film), with one new episode scheduled to air each week. Disney+ has recently planted its flag on Wednesdays. Since "Loki," most of its series have premiered on that day of the week — "Moon Knight" is the latest example — which has conditioned audiences to treat these shows like appointment viewing and reserve time for their Disney+ fix.

However, on March 31, Variety revealed that Disney had unexpectedly pushed back "Obi-Wan Kenobi" to Friday, May 27. They also disclosed that not one but two episodes would become available that day. No official reason for the slight delay was given. It's possible that the change was made to coincide with the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. The event, which had been canceled the past two years due to the pandemic, returns on May 26, and conference organizers have made it known that some major "Star Wars" news will be revealed on opening day. Some of the creatives behind "Obi-Wan Kenobi" will be on that panel, so it stands to reason that one of the series' secrets may somehow tie into the future of the "Star Wars" universe.

Who is in the cast of Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Obviously, the most exciting thing about the series is the chance to see Ewan McGregor back in action, but the rest of the cast of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" sounds just as promising. Joel Edgerton, who's racked up quite the resume since his appearance in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," returns to play Uncle Owen Lars, as does Bonnie Piesse as Aunt Beru. But by far, the most talked-about addition to the lineup is Hayden Christensen, who will once again embody the iconic villain Darth Vader.

One bit of casting that rubbed some fans the wrong way is that of Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor. Friend is a gifted actor, but the live-action character design differs somewhat from the much-loved animated version voiced by Jason Isaacs, who "Star Wars Rebels" fans hoped would get the role. The breakout star of the series may be Moses Ingram as Reva, otherwise known as the Third Sister. Reva — a "ruthlessly ambitious" Force-sensitive Jedi hunter — is someone we haven't been introduced to before, and show creators are singing both the character and the actor's praises. 

Rounding out the cast, we have Indira Varma as an Imperial Officer named Tia and Sung Kang as Fifth Brother. Kumail Nanjiani, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, Maya Erskine, and Rory Ross will also appear, as does newcomer Grant Feely as kid Luke Skywalker. It's rumored but not confirmed that Jimmy Smits may have a cameo as Bail Organa.

Is there an Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer?

Thank the maker! Disney and Lucasfilm finally revealed the first "Obi-Wan Kenobi" teaser trailer on Disney Investor Day, and it gives fans a glimpse of what to expect when the show starts streaming on May 25. The footage shows an older Obi-Wan living alone in a cave on Tatooine as he keeps watch over a young Luke Skywalker. The future hero spends his time wearing flight goggles and pretending to be a pod-racer pilot, just like his father. From there, it also shows the Inquisitors hunting for someone (most likely Obi-Wan) and interrogating some of the residents on Tatooine. The new series will see our Jedi hero go up against these Inquisitors, a squad of devout Force-users who are loyal to the Empire. They're not full Sith lords, but they're not far off either.

The trailer also features scenes of Reva and the Fifth Brother in a dark cityscape with neon signs lighting up the area, so clearly, the series isn't just going to stay on the sandy Tatooinian dunes for all 6 episodes. Phew. Unfortunately, it doesn't give us a look at Darth Vader in action, although his iconic breathing ominously fades in as the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" title comes up at the end of the trailer. But a new still from the series shows the villain surrounded by shadows, and according to returning star Hayden Christensen, fans will see "a very powerful Vader." But will we see an unmasked Sith Lord in the show? Christensen is keeping secrets like that close to his chest, saying, "I wish I could tell you ... I'm sworn to secrecy" (via Entertainment Weekly).

How did the Disney+ series come to be?

Hopes for an Obi-Wan project go back to Disney's acquisition of "Star Wars" in 2012. The following year, Business Insider reported that then-CEO Bob Iger planned to produce several standalone "Star Wars" films. After a fan-made trailer for an Obi-Wan film went viral, The Hollywood Reporter conducted a poll to see which legacy characters audiences most wanted to see in the proposed "Star Wars" stories. Master Kenobi was the clear winner, and news soon broke that an Obi-Wan spin-off was being developed with director Stephen Daldry attached. 

Then, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" underperformed at the box office, triggering Disney to put all of its planned standalone movies on hold. The company was about to debut its new streaming service, and the "Star Wars" story group turned its attention to small screen projects, most notably "The Mandalorian." At 2019's D23 event, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the Obi-Wan movie was being retooled as a series, with McGregor and Amini staying on. Deborah Chow, who directed two highly rated episodes of "The Mandalorian" was hired to helm all six episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," and production was slated to begin in 2020 (via Entertainment Weekly). 

However, the series was paused once again because of issues with the scripts. After the success of "The Mandalorian," John Favreau and Dave Filoni expressed concern to Deborah Chow that the two series' plotlines were too similar (via The Hollywood Reporter). Amini's original pitch focused on the protective relationship between Obi-Wan and young Luke. A major rewrite later by Joby Harold and a COVID delay later, and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" at long last began filming in earnest in 2021. 

When does Obi-Wan Kenobi take place?

Star Wars lore is so dense and far-reaching that even the most well-versed fans sometimes have to consult the galaxy's own timeline, which uses the Battle of Yavin from "A New Hope" as its year zero. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" will take place approximately 10 years after the events of "Revenge of the Sith" and nine years before "A New Hope" — or 9 BBY — at which point the Empire is at full power. In fact, we hear Obi-Wan lament in the trailer that "the fight is done. We lost." That means Luke Skywalker is also approximately 10-years-old, and it implies Obi-Wan has been successfully carrying out his mission to keep himself and his young charge hidden for about a decade. 

This is the time period that makes the most sense to explore for a variety of reasons. First off, "The Clone Wars" (22-19 BBY) fleshed out everything that happens between Episodes II and III. Next, McGregor is too old to portray Obi-Wan prior to the prequel story and too young to portray him in the events leading up to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "A New Hope." Beyond that, we canonically know the least about what became of the Jedi Master during this era, which gives series creators more flexibility with the character and story arc. 

Other significant "Star Wars" events that occur around this time include "Solo" (13-10 BBY) and "Star Wars Rebels" (5-2 BBY), so it's not out of the question that some of our favorite people, places, and plotlines from those projects might intersect with "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

What is Obi-Wan Kenobi about?

The scripts for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" underwent some systemic revisions. The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the first batch of drafts saw Obi-Wan watching over young Luke and evading Darth Maul. However, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau wanted Deborah Chow to take her series in a different direction: one that better factored into the bigger "Star Wars" picture and highlighted Vader rather than Maul. 

We probably know the least about the story itself. Disney+ has let slip virtually no details about the plot in its promotional campaigns or official descriptions. We can piece together that Inquisitors are actively pursuing Jedi who managed to survive Order 66 and anyone resistant to the Empire who might possess Force sensitivity. Since we know that many of the characters (Obi-Wan, Vader, the Grand Inquisitor, Fifth Brother, Luke, Owen, and Beru) survive the events of the series to appear in future installments, it's unlikely that showdowns between any of these characters will serve as the series' primary purpose. 

The trailers advertise a fairly action-packed product, but as Obi-Wan can't really use his lightsaber in public and almost everyone is sure to make it out alive, expect "Obi-Wan Kenobi" to be a little existential. The Inquisitors plot will no doubt be thrilling, and they do work for Vader, but his inclusion in the series might be more thematic than plot-related. In the trailers, Obi-Wan is still struggling with the loss of both the war and his closest friend ten years on. McGregor describes his mental state as "rather broken, and faithless, and beaten, somewhat given up." The show will probably be about his emotional journey as much as it will be about running and hiding from Inquisitors.

Who are all these villains?

Even people who've never seen a Star Wars film know who Darth Vader is. The American Film Institute ranked him as the third greatest villain of all time behind Hannibal Lector and Norman Bates (if you ask us, he was robbed). But he's probably not the big bad of the Obi-Wan series. 

Disney and Lucasfilm prefer to use Vader in small doses, like at the end of "Rogue One" or in select episodes of "Star Wars Rebels." Christensen's casting definitely portends more screen time for the Sith Lord, and we know from an Entertainment Weekly interview with McGregor and Christensen that they do share scenes together. But it's established in "A New Hope" that the two haven't had much interaction since they parted ways in "Revenge of the Sith." Their encounters will have more impact if they're few and far between.   

Inquisitors, however, aren't familiar to every casual "Star Wars" viewer, and the marketing for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is pretty Inquisitor-heavy. Members of this special order within the Galactic Empire use the Force and often wield red lightsabers, but they're neither Jedi nor Sith. Their goal is to kill every Jedi, rebel, and Force-sensitive being that might later become one or, failing that, convert them to the dark side. If the Inquisitors' extermination of the Jedi takes the fore, Reva could be the primary antagonist, if not the highest-ranking one. The Grand Inquisitor has already been the villain of a series in which Fifth Brother appeared. There's a good chance they'll occupy Hux and Phasma-like roles with the shiny, new, and more motivated Third Sister (like Kylo Ren) doing most of the Empire's bidding. 

Are we finally getting off of Tatooine?

After spending a significant portion of the Skywalker Saga, "The Mandalorian," and almost the entirety of "The Book of Boba Fett" on the crime-ridden desert planet in the Outer Rim Territories, even the most nostalgic among us were getting a little weary of Tatooine. As enthusiastic as we were (and are) for an Obi-Wan series, the thought of enduring another six episodes exclusively among moisture farms and Mos Eisley was a real drawback. The facts are the facts, and according to previously established canon, kooky Uncle Ben was chilling in his cave and keeping an eye on Luke for 19 years until he came clean about his true identity and purpose and incited the events of the original trilogy. 

There would've been nothing wrong, per se, with an Obi-Wan story that stayed put on Tatooine. It just would've been more of the same. But fear not, the creators of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" have engineered a way to get us off-planet at least twice. The Direct observes that the trailer includes a pair of shots that almost certainly depict the water moon of Nur, the homeworld of the Fortress Inquisitorius, which is the headquarters of the Imperial Inquisitor program. We've never been to Nur or seen the Fortress in any live-action films or TV shows, but it's an important place in Star Wars lore and its submerged armored recesses certainly look cool. 

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" will also be taking us to a brand new location — the planet Daiyu — which writer Joby Harold describes as having "sort of has a Hong Kong feel to it" with "a graffiti-ridden nightlife."

John Williams' score returns to Obi-Wan Kenobi

It's entirely plausible that "Star Wars" would've never become the franchise it is today without the absolutely perfect and instantly recognizable score by the legendary John Williams. The composer also wrote and conducted the iconic music for "Jaws," "Jurassic Park," the "Harry Potter" franchise, alongside dozens of other films. Beyond that, Williams has received over 50 Academy Award nominations for his work, but "Star Wars" remains his crowning achievement. 

Williams scored all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga and "Solo." He had considered retiring his conductor's wand after 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker." Composers Ludwig Göransson and Joseph Shirley took over to produce the music for "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett" respectively. But, when it came time to write a theme song for "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Variety broke the news that Williams would return to incorporate some of his old melodies into some new ones. 

According to an analysis by ScreenRant, the trailer uses bars from two of Williams' best "Star Wars" tracks: "Duel of the Fates" and "Battle of Heroes." The former plays as Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan take on Darth Maul and his double-sided lightsaber in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," while the latter plays as Obi-Wan is forced to fight his former Padawan, Anakin, in "Revenge of the Sith." 

What else do fans need to know?

If you're looking to catch up or brush up on "Star Wars" before the premiere of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," you could watch the original and prequel trilogies or "The Clone Wars." A Season 2 arc introduces the Darksaber and Obi-Wan's relationship with Duchess Satine (he was so smitten, he almost left the Jedi for her), and Season 5 goes deeper into both subjects, which might turn out to be relevant to the series. However, with all these Inquisitors loose in the galaxy, "Star Wars Rebels" and the video game "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" will provide a more substantive education. 

"Rebels" follows a teenage thief-turned-Jedi-in-training, Ezra Bridger, who joins up with a Jedi master in hiding, Kanan Jarrus. Together with the crew of the Ghost, they act as spies against the Empire while avoiding Inquisitors. The show, which lasted four seasons, allows viewers to get to know the Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother better. "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order," which takes place about five years before "Obi-Wan Kenobi," puts players in the role of Cal Kestis, a Padawan who lives through Order 66 and becomes an Inquisitor target. It deals more directly with the low morale of the Jedi (some have succumbed to the dark side), and it contains a sequence set at the Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur. 

The internet is littered with speculation and wishful thinking that one or more characters or elements from these properties might pop up in "Obi-Wan Kenobi." If there are any surprise cameos, plot twists, or meaningful references, the smart bet is they'll come in the form of a flashback to "The Clone Wars," or as tie-ins to either "Rebels" or "Jedi: Fallen Order."