Ewan McGregor Talks About Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ‘Interesting’ Arc for Upcoming Disney+ Show

Soon after Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio began ramping up its plans for the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm announced the sequel trilogy and a series of standalone films set throughout the saga. For the latter, one character that fans kept hoping to see more of was Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Of course, Obi-Wan’s standalone film never happened. But this year’s D23 brought even better news with the surprise reveal that McGregor has signed on to reprise the character for a new Disney+ series. Here’s what we know about what Obi-Wan will be dealing with this time around.

Ewan McGregor and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy at the D23 Expo
Ewan McGregor and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy at the D23 Expo | The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA via Getty Images

Return of the Jedi Master

Moments after the Obi-Wan series was announced, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirmed how far into pre-production the show was. All the show’s scripts are written, she said, and shooting is expected to take place in summer 2020. After years of rumors and denials, McGregor’s return was finally official.

Last we saw McGregor’s Obi-Wan, he was dropping baby Luke Skywalker off at the Lars homestead on Tattooine. Fans have long speculated that any potential Obi-Wan spinoff would likely take place in the nearly 20-year gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. We now know the show takes place eight years after Sith ends. That leaves a decade or so until Luke and Obi-Wan set off to Mos Eisley Cantina.

Viewers also might see a young Luke running around the desert planet interacting with “old Ben Kenobi.” We could reportedly even see Joel Edgerton return as Owen Lars. After all, the Obi-Wan series could explore why Owen has such a low opinion of Obi-Wan in A New Hope, blaming him for Anakin’s fate.

Where the Disney+ show finds Obi-Wan Kenobi

That’s a weight that Obi-Wan will certainly be wrestling with when Disney+ viewers reunite with him. McGregor recently spoke to Men’s Journal about the emotional stakes for his character.

(In Revenge of the Sith), the Jedi Order was falling apart. It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him—Well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III. It’s quite something to get over.

We don’t know precisely what adventures Obi-Wan will get caught up in. Still, McGregor neatly touches on how the Disney+ show will build on the traumatic events of Sith. Likely, whatever Obi-Wan does accomplish will help him make peace with the past and focus on the mission at hand (i.e., protecting Luke). Particularly, he’ll need to forgive himself for failing Anakin in his training.

An unexplored period of ‘Star Wars’ history

The Obi-Wan series — which, McGregor reveals, will contain six episodes — also gives the Star Wars saga another opportunity. Projects like Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Rebels have begun to fill in some of the gaps between the prequel and original trilogies. So this new Disney+ show has a lot more it can tap into than just the aforementioned Obi-Wan/Owen dynamic.

Thanks to Rebels (see above), we know how the rivalry between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul concludes. These two could have had other showdowns we don’t know about. Imagine Ray Park reprising the role of Maul, as he did in Solo, or other cast members from that film, Rogue One, or even Rebels playing integral roles in Obi-Wan’s story.

Fans have been waiting for nearly 15 years to see McGregor back as Obi-Wan Kenobi. But the upcoming Disney+ show has the chance to wrap in so much more of the saga’s mythology in the process. Can it expand the Star Wars universe while presenting a character-focused portrait of a Jedi Master in healing? Let’s hope so.