Kenobi, of the many upcoming Star Wars series, is probably the most anticipated. The series brings Ewan McGregor back to a galaxy far, far away to fill in a crucial gap in Obi-Wan’s timeline — the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
But while this series could showcase a whole new side to the Jedi master, one major issue regarding a seismic casting announcement could hint at a dramatic turn of events in the upcoming series — that is, if a fan theory turns out to hold water.
When nine new Star Wars series were announced during Disney’s Investor Day announcements, one huge cast member leaked for Kenobi: namely, Hayden Christensen would be returning as Anakin Skywalker, post-Darth Vader transformation.
But...hang on. If Kenobi and Anakin meet up between the prequel and original trilogies, it lessens the dramatic impact of that epic, seemingly long-awaited confrontation between the two in A New Hope, in the form of a deadly duel. How is it possible they could meet beforehand, within the timeline of Kenobi?
One fan theory, posed by Redditor TheRealStuPickles, suggests Obi-Wan will make one last-ditch attempt to redeem Anakin from the clutches of the Sith, leading to another duel between the two. But while the fight on Mustafar ended with Obi-Wan leaving Anakin for dead, this duel would end with Vader leaving Obi-Wan for dead.
If Kenobi goes this route, Vader later sensing the presence of his old mentor could feel even more resonant to viewers. That presence won’t be simply one of a master he abandoned, but of an old friend he thought he killed. Such a solemn reveal could take on new dimensions of hope, depending on how Vader feels to learn he didn’t slay Kenobi.
While this storyline would be narratively exciting, there is another way Hayden Christensen could be introduced into Kenobi without harming Star Wars canon — and that’s by not really having him appear in the main action of the series at all. The Anakin Skywalker who appears in Kenobi could be a vision, as Obi-Wan deals with the guilt of losing his padawan to the Dark Side. That said, if you’ve cast the actor who played Darth Vader in the prequel trilogy on hand, why not utilize him to the extreme?
Whether it’s through a dream sequence or a duel, Kenobi has a lofty mission ahead of it in terms of fleshing out Obi Wan’s backstory. Meddling with the past of the original trilogy was a big complaint the prequel trilogy and even more recent series like The Bad Batch have faced. Could Kenobi see the franchise take pains to learn from that mistake?
Kenobi will premiere on Disney+ in 2022.