“Obi-Wan was the soul of [the Original Trilogy.] He was the one who pulled back the curtain and introduced the audience to a new world — not just mythology-wise, but a new world of storytelling and everything that George built, ”Harold, a self-described“ Original Trilogy kid, ”explains . “It was through Obi-Wan’s eyes, through his words, that we all came to understand that bigger world. Because of that, he’s always been, to me, the character that was the most compelling. As much as it was the Skywalker story, Obi-Wan was the entry point. ”
The same is true of Prequel Obi-Wan. When McGregor was cast in 1999’s The Phantom Menacehe was accepting not only the biggest part of his career but a huge responsibility to Star Wars fandom. While on the surface the first Prequel film begins the story of Anakin’s tragic fall to the dark side, the movie is truly about Obi-Wan, who, while slightly in the background for the first two acts of the movie, must eventually become the mentor he was always destined to be. When he takes Anakin as his apprentice at the end of Episode Ihe’s once again ushering all the kids in the audience into a larger world.
This is why there’s no better character with which to explore yet another unseen era of Star Wars, according to Harold.
“If you’re going to tell a legacy story, this did not just feel like another character you were taking advantage of; it felt like the right character to tell a story between the Original Trilogy and the Prequels, ”Harold says. “He’s the one who’s been bearing witness throughout that story, to all the different elements of it, everything that happens with Anakin, it’s Obi-Wan.”
But Obi-Wan is also a well-established character who’s been explored across movies, animated series, books, comics, and games. You could easily end up repeating yourself. Harold agrees: “It has to be its own story. If you get consumed too much by the legacy of it all, I think it can suffocate the storytelling. ”
Fortunately, Obi-Wan Kenobi brings plenty of new elements to the table. Gone are the Republic and the Separatists of the Prequels, replaced by an Empire on the rise. The Jedi no longer command armies but are hunted down by them. Darth Vader has his very own order of Jedi executioners known as The Inquisitorius, led by the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend). In fact, when Obi-Wan is forced out of hiding to go undercover on a new, neon-drenched planet called Daiyu, he comes face to face with one of these Jedi hunters: Reva (Moses Ingram), who brings “attitude, ambition , guile, [and] a whole new energy, ”according to Harold.