Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+: Kumail Nanjiani Teases His Familiar Star Wars Character Type

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Kumail Nanjiani, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars logo

The anticipation surrounding Obi-Wan Kenobi is high, mainly because it is set to do a deep dive into an unexplored chapter in the Skywalker Saga. 

Directed by The Mandalorian's Deborah Chow, the exact plot details of the series are still shrouded in secrecy, but Lucasfilm confirmed that it will be set 10 years after the tragic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

The upcoming Disney+ series will feature the grand return of Star Wars icons, starting off with the titular Jedi Master who will be played by Ewan McGregor. Aside from McGregor, Obi-Wan Kenobi will also mark the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader after a long Star Wars hiatus. 

Joining the prequel trilogy pair is a stellar cast including the likes of Kumail Nanjiani, Sung Kang, Moses Ingram, and Joel Edgerton. Details about the cast member's respective roles are a closely guarded secret, leaving fans to speculate on how each star will fit in the galactic narrative. 

Now, a major Obi-Wan Kenobi cast member has shed some light on his Star Wars role in a new interview. 

Kumail Nanjiani Teases Star Wars Debut 

Obi-Wan Kenobi Show Cast
Star Wars

Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss his upcoming Star Wars debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi

Nanjiani first explained how he was contacted for the gig, revealing that the agents mentioned that his Star Wars role is "substantial:" 

"My agents called me and it was the whole group of them that never call you. And I was like, 'OK, this is either amazing news or really awful news.' And they’re like, 'They want you to play a part in Obi-Wan, and apparently, it’s substantial.'"

The veteran comedian then shared his initial conversation with Obi-Wan Kenobi director Deborah Chow while also describing his character as a "new version of a type of Star Wars character" fans have seen before:

"So then I talked to [director Deborah Chow] and we had a great conversation. And the character sounded awesome — I was so excited about this character. We haven’t seen this exact thing in Star Wars yet. This is like a new version of a type of Star Wars character we’ve seen before. And she was trying to sell me on it. And I was like, 'I was gonna do it before the conversation!' It was kind of perfect."

Nanjiani then described the Star Wars gig as "the most joyful first job" right after quarantine while also expressing his excitement about working alongside Ewan McGregor in the series: 

"Right after quarantine I got to do a job, in town, and it was in Star Wars. It was just the most joyful first job back possible. I didn’t know how I could beat the experience I’ve had, which is a Marvel movie with Chloé Zhao, who is amazing, and maybe the greatest cast ever assembled, and then have Obi-Wan as the next thing, with another really fantastic cast. Ewan McGregor! Really? I don’t know where I go from there. And so I decided to walk into the middle of the woods."

Breaking Down Kumail Nanjiani's Star Wars Role 

It is unknown what role Kumali Nanjian will play in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the reveal that it is "substantial" could hint that he will be a recurring character in the series. 

Given Nanjiani's track record, there's a strong chance that his character could serve as an ally to Ewan McGregor's titular Jedi master. Interestingly, a past rumor unveiled that the Eternals actor would portray a friend of Obi-Wan, but it remains to be seen if this report holds weight. 

Despite that, it would make sense if Nanjiani played one of the protagonists in the series, and it's possible that he could voice a brand-new droid.

Based on the show's place in the Skywalker Saga timeline, Obi-Wan is in Tatooine, and it's likely that he will find and fix a broken droid during his exile. This would allow him to communicate with someone during his time in Tatooine, and it could even let him keep track of the current activities of the early days of the Rebellion if the droid is capable of doing so. 

If Nanjiani ends up lending his voice to a droid character, the Eternals actor will join The Mandalorian's Taika Waititi (IG-11) and Rogue One's Alan Tudyk (K2SO) as fellow stars who portrayed the classic droids in Star Wars projects. 

On the flip side, it's also possible that Nanjiani could voice a Tatooine alien or creature as well, giving credence to his statement that it will be a "new version of a type of Star Wars character" fans have seen before. 

Whatever the case, evidence suggests that Nanjiani is poised to play a vital role in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and it will be interesting to find out how he will lend a hand to Ewan McGregor's Jedi in the galaxy far, far, away. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2022. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.