Disney+ originally picked an auspicious date for the premiere of its new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi: Wednesday, May 25, the same date that Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977 (back when it was known simply as Star Wars). That film celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. But the streaming platform announced today—via a video featuring star Ewan McGregor—that it is shifting that premiere date to Friday, May 27, right before Memorial Day weekend.
We might have to wait a couple of extra days, but at least Disney+ will simultaneously release the first two episodes. As Deadline Hollywood pointed out, May 27 is also the premiere date for the fourth season of Stranger Things (Part 1), so our holiday weekend viewing is pretty much sorted.
We first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi. That’s also when we learned that Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels, would reprise the role. The actor made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a showcase presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney’s annual fan extravaganza. Then came the big news that his co-star Hayden Christensen would return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy called it “the rematch of the century” at the December 2020 Disney Investors Day.
The series is set 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, in which Obi-Wan faced off against Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side and eventually became Sith Lord Darth Vader. That period will be “a dark time” for Obi-Wan, who must deal with the loss of all his friends. He and the other Jedi who survived Order 66 are also being hunted down by the Empire’s Jedi Hunters in the company of stormtroopers. Obi-Wan is on Tatooine on a mission to protect young Luke Skywalker as the series opens.
The streaming platform dropped the first significant look at the series earlier this month with a 90-second trailer. In that footage were shots of Obi-Wan spying on the childhood version of Luke, who was flanked by Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (played by Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse, the same actors from the series’ prequel film trilogy).
We also got a good glimpse of the Order of the Inquisitors’ Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), a character who debuted in the CGI-animation series Star Wars Rebels. (This live-action version sports a wicked spinning red lightsaber.) The trailer also focused on Reva (Moses Ingram), the Third Sister in the Order, who was shown taking orders from the Sith and interrogating residents of Tatooine (including Uncle Owen). However, there were hints (in the form of several hero shots) that her loyalties may eventually shift.
Listing image by YouTube/Disney+