Now that the next three films have officially been pushed back a year, it's safe to say the future of Star Wars will be on Disney+. Not long ago, Disney announced a brand-new series titled Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which will focus on Clone Force 99 after Order 66 and during the Empire's reign. Additionally, the Cassian Andor series and Leslye Headland's project are currently in development, the former rumored to begin filming this Fall.
The show we've heard very little about is probably the most popular one...the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Not much is known about the actual plot, besides that it takes place eight years after Episode III. Last we heard, the production, helmed by Deborah Chow, will begin next March using the same technology as The Mandalorian. Besides these updates, only rumors swirl the project.
We'll be using these rumors to our advantage as we record ten characters from the galaxy far, far away that could show up alongside the negotiator throughout his exile on Tatooine.
1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
“Obi-Wan once thought as you do.”
Starting off this list, we have the most obvious choice in Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader. Back in May, rumors hit the news cycle that Hayden Christensen would be returning to Star Wars in this show, but details were scarce.
Just last month, however, sources stated that Christensen signed on for the project as a series regular. This coincides with Kessel Run Transmissions’ report that flashbacks from Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be featured in the Disney+ program.
These rumors make complete sense when you consider Kenobi’s current state of mind. He’s watching over Anakin’s son on Anakin’s home planet, all the while grappling with the pain of losing him to the dark side and its subsequent effects on the galaxy. Christensen appearing as the titular character in flashbacks could add more gravity to Kenobi’s struggle with the past, and in turn, add motivation to right his failures.
This idea also doesn’t eliminate a potential presence from Darth Vader. In all likelihood, George Lucas’ initial intentions when making the saga was that Obi-Wan and Anakin’s encounter on the Death Star was the first time they met since the fateful battle on Mustafar. Nevertheless, this can be retconned to fit a new story for the series, and it all revolves around Vader’s quote above from Return of the Jedi.
Despite the fact Kenobi expresses immense sorrow, anger, and regret toward his former pupil in Revenge of the Sith, we never truly witness the Jedi possess the same attitude as Luke Skywalker’s in Episode VI. Moreover, it’s never demonstrated in canon how the hermit learns of Vader’s survival after their tragic duel.
So when did Obi-Wan once think he could turn Anakin back to the light? Maybe that’s what the Kenobi series is here to tell. The Jedi could here whispers of this dark Lord Vader across an Imperial Holonet as he did in Legends, or even feel a disturbance in the Force as he’s meditating. A great scene that creators could use as an example is from Star Wars Rebels, when both Ahsoka and Vader sense the other is alive.
The trauma and overwhelming shock she felt left her unconscious, so imagine how Obi-Wan, the man who raised and loved Anakin like a brother, would experience in that same scenario. Following that course, he’d surely feel more responsibility in failing Skywalker. From there, he might abandon his post, confront his student, and try to restore the light inside of Vader.
While I have no doubt we could see his discovery of Vader’s existence, the further speculation might be a stretch, especially because it strays from the current, established lore. That being said, Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi showed no hope to save Anakin in the original trilogy, and it’s difficult to envision Ewan McGregor and James Arnold Taylor’s Kenobi bearing the same sentiment after Episode III.
Delving into how that transition transpired could result in a gripping narrative, leading into a great opportunity to get Christensen and Darth Vader back to the forefront of the franchise, as they rightfully deserve.
2. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru
“He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn-fooled idealistic crusade like your father did.”
Next comes the most obvious picks for this list. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan hints at a tense relationship between Anakin Skywalker and his stepbrother, Owen Lars, citing that Lars didn’t agree with Anakin’s “ideals” and “thought he should have stayed” on Tatooine instead of getting wrapped up in the Clone Wars.
Although viewers got their first look at this relationship in Attack of the Clones, with Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Maree Piesse playing Owen and Beru Lars respectively, Lucas didn’t quite explore it as much as people hoped after the set-up from the original trilogy. But, there’s still a chance to build off this foundation with the Kenobi series.
Following the aftermath of the Clone Wars and delivering Luke to his aunt and uncle, it’s likely that Obi-Wan told Owen and Beru of the events that unfolded with their relative…from a certain point of view. As Owen took Luke under his wing and raised him as his own, he probably felt bad for the kid growing up without a father. In canon, Owen assumes that Anakin died in the war, and as time goes own, blames Kenobi for leading him into that “idealistic crusade.”
Just like the flashbacks talked about in this previous section, situating this anger and blame on Obi-Wan in the series could be a way of exemplifying the exiled Jedi’s guilt and suffering. In addition, it could fill in some of those gaps that were left unanswered in A New Hope. Edgerton gave an extremely vague answer when posed the question if Owen would return in the show last October, so we can only hope.
3. Luke Skywalker
“Obi-Wan Kenobi? I wonder if he means old Ben Kenobi.”
In one of the greatest episodes of Star Wars Rebels, there’s a brief clip of Obi-Wan Kenobi gazing upon the Lars’ farmstead from afar and a seventeen year-old Luke Skywalker racing back home against the falling twin suns. It serves as a perfect template to expand in the new show.
It would be a weird sight to see if Owen and Beru were in the series and not their nephew. The sole purpose of Obi-Wan’s presence there is to look after the child, planning to one day teach him in the ways of the Force and develop him into a Jedi like his father.
Luke was unquestionably aware of Kenobi’s existence by the time of the events of A New Hope, as they had encountered each other a couple times before. Luke, however, knew him by the name of “Ben” and thought of him as a crazy hermit. It would be a great nod to the original trilogy, and other works that have since followed, if audiences saw Kenobi observe a young Luke and even “accidentally” ran into him.
Obi-Wan’s reflection of his friendship with Anakin is such a vital aspect for this show to emphasize, and Luke may be the epitome of it. Showing glimpses of their relationship that comes eleven years later could illustrate how much he attaches himself to Luke and favors training him over Leia.
“How to commune with him I will teach you.”
Speaking of training Leia, the one who preferred her over Luke was none other than Master Yoda, who will also be on Dagobah during the events of this show. After Obi-Wan passed on the Death Star and became a Force Ghost, he had to convince his old friend to take on the other Skywalker as a padawan instead of the one he truly desired.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise if we see conversations like these between the two in some capacity or witness them connect through the Force. They’d have much to talk about after Yoda’s subtle tease at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
Toward the end of the film, Yoda briefly explains his communication with Qui-Gon Jinn and the things he’s learned off-screen (that is, until it was explained in Season 6 of The Clone Wars). Seeing as Obi-Wan eventually became a Force Ghost and communicated with his old master, a form of training had to have occurred in those 19 years between him and Yoda. The Kenobi series is an ideal place to examine this concept in-depth and conceivably show audiences a live-action version of the visually stunning journey Yoda took during the war.
Bouncing off this idea, the Force Priestesses could be intertwined in various manners off-world, or his training could take place more mentally with visions manifesting inside his head. Either way, training with Yoda would lend a great deal to this character study of the popular Jedi, but Yoda possibly won’t be alone in the role as master.
5. Qui-Gon Jinn
"Promise me you will train the boy."
As you could’ve guessed, this selection flows straight from the last segment. After all, it was Qui-Gon who guided Yoda to begin the last extension of his training, so it’s fitting that he’d return to do the same for his former padawan. The well-respected Jedi may assist Yoda in educating their mutual friend, but its more appropriate for Qui-Gon to pilot the ship since the latter is isolated elsewhere.
Again, his appearance would permit a rich study into Kenobi’s psyche, because he’s not only failed Anakin in his path as a Jedi, but was (somewhat) unsuccessful in keeping his promise to Jinn’s dying wishes. He may be lacking faith in the Force and hope for a brighter tomorrow. In those desperate hours, who better to steer the ship back on course for Kenobi than his former mentor.
Treks through Tatooine desert, akin to Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in a similar setting, and lessons from Jinn may be essential for Obi-Wan to transform into the wiser, more spiritually powerful man we see from Alec Guinness. Additionally, Qui Gon’s manifestation throughout the series produces excellent circumstances to expand Lucas’ vision for the cosmic and living Force, given that Jinn was the first to discuss these theories in Star Wars.
And then, of course, there’s Liam Neeson. He’s come back to the franchise multiple times and would undoubtedly be willing to do so again, but this time, in a physical manner as well as voice. Qui-Gon is many of the fans’ favorite Jedi, for his thinking was years ahead of his time, so it would be a massive mistake not to have him involved.
6. Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano has been at the center of Star Wars news after her comeback in The Clone Wars’ final season this past February. Rumored to appear in shows like The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch, and perhaps starring in her own series, Lucasfilm is certainly placing a lot of emphasis on everyone’s favorite Togruta. If the plans to create a “connected universe” on Disney+ pan out, she will likely be at the heart of it.
This leads us to the ongoing rumor that she’ll make a cameo in the Obi-Wan series. With everything mentioned before, it would obviously be no shock if she emerges in some regard. On the other hand, there’s limited capacity to fit her in.
Ahsoka isn’t aware of her master’s fate until the time period of Star Wars Rebels, which lends to the idea that she didn’t have any in-person contact with Obi-Wan since the Siege of Mandalore. Once again highlighting the show’s possible flashbacks, this seems like the most probable way Ahsoka could be incorporated into the story. Both the padawan and her master, Anakin Skywalker, spent a majority of their time during the Clone Wars with Kenobi, and any kind of Force vision or dream would definitely be concentrated on those relationships.
7. Duchess Satine
“Remember my dear Obi-Wan…I’ve loved you always. I always will.”
Star Wars has always been known for classical romantic themes, from Princess Leia and Han Solo to Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. One of the more underappreciated, yet widely praised romances, is between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore, with signs of the relationship first seen in Season 2. Unfortunately, that all ended three seasons later when Maul exacts revenge on Kenobi by killing the Duchess with the Darksaber.
The scene is heartbreaking, and Obi-Wan refuses to let the dark side seep into his spirit and mind. But how does this attitude change after the conclusion of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire? Satine is just one of the countless losses Kenobi must suffer and live with as he carries out his exile.
If the show accentuates Kenobi’s feelings of regret or grief, then her presence in a dream sequence of sorts would seem all the more likely. Ultimately, her death was a result of his cruel history with Maul. Watching how he handles that guilt could be a beautiful exploration into the healing process and demonstrate that, even though he’s a Jedi Knight, he’s just as human as the rest of us.
"Look what has become of you. A rat in the desert."
This character is a bit of a toss-up. Similar to Darth Vader, there’s absolutely a chance Maul shows up in the series at some point. The rivalry between both him and Obi-Wan is considered to be one of the best in Star Wars, primarily due to Dave Filoni’s decision to revive the character in The Clone Wars after he was underutilized in the prequel trilogy.
The Direct’s exclusive report indicated that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a standalone series featuring Maul and Qi’ra, probably revolving around their escapades with Crimson Dawn. The article also declares that the former Sith Lord pop up in “multiple live-action Star Wars series for Disney+ in the coming years.” The companies could conceivably use the Obi-Wan Kenobi show as a preamble to those tales.
Then there’s the toss-up that was alluded to earlier. The difference between Maul and Vader is that the latter relationship with Kenobi didn’t have much of a resolution, or at the very least, still has specific gaps they could fill. Conversely, Maul had a definitive ending with Obi-Wan in the Rebels episode “Twin Suns.”
There’s room to work him in just like they could Vader, but there was such great relief and vengeful satisfaction when Maul discovers that his long-time enemy is alive. From their exchange, you get the sense that he hasn’t seen or heard from Kenobi since the war and that he didn’t even know he survived Order 66.
Although it may be best to leave things the way they are for the renowned duo, you can never rule out some kind of evil scheme from the formerly Darth Maul.
9. Bail Organa
“He served me well during the Clone Wars and has lived in hiding since the Emperor’s purge. Yes, I will send for him.”
As Obi-Wan Kenobi was watching after Luke, Bail Organa and his wife, Breha, raised a young rebel in Leia. Bail was one of the few who knew Obi-Wan’s location and was the sole reason (with some help from his daughter) the hermit came out of retirement to aid the Rebellion and guide a new hope for the galaxy.
A routine check-up on his old Jedi friend would be a welcome sight in the Kenobi series, and not far out of the realm of possibility. Jimmy Smits is supposedly returning as Bail in the Cassian Andor show, which makes sense considering he came back for Rogue One. It’s not quite as dramatic of a pick as the others before it, and might not leave as much of an impact, but he's still an undeniably huge contender for a quick cameo.
10. Jabba the Hutt
“You weak-minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick.”
The final spot on this list may not be the biggest, but our choice definitely fills it up with no room to spare. Jabba the Hutt has been a prominent figure in this space opera from the moment his filth and slime hit the screen in 1983. No fan can get enough of this famous mobster, but the same can’t be said for the citizens on Tatooine.
Jabba’s control across various areas of the planet doesn’t spell any good news for Owen and Beru in raising their nephew. There have been a few occasions in canon where Obi-Wan had to step in to defend the moisture farmers from the vile gangster’s brutal tactics.
There have been many hints in the comic books that Kenobi “was a thorn” in Jabba’s side for many years. This reveals that the Hutt was clearly aware of who old Ben was and his status as a Jedi. This plot could be directly adapted for the future program, having Kenobi come face-to-face against Jabba’s thugs and maybe displaying the two making a back-door deal to keep the Jedi’s identity a secret from the public. Whatever direction they decide to go, it’d be weird if Jabba the Hutt wasn’t at least referenced.
It's been reported that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will be shorter in length, having only one season with about six episodes. That doesn't limit, however, the amount of possibilities at the writer's fingertips.