The Obi Wan Kenobi limited series gave us a long-awaited glimpse into what Obi-Wan was up to in the years between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. It was a moving, action-packed story, and now we’ve got a backstage VIP pass.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Return of a Jedi, now streaming on Disney+, chronicles the making of the series with new interviews, visits to the Creature Shop and more; we are treated to anecdotes, stories and memories on what looks to be a meaningful journey for everyone involved. Here are five highlights.
1. Deborah Chow’s influences in the making Obi Wan Kenobi.
star wars has seen influences from all sorts of sources, including samurai films, westerns and beyond. As revealed in Obi-Wan Kenobi: Return of a Jedi, Director Deborah Chow found a lot of inspiration in the movies she grew up watching with her father, as well as in her own relationship with him.
“One of the things that really drew me to the project was the father-daughter story of it all. Because my dad, growing up, was a very important person to me,” Chow said. “He used to watch a ton of Asian action movies. So I think I absorbed a lot of that and just the speed and the imagination that a lot of Asian martial arts movies have, and the legacy of people like Kurosawa and sort of grandmasters like Jet Li.
2. Ewan McGregor’s enthusiasm to revisit Obi-Wan’s story.
Of everyone who wanted to see more of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor was definitely leading the pack. McGregor shared how interested he was in revisiting Obi-Wan’s story for years before the show was announced, still intrigued by the idea of what happened to him after meeting his former apprentice on Mustafar.
“I started talking to people at Disney a long time ago. I always thought it would be interesting to take a character that we kind of know and love as one-sided and show him in the defeat,” McGregor said. “I just said, ‘I just feel like this is an interesting story about a man who’s broken and lost his faith.'”
3. Creature function.
Practical effects were seen throughout the documentary – from the small props used in early scenes featuring Obi-Wan working on Tatooine, to the larger aliens and creatures that are spotted in the series’ background. Including a very large furry creature that uses serious stilts.
Chow said she was a huge Muppets fan growing up in a brief segment where we take a close look at some of the many alien prosthetics that have been used, noting how much she really loves the various creatures in star wars and how they help create a special world on set.
4. Hayden Christensen’s return to the set.
Much of the anticipation behind Obi Wan Kenobi saw Hayden Christensen return to star wars like Darth Vader. That excitement was noticeable from the cast and crew, as well as Christensen himself, as he spoke about his comeback.
The first day on set saw Christensen back in Anakin Skywalker costume circa Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; as he prepared to shoot, Christensen shared that Ewan McGregor had already finished his day’s work and was supposed to go home. Instead, McGregor chose to stay.
“I was looking for him… They’re like, ‘He’s standing close to the camera for your gaze.’ And they were pointing in the distance, 200-300 feet away,” Christensen said. “I yelled at him. I was like, ‘Obi-Wan!’ I saw a hand go up and really felt its presence.
5. The collaboration of Deborah Chow and Hayden Christensen.
It’s clear that Obi Wan Kenobi involved a lot of collaboration from the cast and crew. And that aspect of the production can be seen in Deborah Chow and Hayden Christensen working together on how best to bring Darth Vader back to the screen.
“Deborah had so much insight,” Christensen said. “It was clear that she felt a great responsibility towards this character, just like me. And so we just knew we had to get it right.
Paige Lyman is a freelance writer and culture journalist who covers video games, entertainment, internet culture and more regularly for outlets like Digital trends and Wired. She is loved star wars since childhood and regularly convinces friends to watch the animated series. She loves iced coffee, video games, music, working out, cosplaying, and traveling. She also has a thing for Han Solo, in all his nerfherder glory.
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