An Obi-Wan TV show is coming to Disney+, and here's everything we know about it. A rumored movie (and later TV show) revolving around Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi has been going around for years, and it wasn't until D23 Expo 2019 that Lucasfilm confirmed that there is, indeed, a series in development.
Being a fan-favorite character, there's long been a desire to see Obi-Wan Kenobi back on-screen in the Star Wars universe. The last time audiences got to see McGregor in the role was 2005's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Since then, Lucasfilm was sold to Disney and the Mouse House subsequently launched (and has now almost finished) a full-fledged sequel trilogy, thereby concluding the Skywalker saga. But that doesn't mean the everything that happened during the three Star Wars trilogies will be cast aside in favor of wholly new content.
Disney+ has another season of Clone Wars on the way along with live-action series such as The Mandalorian and a Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prequel, all of which take place in the confines of the Skywalker saga. Obi-Wan is merely the next series that continues that trend but is also unique in the sense that it centers on a mainline character. A lot of information has already been revealed about the series, including who is starring, how many episodes there will be, and a few story details hinting at where we will be meeting Kenobi within the Star Wars timeline.
Ewan McGregor Is Returning As Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ewan McGregor is returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the Disney+ series. Since the Star Wars prequels, McGregor has become synonymous with Obi-Wan for fans around the world. By far the most universally loved element of the prequels, McGregor brought a sense of gravitas, charm, and intensity to the role that was respectful to Alec Guinness, yet also unique. For years, the actor was asked about returning to the role, to which would repeatedly answer that he would be honored to put on the Jedi robes again but the decision wasn't up to him. After plenty of rumors, including an Obi-Wan movie being in the works at one point, McGregor is finally returning to a galaxy far, far away. Now that it is confirmed, the Obi-Wan series will be a great opportunity for McGregor to dust off his lightsaber and return to the iconic role.
The Obi-Wan Series Will Be 6 To 8 Episodes
Unlike The Mandalorian, the Obi-Wan series isn't expected to be a multi-season TV show, but instead a limited series, opting for a tight 6-8 episodes centered on the Jedi Master. There are a few plausible reasons for this, including McGregor's own schedule, but the biggest comes down to what story there is to tell. Plot-wise, it's important to keep things focused, and there's only a finite period the Obi-Wan TV series can actually cover. The character went into hiding after Revenge of the Sith and the Empire had been looking for him for years, and while we know some of the things he got up to during that period, a lot of it was also spent in exile and isolation, meaning it doesn't lend itself to a multi-season arc.
Obi-Wan Release Date Info
All of the scripts for the Obi-Wan series are written, and it will begin filming in 2020. While an official release date hasn't been announced, it's a good sign that it will release in 2021. Assuming Obi-Wan starts shooting in early 2020, a mid-2021 release date does not seem that far off. The Mandalorian began shooting in October 2018 and is scheduled for a November 2019 release alongside Disney+. If Obi-Wan follows a similar production schedule, it shouldn't be too long before we see the old Jedi Master again.
Obi-Wan Takes Place Eight Years After Revenge of the Sith
One of the most speculated questions is when Obi-Wan takes place in the Star Wars timeline. The last time fans saw Obi-Wan played by McGregor, the Jedi was coming off of an incredible battle with his padawan-turned-Sith, Anakin Skywalker. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan promised to look after Anakin's son, Luke, and watch over the child as he grows up with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. At the same time, Yoda instructed Obi-Wan to train with his own master, Qui-Gon Jinn, to learn how to become a Force Ghost, an ability he commonly used in the original trilogy. It's now been confirmed that Obi-Wan takes place eight years after Revenge of the Sith.
Having the Obi-Wan series take place eight years after Revenge of the Sith and 11 years before A New Hope will give fans a window into a very interesting point in Obi-Wan's life. The only downside to it being so removed from Revenge of the Sith is that we might not get to see Obi-Wan's immediate trauma from the events of Order 66. Hopefully, the series does not hold back in showing up Kenobi's mental state and inner turmoil from the destruction of his livelihood. At D23 Expo 2019, Lucasfilm revealed an updated Star Wars timeline to show where all the films, animated series, and Disney+ series fit into the main Skywalker saga.
It's worth noting that the Obi-Wan series directly overlaps with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Solo featured many story elements that have a chance to directly tie into the Kenobi series. The Crimson Dawn crime syndicate would make for a formidable foe for Obi-Wan to take down that doesn't directly put him under the focus of the Empire. This could also lead to cameo appearances by Emilia Clarke‘s Qi’Ra or Paul Bettany‘s Dryden Vos. Although, of course, what fans really want to see is Darth Maul.
What The Obi-Wan TV Show's Story Will Be
Darth Maul has been tied to Obi-Wan Kenobi ever since the two battled in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan sliced the Sith in half and presumably killed him, but Maul ended up returning in Clone Wars and again in Star Wars Rebels. He was ultimately killed by Obi-Wan, for good this time, in season 3. While Maul's story came to an end at the hand of Kenobi, it was a short battle and there is definitely room for one more rematch somewhere in between the series and that episode. The Kenobi series seems perfect for another battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul at the height of their respective powers.
Aside from Maul, there are many paths the Obi-Wan series might take. The return of Qui-Gon Jinn would be an excellent way to show off more of the Force. Obi-Wan's continued training with the Force, which eventually enable him to become a Force Ghost, is something that could easily be explored. In doing so, it would give Liam Neeson a chance to return to the role, whether that's in-person or as a voice actor. But perhaps most importantly, the Obi-Wan series may tease the exiled Jedi's relationship with a young Luke Skywalker, long before Luke leaves Tatooine to become a Jedi. In A New Hope, Luke recognizes Obi-Wan and Old Ben, which shows the two have met at least once before the events of the film. Both directly and indirectly, Kenobi has been protecting Luke throughout his life and the Obi-Wan series makes for a great opportunity to showcase that in live-action.
The Obi-Wan series has incredible potential to deep dive into a fan-favorite character. While Kenobi has had incredible moments as a padawan, Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, and ultimately a mentor to some of the most powerful people in the Star Wars universe, there hasn't been a true chance to explore his character without also dedicating significant time to others. By focusing on Obi-Wan's life when he was most vulnerable - and in hiding, for that matter, after Order 66 - makes for a fascinating opportunity for profound storytelling. Plus, with the chance that characters like Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, Maul, and more can appear in some form, the sky is the limit for Disney+'s Obi-Wan series.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019