Obi-Wan Kenobi director reveals the surprise Westerns the series is inspired by

Obi-Wan Kenobi reveal trailer breakdown
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Star Wars has a rich history of being inspired by samurai movies and westerns – and the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is no different.

Speaking to Total Film for the new issue of the magazine (opens in new tab), which features Obi-Wan Kenobi on the cover, director Debora Chow revealed which movies and show influenced the new Disney Plus show. 

Due to the darker nature of the series, which sees Obi-Wan in exile and looking over the endangered Luke Skywalker, Chow looked to "gritty, poetic westerns," naming Andrew Dominik’s epic The Assassination of Jesse James and John Hillcoat’s The Proposition. 

She also looked to Akira Kurosawa’s work – which should come as no surprise considering The Hidden Fortress was the primary inspiration for George Lucas' A New Hope.

"I love Kurosawa, too," she says. "There’s such a strong correlation for me between the Jedi and the Ronin – particularly in this period where all the Jedi are being hunted. I was really looking at what you do if you’re the last samurai. You’re more than just a warrior. There’s also an ethical code that goes along with it, in a world that’s vastly changed. That really had a pretty big effect on what we were trying to do."

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, with Obi-Wan standing as one of the final Jedi across the galaxy. Why will this wise knight be brought out of hiding? We'll find out more when the series debuts.

In the cover story of the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab) magazine, Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, co-star Moses Ingram, and Chow talk in-depth about Obi-Wan and his new adventure. Elsewhere in the feature, McGregor spoke about being "shit scared" when it came to facing down Vader, and Chow revealed that Darth Maul was never going to be part of the series, despite reports.

The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney Plus on Friday, May 27, with subsequent episodes premiering on Wednesdays. For much more from McGregor and co, check out the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab), out now!

Total Film's Obi-Wan Kenobi covers

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Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film