Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on May 25, marking perhaps the most widely anticipated Star Wars series in the streaming era on Disney+. The return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen to the franchise has been met with tons of excitement, and it will be great seeing them on-screen once more.
But in any official announcement or casting information, Christensen has been described as playing Darth Vader. Which is, of course, true: the Sith Lord is headed for another showdown with his former master, and Vader will likely be a significant factor in the show. But it has long seemed likely that Christensen’s return was for something even more, since him appearing only behind Vader’s mask (and not even providing Vader’s voice) would be a bit odd. No, many of us have assumed that Christensen is not only returning as Darth Vader, but also as Anakin Skywalker.
And it seems that Ewan McGregor acknowledged as much in a recent interview with Forbes.
After speaking about his great experience working with showrunner and director Deborah Chow, McGregor said, “We just had a great time. I think it’s no secret that Hayden Christensen comes back and we got to play scenes together again as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and it was just fantastic to work with him again. I’m not going to give away anything else about the storyline, only I think it’s really going to satisfy Star Wars fans.” He went on to add that he always thought there was a story to tell in this period and that he thinks people will like the one they’re telling.
So yeah, that sounds pretty clear that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are back on-screen together again, played once more by Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, for the first time in live-action in 17 years. That’s awesome! But how does that work, given the time period? I’ve long hoped that this series would make use of flashbacks, showcasing moments from the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the leading members of the Jedi Council and one of the most trusted generals in the Republic Army, and now he’s living in exile on Tatooine – I think there’s great potential to use flashbacks as a sort of contrast to his way of life, showing how this great Jedi continues to adjust to his totally new life. And it’s a great way to get Kenobi and Skywalker on-screen together again. It also could be a way to bring others into the fold as well – like, for instance, Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano or Temuera Morrison as Rex and/or Cody.
It could play out any number of ways, but this seems to me to be a clear indication that we’ll be seeing flashbacks of some kind in this series. Hayden Christensen is not just returning as Darth Vader, but we’ll see him as Anakin Skywalker again, before the dark times, alongside his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. I cannot wait!