There is no end to previews of upcoming Star Wars TV shows. Just after the first Boba Fett teaser Disney released first official information on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
In a short video on Disney+ we heard a few words from Ewan McGregor who will reprise his role as Obi-Wan and from the director Deborah Chow. The video also showed a few pieces of concept art. Based on this first official glimpse, we can already make reasonable conclusion on what the show is going to be about.
Obi-Wan Leaves Tatooine
“He has this one task left, which is to keep Luke safe.” – “That’s definitely a starting place for our story. The interesting thing is gonna be where it goes from there.” These are the words that Ewan McGregor and Deborah Chow use in the video. Combined with the concept art which shows clearly multiple locations that are NOT Tatooine, we can conclude that Obi-Wan is going to leave the planet, possibly for majority of the series.
It makes sense. One could make an entire series about Obi-Wan fighting off Tusken raiders and perhaps one occasional Imperial who strays too close to the Lars homestead. But it would likely feel somewhat lackluster to many fans.
Instead, we will see Obi-Wan back in action while at the same time trying to be inconspicuous in a Galaxy that does not favour the Jedi any longer. This is actually a perfect opportunity to show Obi-Wan “alecguinnessing” through cantinas and the underworld of various planets. One concept art piece shows a “Blade Runner”-style street with neon lights. It might be Coruscant’s underbelly, it might also be Nar Shaddaa or another city-planet of a similar type, where Obi-Wan can again mind-trick local addicts to give up deathsticks.
Underwater Imperial Base And Corellia?
Other concept art shows a high-ceilinged corridor full of stormtroopers, obviously an Imperial-controlled place. The architecture is reminiscent of the Jedi Temple or other official buildings from Coruscant. However on close look the green light and the scenery behind the windows with possibly fish and/or floating debris may point to an underwater location.
There is another completely unfamiliar place somewhat in the style of the Canto Bight casino or perhaps Corellia from Solo. This is definitely a new location, likely yet another, perhaps somewhat fancier but nonetheless seedy underworld place.
Another picture offers a view of a hangar in a cavernous space that can be hewn in rock, sand, or ice. There airspeeders similar to Rebel snowspeeders from Hoth. Will Obi-Wan run into a rebel cell during his travels? Or will those people feature as victims of Darth Vader’s strike against the enemies of the Empire?
Vader versus Obi-Wan
Speaking of Vader: the video shows Hayden Christensen training with a lightsaber and a concept art of Vader fighting Obi-Wan. This is the first official confirmation of their duel, something we all expected but could not be certain about. Now it seems like the filmmakers want to have the “grand finale”, another showdown between the two.
A purist may ask: how come? Wasn’t it established that Vader did not see Obi-Wan since Mustafar? To be precise, it wasn’t. In A New Hope, Vader says “I sense something. A presence I haven’t felt since…” and then he trails off. For over a decade, this has been interpreted as “since Mustafar” (or “since he chopped my limbs off and left me to die”). But it can easily be adjusted to mean “since our encounter few years ago on XY”.
Will another encounter between Vader and Obi-Wan weaken the overall impact of their other meetings? If done right, it won’t. The same goes for the entire series. The reason for Obi-Wan to leave Tatooine must be presented convincingly, seamlessly. In fact, if done right, the show might explain how comes Vader never checked the Lars homestead. Perhaps Obi-Wan will stage an elaborate heist making Vader believe that there is absolutely nothing on Tatooine while making him chase phantoms everywhere else.
There is one more thing the video implied indirectly, but very strongly: that there will be Inquisitors involved (already introduced in Star Wars Rebels or Jedi Fallen Order). Deborah Chow spoke of “Jedi hunters” being present at this time, and this was combined with a concept art of an Inquisitor exiting a ship on Tatooine. This Inquisitor looked exactly like the Second Sister from Jedi Fallen Order. However, as much as many would like seeing this character live, she should not be around at the time of the series. More likely than not, this is concept art showing a “generic” Inquisitor. I would absolutely not oppose having a Second Sister-esque character to complement Vader.
Loose Ends, Crimson Dawn, Maul…?
And what else can we hope to see? Hints at Obi-Wan’s remaining connection to Maul? The Crimson Dawn? If this were done by Dave Filoni et al, I would not hesitate to say “yes”. With less familiar writers at the helm, we cannot be so sure. I would personally like to hope that the series would pick up some loose threads and interweave them into this story (while obviously keeping the main focus on Obi-Wan and Vader, but leaving some space for cameos): Maul, Qi’ra, Luminara Unduli, Asajj Ventress, Ahsoka Tano…
Let’s hope the authors do their best.