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What did we learn from the new Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer on Star Wars day?

A treat for Star Wars Day as Disney+ share the trailer for their upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. What can we learn from it?

May the Fourth is with us, and Star Wars Day just got that bit more special with the unveiling of a new trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Originally announced in 2019, this is one of the big ones for Disney. Because this new series builds the bridge between the critically (Darth) Mauled Star Wars prequel films and the classic late 1970s and early 1980s franchise.

The series also reunites Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen as Vader, 17 years since they last faced each other. And we are primed for a classic. The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow is once again steering the ship and the wider cast includes Kumail Nanjani, Rupert Friend and Indira Varma. 

The backstory is already juicy. Anakin Skywalker was Obi-Wan Kenobi’s protégé. But they fell out spectacularly after Skywalker Snr ingested a whole bunch of fake news about the Jedi Order and was radicalised by future Emperor and all-round agent of chaos, Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), into joining the Dark Side.

Their fall out culminated with a duel on the Planet Mustafar that left Skywalker Snr needing to be rebuilt as one of the most iconic cyborgs in film history, Sith Lord Darth Vader. 

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The next time we saw the pair of them on screen together (at least in terms of the Star Wars franchise timeline) was Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan being struck down by Darth Vader (played by Dave Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones) at his most terrifying and brutal. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi picks up the action in 9 BBY. This is ten years after Revenge of the Sith, and nine years before A New Hope (just as The Mandaloriancan be spliced between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens).

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So what did happen between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) – surely the best among the prequels – and Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)? And what do we learn from the new trailer?

In Obi-Wan Kenobi, we will witness the first time the Jedi Master comes face to face with his terrifying former protege Darth Vader in his new cyborg guise and hears that iconic heavy breathing, which promises to be a television moment for the ages.

Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse will be heavily involved, reprising their roles as Uncle Owen and Beru Lars – the couple entrusted with raising young Luke Skywalker by Obi-Wan at the end of the Clone Wars. As Obi-Wan fights to be allowed to train the young Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi, Uncle Owen is not convinced.

We also see young farmhand Luke’s early dealings with The Force – the young boy dreaming of adventure and taking flight as Obi-Wan watches from a distance, imploring him to “stay hidden”.

Moses Ingram (best known as Jolene in The Queen’s Gambit) looks set to be a breakout star, a fiery and fearless Sith leader, directing Stormtroopers to hunt down the Jedi across the galaxy. They reason that the Jedi will leave a trail of compassion.

Stormtroopers unleashing a reign of terror in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Image: Disney+

We only see one glimpse of Kumail Nanjani (The Big Sick, Eternals), but from his outfit he looks likely to be a Han Solo-esque rogue trader and might just bring some levity to proceedings.

The overall impression is of an intense, high-stakes, and smartly told six-part. The origins story Star Wars fans didn’t know we needed.

Where can we watch Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Obi-Wan Kenobi will stream exclusively on Disney+ in the UK.

When does Obi-Wan Kenobi air?

Obi-Wan Kenobi launches on May 27 with a double bill. Following the premiere, the series will stream weekly on Wednesdays until the finale on Wednesday 22 June.

What do we need to watch to understand what is going on?

Ideally, viewers would come to the series with a working knowledge of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. However, as with all the spin-off series, pre-knowledge enhances the viewing experience but is not essential.

Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on May 27 on Disney+

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