The Star Wars canon is nothing if not its own galaxy’s worth of characters, stories, and other information. “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” premiering May 27 on Disney+, brings back the eponymous fan favorite, but that doesn’t mean viewers can rewatch the prequels and call it a day before venturing into this series (many would probably rather not).
The character of Obi-Wan Kenobi has ties to the original Star Wars trilogy and prequels, as well as events and characters from the animated “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” series, both of which are available on Disney+. But if you don’t have time to watch — *checks notes* — 11 seasons of TV ahead of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” fear not. Here’s a quick rundown of all the characters confirmed for the series, as well as a handful we might see from the wider Star Wars universe.
1. Obi-Wan Kenobi
It’s only the titular role, originated in 1977 by Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars and reprised in live action by Ewan McGregor ever since 1999’s “The Phantom Menace.” McGregor returns as the Jedi Master who trained the most powerful padawan anyone had ever seen until that point: Anakin Skywalker. Anakin and his master enacted dozens of missions on behalf of the Jedi Council and a crumbling Republic, cementing their bond as student and teacher, friends, and brothers.
When Order 66 commanded clone soldiers to massacre all living Jedi, Obi-Wan escaped and went into hiding on Tatooine, just close enough to monitor Anakin’s son Luke. When a couple of droids wander Luke’s way in “A New Hope,” he enlists “old Ben Kenobi” and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey that ends for Obi-Wan with dying at Darth Vader’s hand. He lives on in our hearts and as a Force Ghost.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” picks up 10 years after the events of “Revenge of the Sith,” so while McGregor may not be fully embodying old Ben, his Obi-Wan has been living off the grid for years while grappling with the horrific events of the Jedi Purge and Anakin’s turn to the dark side.
2. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Obi-Wan’s most precocious padawan and greatest failure is now rising to sinister power as legendary Sith Lord Darth Vader. 10 years into the Empire’s rule, there’s more Anakin in there than when we catch up with him in “A New Hope,” but his last interaction with Obi-Wan was subpar to say the least.
Vader’s focus is on growing his power and the might of the empire, but Disney wouldn’t have cast Hayden Christensen in this role again if we weren’t in for some prequel-era flashbacks. This is a chance for many “Clone Wars” TV scenes to hit the screen in live-action, or for retconned new scenes involving this dynamic and doomed duo.
3. The Grand Inquisitor
This former Jedi Temple Guard played by Rupert Friend is now neither guard nor friend to any Jedi. He leads a group called the Inquisitorius, tasked with hunting down Jedi using the Dark Side of the Force and double-bladed lightsabers. His character appears in “Star Wars: Rebels,” which takes place later than “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and he’s somehow even creepier as a cartoon.
4. Brothers and Sisters
Individually, The Grand Inquisitor’s hunters go by a ranking followed by a sibling title: Second Brother, Fifth Sister, and so on. The Inquisitorius have appeared throughout Star Wars texts and in the “Rebels” animated series, and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will at least include the Third Sister, Reva (Moses Ingram), Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), and Fourth Sister (Rya Kihlstedt).
5. Owen and Beru Lars
Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle are but humble moisture farmers, and Owen (Joel Edgerton) appears in the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” trailer telling McGregor’s Jedi to stay away from the young Luke and his family. We know for sure that Owen and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) will survive the events of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” because they’re very much alive and well at the start of “A New Hope.” Whether or not they’re traumatized by the Grand Inquisitor’s hunt for Master Kenobi… that remains to be seen.
6. Ahsoka Tano
Anakin’s “Clone Wars” padawan made her live-action debut in “The Mandalorian” Season 2 and has her own series in the works starring Rosario Dawson — but that doesn’t mean we might not hear from her. Ahsoka defected from the Jedi Order (after being initially ousted for a crime she didn’t commit) before the Sith had everyone executed, and quickly went into hiding just like Obi-Wan. Between that and all the time they worked side-by-side during the Clone Wars, she seems like a top candidate for Obi-Wan to reach out to as he lives in exile during the Empire’s takeover.
A 2016 novel covers Ahsoka’s whereabouts between the events of “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” — exactly when “Obi-Wan Kenobi” takes place — but there’s plenty of room to insert additional stories. Her faceoff with Darth Vader in “Star Wars: Rebels” is also a critical moment for both characters, and it would be just as emotionally compelling for the former master and padawan to cross paths in live action.
7. Clone Soldiers
“Attack of the Clones” actor Temuera Morrison has already returned to Star Wars as the face of clone soldiers, including animation. He returned to live action by taking over as Boba Fett in “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” but remember that his face is shared by plenty of others in the galaxy (because clones). Prominent “Clone Wars” characters who worked with Obi-Wan include Rex, Cody, and more — though thanks to Order 66 they’re all programmed to shoot him on sight. As nice as it would be to see more Morrison in Star Wars, it might not be the best thing to happen to Master Kenobi…
8. The Prequel Squad
20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection
“Given the nature of our characters, the strongest connective tissue is to the prequels for us,” director Deborah Chow told Entertainment Weekly. This is compelling, but a lot of major characters from the prequels are dead! Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa is alive and well, as is Chewbacca (last played by Joonas Suotamo), bless his hairy little heart.
Ian McDiarmid’s skeevy Sheev Palpatine is very much at large, but bringing him in as well as Darth Vader might be piling on too much. Fans would fork over a sizable number of credits to see McGregor’s Kenobi once again face Darth Maul a.k.a. Maul (last portrayed by Ray Park with the voice of Sam Witwer in “Solo”); the characters do face off in “Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” so might they cross paths again, neatly between those two time periods? “Kenobi” takes place just after “Solo,” which means Maul is off building his own criminal empire, but Obi-Wan has ample reason to hunt his old foe…
9. Satine Kryze
There is absolutely no confirmation that this Mandalorian duchess will be mentioned or shown in “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” but she looms heavy in Obi-Wan’s life. The two first met well before the events of “The Phantom Menace,” when Obi-Wan and his master Qui-Gon Jinn were sent to protect her during the Mandalorian Civil War. During their year on the run, the two fell in love, but neither said or did anything about it and they parted ways as friends.
The Clone Wars brought them back together, where they continue a maddeningly platonic relationship despite Satine declaring her love, because these two people are obsessed with duty. As the situation on Mandalore escalated, Maul held Satine hostage to seek revenge on Obi-Wan, eventually killing her with the Darksaber seen in “The Mandalorian.” Satine died in Obi-Wan’s arms while confessing her love one last time. Imagine ever getting over this!
10. Droid Friends and Foes
The mystery droid shooting at Obi-Wan in the trailer was thought to be bounty hunter 4-LOM from “Empire Strike Back,” but Chow recently revealed that it’s a new droid called 1-JAC. As such, 1-JAC’s make, model, and purpose are all unknown, but suffice it to say this won’t be a cuddly BB-8 kind of droid. However, at least two other droids pop up in the trailer and one of them looks to be helping Obi-Wan, so maybe fans do come out of this with a new robot friend.
11. Favorites from Marvel and “Game of Thrones”
“Marvel’s Eternals” star Kumail Nanjiani adds another blockbuster franchise to his belt by joining “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” but we don’t even know his character’s name at this point.
“We haven’t seen this exact thing in ‘Star Wars’ yet,” Nanjiani told Rolling Stone in 2021. “This is like a new version of a type of ‘Star Wars’ character we’ve seen before.” Helpful!
As little is known about who “Game of Thrones” alum Indira Varma will portray. She appears int he trailer dressed in Imperial uniform, but might not be all in on the Empire’s mission. Fans have speculated that both actors play members of the Partisans, an early rebel group that connects to “Rogue One” character Saw Guerrera (Forest Whitaker).
12. The “Rebels” crew
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” takes place 10 years after “Revenge of the Sith,” which means it’s less than a decade before the events of “Star Wars: Rebels.” “Rebels” hero Ezra is but a wee youngling at this time, but his pals including Mandalorian Sabine Wren, Twi’lek Hera Syndulla, and Jedi knight Kanan Jarrus are very much alive. Introducing any of them would be the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” equivalent of Ahsoka Tano in “The Mandalorian.” Harnessing Obi-Wan’s fan base to build hype for the upcoming Ahsoka series is just smart branding — something that Disney already does pretty well.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” premieres May 27 on Disney+.