Ewan McGregor says ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ looks to both the past and the future

Image via Lucasfilm/Disney Plus

After being absent from the franchise for 17 years, Ewan McGregor’s eponymous Jedi Master finally returns to the Star Wars galaxy in Obi-Wan Kenobi, arriving on Disney Plus next month. But he’s not the only familiar face featuring in the limited series, as McGregor will be appearing opposite his old on-screen friend-turned-foe Hayden Christensen, who’s reprising Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.

Set in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Obi-Wan will catch up with these two legendary characters when they’re in a transitionary place as they journey towards becoming the wise old hermit and the emotionless Sith Lord we first met in Episode IV. According to McGregor, its setting and subject matter allows the show to look both “backwards and forwards” at once.

As the Scottish star told Entertainment Weekly:

“It’s fun. It’s very clever how all these threads are created. It’s like working backwards and forwards at the same time for the writers and for Deborah [Chow, director].”

Specifically, Kenobi will pick up 10 years after the rise of the Empire, beginning with Obi-Wan watching over the young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) before events conspire to take him off Tatooine and into the path of the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and his squad of Jedi-hunters, including the Fifth Brother (Sung Kang). And, presumably, somewhere along the way, he’ll come face-to-helmet with Vader, pre-empting their final battle in ANH.

This won’t be the first time Star Wars has retconned A New Hope, and it won’t be the last. That said, Chow has insisted that the series’ team was careful to honor what’s come before and there will be “room for interpretation” when it comes to how Obi-Wan alters the flow of the timeline and the characters’ histories.

But the show is putting back into the lore, too, with fresh additions to the mythos being played by the likes of Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, and Maya Erskine. While Obi-Wan Kenobi will look backward and forwards, fans just need to keep an eye on the near future as the six-part event premieres on Disney Plus this May 27.