The final chapter in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will be one for the ages. Knowing what’s coming down the pike is tough to predict, but one area worth conjecturing about is which Star Wars reunions or brief returns could happen in the film. A reunion seems certain considering this is the final chapter in a story spanning more than 40 years. Not include all of the key figures who shaped that story would be unfortunate, but more than the rest, one character really needs to make an appearance: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Possible spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
A new theory hints at something we here at Inverse have been crossing our fingers for big time: the return of Obi-Wan Kenobi. As laid out by redditor u/ser-hodor on r/starwarsspeculation, Obi-Wan could return in the form of a holographic recording that Rey uses to train, rather than going the more traditional Force Ghost route we all expect.
There is a precedent for this in the current Star Wars canon, and Ser-Hodor’s argument might be the most sound case made for the return of any past Skywalker saga character, including Obi-Wan. Plus, if it does come true, it could add some real depth and pathos to Rey’s development as a Jedi and within the Skywalker saga.
Ser-Hodor’s argument is based on details established in an episode of Star Wars Rebels and in the Star Wars comics. They explain:
“I was thinking to an episode of Rebels where Ahsoka and Ezra are watching an Anakin technique tutorial with a Holocron. And I was thinking about in the Canon comics where it was mentioned that Kenobi had done something similar for Luke to learn and had left recordings in his cabin.”
The ultimate conclusion Ser-Hodor makes is that, because it’s been established there are Holocron recordings from previous Jedi masters including Obi-Wan available for other Jedi to watch and train with, it’s possible he’ll appear in a recording found by Rey. Discovering the recordings of Obi-Wan would give Rey the training she needs to help take on Kylo Ren and the newly-returned Palpatine (in whatever form he takes).
It would also offer the opportunity for Obi-Wan to make a brief appearance without distracting from The Rise of Skywalker’s arc. But let’s be honest: no matter how short Obi-Wan’s screentime is in the final Skywalker saga chapter, it’s going to be clever and satisfying enough to be distracting to fans, even if it is just for just a moment.
If Obi-Wan were to return in a Holocron recording, it would be young Obi-Wan which means Ewan McGregor would have to return. McGregor has gone on record to refute any rumors of future involvement in Star Wars, including the Obi-Wan movie we all hoped for a brief moment would actually come to fruition. Similarly, there’s been no mention of McGregor’s involvement in Rise of Skywalker (he doesn’t even have a credit for the film on his IMDb), so if he is in the movie it’s a huge secret.
But the more we think about this, the more it feels right. Obi-Wan turning up in a flashback somehow doesn’t feel as meaningful or essential to the story. But seeing Obi-Wan back in his role as an instructor and mentor, even if it’s in a Holocron recording, would feel like the perfect way to honor his character, acknowledge his contributions to the story, and send him off properly.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.