While I’m sure we’re all incredibly excited to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the upcoming Disney+ series, he’s not the only big draw. Hayden Christensen has also returned as Darth Vader for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, but this ain’t your pappy’s Dark Lord of the Sith.
As the Obi-Wan Kenobi series takes place ten years after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and almost a decade before A New Hope, this is some uncharted territory for Darth Vader. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Obi-Wan Kenobi director Deborah Chow said that this Vader isn’t quite as fully formed as the one we meet in A New Hope.
For us, it’s very similar [to Obi-Wan] in the sense that he’s in between these two trilogies. So he isn’t the New Hope Vader quite yet, you know what I mean? So we are with the character sort of in the middle of this period. It is still Vader obviously, but it’s a Vader that isn’t quite as fully formed as A New Hope.
Including Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was something Chow “really wanted” to do because the benefit of the limited series was that she could do something much more character-driven. “You have more time to sort of tell a real character story,” Chow explained. “And so for me, the starting place of character is you just start and you look at who has been important to him in his life. And it’s quite hard to avoid Anakin/Vader in that scenario, especially coming out of Revenge of the Sith. So really it came out of an evolution of the character for me. It wasn’t just to sort of bring him back. It was really like, who means something and where are we at this point in the timeline with Vader?“
In addition to Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, Obi-Wan Kenobi will also star Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor, Moses Ingram as Reva/the Third Sister, Sung Kang as the Fifth Brother, Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars, and Bonnie Piesse as Beru Lars. Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Indira Varma, Benny Safdie, Maya Erskine, and Simone Kessel will also appear. The Obi-Wan Kenobi series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. It will debut on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.