In celebration of Star Wars Day yesterday on May the 4th, a new trailer and poster were released in promotion of Obi-Wan Kenobi!
It is hard to officially measure, but it certainly feels like this is the most anticipated Star Wars project in years, and certainly the most anticipated in the Disney+ era. It’s the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, and it’s a story fans have hoped to see for a long time. We’re only a few weeks away from seeing it, as the show will premiere on May 27 on Disney+ with the first two episodes.
This epic new trailer, which is labeled as the trailer whereas the previous one was a teaser, doesn’t give us a ton, but it does give us plenty to get excited about. I broke down the teaser when it released back in March, and now let’s take a look at the new stuff that we saw in this latest (and probably last) trailer.
The trailer opens with a shot of a ship entering the atmosphere to a city at night, and this is almost certainly Daiyu. It’s followed immediately by a shot of the Fifth Brother leading a squad of stormtroopers through the streets of the planet, and we know that this is a brand new world that Obi-Wan goes to – one that features heavily in the trailer. One of the big questions is what gets him off-world (although if some rumors are to be believed we do know why – but it’s a potentially massive spoiler), but I like that we’ll be getting off of Tatooine in this series.
The Inquisitors arrive on Tatooine. We see the Grand Inquisitor, Reva (the Third Sister), and the Fifth Brother emerging from their ship and making their way into town, where they confront civilians – as Owen Lars looks on. As this happens, we hear Obi-Wan saying, “They’re coming. Stay hidden. Or we will not survive.” I find that very interesting, because it certainly seems like he’s talking with another Jedi. In my breakdown of the first trailer I speculated based on a few different shots that what brings the Inquisitors to Tatooine is actually a different Jedi and that they only accidentally stumble upon Kenobi’s trail (more on that in a moment). And I think that makes the most sense; it would be pretty tricky and tenuous territory for the showrunners to have the Inquisitors track Kenobi there, given the fact that he’ll remain in hiding on the planet for another nine years. Because of that, I think it’s hard to imagine the Inquisitors coming there because they suspect Kenobi, but if there’s another Jedi there? That could draw them out. Maybe that Jedi even came there in search of Kenobi, as I think it’s at least somewhat more plausible that another Jedi could learn his location than the Inquisitors. Regardless, I think Kenobi is speaking to another Jedi, urging them to stay hidden because he knows that the Inquisitors are coming.
And speaking of the Inquisitors, I’ve got to say that what we’ve seen of the Grand Inquisitor more recently (both in this trailer and in other images released) looks a lot better. I was seriously unimpressed with how he looked in the first trailer, but I’m convinced that part of the reason they included him from the beginning in the marketing was to allow fans the chance to adjust to how he looks. And based on some of these more recent glimpses, I think he looks fine. Still not perfect, but believable enough. He casts a powerful presence.
The biggest gut-punch of the trailer comes in connection with Kenobi’s purpose in being on Tatooine. We see the same shots from the first trailer of a young Luke Skywalker on the Lars Homestead as Obi-Wan watches over him, but then we get an encounter between Owen Lars and Obi-Wan Kenobi in town. “Leave us alone,” Owen demands. “When the time comes he must be trained,” Kenobi insists, with Ewan McGregor delivering a perfect blend of his Obi-Wan and that of Alec Guinness. “Like you trained his father?” Owen counters. Yeah, talk about striking at the heart!
I’m really excited to see more of Owen in this series, as he genuinely wants to protect Luke and thinks that Obi-Wan will only lead him to harm. It’s unclear whether Owen knows that Anakin is still alive, but he knows enough about his fate that he’s not wanting Luke to follow it. Obi-Wan has a purpose in this exile, but Owen doesn’t agree with it. We’ve always known that they didn’t exactly get along, but it looks like this series will really dive into it. And what makes it especially intriguing is that I think we’ll be tempted to side with Owen, if we didn’t know what comes next. He’s in town when the Inquisitors come and, based on the first teaser, apparently execute a Jedi and hang him in the town square. When you’re around that, of course Owen is going to want to do what he can to shield Luke from it. He’s not wrong, but neither is Kenobi for wanting to train him. That’s what makes it so compelling.
But in the larger scope of this trailer, this line is also placed there for a significant reason: it highlights the inner turmoil and pain and guilt that Obi-Wan is carrying around. He’s living with the burden of having failed Anakin and losing him to the dark side, and I’m confident that haunts him. It sounds like part of this series is going to be Kenobi embracing his destiny and his future rather than being haunted by the past, and to do that it means we’ll have to dive deep into the wounds and emotional state of our hero.
In the Fortress Inquisitorious, Reva arrives in the hangar, and then we see the Fourth Sister, Reva, and the Fifth Brother in a room looking at readouts. You can also see in the background that it looks like certain artifacts are on display, which is cool. I loved the design of this Fortress when it appeared in Jedi: Fallen Order, and I’m thrilled that we’re seeing it in live-action.
As we see this, we hear a voice I can’t really identify saying, “You still want Kenobi. He’s gone.” And with this, it is made clear that there IS a hunt for Kenobi in this series; it’s not accidental. We don’t know how it gets started or why people are sent after him, but it is abundantly clear beyond any doubt that there’s a hunt specifically for this Jedi Master. It sounds like not everyone believes he’s still alive, but that there’s someone who has been seeking him. The obvious answer is Darth Vader, because we know that to be true of him. But I also wonder if it might be Reva who has a personal drive to find him as well… because the trailer certainly indicates the line is said to her.
Kenobi isn’t gone… but he’s in exile. In a lone image of him riding his eopie across the desert sands, we understand that he’s all alone and in hiding.
Some probe ships are sent out from the Fortress Inquisitorious, presumably in search of Kenobi, but possibly just for Jedi in general.
Not only does the Empire send out probes in search of Obi-Wan, but they also enlist bounty hunters in the quest. We see the blaster fight from the Daiyu rooftops that we glimpsed in the first trailer, but this time with more context: we see Reva watching it from afar, and that means she’s probably now alerted to Kenobi’s whereabouts. In response to the person saying Kenobi is gone, Reva says, “Maybe you’ve been looking in the wrong places.” We then hear her saying, “I want every low-life and bounty hunter to squeeze him.” We get a montage of Kenobi firing back at bounty hunters on the rooftops, and then him confronted by some thugs in an alleyway.
Two things stand out. First, Kenobi is fighting with a blaster and with his hands. We’ve known this great Jedi Master to use his skills of negotiation and his skills with a lightsaber, but the latter will stand out for a guy trying to lay low. So we’re going to see him resorting to other means, and I’m really excited to see him out of his element and having to resort to other means. And, of course, this will make it all the sweeter when he finally does ignite that lightsaber again.
But the second thing to note here is that we’ve seen one of these bounty hunters before! It’s 4-LOM, firing blasters on Daiyu and hunting Obi-Wan. This was actually reported a little over a month ago, so that’s not surprising, but it’s cool to see him here. I don’t think this series is going to be packed with cameos or side stories like The Book of Boba Fett was, but this is one that seems to fit perfectly. The Empire is sending bounty hunters in search of Kenobi, and one of those they send is one of the minor background characters from The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a fun connection that isn’t distracting or too much.
Another shot of Fortress Inquisitorious (our best one yet), and then a shot of Reva backed up by troopers inside the fortress, lightsaber ignited. There’s something going down inside the base, and we’ll touch on that in a moment, but note the figures in-between Reva and the stormtroopers: Purge Troopers! I’m ecstatic that they’re going to be in this show as well. It makes sense, given the heavy presence of the Inquisitors, and now we get our first glimpse of them in live-action. They’ve appeared in Fallen Order and some comics, and they’re specialty troopers that hunt Jedi with the Inquisitors. I really like how this trailer gives us the sense of the Empire unleashing the full array of assets in search of Kenobi: there’s probes, there’s stormtroopers, there’s hired bounty hunters, there’s Purge Troopers, there’s Inquisitors (including the Grand Inquisitor) – and there’s a certain Sith Lord as well.
So uncivilized, Obi-Wan. We see him taking down a stormtrooper with his hands, stealing the blaster, and firing. You can see another fallen trooper, and a destroyed probe droid, in the background as well. So Kenobi is putting up a fight, and it looks like he might be stealing his blaster back instead of taking the stormtrooper’s weapon. What intrigues me the most, though, is where this takes place. The desert terrain would immediately indicate Tatooine, but the background doesn’t really look like it – plus, I’m skeptical Obi-Wan will get into any notable skirmish on the planet. So does he go to another planet? That’d be the way to counter Vader for sure, since he doesn’t like sand.
We saw a brief glimpse of this droid in the first trailer, but now we get a much better look at it holding off some stormtroopers – while, if you look carefully, it seems Kenobi is in the background sneaking around. So this might be a facility of sorts that he’s trying to infiltrate, and this droid is helping him do so.
In the hangar of the Fortress Inquisitorious, Reva skillfully deflects blasterfire with her lightsaber. This is really intriguing, because why would she need to do so in their home base? To be honest, I really wouldn’t be surprised if Reva winds up turning back to the light side, since she’s a former Jedi who might have a history with Obi-Wan (and the fact that she’s given an actual name and not just the Third Sister). So it’s conceivable to me that she’d be turning on the others and fending them off here… but I’m just really, really skeptical they’d put anything like that in the trailer. Instead, could this be an indication that Obi-Wan winds up on the Fortress at some point? I wouldn’t have thought so before, but this trailer really has me thinking that might happen. And Vader could be there almost instantly in that case, coming from the neighboring planet of Mustafar…
We see two new characters briefly introduced here. The first is Kumai Nanjiani’s character, though we don’t know who he is playing. It almost looks like he’s wearing Jedi robes, but it’s too hard to tell for sure. The second is a little droid, which will probably be a companion for one of the characters in the series, in typical Star Wars style.
On Daiyu Reva runs alongside a transport, and then stands and raises her lightsaber, pointing at something off-screen and shouting, “You can’t run Obi-Wan! You can’t escape him!” We all know who the him is here, and that’s the kind of presence that Vader has that we all know who it is just by saying him (like Cere in Fallen Order, where she simply mutters “it’s him” to Cal). Obi-Wan can’t escape Vader, and that’s a big part of what this series is all about.
But there’s something about the way that Reva mentions Obi-Wan that has me really thinking that she knows him. The Inquisitors were all former Jedi, and during the height of The Clone Wars Kenobi was one of the most respected and well-known Jedi in the galaxy, one of the leading members, diplomats, and fighters in the Grand Army of the Republic and a trusted member of the Jedi High Council. Surely all of the Inquisitors know of him, and presumably some of them would have had personal encounters with him too. I’m going to go ahead and guess that Reva was one of them. She says this line like she knows him. And if that’s true, then I could see Obi-Wan having a desire to help save her from the fate that she has embraced. He couldn’t save Anakin; could he save Reva?
We get a really good glimpse at the Fifth Brother (previously seen in Rebels) and the Fourth Sister (making her first appearance here). Similar to the Grand Inquisitor, I think the Fifth Brother looks much better in this trailer than in the angles we saw in the previous one.
I also like that this show isn’t messing around. It has Darth Vader, the leader of the Inquisitorious. It has the Grand Inquisitor, first among all the others. And then it has the third, fourth, and fifth Inquisitors, incorporating all of those ‘first’ five except the Second Sister, for obvious reasons (she was killed by Vader in Fallen Order).
IT’S HIM. We only get a few brief glimpses, but that’s enough. We see Vader being put together: an arm is attached, and then his chest plate is fastened in, after which we hear his iconic breathing. This is surely happening in Vader’s Castle on Mustafar, which means we’ll get to see that again, which is awesome – and that’s just next door to Nur, which houses the Fortress Inquisitorious. These shots of Vader being put together are really well done, and it seems to make it almost certain that we’ll see Hayden Christensen in Vader’s suit, without his helmet. I’m all for it.
The whole trailer, and really the whole marketing for the series, has almost completely avoided showing Vader, but it’s all been built around his looming presence. That might seem a bit funny since we all know what Vader looks like and he’s not changing, but I’d argue that he’s so instantly iconic just by his breathing that this way they’re creating a more ominous foreboding: they’re not showing us him, but we all know he’s coming. We know he’s the one looming in the background of this whole thing, such that when Reva shouts, “you can’t escape him,” we know she’s right. Kenobi’s going to get out of this series alive – but he’s not getting out of it without confronting his former apprentice once more.
It might just be a bit of trailer editing magic, but as we hear Vader’s breathing, Kenobi opens his eyes and has a concerned look on his face. Though this might not be him actually seeing Vader, I wouldn’t be shocked if he senses him.