Thanks to some tantalizing details from a newly leaked trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi, we have a better sense of Darth Vader’s role in the series, and whether or the Dark Lord and Kenobi will actually meet. Potential spoilers ahead.
Ahead of Disney+ Day, a teaser for the new Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi briefly leaked online. In it, series star Ewan McGregor and director Deborah Chow discuss what fans can expect from the upcoming series. And the biggest takeaway is probably the most shocking: It looks like Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi will have a lightsaber rematch after the events of Revenge of the Sith but before A New Hope.
Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer: “Have another swing at each other...”
In the brief one-minute teaser, we don’t see any footage from the new series, but there is a lot of concept art, and plenty of plot details teased out. (We won’t share the images yet until the teaser is officially released on Disney+ Day.) The biggest bomb that’s dropped is easily the fact that McGregor makes it clear Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi may have another lightsaber duel. The actor says if Anakin and Obi-Wan “have another swing at each other, it may be satisfying for everybody.”
When McGregor talks about this new duel, we do see some concept art that suggests that Vader and Obi-Wan will fight again in the present-tense context of this series. To be clear, this would alter previous assumptions about canon slightly. In A New Hope, we’ve tended to assume that Obi-Wan and Vader’s duel in Episode IV is the first time they’ve met since Revenge of the Sith. But, what Obi-Wan Kenobi presupposes is... maybe that’s not the case!
Darth Vader & Ben Kenobi’s hideouts
In the teaser, Chow mentions that Kenobi’s guardianship of Luke Skywalker is “a starting place for our story... the interesting thing is where it goes from there.”
At that point, the teaser gives us several images of concept art, all of which imply Obi-Wan will be doing things off of Tatooine. Or, at the very least, some of the action will take place elsewhere, away from Tatooine.
Chow adds, “We couldn’t tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi without addressing Anakin or Vader.”
During this point, we see some concept art of Darth Vader, in what appears to be his castle on Mustafar. How much time Vader actually spent in this castle has not been entirely clear, at least according to the on-screen canon. Although the castle appeared in Rogue One and (kind of) in The Rise of Skywalker, most of what we know about it comes from Star Wars novels and comics.
With Obi-Wan Kenobi, that looks like it’s going to change. In learning about Vader’s hideout, it seems clear that we’ll get new details about what Vader knew about Ben Kenobi’s hiding place. In other words, if Obi-Wan learns about Vader’s sanctuary on Mustafar, why wouldn’t Vader learn about Obi-Wan’s hut on Tatooine? The idea that Vader has no idea where Obi-Wan lives post-Sith has always been a bit strange. But that may change soon.
A lingering mystery from Return of the Jedi
Because the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi seems to be taking Ben face-to-face with Anakin again, suddenly everything we thought we knew about Darth Vader changes. If Vader was aware of Obi-Wan’s activities prior to A New Hope, it seems like a lot of Vader’s motivations in the classic trilogy might be more explicable. In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader tells Luke, “Obi-Wan once thought as you do...”
But, we never really learned what that meant. Will we see Obi-Wan try to bring Anakin back to the light side? And if so, how will that stand-off end? The teaser for Obi-Wan Kenobi promises that lightsabers will clash, but what it all means yet is still shrouded in a big, comfy Jedi cloak.
Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney+ sometime in 2022.