Chimney stacks transform into giant lightsabers for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ premiere

Image via Disney / Entertainment Weekly magazine

Disney Plus is unleashing the force with some eye-popping marketing for the forthcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi, one day ahead of the show’s premiere on the streaming service.

The latest stunt involves projecting images onto the Battersea Power Station in London, which turned the iconic chimney stacks into the lightsabers for the titular Jedi Master played by Ewan McGregor and his former apprentice-turned-dark-side-zealot, Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader.

The iconic blue-and-red beams that shot up into the sky are a perfect metaphor for the two characters who find themselves on opposing sides of the force, the mysterious energy that unites all life.

It’ll be interesting to see what stories can be teased out for Obi-Wan’s adventures on Tatooine in the Star Wars franchise, as Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place in a pocket of time we have never seen before: after he took “the high ground” on the lava planet Mustafar, and bisected his former apprentice, but before he becomes “Old Ben” Kenobi as portrayed in A New Hope by Alec Guinness.

Obi-Wan is undoubtedly one of the most beloved characters in the entire Star Wars franchise, with McGregor, in particular, representing a consistent high point in the prequel trilogy in the three films that famously struggled to single out a clear protagonist.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Guinness’s performance of the character — in fact, that is the actor McGregor said he is aiming for in the new series — but he, unfortunately, poofed into nothingness upon Vader’s lightsaber connecting to his robe in the first film. His fairly brief appearance in the original trilogy, aside from a quick cameo as a force ghost in Return of the Jedi, is the only reason we must give McGregor the more pronounced “Hello there!” in our ranking.

Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to Disney Plus Friday.