‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: How Director Deborah Chow Impressed Ewan McGregor

Directing any entry in the Star Wars canon is a resume highlight for anyone. For Deborah Chow, it’s nothing new. She directed two episodes in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, but she leads an entire series with Obi-Wan Kenobi. What was going to be a movie at one point until Solo underwhelmed at the box office is now a highly-anticipated show that is the first to bring back two main players from the prequel trilogy. Every new movie, show, book, or video game adds to the canon, and Chow impressed McGregor with her deep knowledge of the entire saga.

Deborah Chow, attending the 2019 premiere of 'The Rise of Skywalker,' impressed Ewan McGregor, seen at the 2022 Producers Guild Awards, with her 'Star Wars' knowledge.
(l-r) Deborah Chow; Ewan McGregor | Ethan Miller/FilmMagic; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Chow has experience with prestige TV shows

Chow directed all six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and if her work history is any indication, fans could be in for something special.

She directed two Season 1 episodes of The Mandalorian, and they were two of the most powerful of the season. In Chapter Three: The Sin, Mando delivers the Child only to immediately retrieve him and go on the run. Chapter Seven: The Reckoning sees the Mandalorian and his small crew of friends ambushed by an ex-Imperial officer and a horde of stormtroopers while the Child is abducted.

Those two episodes aired in 2019, but The Mandalorian, which affected McGregor’s relationship with Star Wars, was hardly Chow’s first time directing notable TV shows.

She helmed single episodes of The Man in the High Castle, Snowfall, and Better Call Saul in 2018, and she directed two Fear the Walking Dead episodes in 2016 and 2017. Chow also worked on a Mr. Robot episode in 2015

But on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chow impressed McGregor not with her resume but with her knowledge and command of the source material.

Chow’s deep ‘Star Wars’ knowledge impressed star Ewan McGregor

McGregor appeared on the May 4 Jimmy Kimmel Live! (hosted by comedian Mike Birbiglia) where he discussed his disappointing Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure and the few details he could reveal about the show.

During the conversation (via YouTube), McGregor admitted he often “comes unstuck” around fans who know all the details about secondary plotlines, minor characters, and planets in the galaxy. Conversely, Chow impressed McGregor with her deep Star Wars knowledge and how she guided the writers during the creative process.

“Luckily, with this series, we had Deborah Chow, who was our amazing director. She really knows across all the — because now Star Wars has become — it’s the movies, but it’s also TV shows, computer games, novels, cartoons, comic books, and all of the storylines have to match up. You can’t have some fact in the video game that doesn’t match up to the movies. I would be totally out at sea there, but she was amazing at knowing all of that stuff and guiding the writers as well with that.”

Ewan McGregor

Chow impressed McGregor, a Star Wars veteran with her knowledge, which should only further whet fans’ appetite for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The newest ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ trailer finally gives us a glimpse of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader

Disney dropped its latest Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer on May 4, a little over three weeks before the series debuts. We knew Hayden Christensen would appear as Darth Vader, and we finally saw a (brief) glimpse of him in costume.

The trailer also promised visits to several planets in addition to Tattooine. We don’t know the closely guarded details, but we know a few things about the cast.

In addition to McGregor and Christensen, Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars) and Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars) reprise their prequel trilogy roles. 

Rupert Friend portrays the Grand Inquisitor. Indira Varma is also part of the cast. O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Kumail Nanjiani, and Moses Ingram also appear in all six episodes.

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