‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Meet the official cast of the new Disney Plus series
Not that it wasn’t official before, but the Obi-Wan Kenobi series has been upgraded to officially official today. Disney+ tweeted a picture of the full cast and got the hype machine going again. No release date yet – that would make it absolutely officially official – but the tweet promises production “begins soon”. Rome wasn’t built in a day, guys, and neither was the Star Wars empire.
Production begins soon on Obi-Wan Kenobi, a special event series coming to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/GH3JBZxZDh
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) March 29, 2021
An Expo far, far away
Even the mighty Obi-Wan Kenobi couldn’t avoid having to journey to the treacherous path of development hell before landing his own TV series. There had been plenty of rumors of an Obi-Wan prequel movie, but whatever buzz that project may have had, it was quickly squashed once the Han Solo prequel Solo was deemed a box office failure.
Then came the 2019 D23 Expo, and Obi-Wan Kenobi fans were gifted the announcement of an upcoming streaming series focusing on their favorite Jedi master. The cherry on top of the announcement was young Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, coming out on stage to deliver the news: “Yes, I am playing Obi-Wan Kenobi . . . It feels so nice to say!”
Few details were given about the series at the time, beyond McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Reports indicated the show would explore Obi-Wan’s years in exile during the gap between Revenge of the Sith & A New Hope. In September 2019, Deborah Chow was announced as the series’ director, and Hossein Amini as its writer. Obi-Wan was on track to have his own Disney+ show.
Stay on target!
There aren’t many official (there’s that word again) reports detailing what exactly shut pre-production down on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. In January 2020, production was pushed from July 2020 to January 2021. In April 2020, it was announced Joby Harold was replacing Hossein Amini as writer. In August 2020, Lucasfilms president Kathleen Kennedy told The Wrap the project would be a limited series, not an ongoing show.
It’s unclear how much of the development troubles had to do with the less-than-ideal reception to The Rise of Skywalker at the end of 2019. However, Collider and The Hollywood Reporter quoted sources saying Kennedy wasn’t happy with the Kenobi scripts. A source went even further and said the problem was the Obi-Wan Kenobi series started looking too much like The Mandalorian.
You’d think comparisons to The Mandalorian would be a good thing, right? But in this case, they weren’t. The source told THR the Obi-Wan Kenobi series would see the older Jedi taking care of a young Luke Skywalker, and maybe even a young Princess Leia as well. That dynamic might have felt a bit too much like a retread of Mando’s interactions with Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian.
Stronger than before
Ewan McGregor did some damage control in a statement to IGN: “It’s just slid to next year, that’s all. The scripts were really good. Now that Episode IX came out and everyone at Lucasfilm has got more time to spend on the writing, they felt they wanted more time to write the episodes.” (McGregor basically waved his hand in front of the reporter’s face and said “This is not the story you’re looking for.”, didn’t he?)
At any rate, Obi-Wan Kenobi is back, baby! You saw that new announcement – how stacked is that cast? Obviously, the big news has always been McGregor & Hayden Christensen reprising their prequel roles. But let’s show Joel Edgerton & Bonnie Piesse some love for coming back as the prequel versions of Uncle Owen & Uncle Beru, too. And then you have all the newcomers to the franchise.
Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Sung Kang, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessel, Moses Ingram . . . and they even got one of the Safdie Brothers in there! Also, did we mention the director for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Deborah Chow was the woman behind two killer episodes of The Mandalorian? She directed “Chapter 3: The Sin” and “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”.
Looks like the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is back on track. Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments!