Obi-Wan Kenobi, 10 things to know before watching the TV series on Disney +

Obi-Wan Kenobi, 10 things to know before watching the TV series on Disney +

Obi-Wan Kenobi

It seems like yesterday that we said goodbye to Boba Fett and his messed up gang on Tatooine, instead more than three months have passed and we are ready to climb the dunes of the desert planet in the company of Obi-Wan Kenobi: the new series coming to Disney + will focus precisely on the solitary adventures of the Jedi Master a few years after the end of Revenge of the Sith. The Empire has gripped the galaxy far away in its clutches and rules in terror now that the Jedi are practically extinct. The few remaining are hunted down by Darth Vader and his Inquisitors, so Obi-Wan, who has escaped to Tatooine, must keep a low profile as he watches over little Luke Skywalker, son of his former apprentice and now Sith Lord, who is growing up with his uncles. , unaware of the fate that awaits him.

Ewan McGregor returns to play the Obi-Wan of the prequel trilogy, one of the most fascinating characters in the saga created by George Lucas and now in the hands of Disney. A more complex Jedi than it seems, which hides a lot of chiaroscuro both in the history of Star Wars, and in the reality that revolves around this multimedia myth. We tell you 10 things to know about Obi-Wan Kenobi before embarking on the vision of the TV miniseries that will debut on May 27 with the first two episodes.

In the beginning it was Sir Alec Guinness

Alec Guinness in Star Wars Episode IV And this you should all know. The venerable Alec Guinness played Obi-Wan Kenobi as an old man in the very first film of the saga, which was actually the fourth episode according to George Lucas' vision. In short, what we have called simply Star Wars for decades. What you may not know is that Alec Guinness hated Star Wars. The fact that he was the only actor in the film to be nominated for the '78 Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, and that he didn't win it since the statuette went to Jason Robards for Julia, has nothing to do with it. . Guinness, who among other things was a great stage actor, hated Star Wars for the dialogue, which he considered unbearably stupid, and for the fact that Lucas continually rewrote them before he went on stage.

In his biography, Guinness said he feared that posterity would only remember him for Star Wars and that he got fed up with the fans who haunted him everywhere. To one of them, who claimed to have seen Star Wars more than a hundred times, Guinness signed an autograph only if he promised he would never watch it again.

And it was nearly Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune was George Lucas' first choice In case you didn't notice it, George Lucas fished with both hands in the oriental tradition while inventing the Jedi knights and in particular he was inspired by the figure of the ronin, the wandering samurai , when he imagined Obi-Wan wandering the dunes of Tatooine or facing Darth Vader on the Death Star. And in fact, for the role of the old Ben Kenobi, Sir Alec Guinness was not immediately thought of, but rather Toshiro Mifune, an actor who had worked hand in hand with Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. And if we consider that Lucas idolized The Seven Samurai, we can say that everything comes back. Too bad that Mifune refused the part because, according to him, he ridiculed the popular image of the Japanese samurai. Daughter Mika explained, years later, that science fiction films at the time were too crude, in terms of special effects, for a man as proud as his father. Lucas, however, did not give up, and even offered him the part of Darth Vader - who wore a helmet and therefore could not be seen on his face - but Mifune refused that too.

Family matters

Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles) is Ewan McGregor's uncle Ewan McGregor's casting was also quite difficult because the Scottish actor wasn't sure that playing Obi-Wan Kenobi was the right path for him, which until then moment - let's talk about the 90s - he had worked in small independent films, attracting attention precisely for his great talent. Acting in the Star Wars prequel trilogy was going to be extraordinary, but also risky and challenging, so young Ewan turned to the only person who could advise him well: maternal uncle Denis Lawson. The latter, in fact, had already starred in the original Star Wars trilogy, playing no less than Wedge Antilles, a character who would become iconic over the years.

And guess what? Lawson tried to distract his nephew from the idea of ​​playing Obi-Wan Kenobi, because he would have to confront the giant Alec Guinness and because he could have been trapped in that part forever. In the end, however, Ewan decided to try it anyway and it went quite well: not only is his Obi-Wan remembered as one of the best parts of a trilogy that divided audiences and critics, but the actor continued down a road paved with extraordinary hits that had nothing to do with the Lucas saga.

Obi-Wan Kenobi beyond the movies

Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Marvel comics drawn by Simone Bianchi Despite being much more iconic The image of old Kenobi, especially when he reappears as a ghost of the Force in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars franchise has told a lot more about the life of the Jedi Master when he was young. There are many novels and comics that tell the adventures of Obi-Wan, but as you probably know now not all the stories are official: after George Lucas sold the franchise rights to Disney, in fact, many stories were labeled as Legends and this means that they are no longer canonical. Later, however, new novels and comics came out that fully officially tell Kenobi's life beyond films, such as the comic mini-series The Diaries of Obi-Wan Kenobi, drawn by the very Italian Simone Bianchi. >
Memorable, then, are the episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the series in computer graphics that tells many important backstories in the years between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It is above all The Clone Wars that outlines Obi-Wan Kenobi's character as we know him today, telling us about his role as a teacher towards the young Anakin and his past as a general in the army of the Republic.

Obi-Wan Vs Darth Maul

The Final Showdown in Star Wars: Rebels One of the most famous action scenes in the Star Wars saga is the fight with Darth Maul at the end of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Accompanied by the iconic notes of Duel of the Fates, the battle sees the master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan face Darth Maul, an opponent like they had never met before, as the Sith believed themselves extinct. The fight is very important because it shows us a version of Obi-Wan that we will never see again, when Maul kills his Master, unleashing the fury of the Padawan. In the end, Obi-Wan cuts Maul in half, and it would seem over there ... were it not that, afterwards, the two rivals have faced each other several times outside the movies.

Darth Maul, in fact, returns staged in The Clone Wars series with a pair of bionic legs, and teams up with his brother Savage Oppress, even taking over Mandalore. Obi-Wan crosses paths with him several times during the series, facing him in a duel and almost always coming out as the winner, alone and sometimes in company, as for example in season 5, when he faces the two Zabrak together with the Jedi Adi Gallia. The final battle then takes place in Star Wars Rebels, on Tatooine, and demonstrates, once and for all, who is the stronger swordsman of the two.

Obi-Wan's style

Obi-Wan is an expert in the Soresu fighting style A really careful look will surely have noticed that Obi-Wan Kenobi changes his fighting style from one film to another, but only a true connoisseur of Star Wars and the so-called Expanded Universe can interpret these changes. Luckily we are there to explain them to you! Looking at the films in chronological order, it becomes clear that Obi-Wan has gone from a more aggressive lightsaber fighting style to a more staid and defensive one over the years. This change is a perfectly logical narrative choice that all revolves around Qui-Gon Jinn's death in the aforementioned duel with Darth Maul. Obi-Wan, in fact, had learned above all the Form IV, also known as Ataru, which his master preferred: a quick and acrobatic style that aimed to get rid of enemies quickly, but which also left too defenseless.

For this reason, after defeating the Zabrak on Naboo and realizing that the Sith were returning, Obi-Wan devoted himself body and soul to Form III, Soresu, becoming an absolute expert. The Soresu style, based on guarding and counterattacking, is much more defensive and is designed to resist in duels that are too long, taking advantage of the battlefield and the inevitable mistakes that the opponent could make. And now you know how Obi-Wan made Anakin to bits while standing only "higher" than him.

Novels and video games

Could Cal Kestis appear in Obi-Wan Kenobi? The TV miniseries coming to Disney + fishing with both hands in the Expanded Universe: obviously someone else had already come up with the idea of ​​telling Obi-Wan Kenobi's misadventures on Tatooine before A New Hope and in addition to the aforementioned cycle of stories a comics - in which Luke Skywalker returns to Ben's cottage and finds the diaries he had kept for years while guarding him - there is also a novel, written by John Jackson Miller and simply titled Kenobi, which tells us one of his first adventures after being arrived on the desert planet. Miller's novel belongs to the Legends label and is important because it was one of the few works to describe Tusken culture before The Book of Boba Fett.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi trailers showed us The Inquisitors, who first appeared in Star Wars: Rebels, are also in action, but which video game fans should know well as they were chasing Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. In the TV miniseries we will see for the first time in live action even the Grand Inquisitor and, considering the timing, it would make sense if Ewan McGregor and Cameron Monaghan, who lent his features to the young Cal, shared the screen. After all, the canonical novel A New Dawn tells us that it was Obi-Wan who formulated an emergency plan for the little Padawans in case of danger, a plan that would then have saved the young Kanaan Jarrus during Order 66.

Obi-Wan: The Video Game

Star Wars: Obi-Wan for Xbox Obi-Wan Kenobi is a playable character in a myriad of themed titles, from the recent LEGO Star Wars: The Saga of Skywalker, in which there are multiple minifigure versions of the Jedi Master, to even get to Fortnite. Not everyone knows, however, that LucasArts dedicated an entire game to him in 2001, an Xbox exclusive entitled, quite simply, Star Wars: Obi-Wan. Do you think that it was George Lucas himself who wanted development to move to the Microsoft console, since he was disappointed with the performance of the code on PC. In any case, the game was a third-person adventure that retold the story of Episode I: The Phantom Menace all over again, while adding plenty of backstories centered around the character of the young Obi-Wan who, among other things, deepened his relationships. with other Jedi like Mace Windu.

In addition to implementing a fighting game-style multiplayer mode, in which it was possible to choose the various Jedi unlocked in the single player campaign, Star Wars: Obi-Wan featured a very special combat system in which movements were controlled of the lightsaber with only the right stick. The other keys were used to jump, to interact and, of course, to use the many powers of the Force at Obi-Wan's disposal, among which the inevitable telekinesis and the ability to slow down time around the Jedi stood out.

Obi ♥ Satine

Satine Kryze and Obi-Wan Kenobi in a scene from Star Wars: The Clone Wars On one thing, though, Anakin Skywalker was always right: Obi-Wan was a bit of a hypocrite. If you look closely at Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan appears as a kind of wand who almost never admits his mistakes, but is always ready to berate his Padawan for improvising him. The relationship between the two, in fact, is very complicated, also because Obi-Wan was trained by a Jedi anything but orthodox: Qui-Gon often clashed with the decisions of the Council and at one point he even thought about leaving the Order.

Well, we will never know if Obi-Wan would have helped Anakin and Padmé with their clandestine affair, but the Jedi Master was not exactly as alien to feelings as the Order would have liked. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in fact, tells us that Obi-Wan had a kind of affair with the Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore, whom he had met during a mission in which he and Qui-Gon were supposed to protect her. Over the years, Obi-Wan and Satine have dated in fits and starts, but their mutual feelings have always been very clear and it is the Duchess who declares herself on the verge of death, in the arms of her beloved. Ironically, Satine is also the name of the singer played by Nicole Kidman in Mouline Rouge: do you know who wore the role of her impossible love for her? Ewan McGregor!

McGregor's training

Ewan McGregor in a scene from Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi During the filming of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Ewan McGregor was obsessed with idea of ​​convincingly replicating Sir Alec Guinness's accent and mannerisms, and therefore he had taken to studying each of his films or performances, watching and re-watching it for hours every day. Being an extraordinary actor, McGregor managed not only to respect the old character, but also to respect him. In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, however, McGregor revealed that he had no longer been interested in Star Wars for almost twenty years and that he had only recently run a marathon of all the films, in order to re-enter the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi. before shooting the television miniseries. McGregor, in fact, revealed that he was very disappointed by the reaction of the fans, who at the time of the prequel trilogy had sparked a real hate campaign, bringing Ahmed Best - who lent his features to Jar Jar Binks - on the verging on suicide and causing little Jake Lloyd to retire from the film scene.

Fortunately the prequel trilogy has redeemed itself over the years and McGregor has admitted that he has rediscovered a much warmer fandom than in the past, and therefore of have returned to play the Jedi Master in exile with great pleasure, along with colleague Hayden Christensen, who will return to wearing the Darth Vader costume.

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