Spoiler Alert: The following article contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi.For what seems like a long, long, long time, Star Wars fans have been asking, no, begging for a show or movie to explore the story of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and answer what he was up to in between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. While the prequel trilogy has seen its fair share of fluctuations in terms of its consensus within the Star Wars fandom, both fans and critics seem to agree that Ewan McGregor’s performance as Kenobi was a technically brilliant take on the character and that he was the only one who could take on the role after Alec Guinness.
Now, the wait has finally ended, and Obi-Wan Kenobi has finally hit Disney+ (and a few hours early at that). McGregor being involved at all was undoubtedly more than enough for most Star Wars enthusiasts, but to add even more icing to the cake, he’ll also be bringing a few familiar friends and enemies with him. Joining them are also some new characters to fall in love with or fear entirely, so here is a quick guide to the friends, foes, and those in-between who will be joining this dark galactic adventure.
Keep in mind that the information below is based on the first two aired episodes as well as the previously released shows and movies. We’ll be sure to avoid major spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi, but keep in mind this will shed some light on some minor details and may spoil previous series and films set in the Star Wars galaxy.
Read more about the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ Series:
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Guess what? Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the show, and if that’s not hard enough to believe, he’s also being played by the same man who brought the wise Jedi Master to life all those years ago. Ewan McGregor was already considered a talented actor after appearing in Trainspotting, but getting cast as an already established character in one of the biggest franchises ever conceived is the role of a lifetime for any actor.
Obi-Wan Kenobi started out as most Jedi did as a young Padawan learner. Under the tutelage of Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Kenobi was a pupil who was well on his way to becoming a master himself. Unfortunately, that day came far sooner than expected when Qui-Gon was killed by Darth Maul, and in his master’s final moments, Kenobi vowed to train the young force-sensitive boy they found on Tatooine. That boy was Anakin Skywalker, and the bond between him and Obi-Wan became closer to that of brothers than teacher and student, as their friendship helped them to navigate the horrors of the Clone Wars. However, not even their close friendship could stop Anakin’s descent to the dark side and transformation into Darth Vader, and Kenobi was forced to scar and dismember his closest friend.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to fill in the gaps of what happened after the rise of Vader, but long after the Jedi were purged by the newly founded Empire, the once-great master became a lowly hermit on his former pupil’s home planet, Tatooine. His purpose there wasn’t just exile, as he vowed to watch over and protect Anakin’s son Luke Skywalker until he was ready for training himself. Fate led to Kenobi and Vader crossing sabers once again, but this time, Vader was the one to prevail. Though Kenobi does die, through the force he is still able to aid Luke and guide him on the path toward redeeming his previous student.
Hayden Christensen may have been “torched” by some fans and critics for some clunky dialogue and line deliveries, but it’s hard to deny his physicality (particularly in Revenge of the Sith) is legitimately intimidating, and that is the one word that perfectly sums up Darth Vader. Before he became “the most hated man in the galaxy”, Vader was a young boy named Anakin Skywalker, an optimistic tech-head who was living as a slave on Tatooine.
When Qui-Gon Jinn realized that this boy could be the prophesied “chosen one”, the Jedi Council reluctantly allowed him into their order. Anakin eventually became one of the most revered and respected Jedi Knights in the Order, but this still didn’t stop him from having an arrogant attitude and occasionally going against his teachings. One such rule he broke was the omission of love when he eloped with Padme Amidala, his one true love. When Anakin began having premonitions of Padme’s death, the hidden Sith Lord Darth Sidious (otherwise known as Chancellor Palpatine) promised him the ability to keep her alive through the Force. This idea was the catalyst for his turn to the dark side, as he single-handedly exterminated every Jedi in their sacred temple.
This unspeakable act of genocide prompted a confrontation with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, where he was dismembered, burned alive, and left for dead. Sidious found him, however, and saved him by transforming him into an entity more machine than man. This killing machine was henceforth known as Darth Vader, whose one goal was to inspire fear and terror throughout the galaxy. He became known as the vilest, most dangerous figure in the galaxy, until one day he learned his son was still alive, and just like that, the seeds of redemption for the seemingly irredeemable villain were planted.
Darth Vader isn’t the only Sith threat on the hunt for Kenobi, and fans of the animated show will recognize the Grand Inquisitor as a major antagonist from Star Wars Rebels. The animated version was voiced by Jason Isaacs, but the Jedi hunter will be making his live-action debut by being portrayed by Isaacs’s Death of Stalin co-star, Rupert Friend.
As powerful as Vader is, even he can’t be everywhere at once. Thus, the Inquisitors were born: an organization of Force-sensitives mainly composed of former Jedi who have been brainwashed and tortured by the Empire. This band of ruthless Jedi killers answers directly to Vader himself, but the Grand Inquisitor is the closest thing they have to a superior. Not much is known about his past other than that he was a former Jedi Temple Guard, but the Grand Inquisitor has earned his position by being fiercely loyal (and deathly afraid) of the terrifying Dark Lord of the Sith.
Moses Ingram as Reva/the Third Sister
In a show packed to the brim with familiar names, one of the few new faces is Reva, played by The Tragedy of Macbeth star Moses Ingram. Interestingly enough, the Third Sister stands out amongst her Inquisitor peers by being referred to by her own name, which the others have seemingly forgone in their turns to the dark side.
Reva likely shares a similar backstory with them, starting as a Jedi before getting corrupted and seduced by Vader and Sidious’s intense interrogations, but the fact that she is referred to by her name signifies that she may be a bit different from the others. Whether this signifies a potential flip back to the light side remains to be seen, but she’ll be a major presence in Obi-Wan’s story regardless.
Sung Kang as the Fifth Brother
When we first meet the Third Sister, she is accompanied by the Fifth Brother, played by Sung Kang. Though he’s practically unrecognizable in the series, you might remember Kang from his role as Han Seoul-Oh in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Not much is known about the Fifth Brother’s background, except that he is also a former Jedi who fell to the dark side. In comparison to the Third Sister, the Fifth Brother is a lot less ruthless, preferring to reward people for information instead of threatening to dismember them like his compatriot.
Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Owen and Beru Lars
McGregor and Christensen aren’t the only actors from the prequels returning for Obi-Wan Kenobi, as Joel Edgerton (The Gift) and Bonnie Piesse (Love Eterne) are returning as Luke Skywalker’s beloved aunt and uncle.
Though they may not be related by blood, Owen learned great levels of compassion from his father, Lars, who freed slave Shmi Skywalker after he fell in love with and married her. This makes Anakin part of Lars’s step-family, though, after the death of Shmi, Anakin had no desire to return to Tatooine and thus never really connected with his new relatives. Unlike his optimistic wife Beru, Owen almost resented the Jedi after Order 66 wiped them out, and wanted young Luke to have nothing to do with the religion and their ancient weapons.
We knew Luke Skywalker would at the very least have a brief appearance in the show, but many fans were shocked to see that his twin sister Leia would have a much larger presence in the series.
Though she’s a mere child at the time Obi-Wan takes place, Leia eventually would follow in the footsteps of her mother Padme as a staunch political activist and critic of the Imperial regime. She became a major figurehead and leader for the Rebellion and later the Resistance, and was just as much of a symbol of hope as Luke was. Her role in the fight for freedom in the galaxy makes Obi-Wan’s mission to save her from the Inquisitors an even more imperative task, and he likely wouldn’t forgive himself if he failed.
In the Heights star Jimmy Smits may not have had the most significant role in the prequel trilogy, but he still served a vital part in saving the galaxy by raising the recently orphaned Leia as his own. Bail has always been on the side of good, fiercely supporting the Republic during the Clone Wars and immediately condemning the genocidal takeover caused by the Empire.
After Padme’s death, Organa instilled these ideals of peace and tolerance within his adopted daughter, showing her the importance of politics when possible, and more drastic measures if necessary. This isn’t the first time Bail has returned since he had a brief appearance in Rogue One, which canonically took place mere days before the destruction of his home planet of Alderaan.
Another new character, The Big Sick‘s Kumail Nanjiani brings his infectious comedic charm to the crime world of Star Wars. When he’s first introduced, Haja Estree claims he’s a powerful rebellious Jedi, helping people get off-planet and escape Imperial occupation…for a price. Obi-Wan quickly discovers that Estree is a con-man and used clever tricks and sleight of hand to trick people into thinking he’s Force-sensitive.
That’s not to say he’s a heartless crook, as even though he’s taking money from those who probably need it more than him, he still does honor his word and help them escape the Empire, even going as far as to assist Obi-Wan and Leia. Will we see him again? Who knows, but he’s already cemented himself as a smuggler with a heart of gold, kind of like someone else we know.
‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Gave Ewan McGregor an Excuse to Rewatch the Prequel Trilogy