Breaking down the epic teaser trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi!

The teaser trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi is here!

The trailer was released yesterday, giving us a look at the highly anticipated series that will debut on Disney+ on May 25. In addition to tons of great shots and reveals, the trailer is accompanied by some epic musical arrangement combining Duel of the Fates, Battle of the Heroes, the Force theme, and Anakin’s Dark Deeds – which is basically an automatic way to make Star Wars fans fall in love. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a look:

There’s a lot to talk about from this trailer, so let’s break it all down shot-by-shot!

The trailer opens with what fans are expecting to see from the series before then launching into some things that fans might not have been expecting, if they haven’t kept up with any of the rumors. But everyone knew that this series would show Obi-Wan Kenobi in exile on Tatooine, taking place a decade after Revenge of the Sith, and here we see several glimpses of what that life looks like. He’s riding his Eopie in the desert and into town, presumably to get supplies. I think these shots really convey the sense of aloneness and exile that Obi-Wan’s experiencing during this time.

During these shots (and into some of the subsequent ones), we hear Kenobi saying, “The fight is done. We lost. Stay hidden.” It’s unclear if these lines all go together (especially that last one), but it sets the stage and conveys the tone well. In the captions on the images released by Entertainment Weekly, Ewan McGregor gives us a taste of where this great Jedi Master is at the start of this series: “We find Obi-Wan at the beginning of our story rather broken, and faithless, and beaten, somewhat given up.” I’m guessing that this series will explore Kenobi finding his faith and purpose once more and embracing both his destiny and his failures, much like Yoda teaches Luke in The Last Jedi. But at the start, he’s resigned to the fact that they lost.

But who is the “we” he’s speaking of? There’s no context to know who he is speaking with. Perhaps he’s talking to himself, reminding himself of these things and giving the audience a look at his mental state. Perhaps he’s talking to Qui-Gon Jinn, something I’m hoping happens in this series. But here’s actually what I think might be happening: I think he might be talking with another Jedi survivor. I’ll explain more of why I’m wondering that in just a minute, but that would explain why a defeated Kenobi would say, “Stay hidden.”

Kenobi does have a purpose, however, as Maul would later come to learn in Rebels: he’s protecting young Luke Skywalker, who at this time is around ten years old. And in the trailer we see Obi-Wan sitting alone on a ledge somewhere, looking on at the Lars Homestead as Luke dreams of flying. The parallels here between Luke and his father, Anakin, in The Phantom Menace are pretty awesome, and I like the fact that Luke here is dreaming of adventure and excitement while living on this desert world. And Obi-Wan is fulfilling his role of looking on and protecting him. As I’ve written before, I think this is the biggest secret to the show’s success: finding a way to get Kenobi off-world without cheapening or compromising this mission. According to some reports about the series (which contain some potentially massive spoilers, so be warned!), it seems like they’ve done just that.

The Lucasfilm logo appears as Duel of the Fates kicks into gear, which is a dream for any Star Wars fan. The use of the music in this trailer is excellent, but so too is the use of the logos: the Lucasfilm logo blows away like sand, and then at the end of the trailer a blue lightsaber punctuates the Disney+ logo. Everything about this trailer is top notch.

We’re getting Fortress Inquisitorious in live-action! I speculated that this would be the case based on some of the concept art that was released, and this trailer confirms it. This is the home of the Imperial Inquisitors, located on the planet Nur (which is near Mustafar), which was first seen in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. The fortress is on a world covered in water, and part of the fortress is underwater (more on that in a moment). We don’t get a look at the full tower, but we do see a shuttle approaching it.

Fortress Inquisitorious makes it’s first live-action appearance after being created for a video game, and the Grand Inquisitor (played by Rupert Friend) makes his first live-action appearance after being created for the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The Grand Inquisitor works under Darth Vader to lead the rest of the Inquisitorious, a group of Force sensitive Jedi hunters employed by the Empire. The Grand Inquisitor is a most formidable foe, and he’s getting involved in this series, even appearing on Tatooine from the looks of it!

And speaking of the looks of it… this look is going to take a bit of getting used to. Simply put, I’m not in love with the look and design here and don’t think that it captures the feel of either the Grand Inquisitor from Rebels or other Pau’ans from live action at all. I typically try to be pretty generous and understanding when things don’t translate exactly from animation to live action, since they’re different mediums (and since the criticism doesn’t really happen both ways). So Ahsoka Tano or Cad Bane, for instance, didn’t really bother me. But this one, for whatever reason, just doesn’t look right. But whatever. That’s a pretty minor complaint (and literally the only negative thing I have to say about this trailer at all), and I’m sure that after a bit we’ll all get used to it. In fact, I wonder if that’s why they included him in this initial trailer so much, as it allows fans to get used to how he looks and get any criticisms out of the way now so that there’s no surprise or adjustment when the show actually arrives.

On another note, quite a bit of the ‘narration’ in the trailer comes from the Grand Inquisitor too, as across much of the trailer we hear him saying, “The key to hunting Jedi is patience. Jedi cannot help what they are. Their compassion leaves a trail. The Jedi code is like an itch. He cannot help it.” That’s an awesome statement and excellent writing, and it’s true – the Inquisitors know that the Jedi can’t help but reveal themselves before long (thus the need for patience), because they won’t stand by and watch others suffer without intervening to help. And I think that could provide an interesting look at Obi-Wan here. He’s surrounded by suffering on Tatooine, and he surely wants to do something about it… but will he? And how much can he really do without revealing himself? That’s a key question for this series to explore, I’m sure.

Obi-Wan rides what looks like a public transport into town, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually winds up taking public transport off-world as well. But here we also see him blending in with the locals, trying to stay hidden.

Fortress Inquisitorious again, and this time we see how this fortress is located partially underwater (as glimpsed out the window). We see three Inquisitors here, all of whom show up later in this trailer, so I’ll save more thoughts on them for later. But notice that at the table there looks to be one chair in particular that is taller and more elaborate than the others, so I wonder whether this is reserved for the Grand Inquisitor – or even for Lord Vader?

Ok, so these shots really ratchet up the intensity of this trailer. We see a corpse (presumably) hanging in the streets of a Tatooine city, glimpsing only the feet, with people looking on, and then we get a look at a new Inquisitor, played by Moses Ingram. This Inquisitor is named Reva, and she appears to be the main antagonist of the series, at least at first (before it inevitably shifts to Darth Vader, like we know is coming). Deborah Chow and Joby Harold described the character to EW as “ruthlessly ambitious,” and it seems she’ll play a pivotal role in this show. I’ll have more to speculate on her character in a moment, but here I can’t help but think that this person was killed by Reva. And if that’s the case, then it wouldn’t surprise me if this is a Jedi in hiding – which is a large part of why I wonder if Obi-Wan’s lines from earlier in the trailer were actually directed to another Jedi. I think that a very clear – and jarring – way to show where Kenobi is at this point in his life is if another Jedi comes asking for help, only for Obi-Wan to decline… and for that other Jedi to wind up dead.

And then, of course, there’s Joel Edgerton back as Uncle Owen Lars, and one of the EW images actually shows him having a standoff with Reva. Here, we see that he’s looking on at Reva, and all of this makes it clear that the Inquisitors are super close to Luke – without even realizing it! I’m guessing that this is part of what drives the rift between Owen and Obi-Wan all the more, as he realizes that Kenobi’s mere presence on the planet endangers the boy and thus wants him to stay away. And if that’s true, and the Inquisitors are actually getting closer and closer to Obi-Wan, that could be part of the reason that causes him to leave the planet, seeing that for the moment the best way to protect Luke is by drawing the Empire away from him.

I’m really hoping we get to see a decent amount of Owen, and all Deborah Chow told EW is,  “Thank you, George, for casting Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen. That’s all I can say.”

We see Reva crouched atop a building on a brand new planet. This planet is called Daiyu, and it’s described by writer Joby Harold to EW as having a “sort of has a Hong Kong feel to it. It’s got a graffiti-ridden nightlife, and is kind of edgy. It’s just got a different lane and a different feeling.” It seems that the adventure moves from Tatooine to this planet, which provides quite the contrast in styles (and might I just add here that this show looks fantastic too; from our glimpses so far it really feels like a movie-level production).

An Imperial shuttle lands on Tatooine, and I’m guessing that this is the ship seen approaching Fortress Inquisitorious earlier in the trailer, so this is probably the ship that brings the Inquisitors to the planet. But it’s not just the Inquisitors…

The Empire is here too. We’ve seen stormtroopers in other shots, and here we see an Imperial officer, played by Indira Varma.

On Daiyu, we see another new Inquisitor, apparently interrogating people – much like the Second Sister did on Bracca at the beginning of Jedi: Fallen Order. We don’t know anything about this new Inquisitor, and I’m not even sure what species she is (it doesn’t look familiar to me). But we did see her sitting at the table in the Fortress earlier, so it seems she’ll be part of the team that’s on the hunt in this show.

Then in another shot, we see Obi-Wan walking discretely through the streets, trying to blend in. But the question is whether he’s there purely to draw the Inquisitors away from Tatooine, or whether he’s there for another reason too…

There’s a new droid, with a design that I’m not familiar with. It’s unclear who this droid is or where its loyalties lie.

Reva runs along a falling tower as she then leaps across the chasm from one building to the next. Presumably this is part of her hunt for Kenobi on Daiyu.

The Grand Inquisitor also seems to be on Daiyu (at least that’s where it looks like he is), and I’m happy to report that the spinning lightsaber blades used by the Inquisitors are, indeed, in this show as well! Though we’ll still have to see whether they use them as helicopters, the Grand Inquisitor does use it to threaten a civilian, demanding to know, “where is he?” We’re made to think that he’s talking about Kenobi, and that’s probably the best guess, though we can’t say that definitively.

Here’s our fourth different Inquisitor seen in this trailer, but we’ve seen him before! This is the Fifth Brother, who first appeared in Rebels but is now making his live-action debut (played by Sung Kang). They’ve captured his outfit perfectly here. And he leads a squad of stormtroopers through the Daiyu streets.

Showing impressive agility, Reva glides over a table to stand in front of a man who is attempting to get away. And as Reva does, she ignites her lightsaber, standing menacingly in his way. I’m guessing that this is the unfortunate person who is killed by Reva and hung up in the city for others to see, and if that’s the case, I wonder if this could be another Jedi in disguise.

A gloved hand gently touches a carved image of the Jedi symbol. It’s possible that this is Obi-Wan (he’s seen wearing a black glove in an earlier shot), but I don’t think it really looks like him. Instead, this looks like Reva. And if that’s the case, I have a theory: I bet Reva is a fallen Jedi. We know that was the case with many of the Inquisitors, as they were formerly Jedi who embraced the dark side and joined the Empire after the fall of the Republic, so perhaps this is a moment of reflection for Reva as she thinks about her former way of life.

But either way, in her new way of life, she’s hunting Jedi. And that includes Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom she apparently confronts here in an alley on Daiyu. The figure here is holding a blaster, which Kenobi is using presumably to avoid the detection that would come with him igniting his lightsaber. But considering that it looks like he’s going to be facing Reva, I’m guessing the lightsaber is about to be brought out.

Here we see Kenobi using the blaster in action, fighting off a group of pursuers. It doesn’t look like these guys are Imperials (at least not stormtroopers), so could another faction be getting into the action as well? Whoever it is, this is quite an uncivilized look for Kenobi.

An explosion sends a group of green birds into the air. I don’t know what this is about, but it fits the theme of the trailer: out of darkness and defeat, hope survives.

And so the final shot of the trailer is Obi-Wan, looking at something before he glances up.

Cue the title card as Anakin’s Dark Deeds plays, and we hear the iconic breathing of Darth Vader. That’s all that we need of Vader in this trailer; we know he’s going to be in the series, and this is just a tease toward that end. The trailer has been building up the Inquisitors, but with this breathing we’re reminded of who they work for – and who will be the true villain of this series.

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