Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) will have been in hiding for a decade when fans reunite with him in his titular Disney+ series. All Jedis were outlawed as a result of Order 66 at the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which saw Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) fully give in to the dark side and become the galaxy's ultimate villain, Darth Vader.
Series star Ewan McGregor, who played a young version of the famed Jedi Master in all three original prequel films, agreed to pick up his lightsaber once more to have the chance to bridge the gap between where he left Obi-Wan and where Alec Guinness picked up the sage Jedi in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
"The most interesting part was … to take this character we know as we watched from being a Padawan all the way through to being on the Jedi Council, being a sort of swashbuckling, capable, self-assured, witty man to being somebody who's had all of his friends taken away from him," McGregor told TV Guide ahead of the series premiere. "At the end of Episode III, with Order 66, he lost all his friends and his Jedi Order is gone and his friends have gone and so it's a very different place, a bleak place."
The six-episode limited series focuses specifically on Kenobi and gives fans a chance to get to know the historical figure in a more intimate context than they ever have before.
"The thing I was most excited about was having the ability, especially in a limited series format, to go deeper with the character," series director Deborah Chow explained. "He's a character that so many people love and we feel like we know him so well, but we actually don't know that much about him. We had a lot to explore with him still."
The series will not only address how Obi-Wan has coped in the decade since Order 66 was decreed and explore how he became the sage master that trained Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), but will also address the emotional rift between Obi-Wan and his former padwan Anakin, now taking over the galaxy as Darth Vader.
"It's certainly something that's causing him a great deal of grief. I think the fact that he lost Anakin, the fact that he feels like he killed Anakin, that Anakin was lost to the dark side, I think is something that makes him incredibly [guilty]," McGregor said of Obi-Wan's feelings towards Anakin at the start of the series. "He carries a great deal of guilt about that. He should have known that it was happening. He should have seen it sooner and he should have been able to stop it from happening in the first place."
While it's unclear whether Obi-Wan is aware of who is under Darth Vader's helmet at the start of the series — and McGregor wasn't at liberty to elaborate — Chow explained how both characters have matured in the years since Revenge of the Sith, and will meet again as grown men.
"They are at a different place in their lives… I think the emotions that came out, obviously, at the end of Revenge of the Sith and that ran through the prequels are still in there somewhere," she said. Considering the fact that the two last saw each other face to face in a devastating lightsaber battle that left Anakin's body mutilated by fire, fans can assume that the lingering emotions between the two are going to be intense.
However, the ghost of Anakin and a present Vader are not the only troubles on Obi-Wan's mind in the new series. There are also Inquisitors on the hunt for Jedis. Moses Ingram joins the Star Wars universe for the first time as Reva, an ambitious Inquisitor with her own sense of morals.
"What sets her apart is her need to be first. She plays the offense. She's always 10 steps ahead and she don't take no mess," Ingram told TV Guide. "The chase is fun. It's fun to peel back the layers and be menacing in that way. She doesn't believe she's bad. She believes she's just doing her job in the best way she can and that's how she approaches it."
While the prequels are recognizable for their brighter and more exuberant tone, Obi-Wan is going in a different direction, and fans should prepare accordingly.
"It's a little darker, I might say," Ingram teased, "a little edgier in a way that I personally enjoy."
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres Friday, June 27 on Disney+ and continues with new episodes every Friday.