Obi-Wan Kenobi series: release date, trailer, Darth Vader, and more

Ewan McGregor in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Are you ready for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series? The Star Wars show is heading to Disney Plus soon and, best of all, there are two episodes coming at once. The TV series was expected to land on May 25, but will now arrive on May 27. Before then, though, there's a lot to take in, especially following our world-exclusive interviews with the likes of Ewan McGregor, who's back as Obi-Wan for the first time since the prequels, and Hayden Christensen, once again in the Darth Vader suit.

So, what do we know about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series? Well, there's a superb teaser that managed to give very little away. Luckily, director Deborah Chow was a little more forthcoming in our interviews with her. We can also confirm that the Clone Wars character the Grand Inquisitor will be hunting down Jedi, and that a young Luke Skywalker will make an appearance – though the extent of his role remains to be seen as Obi-Wan will leave Tatooine. 

Below, we've rounded up absolutely everything else there is to know about the series right here, from who's who in the cast to all that's known about the plot. So, scroll on to get up to date on all things Obi-Wan Kenobi, the most highly anticipated Star Wars show yet (besides maybe The Mandalorian season 3).

Obi-Wan Kenobi series release date

Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Obi-Wan Kenobi has a new release date: May 27 2022. That's two days later than the original date of May 25. Plus, both episode 1 and 2 will be debuting together – and the change means both installments will be premiering during Star Wars Celebration. Per the official Star Wars site, though, after the first Friday release, Obi-Wan Kenobi will switch back to dropping an episode every Wednesday as normal for Disney Plus.

Obi-Wan Kenobi series trailer

The first Obi-Wan series trailer is here, and it re-introduces us to Obi-Wan's current task: watching over a certain Luke Skywalker.

But that's not going to be easy. Hot on the heels of the Jedi master is an Inquisitor named Reva, played by The Queen's Gambit actor Moses Ingram. She's joined by Rupert Friend, who plays the Grand Inquisitor tasked with bringing the Jedi to heel in a post-Order 66 galaxy.

While the trailer doesn't give too much away, it sets the stage for Obi-Wan moving from a primitive life on Tatooine to beyond the stars and to the new planet of Daiyu. "It's got a graffiti-ridden nightlife, and is kind of edgy. It's just got a different lane and a different feeling," writer Joby Harold told Entertainment Weekly of the new Star Wars planet. You can watch the trailer in full above. And, yes, that is Duel of the Fates. John Williams even composed the series theme.

For more on the trailer's hidden details, check out our breakdown.

Prior to the official trailer, a preview featurette was unveiled at Disney Plus Day, and can be viewed on the streamer now. It reveals concept art for the show, including the picture of Obi-Wan and Anakin duelling it out above, and also sees Ewan McGregor talk about the series. 

"There's a hunger for this character to come back," he says. "The fans have been waiting long enough."

"This is quite a dark time that we're coming into with him," director Deborah Chow adds. "Just being a Jedi, it's not safe, there's Jedi hunters out there." 

It seems the "starting point" for the story will be Obi-Wan tasked with protecting Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. And, of course, Darth Vader has a part to play. "We couldn't tell the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi without addressing Anakin, or Vader," Chow says. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi series cast

Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Of course, an Obi-Wan series wouldn’t feel quite right without the man himself: Ewan McGregor is indeed returning as Obi-Wan.

Alongside him is quite the cast, though the standout name for fans of all things a galaxy far, far away is Hayden Christensen. He’ll be reprising his role as Darth Vader, marking the first on-screen appearance for the actor in Star Wars since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Entertainment Weekly even released the first look of the Sith Lord in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

The full cast is filled with familiar names, too. Joel Edgerton is set to play Luke Skywalker’s uncle, Owen, and Bonnie Piesse is playing Luke’s aunt, Beru. Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) is playing an Inquisitor named Reva and Rupert Friend is playing the Grand Inquisitor. Find out more about Friend's role in our guide to the Grand Inquisitor.

While the rest of the character identities are being kept under wraps, the following actors are definitely set to appear: Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Just Mercy), Sung Kang, who appears to be playing another Inquisitor, (Fast & Furious), Simone Kessell (Terra Nova), and Bennie Safdie (co-director of Uncut Gems).

We’re holding out hope for other Star Wars legacy characters to join Uncle Owen and Beru. One who says they’re not showing up – and we believe them, sadly – is Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best. He said on Twitter, "Thanks for the love, but I will not be in this series. As much as I would've loved to be a part of it. But I'm ecstatic to see folks who I love dearly back together doing great things." Now meesa sad.

Director Deborah Chow has teased a few other cameos, though. Speaking with Total Film, she said: "Obi-Wan’s going on a journey. There’s going to be different people that come into his life. One of the things I was trying to do with this series was to have the legacy, and who is important in Obi-Wan’s life, and to also have some new characters. So it’s going to be a mixture of the two. But I do think there are some surprises to come. I hope."

Obi-Wan Kenobi series story: Darth Vader's return

Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Disney)

The big headline news is that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader will cross paths (and lightsabers) once more following Vader's defeat on Mustafa. 

"He is 100 per cent a fully realised Vader,” Christensen tells Total Film of Vader's return in the Obi-Wan Kenobi issue, which you can order here (there are a lot more quotes from the cast and crew inside). "This is, in a lot of ways, Vader in his prime. But he’s a very complex character, and there’s an inherent struggle of identity that is always present – there’s inner conflict. He’s always going to be struggling with the loss of Padmé. He’s got Anakin buried deep down inside. There always has to be that element of Anakin there, because he does eventually find redemption in the end – through the love of his son, no less. There has to be that bit of him in there for Luke to be able to access. There’s a lot going on."

There’s not only a 10-year time jump following Revenge of the Sith, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy hinted that we’ll be getting the “rematch of the century”.  of your journey with the character. And that was very meaningful for me."

McGregor has said that Obi-Wan’s final task after the events of the prequels is, predictably, to keep Luke Skywalker safe. That appears to confirm that the crux of the show will take place on the twin-sunned planet of Tatooine – though director Deborah Chow hinted at Disney Plus Day this is only the starting point of the story.

"We do start in Tatooine, and then we leave it – I really wanted to get off Tatooine," Chow told Total Film in the Obi-Wan issue. "Visually, and also just for Star Wars, I’ve always loved that you get to go to different planets, and you get something different and new. You get to go to new worlds and galaxies. The fact that we had such a legacy-heavy story – we needed something new to balance it out, so it didn’t feel all the same."

The series will bridge the gap towards A New Hope and chart how Obi-Wan became a watchful protector on Tatooine in the post-Order 66 era. The emergence of the Empire under Palpatine is also factored in. The presence of the Inquisitors could make Obi-Wan increasingly isolated and in short supply of allies. Coupled with Vader’s likely training and harnessing of his Dark Side powers, it all makes for an intriguing showdown in uncharted territory.

McGregor has confirmed that some more familiar faces (well, helmets) will be making a reappearance. "I’d worked with Clone troopers before, but so many of them were CGI. I never worked with Stormtroopers," he told Total Film. "I was like seven years old again. Because when you’re actually faced with a Stormtrooper, with a blaster, it’s like: 'Fucking hell.'"

Since filming finished, some of the cast members have teased what we can expect from the show. "We haven’t seen this exact thing in Star Wars yet," Kumail Nanjiani said of his character in an interview with Rolling Stone. "This is like a new version of a type of Star Wars character we’ve seen before."

Sung Kang has revealed to Screen Rant that his character has a lightsaber, while McGregor told Deadline: "We finished shooting our series, and it was really, really good fun. I really enjoyed working with [director/executive producer] Deborah Chow, and I think it will not disappoint. The new technology that we employed doing it is cool, and it was a different experience than making the original three films that I did."

Obi-Wan Kenobi series: when does it take place on the Star Wars timeline?

Obi-Wan Kenobi series when does it take place

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The matter of when things take place in Star Wars is almost always a thorny issue. This is no less confusing. Lucasfilm has confirmed that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith. 

If Revenge of the Sith takes place in 19 BBY (19 years before the Battle of Yavin, the focal point in the in-universe calendar and a reference to the year in which the first Death Star was destroyed in A New Hope), the Obi-Wan series takes place in 9 BBY. That’s nine whole years before A New Hope and, if you’re keeping track, around 18 years before the events of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

For a more detailed breakdown of every major event in the series, check out our comprehensive Star Wars timeline

Obi-Wan Kenobi series directors, writers, and episode count

Obi-Wan Kenobi episode count

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Deborah Chow, who directed two episodes of The Mandalorian, has helmed the entire series. Episodes have been written by Joby Harold, who can count King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Army of the Dead among his writing credits.

Unlike The Mandalorian’s 8-episode seasons, the Obi-Wan series episode count is slightly shorter. McGregor told Men’s Journal that we’re getting six one-hour episodes. Hello there, indeed.

For more from a galaxy far, far away, here are all the upcoming Star Wars movies you need to know about.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

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