The time has come to really start getting excited for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While a concrete release date for the Disney+ show remains unknown, Ewan McGregor has confirmed that the highly anticipated project has completed shooting. Lucasfilm is undoubtedly deep in the process of editing the event series, with ILM working their usual magic on pushing the boundary for visual effects.
Very little has been revealed regarding Kenobi's plot, though a bombshell dropped during last winter's Disney Investor's Day event. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that Hayden Christensen would be returning to the role of Darth Vader in the series, further sharing that Obi-Wan would be engaging his fallen student in the "rematch of the century".
This announcement unsurprisingly sent the Star Wars fandom into a frenzy, dialing the hype level up one thousand-fold. Christensen's return, paired with a series following Kenobi during the Dark Times, is the ultimate dream fulfillment for fans of the prequel trilogy, and the tease of another Battle of the Heroes has made patience difficult to conquer.
There's still a bit of time until Obi-Wan Kenobi will be premiering, but the first indication of how Kenobi and Vader's rematch will begin, as well as a bit of context for the confrontation, have been revealed...
Obi-Wan Kenobi Strikes First Against Darth Vader
Making Star Wars reported on details of the long-awaited rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series.
Reportedly, Obi-Wan will be encountering Darth Vader in a rocky terrain, where the Jedi Master makes the first move by Force pushing his former Padawan 50 feet back into a brick wall. It's said that Vader, donning a suit nearly identical to the one seen in Rogue One, then rises and engages his old friend in battle, the latter wearing a worn down Jedi tunic seen in Revenge of the Sith. The rumor suggests that the fight may be taking place on Jedha, though other rocky Star Wars locations are a possibility as well.
MSW referred to the shoot as "massive," taking two weeks to shoot in August 2021. The Force push effect was accompanied by throwing Vader back on wires into a blue screen, with the rock wall serving as an atmospheric base.
One thing to note is that the report claims Hayden Christensen was not in the Vader suit for the fight sequence; this was instead done by stunt performers. However, MSW clarifies that Christensen does play Vader in the suit, and he will have other things to do in the series.
For context, MSW claims that the story will kick off with Obi-Wan going on a rescue mission to bust out a prisoner important "to the cause". During this rescue, Kenobi faces and presumably defeats the Inquisitor played by Moses Ingram. Kenobi's success is what pushes Vader into action, who is seen emerging from his throne on Mustafar and taking flight in his TIE Advanced.
Battle of the Heroes: Round Two
It's still hard to fathom that after 16 years, another duel between Vader and Kenobi awaits the Star Wars faithful.
To say that their battle on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith was epic would be the understatement of the millennium. The fast-paced, heart-wrenching fight is widely seen as the high bar set for the franchise, and no lightsaber duel since has come close to touching it. Putting blades back in the hands of two such beloved characters with immense skill and history should be nothing short of jaw-dropping.
It's interesting that Hayden Christensen wasn't involved in the shoot for the battle described, though combat in the Vader suit comes with obvious difficulties. In a sizzle reel shown exclusively to Disney shareholders last December, Ewan McGregor said that he and Christensen would be "having another swing at each other," though that evidently isn't the case for this particular scene.
But that doesn't mean they won't be having another duel. From the sounds of things, Obi-Wan Kenobi will be very action-heavy, and it's fair to expect several lightsaber fights over the course of the series. It's possible that Christensen filmed his portion of the fight sequence in question at a different time, but it's even more likely that he's involved in a different fight entirely.
The rumor makes clear that Christensen will be active in the series, not merely serving as an honorary performer as Vader sits around and perhaps comes into the occasional shot in a bacta tank. There's a good chance that fans could see Obi-Wan battling Vader again in a dream or vision, maybe something that haunts the Jedi Master every night.
There have also been descriptions of concept art featuring more of Vader's rampage during Operation: Knightfall, which could be specific to his memories. It also wouldn't be surprising to see Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in some flashbacks, possibly even with Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.
Darth Vader sitting on a throne is something fans have never seen in visual media, and it's a strange mental image given the way the character views himself. However, the castle on Mustafar is his home, and anything is fair game when a Sith Lord rules a world with an iron fist. Seeing the TIE Advanced fighter return to live-action will be a treat, even if the ship's involvement in the series is minimal.
If the big duel does take place on Jedha, a significant number of questions are raised, the most obvious of which being: what is Obi-Wan doing there? The story seems to start with a rescue, but there are sure to be many spiritual elements that allow Kenobi to grow as a Jedi and person, and Jedha would be a great world to send the character to for such a journey.
Speaking of the rescue, this rumor seems to line up with a previous report that a younger Princess Leia will be appearing in the series. It's pretty clear that "the cause" is the Rebellion, and the only person as important as Luke Skywalker for Obi-Wan to protect would be Anakin's other child, Leia. It can be assumed that Bail Organa somehow makes contact with his old ally, and from there Kenobi springs into action.
The Inquisitors standing in Obi-Wan's way won't have any idea what hit them. If his powers are still significant and he can give Vader a good run for his credits, Moses Ingram's character is likely toast - as she should be. There are few powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the Jedi Master, and an epic rematch with Darth Vader will show just how strong both combatants are.
Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney+ in 2022.