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Obi-Wan Kenobi Makes Disney+ History With Special Theatrical Release

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney Plus
By Russ Milheim

The reunion between Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader was one of the most highly anticipated moments this year for Star Wars fans. When they first crossed paths, it didn’t exactly go as many may have expected; Kenobi was crushed and broken. While he didn’t fare well in his first encounter, there are still two more episodes of Obi-Want Kenobi to see the scales get balanced.

The newest Lucasfilm Disney+ series has now aired four installments of its six on the streaming service. The story at play, and its viewership numbers, make it one of the biggest Star Wars epics to hit live-action thus far, bringing in elements from Star Wars Rebels like the Grand Inquisitor and tying heavily to the prequel trilogy. Therefore, it is decidedly strange to be watching the series at home instead of on a big screen where it arguably belongs.

Will it ever be possible to witness the events of the show in the cinemas, like fans did for eleven other Star Wars films? While The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett never got the honor, it seems that Ewan McGregor’s return will get the chance to shine in a whole new way.

Obi-Wan Gets a Theatrical Release

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader
Star Wars

As pointed out by Reddit user r/Ezio926, a listing on Canadian movie theatre chain Cineplex's website indicates that Lucasfilm and Disney plan on hosting screenings of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s entire six-episode run in select theaters on Wednesday, June 22 - the day the series finale airs on Disney Plus.

The total running time for the event will clock in at 5 hours and 20 minutes, which will include a live Q&A with a currently unknown panel of participants.

This is the first Disney+ series to get its entire season screened in North American theaters. However, it's not the first Disney+ show to receive such cinematic treatment worldwide - Marvel Studios' latest series, Ms. Marvel, will be theatrically releasing episodes in pairs on June 16, June 30, and July 14 in Pakistan due to the streaming service not being available in the country.

Will Other Disney+ Series Get This Treatment?

Obi-Wan coming face-to-face with Anakin Skywalker’s Darth Vader persona could amount to one of the biggest moments in Star Wars history—especially when they cross paths again in the final two episodes. It’s not a surprise that Lucasfilm and Disney felt it appropriate to orchestrate a cinematic event for the occasion after it broke various viewership records.

The theater experience is important, so it’s great to see the big wigs behind Disney+ open to doing events and limited screenings in cinemas. Hopefully, it will become a more common event for all of their upcoming series—maybe even for the ones that have already aired.

Perhaps Marvel will look back on their Disney+ catalog and choose to air select series, either to catch fans up in preparation for movies where the shows may be important or simply to give the opportunity for new audiences to experience WandaVision, Loki, and more if they do not own Disney+.

Star Wars could also double-dip by potentially putting the first two seasons of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett in theaters as a special way to prep for the show's third season.

Maybe next, Disney should consider releasing them on physical media. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently streaming on Disney+.