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How do you top a new Star Wars trailer? By bringing an old member of the family back into the fold. After the Disney+ series The Mandalorian debuted its first trailer on Friday, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy strolled back out on the D23 stage in Anaheim for one last surprise.
Ewan McGregor came out to Star Wars music to confirm once and for all that he is playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in an upcoming Disney+ series. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, as news that he will reprise the role broke online last week. But the actor noted that after years of having to play coy in interviews, it finally felt good to say it out loud.
Kennedy said that the scripts for the Obi-Wan series were completed, and they would begin shooting next year.
Earlier, the exec brought out Mandalorian executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, with Favreau touting the series as being similar to his 2008 film Iron Man, which appealed to both Marvel fans as well as newcomers to the mythology.
The eight-episode first season of The Mandalorian is set to debut Nov. 12 when Disney+ launches. Series stars Pedro Pascal (who plays The Mandalorian), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Carl Weathers (Greef), Giancarlo Esposito and Taika Waititi (the droid IG-11) took the stage to introduce the trailer.
The series takes place after the fall of the Empire in 1983’s The Return of the Jedi and before the villainous First Order rose. It centers on Pascal’s Mandalorian, a bounty hunter type who is sent on a mission to collect something of great value. The first footage for the series debuted in April at Star Wars Celebration, but Disney did not release that footage online.
The Mandalorian boasts a number of high-profile directors, including Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.
The Mandalorian is one of multiple Star Wars shows in the pipeline for Disney+. There is also a Diego Luna-led Rogue One prequel. Luna, who came out onstage with co-star Alan Tudyk, asked Kennedy if they had a title they could reveal. The exec said there was not one they could talk about yet, but she confirmed the series would shoot next year.
The popular Clone Wars animated series is also returning, and Kennedy said it is set to debut in February.
As for the Obi-Wan series, it marks an official end to years of “will he or won’t he?” for McGregor. The actor has long flirted with a return to the character, which he played in three Star Wars prequels from 1999-2005. In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a feature spinoff for the character, which was to have been directed by Stephen Daldry. Those plans were shelved amid the poor performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story in summer 2018.
In the original 1977 Star Wars movie, Kenobi is a desert-dwelling and war-weary hermit who later proves to be a wise and powerful warrior. He briefly mentors a young Luke Skywalker before being cut down by Darth Vader, his former pupil. Alec Guinness played the character in the pic and earned an Oscar nomination.
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