The Force may be strong but the anticipation for Obi-Wan Kenobi is stronger.
Hello there, and welcome to our deep dive into the six-episode miniseries, which takes place 10 years after the events of the 2005 movie Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, the third film in the prequel trilogy. Living in self-imposed exile on Tatooine, Obi-Wan witnesses the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, now known as the evil Sith lord and OG Star Wars villain, Darth Vader.
Obi-Wan Kenobi also takes place nine years before the events of the first-ever film in the franchise and the beginning of the trilogy that started it all, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), which introduced the world to both Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, as well as protagonist Luke Skywalker, who is a child in the new series, played by Grant Feely.
But what's so special about Obi-Wan Kenobi? Well, it is arguably the most anticipated Star Wars project, following the success of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, thanks to the popularity of McGregor and Christensen's characters in the prequel films and the excitement about seeing them share the screen again. And then there is this huge puzzle piece that has the potential to better tie the third and fourth film together.
Here are some of the questions that Obi-Wan Kenobi is poised to answer:
When and how will Obi-Wan learn Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader, is alive?
Obi-Wan became aware Anakin had transformed into Vader in Revenge of the Sith and the last time they saw each other, the Jedi left his former apprentice injured and smoldering on the fiery planet Mustafar following a lightsaber duel. "You were my brother, Anakin," he famously shouted. "I loved you."
"[Obi-Wan] believes he killed [Anakin] at the end of Revenge of the Sith," show producer and director Deborah Chow told io9. "I think that's something that's sometimes a little bit overlooked, but it's quite significant. So for us, on the show, he doesn't know [Anakin is alive] yet."
Will we get an Obi-Wan-Vader rematch?
Chow confirmed at Walt Disney Company's 2020 Investor Day event that audiences will "definitely see Obi-Wan and Darth Vader get into it again," per Comicbook.com.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed this to be true, adding during the presentation, "This will be the rematch of the century."
McGregor teased the on-screen sharing in a promo for the series, saying, "Having another swing at each other might be quite satisfying for everybody. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we're going to enjoy making it."
He also said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, "It was frightening to see him again. I hadn't acted with Darth Vader and I've been acting a long time. I think I've done a lot of stuff. But the first take with Darth Vader scared the s--t out of me."
What does this rematch mean for the Star Wars timeline?
In A New Hope, while detecting Obi-Wan, Vader notes he senses "a tremor in the Force," adding, "The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master."
However, he gives no timeline, which would allow for a confrontation between the two to take place at any point between the end of their duel in Revenge of the Sith and when they fought again in A New Hope—during which Vader told Obi-Wan, before the Jedi sacrificed himself to become a Force ghost, "I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master."
"It's something we really did look at and obviously, it's not something you do lightly," Chow told io9. "We're coming out of Revenge of the Sith. And obviously, everything that happened with Order 66 and Anakin and so much of that weight is coming into the series with us that it just felt natural Anakin/Vader would be part of this. It's so connected to where he is in his life at this moment."
In Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Luke, now a Jedi, tries to convince Vader that there "is good" in him and urges him to come with him. His dad replies, "Obi-Wan once thought as you do." During their showdown in Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan makes no such comment but does call Vader "lost." It is possible that the new series will explore further attempts to lead the villain to redemption.
What happened to Obi-Wan between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope?
McGregor's Obi-Wan is not only younger, but also shows more emotion than the older version of the character that Alec Guinness played in the original movie trilogy.
"One of the biggest questions [writer] Joby [Harold] and I were always asking is, 'How did he go from the end of Revenge of the Sith where he's this warrior screaming on the banks of Mustafar to sort of the calm and the peace of Alec Guinness?" Chow told io9. "Something obviously happened in that 20 years and in large part that's the story we're trying to tell."
Obi-Wan Kenobi begins streaming on Disney+ on May 27.