Obi-Wan Kenobi's Luke Skywalker Actor Replaced Due to Story Problems

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus

Even though the Skywalker Saga concluded with 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, that doesn't mean Lucasfilm is done with the galaxy's most famous family. If anything, Lucasfilm's run on Disney+ has shown that the future of the franchise still lies with its original hero, Luke Skywalker. And, while Andor is likely to break this streak, to date, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and now Obi-Wan Kenobi all have featured the son of Skywalker.

In the debut trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, Star Wars fans received their first look at the young Luke Skywalker who Obi-Wan is on Tatooine protecting; and even though the scene was brief, the similarities between the boy and his father were apparent, as Luke was wearing pod racing goggles and pretending to be piloting his own craft. 

While Luke Skywalker has been part of this story from the start, fans are now learning that the actor playing him was originally portrayed by someone else and in a somewhat different Obi-Wan tale. 

Star Wars Recast Obi-Wan Kenobi's Young Luke Skywalker

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker
Star Wars

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series coming to Disney+ on May 25 isn't the same show that director Deborah Chow and original show writer Hossein Amini initially envisioned.

Following the successful release of The Mandalorian on Disney's streaming service, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau expressed concerns about Obi-Wan Kenobi's story too closely paralleling that of Mando and Baby Yoda's, leading to some significant changes and the hiring of writer Joby Harold. 

While it's unknown just how far along Chow and Amini's initial script was in production, a boy had been chosen to play young Luke Skywalker, but no scenes with him were shot. 

Luke Skywalker Young Actor
Grant Feely

The decision to rework the show resulted in a search for a new young Luke, who is now confirmed to be Grant Feely. His previous acting credits consist of an episode of Creepshow.

In regard to how much of the original story survived the overhaul, director Deborah Chow shared that they "inherited some of it, but we did really make some significant changes and add a few different elements."

While Luke Skywalker was one of the story details which was "inherited" by the new script, the need for a new actor appears to have been one of the more significant changes.  

Out With the Maul and in With the Luke

In a recent interview, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy discussed her decision to shut down the show's production in January 2020 to rework the series, admitting that a hopeful show is a challenge when "you're starting with a character in that state Obi-Wan would be in coming off of Revenge of the Sith. That's a pretty bleak period of time."

In addition to this change of tone, Obi-Wan Kenobi also experienced a change of villain. 

Ray Park, who played the iconic Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, was the show's original antagonist. The overhaul in the series story led to the inclusion of Darth Vader, as well as Star Wars Rebels' Grand Inquisitor, played by Rupert Friend.

While Vader's role in the Disney+ series may seem like a darker route than what was previously planned for Maul, it does keep the story centered on Obi-Wan's relationship with the Skywalkers. Plus, it ultimately points back to Luke, the new hope of the galaxy, whose protection is Obi-Wan's primary objective. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to debut on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.