We’ve recently got a ton of new information and first looks at the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, including a trailer that’s obviously taken center stage. But in addition to that was a feature done by Entertainment Weekly – which, since they came out a few hours before the trailer were technically our first real look at the series – that included some interesting information and pictures from the show.
There’s a lot we could talk about from all of this, but here are five things we learned from the EW write-up.
1. Obi-Wan is “rather broken, and faithless, and beaten” when we meet him
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the biggest heroes of the entire Star Wars saga, a man who lost so much and yet remained a beacon of hope and light. But when we encounter him at the start of this series, he’s in a very different place than what we’re used to from him. Here, he’s still struggling with his failure with Anakin and feeling like hope is lost. “We find Obi-Wan at the beginning of our story rather broken, and faithless, and beaten, somewhat given up,” Ewan McGregor said. In the feature article, McGregor says, “Obi-Wan is lost. He’s a broken man after what happened with the Jedi order at the end of Episode III, but also what happened with Anakin; that he lost him to the dark side. He feels an enormous amount of responsibility for that, and guilt.”
This all appears to be illustrated too by the fact that Kenobi is, apparently, living in a cave, as one of the images shows. Maybe he thinks that this is what he deserves, almost as a means of penance, but I’ll also note that this looks awfully reminiscent of the cave where Kenobi spoke to Qui-Gon on Mortis (just saying…) Anyway, it’s in the midst of this guilt and hopelessness that we find the character at the start of this series, set ten years after Revenge of the Sith, and a big part of what the show is about is how Kenobi finds some semblance of peace leading up to where we find him in A New Hope. That’s what ultimately led to Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy halting production to bring in a new writer to re-work the series, because she was looking for a “hopeful, uplifting story” – something she acknowledges is hard to do with Kenobi at this point in time.
So she brought in Joby Harold to write the scripts, and he spoke to where the Jedi Master is at as well. “When we last saw Obi-Wan in the prequels, he’s very emotional,” Harold said. “There’s a passion to him. And when we get to see him again in A New Hope, he is the Zen master. That was the story that I wanted to understand — what had happened to Obi-Wan between the guy that Ewan had brought to life and the guy that Sir Alec Guinness brought to life.” In many ways, then, that’s what this story is about: it’s about how a broken Jedi Master, riddled with grief and having lost hope, regains his belief in the Force and the Jedi and embraces his destiny once more (and if that’s handled anywhere near as well as the similar story with Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, we’re in store for a real treat).
2. “A very powerful Vader” casts a shadow over the entire show
It’s not just the return of Ewan McGregor that has fans excited, however – Hayden Christensen is back as Darth Vader, and the article describes how he stole the show on set – and how the debate over whether to bring the character into the series at all was one of the most discussed questions. Ultimately, they decided that they needed to do so, and that shapes the entire rest of the story.
“His shadow is cast across so much of what we do,” Harold said. “And the degree of his proximity to that shadow is something that we’ll discover. But he is very much a part of the show emotionally for Obi-Wan, and possibly beyond that as well.” Which, of course, makes sense when considering that a major theme will be how Kenobi is processing his failure with his former apprentice. Even when Vader isn’t physically present, his impact will be felt. And I’m excited to see Obi-Wan learning and growing through this.
But don’t let that deceive you into thinking that Vader won’t be physically present, either; he’s headed for a rematch with his old master, and he’ll be ruthless. “We’re going to see a very powerful Vader,” Christensen teased.
3. Reva is a ruthless and ambitious “badass”
While much of the attention is on the returning stars – and rightly so – a brand new character is getting a ton of attention as well, and as much screentime in the trailer as anyone: Moses Ingram’s Reva, an Inquisitor working for Lord Vader and the Grand Inquisitor. The Inquisitors are a group of Force sensitive villains working for Vader whose job is to hunt down and eliminate the Jedi, and they will feature significantly in this series (the trailer showed us four different Inquisitors). But Reva is the most prominent of them, and Harold says that she will “contribute to the legacy of Star Wars villains in a really interesting way.”
As for what to expect from this character (who EW said Deborah Chow and Joby Harold described as “ruthlessly ambitious”), Moses Ingram said, “Reva is a boss. I mean, really like a full-on athlete. She is on a mission and will conquer that at all costs when given the opportunity. She is pretty badass.”
She’ll presumably be the primary villain early on in the series before that inevitably shifts to Vader, but it sounds like the showrunners are convinced that she’ll become instantly iconic.
4. Owen Lars takes a stand
And it’s not just the Jedi that Reva apparently confronts, either. One of the most interesting of the images released by EW shows Owen Lars staring down Reva face-to-face. This reminds us that not only are McGregor and Christensen reprising their roles from the prequels, but so too are Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Owen and Beru Lars, respectively. We don’t know much about what to expect from them, but we do know that director Deborah Chow was eager for them to show up.
“I was so excited to bring them back,” she said. “Part of what made the series feel very special is that we were bringing back not only Ewan and Hayden, but people like Joel and Bonnie from 20 years ago and getting to reunite as the same characters.” But what of that image of Uncle Owen and Reva? We don’t have much information about that, but in another piece, Chow said, “Thank you, George, for casting Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen. That’s all I can say.”
We know that Reva and the Inquisitors come to Tatooine, and that means that they’re extremely close to young Luke. So even though they’re surely not there because of him, this is probably a pretty stark warning for Owen and Beru about the danger Luke is in, and I’m guessing that this is probably part of what drives a wedge between Owen and Obi-Wan. And it honestly makes sense – what parent wouldn’t fear for their Force-sensitive child in hiding if the ruthless Inquisitors showed up near their doorstep? I’m totally here for more of Owen and Beru.
5. A brand new world
While Kenobi during this time period is relegated to Tatooine in exile, he’ll leave the planet in the series for a galaxy-wide adventure, taking him to the planet Daiyu, seen in the trailer and in images from EW. This is a brand new world for Star Wars fans, and it looks to be a total opposite of the desert world Kenobi’s been living on.
Joby Harold said that the planet “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.” We don’t know what happens on this planet, but thanks to the trailer we know that the Inquisitors and Obi-Wan Kenobi both travel there – so it’s a safe bet to think that it might be the sight of a significant showdown.