“Hello, there!” Taking a look at Disney+’s trailer for “Obi-Wan Kenobi”…

A long time ago, in a cinema not too far away…

As a 10-year old in the summer of 1977, I vividly recall seeing “Star Wars” , and remembering how it fundamentally changed movies forever. The motion picture industry has been trying to recapture the magic of that first film ever since, as it fundamentally changed the moviegoing experience forever. “Star Wars,” with its imaginative, unprecedented visuals, made me truly cherish the theatrical experience. At that young age, I felt the magic of Star Wars couldn’t possibly be reproduced faithfully on the clunky 25″ Zenith TV in my parents’ living room. “The (godawful) Star Wars Holiday Special” that aired on CBS in November of 1978 only confirmed my assumption. However, modern TVs (or in my case, digital home projectors) make watching movies/TV at home an experience on a par with (or arguably superior to) the theatrical experience.

“Hello there.”
Alec Guinness’ Oscar-nominated performance as old Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, Star Wars has enjoyed an even greater presence on TV/streaming than I would’ve ever imagined as a kid–then again, we couldn’t imagine television being the immersive experience that it is today. And yes, it all looks great, too.

Currently there are two live-action Disney+ Star Wars series; “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett”, as well as a slew of animated series, and Disney seems almost hellbent on making all corners of the Star Wars universe fit together (cinematic, animated, literary, and otherwise). The next live action Disney Star Wars series will be “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” starring Ewan McGregor in the role that earned the late Sir Alec Guinness an Oscar nomination. McGregor previously played the role of younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005).

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” (2022)

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will be released as a six-part limited series, or, as we used to call them back in the Bronze Age, a miniseries. This is a smart move, since much of Kenobi’s time on Tatooine was probably spent waiting and communing with the Force, and that might not make for a terribly exciting series. This week, a new teaser trailer was released and it promises a lot more action than I expected, as the voiceover of “the Grand Inquisitor” (Rupert Friend) tells us that Order 66, the Jedi purge initiated in “Revenge of the Sith,” is not over…

Note: Just hoping this series keeps its focus primarily on Kenobi, and not a myriad of other stories within the greater Star Wars universe–see: “Book of Boba Fett,” where Fett became a largely peripheral character within his own show.

Disney+’s official 1:45 minute teaser trailer for “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

The trailer conveyed a lot of information in its brief running time. While I admit that I’m not too well-versed on the entirety of animated Star Wars, I am a fan of “Rebels,” and I did appreciate the final few episodes of “The Clone Wars”. Hopefully, I won’t miss too many details/references from other Star Wars cartoon series, since Disney is clearly embracing all of Star Wars (prequels/sequels & cartoon series) in its new live-action productions.

If any readers spot anything else of note that I’ve missed in my screencap captions, please feel free to tell me so in the comments section below this column; I love informative reader feedback!

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi; while he has only a loose resemblance to Alec Guinness, he certainly captures the essence of the character. It’s clear that the double Tatooine suns age a person very quickly since McGregor was only in his mid-30s when the prequels ended with Kenobi retreating to Tatooine after the subversion of the Old Republic by Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. Alec Guinness was around 62 when he filmed the first Star Wars movie in 1976, so I can easily assume 20 years under harsh desert heat and cold did the rest…?

McGregor’s interpretation of Obi-Wan Kenobi was certainly one of the highlights of the prequel trilogy, which didn’t resonate too well with many of my generation, but it as legions of devoted younger fans today. Personally, I’m glad that newer generations of fans have their own Star Wars touchstones, just as I had mine with the original trilogy (1977-1983).
While “Star Wars” (1977) implied that Kenobi lived as a hermit on Tatooine, it’s not unreasonable that he sometimes went into towns like Mos Espa or Mos Eisley for supplies, trade, barter, etc., perhaps even occasional off-world transportation (hence his familiarity with how to procure the services of a starship in the first film). Perhaps Kenobi even used a bit of ‘Force persuasion’ now and then to get vital supplies for himself without money. I’m fairly certain he won’t stay lack-locked on Tatooine for the entire run of the limited series.
“The fight is done… we lost.”
Kenobi, whose voice is heard in the trailer’s opening, is riding the camel-like eopie, a beast-of-burden seen breaking wind in 1999’s “The Phantom Menace”, and which Kenobi was also riding at the end of 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith” (when he returned to Tatooine to deliver the young Luke Skywalker to the Lars homestead). It’s safe to assume this creature was his primary means of getting around for awhile, since Kenobi had no speeders or other apparent transportation when we first meet him in the original 1977 film. That mountain range off in the distance might be the “Jundland Wastes”–the same region where R2-D2 first went looking for Kenobi to deliver his message from Princess Leia.
The Lars moisture farm and homestead, as seen through macro-binoculars.
The Lars homestead looks very much like it did in the original 1977 film. If you can zoom or open this photo in a separate window, you might notice that Beru (emerging from the main entrance, left of center) seems to be wearing the denim jacket very similar to what we see her wearing in the 1977 film as well. Young Luke is sitting on an archway, connecting to the main dome.
“Stay hidden.”
Young Luke Skywalker appears to be about 10 years old in this scene, as he giddily pretends to fly a spaceship or perhaps ride an imaginary speeder bike. It’s clear that Yoda was right about the boy; all his life he’s “looked away” to a future of adventure and excitement. If it is Obi-Wan watching him through the macro-binoculars, he’s got to be experiencing mixed emotions right now; a bit of joy at seeing young Luke inheriting his father’s taste for adventure, but also apprehension that this “new hope” might be locked on the same course that led to his father’s ruination.
What’s a bit creepy about the Lars homestead scene is that it’s implied Obi Wan is spying on the Lars family through his macro-binoculars. I get it; he’s living there to keep an eye on the boy, who is the ‘last hope’ against the Empire, but one might assume Obi-Wan would could’ve sensed the boy’s well-being through the Force, rather than physically spy on him.

Then again this could also be a piece of bait-and-switch editing for the teaser trailer. We might, in fact, be seeing the Lars homestead through the binoculars of a Jedi-hunter who feels a ‘disturbance’ in the Force, or perhaps Imperials on Tatooine looking to interrogate the Lars family for some as-yet-unknown reason. Kenobi might be using those macros in another scene entirely. One argument in support of this theory is the unfamiliar mountain ranges behind Kenobi, which are nowhere near the original Lars homestead landscape, which was surrounded by flatlands in the original movie (20-year old Luke did a 360 scan of the horizon surrounding the Lars farm with his own macros after R2-D2 ran away, and it looked pretty flat in those days).
“The key to hunting Jedi is patience…”
The shuttle, belonging to an Imperial Inquisitor named “Reva” (Moses Ingram), appears to docking at an oceanic Imperial facility on an as-yet-unknown world. The narration of the latter half of the trailer is from “The Grand Inquisitor.”

The music in the trailer then shifts to the iconic prequel theme “Duel of the Fates,” which was first heard in the iconic three-way lightsaber duel between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in “The Phantom Menace,” and was referenced several times since. John Williams’ “Duel of the Fates” is inarguably one of the best pieces of music in the entire Star Wars cinematic saga, no matter one’s opinion of the prequels.
The Grand Inquisitor.
Much like Ahsoka Tano and Cad Bane, the Jedi-hunting “Grand Inquisitor” (Rupert Friend) is brought from an animated Star Wars series (“Rebels”) into live-action. The Inquisitor is very familiar with Jedi combat skills and how to counter them, making him a formidable foe. In “Rebels”, he reported directly to Darth Vader, which leaves an opening for us to see Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen/voice of James Earl Jones) in this series as well. The fact that the trailer also ends with the sound of Vader’s mechanical breathing makes this a foregone conclusion as well (not to mention that Christensen is listed as a cast member).

Note: Actor Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek Discovery“) performed the voice of the Inquisitor in “Rebels.”
“Jedi cannot help what they are…”
We then see Obi-Wan inconspicuously dressed as a civilian (sans Jedi robes) as he floats across the plains of Tatooine with others in a barebones, economy-version of the hover-trains we saw in “The Book of Boba Fett,” but without protection from the harsh suns of Tatooine. The transport is more like a no-frills people-mover than a train. Kenobi appears to be wearing the same clothes he wore earlier in the trailer when he’s (apparently) spying on the Lars homestead.
We see actress Moses Ingram (“The Queen’s Gambit”) as new character “Reva”, a member of the Jedi-hunting Inquisitors, meeting with other Inquisitors as well. I’m assuming–from the green skies outside, and the black and red Imperial decor within–that this is the same oceanic Imperial facility we see Reva’s shuttle approaching seconds earlier in the trailer.
“… their compassion leaves a trail.”
Inquistiror Reva (Moses Ingram) has landed on Tatooine (possibly at Mos Espa, Anchorhead, or Tosche Station) and is showing the locals a lightsaber (perhaps captured from a slain Jedi, or perhaps her own), as she’s most likely on the trail of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke Skywalker’s uncle, Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) is standing directly behind her, in the center of the frame.
Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) watches Reva (Moses Ingram).
One can assume that he doesn’t rat out Kenobi, since Kenobi is the one who gifted he and his wife, Beru (Bonnie Piesse) with young Luke, whom they successfully raise into adulthood–at the cost of their own lives later on (see: “A New Hope”). Later, as his nephew Luke becomes older and more curious about his lineage, Owen deliberately disparages Obi-Wan, calling him a “wizard” and a “crazy old man.” Presumably Owen does this to keep Luke safe–to avoid ending up like his father, Anakin (Hayden Christensen). Anakin’s own devil’s bargain saw him perverted into the evil Darth Vader. Interestingly, in original drafts of “Return of the Jedi”, Owen Lars and Obi-Wan Kenobi were going to be revealed as brothers, but this was deleted in the final screenplay. I hope to see a lot more of Owen Lars in the six-episode series. Joel Edgerton is an amazing actor (see: 2016’s “Loving”).

Note: Having Obi-Wan and Owen as brothers would make Kenobi seem very callous, since he didn’t shed a single tear upon learning that his brother and sister-in-law were brutally burned to death by Imperial troops in “A New Hope.”
Reva’s ship setting down on Tatooine, probably in Mos Espa, Anchorhead or Tosche Station (?).
The ship is, of course, the same ship we see approaching the oceanic Imperial facility earlier.
Reva on the Hong Kong-inspired planet of Daiyu.
This new planet looks a lot like the Imperial capitol world of Coruscant, but according to Variety, it’s Daiyu–a new planet in the Star Wars universe. The scenes on Daiyu include a few shootouts, so I assume this planet to be a starting point for the Jedi-hunting Inquisitors on their quest to find (and kill) Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“The Jedi code is like an itch…”
A stormtrooper has a moment with an Imperial Inquisitor droid, similar in design to the captured/reprogrammed Imperial droid K2-SO (Alan Tudyk) from 2016’s “Rogue One”. As far back as “The Empire Strikes Back,” and more recently in “The Mandalorian,” we’ve seen droids as bounty hunters, so it’s not unreasonable that they could hold the title of Inquisitors as well. This may be the same Inquisitor droid we saw earlier in the conference chamber with Reva.
“….they cannot help it.”
Once again, we see a low-profile Obi-Wan Kenobi among a group of civilians, as the trailer’s voiceover by the Grand Inquisitor continues. This scene appears to be of an incognito Kenobi on Daiyu, trying to flee/hide from the Imperial Inquisitors.
“Where is he?!”
I’m guessing the Grand Inquisitor, wielding a pair of crimson Sith-like lightsabers, has officially run out of patience in his quest to find Obi-Wan Kenobi. Since Obi-Wan Kenobi survives to “A New Hope,” I assume the Inquisitors are somehow falsely lured off of his trail.
A green-skinned Imperial Inquisitor leads a squad of Imperial stormtroopers through the rainy streets of Daiyu.
Judging from his odd-shaped hat, this is probably the same Inquisitor we see conversing with Reva earlier in the Imperial conference chamber. The Inquisitors occupy a unique niche within the Imperial hierarchy.
Blaster fire disrupts a flock of alien birds on Daiyu during a fire fight.
I could be very wrong on this, but perhaps this is a visual homage to famed Hong Kong director John Woo, and his penchant for doves in his action movies (see: “A Better Tomorrow”, “Face/Off”).

The trailer then fades to black with the sound of Darth Vader’s mechanical breathing over the title card of “Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi”, with the final ‘i’ of ‘Kenobi’ in the shape of Obi-Wan’s lightsaber…

The End.

Coming Soon

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will begin streaming on May 25th, 2022 exclusively on Disney+. May 25th is also, of course, the 45th anniversary of “Star Wars” “Star Wars” (1977). I am looking very forward to this limited series, and in seeing how well it dovetails with the prequel and original trilogies, as well as the rest of the Star Wars expanded universe.

Note: Star Wars was out in theaters in various re-releases for four years before “A New Hope” was added in 1981; a year prior to its home video release in 1982, and two years after “The Empire Strikes Back” was released in 1980 as “Episode V.” Yes, 14-year old me was very confused at the time. To this day, I’m still more comfortable just calling the 1977 movie “Star Wars,” without the “A New Hope” subtitle.

Stay Strong and Stay Safe

With the recent invasion of Ukraine, here’s hoping the courageous Ukrainian people will see daylight from this nightmare. Wishing the people of Ukraine perseverence, and that this hideous aggression ends sooner than later. Meanwhile, the current number of COVID-19 related deaths in the United States is over 959,000 (over six million worldwide) as of this writing, and while cases have significantly dropped in the last month, please use caution and good judgment when it comes to masking and safe distancing, as many states are now easing prior COVID restrictions due to decreasing numbers of infections. In these challenging times, be safe and stay strong!

May the Force be with us all.

Note the shape of the last ‘i’ in Kenobi…
All images: Lucasfilm, Disney+

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