Amidst quite a bit of content for other Disney properties like Marvel and Pixar on Disney+ Day, Star Wars gave us only one brief tease at any upcoming content: a behind-the-scenes teaser reel for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The teaser also confirmed that the series is releasing in 2022, which we basically already knew but now know for sure. No exact date was given, however.
The minute-long look was released on the streaming platform exclusively for Disney+ subscribers, which, well, is really weird. It’s weird because it means that there was nothing whatsoever released on Disney+ Day to engage the general public (i.e. non-Disney+ subscribers); it’s weird because a teaser trailer like this winds up on the internet to watch anyway; and it’s especially weird because seemingly this same teaser was already shown nearly a year ago! At the Disney Investors Day last year, one of the exclusives shown only to investors was a behind-the-scenes reel about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and based on descriptions of that footage, it seems like this is the same thing. So after keeping it for investors only, eleven months later Disney decided to release this exclusively on their streaming platform as the only Star Wars promo for their big Disney+ Day. It’s just really strange to me.
But we did get to see something about the show, for which I am thankful! The teaser featured some interviews with star Ewan McGregor and director Deborah Chow talking about the series, and this was interspersed with various pieces of concept art for the series. So what I thought I’d do here is comment on these pieces of art. Before I do, though, I must make this abundantly clear: concept art does not mean it’s going to be in the show. One of the traps Star Wars fans have fallen into in recent years is that, when the “Art of…” books are released, you see people saying, “this thing almost made it in the movie!” even when it’s not the case. Concept art might give us some indications of what makes it in, but sometimes it’s just art made to get some of the creative juices flowing and to help visualize various things.
I will say that for a teaser like this, it would make sense for the concept art included to actually have some bearing on the series, however, as if not any future marketing like this will be met with even more skepticism. So I’m operating with the assumption that while this concept art doesn’t mean we’ll see these things in the show, it can be used to speculate on what might be. Let’s dive in!
It’s Obi-Wan Kenobi (shocker, right?)! We see Old Ben riding an Eopie on Tatooine, and Kenobi is looking quite rugged from his time in the twin suns. He’s looking considerably older than we last saw him, and I think one of the (many) interesting things about this series will be seeing the character blend more and more between Ewan McGregor’s portrayal in the prequels and Alec Guinness’s portrayal in the originals. McGregor did a fantastic job making it clear that these were the same character, but now we’ll be much closer to Guinness’s character in this series. McGregor fits age-wise, and we’ll have to see how it’s reflected in the series. But nine years in the Tatooine desert will have an affect on aging and appearance, that’s for sure.
We see concept art for an Imperial base somewhere, with lots of stormtroopers standing around. The style of the building looks a lot like the Jedi Temple, but to me the most interesting clue is the windows and lighting… it sure does look to me like this might be underwater. The blue-green glow, plus the fact that it looks like even a few schools of fish outside, are clues. And what Imperial facility do we know of that is located (at least partially) underwater? The Fortress Inquisitorious on Nur, as seen in Fallen Order. Thematically, this would actually make a ton of sense too. There will be Inquisitors in the show (more on that next), and Darth Vader will be in it as well (more on that later too). The Fortress Inquisitorious sits in the shadows of Mustafar (the location of Vader’s Castle) and is the home of the Empire’s Inquisitors, and so it makes sense that it would show up. And I would absolutely love seeing it in live action after first seeing it in the video game. Like any concept art we shouldn’t get any real hopes up, but I’m excited even thinking about the possibility of this showing up in the series.
Like I mentioned about concept art, it’s not going to translate 100% from page to screen. And if you want proof of that, take a look at this image. It’s concept art of an Inquisitor showing up on Tatooine, and it looks exactly like the Second Sister. But here’s the thing: it can’t be her. She died in Fallen Order (spoiler), and this series takes place after that. So most likely this concept art rendered this Inquisitor to look like her, nonetheless giving a visual idea of what this might look like. So in the overall sense, I think there are two things this art indicates to us. First, it’s yet another indication that there will be Inquisitors in this show, especially since the art is accompanied by Deborah Chow talking about it’s not safe for Jedi in the galaxy because there are “Jedi hunters” out there. Safe to say these Jedi hunters, aka Inquisitors, will play a role in this series.
Second, though, this art shows an Inquisitor showing up on Tatooine. And it’s at this point in the teaser that we also hear Ewan McGregor talking about how Obi-Wan has one task left: to protect Luke. I think everyone involved in this series has to understand that it would take a really, really good reason for Kenobi to leave Tatooine given that, and it leads me to speculate that the reason he leaves (since we know he will) is actually part of his mission to protect Luke. How could that be? Well, an Inquisitor showing up on Tatooine, on the trail of Obi-Wan Kenobi, would probably do it – whether Kenobi has to hunt them down or lead them on a wild bantha chase across the galaxy to divert their attention from probing too far on the desert planet.
On the subject of Kenobi leaving Tatooine, we get a series of three different pieces of art showcasing different locations – and it’s quite obvious we’re not on the desert planet any longer. The first two look like different city settings, but it’s the third one that really catches my attention, as it looks like a Rebel hangar. Now this could be nothing more than just a piece of art, but it has me wondering whether we might see any familiar Rebel faces like Bail Organa or Mon Mothma (the former would be much more likely) even though this is before the days of the formal Rebel Alliance. However in Rogue One Organa mentions that Kenobi has been in hiding since the Emperor’s purge, so we’ll have to see.
The subject of the teaser then shifts to Hayden Christensen’s return as Darth Vader, with McGregor calling it the best part of the series that he’s reunited with Christensen. We see some concept art of Darth Vader sitting on his throne in his castle on Mustafar, talking to someone via hologram. My guess is that he’s talking with an Inquisitor – maybe one who’s even giving Vader updates on the search for Kenobi. It will be great to see Vader again, and it’ll also be great to (almost surely) see Vader’s Castle on the big screen once more. I’m a big fan of that location, so I’m hoping we get to see it again.
And the last piece of concept art shown is definitely the most exciting, since it depicts Obi-Wan Kenobi facing off against Darth Vader in a fiery setting. Right before seeing this, we see footage of McGregor training for some lightsaber action, and he says, “Have another swing at each other, [it] might be quite satisfying for everybody. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we’re enjoying making it.” Because this teaser was already shown a year ago to Disney Investors, we’ve known that the series seems to be leading up to a rematch between master and apprentice, and now we actually get to see some concept art suggesting the same thing. It’s interesting that the location seems to be another fiery setting, as I’m not convinced they’d have the rematch be in a very similar setting as their prior duel, but this might just be the concept artist using it for reference.
Either way, it seems like Kenobi and Vader will face each other one more time.