[Article] Returning Back to OBI-WAN KENOBI

[Article] Returning Back to OBI-WAN KENOBI
Courtesy Disney+
In Disney+’s latest series, OBI-WAN KENOBI, we meet the titular character 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat – the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

The series, which premieres exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, May 27, stars Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master, and also marks the return of Hayden Christensen in the role of Darth Vader. Joining the cast are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for the upcoming series release of OBI-WAN KENOBI. Moderating the conference was Devan Coggan from EW.com, which featured Ewan McGregor (“Obi-Wan Kenobi”/Executive Producer), Moses Ingram (“Reva”), and Deborah Chow (Director).

Devan Coggan wasted no time in kicking things off with Ewan McGregor about his return to the galaxy. When discussing the series, McGregor chatted about returning to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi and what excited him about this new series:

“Well, it was a very long, slow process of coming back to playing him, I guess. It was born of two things: I think I was just asked a lot. The end of every interview I ever did for years I was asked two things; would I do the sequel to Trainspotting (yes), and would I ever play Obi-Wan Kenobi again? It was always the last two questions as the publicist is poking her head around the door saying, ‘That’s the last question.’ And so, I just started answering it honestly and I think I became more aware of the fondness that the generation that we made the prequels for have for those films. Because when we made them, we didn’t hear that. We didn’t get that response, really. So, gradually, I started realizing that people really liked them and that they meant a lot to that generation. So, that made me — that warmed my feelings about them, I guess, or my experience of being in the Star Wars world.

And then, Disney just asked me to come in one day for a meeting because they kept seeing on social media that I’m saying that I would like to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again. It looked like I was sort of touting for work at Disney’s door. Like, you know, could you cast me? But anyway, they got me in and asked me if I meant it and I said, yeah, just — I said I would love to play him again. I think there’s got to be a good story between Episode III and Episode IV and that’s what we definitely found after a lengthy process of exploring some different storylines. I think we’ve ended up with a really, really brilliant story and one that will satisfy the fans sitting between those two episodes.”

[Article] Returning Back to OBI-WAN KENOBI
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his eopie 
When it comes to director Deborah Chow, she’s no stranger to the Star Wars universe. Having directed episodes for “The Mandalorian“, Chow has a familiarity with the complex galaxy that not many other directors would have. During the conference, Chow discussed what it was about this character and his story that made her excited for the project:

“I was really excited at the idea of getting to do a limited series for one just because you get to tell sort of a bigger story, but you also have the time to really get into the character. So, I think, first and foremost, I was the most excited about doing a character-driven story and really kind of having the opportunity to get more depth and have more time to really get to know the character.”

New to Star Wars is actor Moses Ingram. Known for her work in such films as The Tragedy of Macbeth as well as the Netflix series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” Moses is now stepping into a galaxy far, far away as Inquisitor Reva. During the conference, Ingram chatted about her reaction to finding out she would be part of this otherworldly franchise:

“I think it came to me just like everything else does, but I didn’t know that it would be [for] Star Wars. And I think when I read the script, that was the thing that attracted me the most, even though it was, like, dummy sides. But later on, realizing that it was edgy and fun and cool and I just, you know, I couldn’t say no. I mean, it’s Star Wars. [When I found out], I was surprised. I mean from what I knew of Star Wars, I didn’t realize it was that dangerous. It felt dangerous what I was reading and I was like, ‘Oh, I like this. I’m into this.’ So, I was really excited.” 

Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI

I know for me, one of the biggest draws to the series is the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin and Darth Vader. Talking about bringing Christensen back for this series, Chow stated:

“[W]hen we were developing the material and we were really looking at the characters of Obi-Wan and looking and going, you know, what was important in his life? What are the relationships that were meaningful? And obviously, the history coming out of Revenge of the Sith is so strong, and it’s so powerful that it really felt like, for us, that obviously, there’d be so much weight coming into this story that was connected to Anakin and Vader. So, it just felt natural that it would be Hayden and that we would continue this relationship in the series.”

With the series launching this Friday, Chow discussed what fans should expect from the tone of the series and what’s to come:

“The tone, it’s — well, we’re starting in a pretty dark time period and that was kind of quite interesting not only to start with Obi-Wan’s character in a kind of a dark place, but also starting in a period in the timeline that’s quite dark. So, it kind of actually gives us a very interesting starting place for the series. But I think with the character of Kenobi, for me, he’s always felt like there’s so much warmth. There’s so much compassion and humor, that it is kind of a character of light and hope. That it was interesting for us to try to keep the balance of that, of the darkness, but also still maintaining the hope coming from the character.”

OBI-WAN KENOBI will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, May 27, with the first two episodes. Following the premiere, the series will stream weekly on Wednesdays, until the finale on Wednesday, June 22.

All images © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Shannon McGrew
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