In just about a month, on May 27, 2022, Star Wars fans who have been clamoring for an Obi-Wan Kenobi-centric series for years will see their wish become a reality.
Although Sir Alec Guinness originally played the legendary Jedi Master in George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Ewan McGregor cemented the character’s legacy for a new generation in the prequel trilogy, which released between 1999 and 2005.
In Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), many Star Wars fans found McGregor’s portrayal to be a bright spot in a trio of films that, at least at the time they originally hit theaters, were not widely acclaimed.
In the ensuring years, however, nostalgia has reigned and the fandom is now thrilled to see McGregor reunite with Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Now, McGregor has spoken to Total Film about working with Darth Vader in full costume — and the experience was legitimately frightening for the seasoned actor:
“I had rehearsed the scene with Vader, but not with the helmet on or anything like that. When we came to do the scene, when they shouted ‘action’, he had to come from behind me. I turned around, and f***ing Darth Vader was coming at me. It was like I was six again. I’d never acted into Vader’s helmet. I’d never looked him in the eye.”
The Scottish actor went on to say:
“It scared the shit out of me. I’m not joking. It gave me a proper jolt of absolute fear. I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not acting. That’s real. I’m really, truly frightened right now.’ And the same thing would happen with the Stormtroopers. I’d worked with Clone troopers before, but so many of them were CGI. I never worked with Stormtroopers, and, again, I was like seven years old again. Because when you’re actually faced with a Stormtrooper, with a blaster, it’s like: ‘Fucking hell.’
“It’s like actual childhood memories of being scared. That’s how deeply it’s in us. I’ve acted for 30 years, and I’ve never been genuinely frightened when I’m acting frightened… But I had moments on this that were genuinely quite scary. It’s so funny.”
While specific details of the series are being kept under wraps, which is par for the course for the Star Wars franchise on Disney+, we do know that the show will follow Kenobi’s exile on Tatooine about eight years after Revenge of the Sith and the execution of Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) Order 66.
It has long been known that Darth Vader’s Inquisitors will make their live-action debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi and that we will see the origin of the Jedi Knight’s time looking after young farm boy Luke Skywalker from afar.
In addition to McGregor and Christensen, Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton are set to reprise their roles as Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars, while newcomers like Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sung Kang will join the Star Wars story for the first time.
The Deborah Chow series is also expected to feature numerous cameos, including the return of Princess Leia (Vivian Lyra Blair) and the reported appearance of droid bounty hunter 4-LOM, who originally appeared in the iconic “bounty hunter scene” in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
Are you looking forward to Obi-Wan Kenobi?