We know the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. We know the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope. But in between there’s a crucial, never-before-seen moment that’s both so obvious and yet so overlooked, it was ripe to be at the centre of Disney+’s new Star Wars show, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“[Obi-Wan] believes he killed [Anakin] at the end of Revenge of the Sith,” show producer and director Deborah Chow confirmed to Gizmodo. “I think that’s something that’s sometimes a little bit overlooked, but it’s quite significant. So for us, on the show, he doesn’t know [Anakin is alive] yet.”
That means there’s a moment where Obi-Wan finds out that his former apprentice Anakin Skywalker, a man who turned to the Dark Side, a man he thinks he’s defeated and saved the galaxy from, a man whose children he is actively hiding, is not only still alive, he’s more powerful than ever. Chow explained that that “crucial” piece of information is one example of a transformation she and writer Joby Harold were really excited to dive into.
“One of the biggest questions Joby and I were always asking is, ‘How did he go from the end of Revenge of the Sith where he’s this warrior screaming on the banks of Mustafar to sort of the calm and the peace of Alec Guinness?” Chow said. “Something obviously happened in that 20 years and in large part that’s the story we’re trying to tell.”
However, there’s also the end of the story to think about. The fact that, 45 years ago, audiences saw Darth Vader acknowledge not having felt Kenobi in a very long time — as well as their final dual, where Vader says, “I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, now I’m the master.” We asked Chow how much consideration was placed into making sure those two iconic moments don’t lose their power or meaning now that we know Vader and Kenobi met sometime in between.
“It’s something we really did look at and obviously, it’s not something you do lightly,” she said. “We didn’t want to bring [Darth Vader] back just for the sake of bringing him back. But really, it came out of, we’re trying to do a character show. It’s called Obi-Wan Kenobi. So we really were looking at him going, ‘What’s been important in his life? Where is he at this point?’ And we’re coming out of Revenge of the Sith. And obviously, everything that happened with Order 66 and Anakin and so much of that weight is coming into the series with us that it just felt natural Anakin/Vader would be part of this. It’s so connected to where he is in his life at this moment.”
In exploring Kenobi’s life at this moment, Chow hopes the show gives fans a whole new perspective on one of their favourite characters. “Our hope is really that at the end of the show, you’ll feel like you really connected and that you know Obi-Wan on a much deeper level and that you’ve really gotten more invested in his character as a result,” she said. “That’s something that was really interesting when we were looking at this character, is that we love this character and we feel like we know him so well. But, you know, there’s actually not that much that we do know about him.”
We’re about to learn much more about him when Obi-Wan Kenobi begins on Disney+ next week. We’ll have more from Deborah Chow soon too.
Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.