Ewan McGregor joined Kathleen Kennedy onstage at D23 last year to officially announce the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series in 2019, but the show has hit several speed bumps on the way toward production, which was supposed to begin in August of this year. Even before the coronavirus pandemic shut down movie and TV productions around the world, the Star Wars series was dealing with its own internal setbacks. With the series pushing production to early next year, a recently leaked press release and a report of behind-the-scenes shake-ups reveal that the highly anticipated series won't coming out any time soon.
One thing hasn't changed, however, and Ewan McGregor is still onboard to play the beloved Jedi Master. Having kept the show a secret for so long, the actor opened up to Men’s Journal about the Disney+ series — which had been in the works for quite a while. Remember back when McGregor was tired of all the Obi-Wan spinoff questions? Oh, how the times have changed. He described finally being able to discuss the show as a “massive relief” because “for four years, I’ve been having to lie to people about it.”
Details about the series remain scarce at this point, but we’ve compiled everything we know so far about the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series below, including release date, plot details, cast information and more.
What is the title of the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series?
No official title has been announced yet. A commonly used working title is Obi-Wan, which has popped up in publications across the internet as well as official statements from Lucasfilm.
What is the Obi-Wan release date?
The Obi-Wan Disney+ series has yet to receive an official release date. Production was set to begin on Obi-Wan in Summer 2020 and was supposed to pick up in January 2021. However, production had reportedly been been put on hold while Lucasfilm searched for a new writer, putting the entire schedule for Obi-Wan, including the filming start date and release date, in a state of flux. A recently leaked press release (via CDNVideo), which allegedly originated from Disney+ France, revealed that the series is currently listed for release in 2022.
Why is production for Obi-Wan delayed?
Collider reported exclusively in late January that production on Obi-Wan had been put on hold (Collider's report was later backed up by The Hollywood Reporter). According to two independent sources who spoke to Collider, the crew assembled at Pinewood Studios in London was sent home indefinitely in January. It was also reported that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was not happy with the scripts being turned in by screenwriter Hossein Amini. In THR's report, a source shared the Obi-Wan scripts "treaded similar ground as The Mandalorian, seeing the Jedi master lending a protective hand to a young Luke and perhaps even a young Leia."
"It’s not been put on hold, it’s just been pushed back a little bit. The scripts are excellent and they just want them to be better. So we just pushed it back, but it’s not — it very dramatic, it would seem, online, there’s all kinds of shit online about it, but it’s only just slid back a bit. We’re still shooting it, I think it will still be aired when it was meant to be and I’m really excited about it. It’ll be fun to play again."
He also elaborated on these sentiments while speaking with IGN and teased a new filming start date:
"Now that Episode IX [Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker] came out and everyone at Lucasfilm has got more time to spend on the writing, they felt they wanted more time to write the episodes. I’ve read about 80, 90 percent of what they’ve written so far, and it’s really, really good. Instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that."
All that said, it may be a bit more dramatic than initially expected. A recent update from Variety confirms that Amini was officially let go from Obi-Wan and has been replaced by writer Joby Harold, who's best known for having written Zack Snyder's highly anticipated film, Army of the Dead. That implies that the production delays were indeed because of the scripts and it's unclear whether Harold will have to start from scratch or if he'll be reworking the scripts originally penned by Amini.
Who is in the Obi-Wan cast?
So far, Ewan McGregor is the only cast member confirmed for the Obi-Wan series. There will probably be no new casting announcements with production on Obi-Wan is on hold until Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy gives the thumbs up to the new scripts.
How many episodes will Obi-Wan have?
Until the new scripts arrive and production moves forward, we still don't know about the Obi-Wan episode order. It's very possible the series will take a page out of The Mandalorian's playbook and serve up eight episodes which each run approximately 30 minutes.
Is there a trailer for Obi-Wan ?
There is no trailer for Obi-Wan because, well, the proverbial production train for Obi-Wan has yet to leave the station. Once filming gets underway and we get closer to the scheduled release date (when it's confirmed), we'll see a trailer. In the meantime, Disney+ has tons of Star Wars movies and TV shows you can content yourself with, including the Skywalker saga prequel trilogy starring McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
What is the plot of Obi-Wan?
We don’t know for sure, but given the timeline of the series, it could very well involve the exploration of Obi-Wan’s mental and emotional state in the wake of his uncertain future and the defeat of Jedi Order.
If you recall, Revenge of the Sith took place in the midst of the Clone Wars and Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker were on a mission to rescue then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. The film ends with Obi-Wan being disappointed in Anakin for turning to the Dark side before delivering Luke to his step-uncle’s home on Tatooine.
McGregor provided some breadcrumbs about Kenobi’s state of mind, but it wasn’t much. “It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him—Well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with that the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III. It’s quite something to get over.”
The limited series has a lot of wiggle room to explore what happened to the Jedi master before we meet him in A New Hope. Beyond that, McGregor made it clear he wasn’t “allowed to tell” anything else about the show.
When does the Obi-Wan series take place?
According to McGregor, the “storyline sits between Episode III and Episode IV.” Well, that’s a huge 30-year time period. Since the actor hasn’t played Obi-Wan in more than 15 years, will Disney have to de-age him? McGregor was 33 at the time of Revenge of the Sith, and he’s 48 now.
However, McGregor says he’s actually more intrigued to play an older Obi-Wan anyway. “I want to get closer and closer to how Obi-Wan felt while Alec Guinness was playing him. I feel like I’m grayer and nearer him in age, so it’ll be easier to do that,” McGregor told Men’s Journal.
This implies the series might be closer chronologically to Episode IV than Episode III, but speculation is all we’ve got for now.