The next chapter in the Star Wars franchise comes in the form of a limited series streaming on Disney+. Obi-Wan Kenobi will finally give fans a glimpse at what the title character was up to in between Star Wars Episodes III and IV. Stars Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader) are reprising their roles in what Director Deborah Chow calls a dark story that takes place during a dark time.
During the press conference for Obi-Wan Kenobi, McGregor expresses that while he was always willing to play Obi-Wan again, it had to be telling a good story. He is confident that they found one, and says it was interesting to get to explore a broken version of this character.
Fans will recall that at the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan was dealing with a great defeat – the loss of his apprentice and best friend, Anakin Skywalker, to the dark side. Obi-Wan Kenobi picks up ten years after those events, when his only tie to his past is watching over young Luke Skywalker, who was given to Uncle Owen at the end of the film. The Jedi Council has fallen, and any remaining Jedi are forced to hide, no longer using the force and unable to communicate with one another. McGregor confesses that “It was interesting to take a character that we know and love and take him to this more broken place.”
Because of where it fits in the timeline, Obi-Wan Kenobi is both a sequel and a prequel, something that Director Deborah Chow says was her greatest challenge, but also why she was so excited. Vader and Kenobi are both huge, iconic, legacy characters from the Star Wars franchise and so it was exciting to get to tell a part of their story that is new to fans. However, it was important for them to respect the canon while at the same time delivering an original story with an original vision. McGregor and Chow believe they have pulled this off. McGregor says “We’ve ended up with a really, really brilliant story. One that will satisfy the fans sitting between those two episodes.”
Ewan explains that he and Christensen formed a close bond while filming Episodes Two and Three. They were filmed in Australia, so they were both away from home. The two had a lot of fun together on and off the set. They spent a lot of time together, but lost touch over the years.
“When I saw him again and was able to talk about this project with him, it was very exciting. It's great. When we were acting together, it was like some sort of Time Warp. Looking across to him on set was like the last 17 years didn't happen at all,” Ewan says fondly.
Moses Ingram joins the series as an Imperial Inquisitor. This is the first time these characters are being brought to live action, as they were made popular in the animated show, Star Wars Rebels. Ingram confesses that it was really fun to play someone bad, and to join the dark side. She explains that her character is a subordinate to Darth Vader who will do anything that she can to get the job down to the best of her ability.
Because Inquisitors are not completely new to the franchise, the costume was already pretty much set. However, Ingram commends the team for letting her bring her own sense of style to Reva, which is seen through her hair. Moses explains, “Her hair was different in the initial envisioning of the character, and it was just something that my hair didn't do naturally. But that was so great about hearing me out and that's how we ended up with a braid. It's really important for me to do what my hair does.”
Ingram adds that getting to play a strong female character means a lot to her. She recalls not having a lot of characters like this to look up to when she was a kid. It was always about the boys, and these types of shows were not for girls. Reva in Obi-Wan Kenobi shows that you can fight like a girl and be badass at the same time.
Of course, you can’t have Star Wars without lightsabers, which is something Ingram says was actually quite intimidating. The fight training started four months before the cast even stepped foot on set, so at least she had time to get used to it. On top of lightsaber training, there was Jedi school and typical strength and cardio classes.
She confesses that doing lightsaber work with Ewan was the most intimidating because he has been doing it for years. “He’s flipping it, wielding it, and I’m like, God I’m never gonna get it, I look terrible,” Ingram laughs, but practice makes perfect and she eventually nailed the saber work.
Ewan adds to the conversation by saying that the lightsaber training was actually a great way to get to know each other. He has worked with Hayden Christensen before, of course, and says it was lovely to get to spend time with him again, but this is his first time working with Moses Ingram and working together in the fight room was a nice way to get to know each other.
McGregor also wanted to be sure to give props to the Obi-Wan Kenobi fight coordinator Jojo. He watched and studied the prequel films with his stunt team to ensure that the fighting style was incorporated into Kenobi. “It’s not just random.” Ewan ensures.
Director Deborah Chow is not completely new to the Star Wars franchise; fans will recognize her name as one of the directors of The Mandalorian. Because of this, she was already familiar with the stagecraft technology that was used in filming Obi-Wan Kenobi. “I was actually incredibly excited to be able to use it on Kenobi as well.” Chow says.
“It was also really exciting to be able to design and to develop material knowing that I was going to shoot stagecraft. A lot of times, I’d be looking at the scene, even as we were writing it, thinking about how is this going to translate into the volume? And how can, how can we take advantage of the tech as best as possible?” – Deborah Chow
She goes on to explain that ever since the first season of The Mandalorian, the technology has advanced and by the time they were working on Kenobi, there were some things they could do that they couldn’t do on The Mandalorian.
Tune into the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi when they premiere on Disney+ on May 27th.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.