The Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney Plus is bringing back the most iconic villain in the entire Star Wars universe — Darth Vader. And Hayden Christensen is reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker, Disney announced. That's right, Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan will face his former Jedi pupil in what Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy called "the rematch of the century."
Disney Plus is developing a slew of Star Wars series. An Obi-Wan Kenobi show has been in the works for years from writer/director Deborah Chow, who has helmed two episodes of The Mandalorian. McGregor has been involved since the beginning, but Christensen's return is a huge surprise.
Christensen was an unknown up-and-coming actor when George Lucas cast him in the Star Wars prequel movies. He first played Anakin Skywalker in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, then made the transformation into Darth Vader following a brutal battle with Obi-Wan at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
"It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker,” Christensen said in a statement. “Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them… It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back."
Not much else was revealed about the Obi-Wan Kenobi show on Disney Investor Day, but here's everything we know so far.
Obi-Wan Kenobi series release date
Disney Plus has yet to set a release date for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The six-episode limited series is scheduled to begin filming in spring 2021.
The project has been in development for years. It was first announced at the D23 Expo in 2019. But news circulated that there was trouble with the show. In January 2020, a story in The Hollywood Reporter said that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wasn't happy with the scripts and sought to start over with a new writer.
It looks like those issues have been ironed out, since the Obi-Wan Kenobi show took a prominent place in the Disney Plus presentation to investors.
As for when it might premiere on the streaming service, we can only guess. If filming starts in this spring, and the show requires as much time for visual effects and postproduction work as The Mandalorian, the Obi-Wan Kenobi show is likely not to debut until spring 2022 or later.
Obi-Wan Kenobi series cast
When the Obi-Wan Kenobi show was first announced in 2019, Disney also said that Ewan McGregor would reprise his role as a middle-aged version of the iconic Jedi Master.
On Dec. 10, Disney Plus revealed that Hayden Christensen will play Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader again. He previously appeared as Anakin in the films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, plus made a voice cameo in 2019's Rise of Skywalker.
Hayden Christensen returns as Darth Vader, joining Ewan McGregor in OBI-WAN KENOBI. The Original Series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Revenge of the Sith, and is coming to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/9WR2npRUkkDecember 10, 2020
No other Obi-Wan Kenobi series cast members have been announced or even rumored.
Obi-Wan Kenobi show timeline
As you can see in the tweet above, the Obi-Wan Kenobi show takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith.
In terms of the Star Wars timeline, that places the show about nine years before Episode IV: A New Hope and roughly around the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Could Ray Park's Darth Maul make an appearance in the Obi-Wan series? It's possible — and we hope it happens!
Speaking to Men's Journal in October 2019, McGregor shed a little light on what to expect from the Kenobi show's story.
"It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him — Well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with that the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III," said McGregor. "It’s quite something to get over.”