Obi–Wan Kenobi is the much–anticipated upcoming series which will see Rupert Friend play the Grand Inquisitor instead of Jason Isaacs, who voiced the character in Star Wars Rebels.
The Star Wars franchise is continually expanding through new films and series, whether animated or live-action. The latest of the expansion is the much-anticipated Disney Plus live-action limited series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, set to premiere on the platform in May 2022.
Following the release of the trailer, it was finally revealed that acclaimed actor, Rupert Friend, would play the character of the title antagonist – Grand Inquisitor.
This is a character that fans believed would be assumed by Harry Potter alum, Jason Isaacs, as he already plays the voice behind the villainous animated character in Star Wars Rebel.
What is Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Star Wars’ upcoming series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was confirmed in March 2021 as Disney Plus revealed the main cast of the series.
The premise of the series is, “Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi watches over young Luke Skywalker and evades the Empire's elite Jedi hunters during his exile on the desert planet Tatooine.”
Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series will be a six-episode limited series scheduled to premiere in May 2022, with no news yet about whether there will be a second season.
Star Wars: Rupert Friend plays Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Despite the announcement of the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast in March 2021, the title characters were only revealed with the release of the official trailer in March 2022.
What was already established was that Ewan McGregor would reprise his role as Obi-Wan, but fans were eagerly anticipating the reveal of who would play the character of the series’ title villain, the Grand Inquisitor.
Grand Inquisitor is a title used to describe the highest-ranking Inquisitor of the Galactic Empire. The character is a Pau’an male and a former Jedi Temple Guard.
The Grand Inquisitor reports directly to the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, and is tasked with hunting down Jedi, who survived the Great Jedi Purge. The role was made famous by Oscar nominee, Jason Isaacs, as he voiced the character in Star Wars Rebels.
Fans initially believed that Isaacs would reprise the role for the live-action limited series, however, with the release of the trailer it was confirmed that fellow British actor, Rupert Friend, would assume the role.
Star Wars’ continued disappointment in recasting beloved characters
For fans of the Star Wars franchise, actors that give voice to their beloved characters in animated versions of the franchise form a relationship with the real-life actors.
So much so that they want the actors who voice characters that have never before been played by real-life actors to be played by the voice actors. However, Star Wars has made it a trend to disappoint in this respect.
Whether it be Sabine Wren, played in the live-action by Natasha Liu Bordizzo instead of voice actress, Tiya Sircar, or Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger played by Aladdin’s Mena Massoud instead of voice actor, Taylor Gray.
The only one who dodged the bullet was Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, who got the chance to play the character in both the live-action and the animated series. The same has happened with Rupert Friend replacing Jason Isaacs as Grand Inquisitor.
Who is Rupert Friend?
Rupert Friend is a British actor who came into mainstream success with his roles in The Libertine and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. But his international acclaim came when he played the role of Mr. Wickham in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.
He then formed a part of the cast of the Oscar nominated film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in 2008. Besides being a respected actor, Friend is also a producer in his own production company, Beat Pictures.
He is also a director, making his directorial debut with the Colin Firth and Keira Knightley-fronted short film, Steve in 2010. Now he is set to play his biggest role yet as Grand Inquisitor on Disney Plus’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi–Wan Kenobi announces delay in release
When the first official trailer of Obi-Wan Kenobi was released in March 2022, Disney Plus had projected a Wednesday, 25 May 2022 release date for the series.
However, on Thursday, 31 March 2022, the production took to Instagram to share an update which confirmed there would be a delay in the release of the series.
Ewan McGregor confirmed the new release date in the post as Friday, 27 May 2022. Moreover, the series premiere will consist of the release of the first two-episode part of the limited series. Thereafter, a single episode will be released weekly on Fridays.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is the upcoming limited series which is part of the Star Wars franchise. Fans are excited to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as Obi-Wan, a character he first played over 20 years ago.
Fans are, however, less than excited to find out they will not be seeing Jason Isaacs play the character of Grand Inquisitor in the live-action, when it was confirmed that Rupert Friend would play the role in the upcoming limited series.