Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are stepping back into the Star Wars world in the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi (premiering May 27), alongside exciting newcomers like Moses Ingram (The Queen's Gambit), with McGregor saying the fan response to the previous Star Wars films brought him back, even though he didn’t necessarily feel that “fondness” when they were originally released.
“It was a very long, slow process of coming back to playing him,...for years I was asked two things, would I do the sequel to Trainspotting and would I ever play Obi-Wan Kenobi again,” Ewan McGregor said ahead of the series premier. “I think I became more aware of the fondness that the generation that we made the prequels for have for those films.”
“When we made them we didn't hear that, we didn't get that response, really… So that warmed my feelings about them, I guess, or my experience of being in the Star Wars world.”
What is 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' about?
Obi-Wan Kenobi is set 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, in which Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) is faced with his Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Christensen), turning into the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
“Obi-Wan has been in hiding and can't communicate with any of his old comrades, he’s living a pretty solitary life,” Ewan McGregor teased. “He's not able to use The Force so in a way, he's lost his faith.”
“It's like somebody who's stepped away from their religion… The only responsibility to his past life is looking over Luke Skywalker…That's his only sort of link to his past.”
The antagonists in Obi-Wan Kenobi are the Inquisitors, enforcers directed by Darth Vader to kill all remaining Jedi, led by the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend), a character that originated in the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
Moses Ingram plays Reva, the “Third Sister” Inquisitor, who is focused on eradicating Jedi from the galaxy, the goal of the Empire.
Ingram defines her character as “deadly," "dangerous,” “offensive” and “violating.”
“The first thing for me was certainly the script, it was edgy and it felt dangerous and raw,” Moses Ingram told Yahoo Canada. “Finding out that it was Star Wars was also a surprise to me, but it made me even more excited to get into it.”
'We only get to do what we're doing now because of what was done nearly 20 years ago'
The series is in the capable hands of director Deborah Chow, who helmed the other popular Disney+, Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
“I was really excited about the idea of getting to do a limited series for one, just because you get to tell sort of a bigger story, but you also have the time to really get into the character,” Chow said about working on Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“I think first and foremost, I was most excited about doing a character-driven story and really kind of having the opportunity to get more depth and have more time to really get to know the character.”
Moses Ingram revealed that Chow really allowed her to to be part of the process to develop her character on Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Deborah is great,” Ingram said. “She really welcomed me in and cared about what I thought about the character, and invited me into the process of developing who Reva would be, which is how we ended up with Reva having the braids.”
“It really meant a lot to me because she didn't have to, but she really is wonderful and free of ego.”
As a newcomer to the Star Wars universe, Ingram said it’s important to take in all the fandom, with Star Wars aficionados ready to dissect every details of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “in moderation.”
“There's nothing I could do at this point, even if I wanted to, to try to change people's minds about anything,” she said. “There are a lot of feelings so [I] try to protect myself as best as I can."
"We only get to do what we're doing now because of what was done nearly 20 years ago and there were so many people on set who were working that were lifelong fans of this franchise... I think that was probably the most exciting thing for me, is watching people have [their] inner child losing their minds at work."