The Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off is gathering steam at Disney, with the recent cast and filming announcement hyping up the release of the show. While we’re still a year or two away from the TV series launching, there’s plenty we already know about the show thanks to various leaks, news and rumours over the last year.
Here’s everything you need to know about the show including how it connects to the films, and what you should watch before it kicks off.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi: Release Date & Episodes
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet — but we do know filming begins in April.
The good news is production will soon be in full swing. The bad news is the April filming date means we’ll have to wait a while before the show actually airs.
Given the effort going into filming and heavy post-production effects, it’s likely we won’t see the show until at least 2022. With the havoc COVID-19 is currently playing on the film industry, it could even be as late as 2023.
Basically, don’t hold your breath.
When the series does finally release, it’ll be six hour-long episodes, according to Ewan McGregor in 2019.
In its recent announcement, Disney described the show as a “special event series” but did not confirm the number of episodes, so this may have changed. Stay tuned for more news on this front.
The cast is absolutely stacked
In its production announcement, Disney unveiled an absolutely massive cast for the series with this infographic:
It highlights the returning cast: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars. But there’s also a bunch of surprises in the cast announcement too.
Kumail Nanjiani is a standout name here — Marvel’s Eternals is likely to make him a massive star, and it’s great to see him venturing further into Disney’s mainstream catalogue. Then you’ve got Sung Kang, who plays beloved character Han in the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as Moses Ingram, who recently appeared in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit.
Basically, it’s wall to wall talent. The only curiosity here is we don’t know who any of these actors will be playing.
Many of the threads left over in the prequels and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars have been wrapped up, so we can rule out appearances from fan-favourite characters like Asajj Ventress, Satine Kryze or General Grievous. But that’s not to say we couldn’t see characters like Sabine Wren or Ezra Bridger from Rebels turn up.
The appearance of Ahsoka Tano on The Mandalorian really blew open the potential for any characters from the animated Star Wars universe to appear, so we could see them in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Then again, we could also see a cast of all-new characters.
Regardless, it’s great to see such a talented cast lined up for the show.
When does Obi-Wan Kenobi take place?
Star Wars: Obi Wan Kenobi is set 10 years after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which ended on Obi-Wan going into exile after saving baby Luke and Leia from Anakin’s wrath.
It’s set to deal with the ramifications of Obi-Wan’s loss to Anakin and his failure as a Jedi Master.
This is a period yet to be explored in the Star Wars universe, with Episode IV: A New Hope taking place after Obi-Wan has already been in exile for several years. It’s likely we’ll learn more about this period and how Obi-Wan’s relationship with Anakin changed him.
Outside of these clues, the exact plot of the show is unknown.
The show had a long development path
Talks about a potential Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off began way back in the mid-2010s, as early as 2015. When the most recent Star Wars trilogy was announced, fan clamour for an Obi-Wan movie hit a fever pitch — and it’s likely this fan support that led Disney/Lucasfilm to start work on the spin-off.
According to Ewan McGregor, he was aware of the project around 2015 although it’s unclear what form it took back then. What was originally planned as a film spotlighting Obi-Wan’s history soon turned into a larger TV project designed to tie into the wider Star Wars universe.
In January 2020, early reports surfaced that the series was suffering from major scripting problems, but Ewan McGregor denied these would cause any issues, saying the writers just wanted to make the show “better”. Delays to filming followed these reports, but coronavirus likely played a major part in this.
As of March 2021 the show is in full production.
While it took a good five or so years to make it happen, it’s great to see Obi-Wan finally getting the chance to shine that he deserves.
What you should watch before Obi-Wan Kenobi
The first part to this answer is simple: watch the Star Wars prequels. That’s Episode I, Episode II and Episode III. (And Episodes IV-VI if you want to know what happens to Obi-Wan after the TV show.)
The next part is more complicated.
Obi-Wan’s canon Star Wars history is spread over multiple TV shows, films, tie-in comics and novels — but the important thing to watch before Obi-Wan Kenobi is Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated series following Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka Tano.
This show is set between Episode II and Episode III and dives keep into Obi-Wan’s past, his relationship with Anakin Skywalker and his deep sense of morality. While the show isn’t essential viewing (and there’s a ton of episodes to catch up on) it’s great for a deeper exploration of Obi-Wan and his history.
These are the episodes and arcs you’ll want to check out to catch up on Obi-Wan’s best moments in the show:
- Destroy Malevolence (Season 1, Episode 3-4)
- The Pirate Arc (Season 1, Episodes 11-12)
- The Mandalore Arc (Season 2, Episodes 12-14)
- The Bounty Hunter Arc (Season 4, Episodes 15-18)
- The Final Arc (Season 7, Episodes 9-12)
Really, you should watch the whole show if you love the character, but these episodes will give you a great rundown of Obi-Wan and all the adventures he went on between Episode II, III, and afterwards.
This article will be updated as we learn more about the Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off TV series on Disney+.
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