Do you remember where you were on March 11, 1999? It might not sound like the most important date in the universe, but in the history of Star Wars it was when the first full trailer for The Phantom Menace was released on StarWars.com. Considering how close this was to the movie’s May 19, 1999 release, it seems unbelievable now. And yet, with Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’s possible history is repeating itself.
So far there hasn’t been a full trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The closest thing was a teaser dropped in November 2021, which didn’t reveal any footage, showing only a few plot points and some concept art.
With Obi-Wan Kenobi debuting on Disney+ on May 25, 2022, that means the trailer is probably coming any day now. And, coincidentally or not, the current three-month wait is similar to the gap between the release of The Phantom Menace and its first fully downloadable trailer. To be clear, a famous teaser for the Phantom Menace did arrive in theaters, ahead of movies like Meet Joe Black, and was hilariously available on dial-up internet on November 18, 1998. However, on March 11, 1999, the longer trailer, arguably, sent things into hype overdrive. That was the moment everyone could watch the trailer (nearly) instantly.
So if you search with your feelings, the Force may reveal that we have a very good (hypothetical!) date for the Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer: March 11.
Obi-Wan was the biggest rallying point of The Phantom Menace
Despite the mixed reception of the Star Wars prequels, even in 1999, almost everyone liked Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Fans who freaked out over Jar Jar Binks and hated everything about midi-chlorians still respected his performance, especially in his final fight with Darth Maul.
The Phantom Menace solidified Ewan McGregor as a Star Wars superstar. And, over the course of those three films, he managed — somehow — to convince audiences that his Obi-Wan was just as legitimate as Alec Guinness. Contrast this with the lukewarm (and unfair!) reception of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, and the ongoing obsession at Lucasfilm with using CGI trickery to bring back legacy characters like Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. In 1999, McGregor proved that a classic Star Wars character could be recast and fans wouldn’t just accept it, but embrace it.
The nostalgia people have for McGregor is connected to all three prequels, but that nostalgia starts with The Phantom Menace. The character of Obi-Wan Kenobi (as played by Alec Guinness) first appeared on-screen on May 25, 1977, which is why the new series is debuting on that same day in 2022. It seems possible that the new trailer could also reference an important date in the character’s cinematic history.
Obi-Wan Kenobi will stream new episodes on Disney+ starting on May 25, 2022.