The “Star Wars” franchise has been on an original trilogy kick lately, judging from Luke Skywalker’s cameos in “The Mandalorian” or any second of “The Book of Boba Fett.” So, imagine my surprise that I, a prequel apologist, get to see the rise of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the year 2022. Finally, we get our revenge.
Lucasfilm’s latest offering to the “Star Wars” franchise is, in a way, a love letter to the long-deprived prequel fan. In the upcoming Disney+ series, an exiled Obi-Wan Kenobi lives in the in-between of “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope.” The Jedi are almost extinct, his student reigns as the Empire’s Darth Vader, and he lives in the dunes of Tatooine, watching over a young Luke. What could possibly happen next?
In true “Star Wars” style, “Obi-Wan Kenobi’s” teaser trailer only gives us morsels of info. But as usual, we’d gladly eat ’em up like a Sarlacc. Here are some of the highlights.
Obi-Wan in Tatooine
Ah, yes, the chilling effect of Ewan McGregor’s Kenobi voice. Unfortunately, he isn’t spewing out iconic lines about having the high ground, but instead, he talks over a Tatooine montage on a much more somber note: “The fight is done. We lost.”
From where we left off in 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” it’s a fitting feeling. The Empire and Sith reign supreme in the galaxy, with the newly turned Anakin Skywalker embracing the dark side. Meanwhile, just as when he takes the new name of Ben Kenobi, Obi-Wan lives on the outskirts of the desert planet.“We find Obi-Wan at the beginning of our story rather broken, and faithless, and beaten, somewhat given up,” McGregor says.
Young Luke Skywalker
Well, it ain’t “Star Wars” without a Luke cameo somewhere. In one shot, Kenobi sees a pre-Jedi Skywalker playing on top of his aunt and uncle’s homestead. From the looks of it, this seems like an apparent callback to our first glimpse of young Anakin in “The Phantom Menace”—pod racing and all. Like father, like son, am I right?
Joel Edgerton returns as Owen Lars
Ewan McGregor isn’t the only prequel actor making a comeback in the Galaxy Far Far Away. Joel Edgerton reprises his role as Owen Lars, Anakin’s stepbrother and Luke’s guardian. He first appeared in “Attack of the Clones,” and the preview of his “Obi-Wan Kenobi” role sees him glaring at an Inquisitor, a group bent on killing the galaxy’s remaining Jedi.
More bad guys!
Speaking of Inquisitors, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” won’t run short of ’em. The teaser peeks at a bunch of villains that’ll bide Obi-Wan’s time before the big Vader standoff. Reva (the Third Sister played by Moses Ingram) hunts for Jedi—presumably Kenobi—in Tatooine, while the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) transforms from his animated version in “Rebels” onto this live-action series.
Let’s not forget the group’s big bad, the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend), who sports a red double-bladed spinning lightsaber in one shot. His key to hunting Jedi, aside from the giant weapon? According to the teaser, it’s pretty simple—patience.
A brand new planet (that isn’t a desert)
Anakin and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. At last, a place that isn’t filled with sand.
Echoing the diverse selection of planets the prequels had to offer, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” introduces us to planet Daiyu, a metropolis-esque planet with a certain Coruscant energy.
“[Daiyu] sort of has a Hong Kong feel to it,” says writer Joby Harold. “It’s got a graffiti-ridden nightlife, and is kind of edgy. It’s just got a different lane and a different feeling.”
Now playing: “Duel of the Fates” and “Battle of the Heroes”
Does something sound familiar? “Duel of the Fates,” John Williams’ composition for “The Phantom Menace,” plays throughout the teaser. The track first played during a pivotal Obi-Wan moment in “The Phantom Menace,” when he and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn faced off against Darth Maul.
Aside from that, sections of “Battle of the Heroes” can be heard in certain moments, which was originally scored for Obi-Wan and Anakin’s final duel in “Revenge of the Sith.” So, not gonna lie, I had goosebumps throughout.
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Stills from “Obi-Wan Kenobi” teaser trailer