EXCLUSIVE: Director Deborah Chow reveals Ewan McGregor felt strongly that Hayden Christensen needed to return as Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Ewan McGregor felt strongly about wanting Hayden Christensen to be involved in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Star Wars‘ next Disney+ series is set to premiere in a matter of days. It follows The Book of Boba Fett, which focuses on the fan-favorite bounty hunter. in Obi-Wan Kenobiaudiences will be reunited with more familiar faces led by the show’s titular Jedi Master.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was only officially announced in 2019 at D23 Expo as an upcoming Disney+ series. But even after then, the show went through several more significant changes. When the project was confirmed, only McGregor was officially cast in the project. Just as it was about to start production, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy ordered a rework of the series, subjecting it to significant changes with writer Joby Harold replacing original scribe, Hossein Amini. The creative alteration cam after Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s narrative was deemed too similar to The Mandalorian. Eventually, as the team decided on how to approach the series, they also came to the conclusion that Darth Vader needed to be involved.
In light of that, Chow revealed while speaking to Screen Rant in a new interview that McGregor was adamant Christensen needed to come back and be a part of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The filmmaker explained that in order to fully understand what Obi-Wan’s journey is in the Disney+ show, his relationship with Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader should be part of their storytelling considering how much it has impacted his Obi-Wan’s life. Read the exchange with Chow from our interview, below:
When you came on board, there was no Hayden initially?
Deborah Chow: Right. At that point, there had obviously been a lot of development before, but it was still in development stage. Apart from Ewan, there were no actors involved at that point.
How did that feel to be the one to essentially get the band back together and tell Ewan, “We’re getting you guys back together?”
Deborah Chow: Ewan was very much a creative partner on the show, so he’s been involved right from the get-go – and he was on this before I was. He’s been with me the whole way on this, which has been amazing.
But I think, really, it came out of a place of really looking at the character [of] Kenobi, and we’re so connected to the prequels, and so much of the weight that Obi-Wan is carrying is coming out of what happened at the end of Revenge of the Sith with Anakin. So much is connected to Anakin and Vader that it felt, to us, that it was hard to tell Kenobi’s story at this period without touching on that. And that sort of led us, obviously, naturally, back to Hayden.
The events of Obi-Wan Kenobi take place just a decade after Obi-Wan and Anakin’s falling out in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. In the show, the titular Jedi Master is in hiding on Tatooine while also quietly looking over a young Luke Skywalker when the Empire’s forces double their efforts in locating him and any other Order 66 survivors. Obi-Wan and Darth Vader are confirmed to face each other again in the Disney+ series, which is arguably the most exciting thing about it. But more than that, Christensen’s return could also mean that Obi-Wan Kenobi will feature some flashbacks to when things were still good between the former allies. So aside from Darth Vader, Christensen could also reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker.
There’s not much known known about what Obi-Wan or Darth Vader are doing during this point in Star Wars history. So, Lucasfilm has some creative wiggle room to come up with something that will enrich the pair’s already complex history. The events of Obi-Wan Kenobi can also function as a transitional period between the prequels and the original trilogy, bridging the gap between McGregor’s traumatized and conflicted Jedi to Sir Alec Guinness’ more relaxed version of the character.
More: Where Is Maul During Obi-Wan Kenobi
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