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The Real Reason Obi-Wan Kenobi's Director Brought Back Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader

On March 9, 2022, after literal years of anticipation among "Star Wars" fans, Lucasfilm released the first trailer for a series focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi (via YouTube). As of this writing, the first trailer for the six-episode limited series has been viewed more than 14 million times, clearly indicating high levels of eagerness among viewers. Set square in between "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope," the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series will seek to bridge the gap between the Jedi Master's time as a legendary warrior and his time as an old man hiding under the name "Ben Kenobi." 

Because the series is so uniquely placed within the "Star Wars" timeline, the options available to creators (and, of course, available to fans for speculation) were seemingly endless. Notably, while some sources have indicated that early plans originally sought to reunite Kenobi with a very different foe, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has been very upfront about the new series featuring "the rematch of the century" between Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) (via The Hollywood Reporter). Of course, this leaves open a very obvious question: Given all the possibilities, why choose Vader?

Deborah Chow wanted to focus on someone important in Obi-Wan's life

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" director Deborah Chow explained why she chose to bring back Darth Vader. 

"Honestly, for me the starting place was that I really wanted to do something that was character-based and character-driven, because that is the benefit of the limited series, is that you have more time to sort of tell a real character story," Chow said (via Entertainment Weekly). "And so for me, the starting place of character is you just start and you look at who has been important to him in his life. And it's quite hard to avoid Anakin/Vader in that scenario, especially coming out of 'Revenge of the Sith.'"

Of course, most dedicated "Star Wars" fans will always be at least somewhat excited to see the franchise's best-known character return. However, it also seems that Chow put considerable thought into bringing him back this time, something well beyond any fan's cheap desire for a fun cameo.

"So really it came out of an evolution of the character for me," Chow said (via Entertainment Weekly). "It wasn't just to sort of bring him back. It was really like, who means something and where are we at this point in the timeline with Vader?"

Of course, while the upcoming reunion and potential break in canon could anger some"Star Wars" fans, something tells us most viewers will be forgiving if the series is as good as we all hope.

The first episode of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" will be released on Disney+ on May 25. New episodes of the series will be released every Wednesday thereafter until the finale on June 29 (via IMDb).