Obi-Wan Kenobi: Before the series, here is his complete backstory

For anyone familiar with “Star Wars,” Obi-Wan Kenobi needs no introduction.

Obi-Wan (played by Alec Guinness) is a former general and Jedi Master living in solitude on the remote desert planet of Tatooine. When farm boy Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) brings him a droid with a message from Princess Leia of the Rebellion (Carrie Fisher), it kicks off the adventure that launches the franchise.

It wasn’t until years later that Obi-Wan’s backstory was expanded. The prequel trilogy, beginning with 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” follows a young Obi-Wan, played by Ewan McGregor, as he rises through the ranks from apprentice Jedi padawan to knight and eventually master. after meeting his eventual student Anakin Skywalker.

A limited series launching Friday on Disney+, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” sees McGregor return to the role for the first time since 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” Written by Joby Harold and directed by Deborah Chow , the six-episode series picks up 10 years after the fall of the Republic and the Jedi Order in “Revenge of the Sith,” as Obi-Wan, in hiding, watches over young Luke from afar.

“You came out of the original [‘Star Wars’] trilogy thinking of Obi-Wan as that avuncular, wise old man [who’s] patient and lets you make the mistakes you need to make to become the person you need to be,” Harold told The Times in a recent video call. But McGregor in the prequels is “all the things you wouldn’t imagine Obi-Wan could have been”: “Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan is the finished article. It takes a long time to get there . »

For Harold, part of the excitement of the Disney+ series has been exploring what could have happened between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” for the McGregor version of the character to become the version embodied by Guinness.

While details about “Obi-Wan Kenobi” are scarce before the premiere, Harold explained that the series follows the character at a time when the events of “Revenge of the Sith” are behind him – but “always with him and always haunt him.

McGregor himself noted during the Lucasfilm presentation at Star Wars Celebration on Thursday that there didn’t seem to be any love for the previous films when they were released. But enthusiasm for the series is high, as indicated by raucous applause from the audience and raised lightsabers for McGregor and Hayden Christensen, who returns as Darth Vader for the series, as they stood together on stage. in the arena of the Anaheim Convention Center.

Harold also teased that “there are little moments in the show where you appreciate having Ewan play this character”.

“We can place him in places and times where we challenge and test the Jedi to find out where he is on his journey,” Harold said. “I wanted to see him get a little rough and fall down a hallway and throw people around and shoot a blaster and do things that weren’t just ‘Jedi Knight’.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

(Matt Kennedy / Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Obi-Wan’s Story So Far

When audiences first encounter McGregor’s Obi-Wan in “The Phantom Menace,” he’s Qui-Gon Jinn’s padawan apprentice, an unconventional Jedi master. An unexpected detour on a mission brings them to Tatooine, where they meet the exceptionally Force-sensitive young Anakin Skywalker.

Although initially unconvinced by his master’s insistence that Anakin is prophesied to balance the Force, Obi-Wan overcomes his hesitation to fulfill Qui-Gon’s dying wish to train the boy as a Jedi.

Obi-Wan rose through the ranks to become a Jedi Master and a member of the Jedi Council. He served as a general in the Republic military during the Clone Wars alongside other Jedi and clone troopers.

Unbeknownst to Obi-Wan, Anakin, who has also risen through the ranks of the Jedi, is slowly being dragged into the dark side by Chancellor Palpatine, a politician who is secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

Obi-Wan learns of his former apprentice’s defection after Palpatine issues Order 66, which causes the clone troopers to turn on the Jedi to wipe them out. After confronting Anakin, Obi-Wan defeats him in combat and leaves him for dead.

One of the few surviving Jedi, Obi-Wan hides out on Tatooine, where he can watch over Anakin and Padmé Amidala’s son, Luke, whom he left in the care of Anakin’s half-brother.

a shadow-capped figure surrounded by dim lights

Hayden Christensen returns as Darth Vader in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

(Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The Vader of Everything

Anakin is not dead, however. He was rescued by Palpatine and given new prosthetics, as well as dark armor that helps him stay alive. Now known as Darth Vader, the character’s shadow is felt across the series.

According to Harold, “You can’t tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi without acknowledging the story of Anakin Skywalker.”

Obi-Wan “was burdened with the responsibility of doing something quite deep when he probably wasn’t ready for it,” Harold said. “How do you carry the weight of [that] responsibility in the future when you discover the depth of the result of your failures? »

Cross potential?

Because it’s set in a different era than other “Star Wars” live-action series such as “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” Grogu is unlikely to make an appearance. surprise in “Obi-Wan Kenobi”. .” But anything is possible.

It has already been established that certain characters from the “Star Wars Rebels” animation will play a role in the Obi-Wan limited series. This includes the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), who, along with new character Reva (Moses Ingram), are Force-wielding dark side warriors tasked with hunting down any surviving Jedi Knights.

Obi-Wan also has a lot of history with “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” characters such as Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze who have previously appeared in other live-action “Star Wars” shows. Although a crossover seems unlikely, viewers will just have to wait and see if any other familiar faces appear in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Or: Disney+

When: Any time from Friday

Evaluation: TV-14 (may not be suitable for children under 14)

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