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“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is airing on Disney+ a few hours earlier than scheduled, the “Star Wars” program announced Thursday evening.
West Coast viewers will be able to stream the first two episodes of the show, featuring Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, starting at 9:00 p.m. PT. Originally, they were to be available at midnight.
The news was announced in a tweet from the official “Star Wars” account. “The time for @ObiWanKenobi has come…early,” the tweet read. “Start streaming the first two episodes TONIGHT at 9pm PT on @Disneyplus.”
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Earlier today at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, Calif., “Star Wars” fans were amazed by a premiere screening of the show at 7 p.m. PT — and now viewers at home will be able to watch “Obi-Wan Kenobi” early as well.
The Disney+ series is the culmination of years of planning at Lucasfilm to revive McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan from the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. Initially, the actor was to star in a standalone feature film directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”). After the box office failure of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in 2018, however, Lucasfilm ditched its standalone films and refocused on making shows for Disney+. The runaway success of “The Mandalorian” has rekindled hopes that McGregor will once again don Obi-Wan’s robe for a streaming series.
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The actor finally confirmed the news to much fanfare at the D23 Expo in August 2019, but a planned 2020 shoot with “The Mandalorian” director Deborah Chow was delayed when original head writer Hossein Amini (“The Alienist”), has left production. After Joby Harold (“Army of the Dead”) was hired to take over, the six-episode series was again delayed due to the pandemic. Disney finally announced in February that the show would debut on Disney+ on May 25, 2022, then in late March pushed the release back two days to May 27.
Set roughly 10 years after the events of 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” chronicles the life of Obi-Wan in exile on Tatooine. After Order 66 decimates the Jed, Obi-Wan is hunted down, including by an Inquisitor named Reva Sevander (Moses Ingram).
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Christensen also reprise his performance from the prequels as Anakin Skywalker, now transformed by his final encounter with Obi-Wan into Darth Vader; and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse return as Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru Lars. The series stars Rupert Friend, Indira Varma, Sung Kang, Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie and Maya Erskine.
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