Disney+ is finally ready to start production on its streaming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, if a little later than you might have expected. Filming for the “special event” Star Wars show is now due to start in April (a month later than star Ewan McGregor claimed), according to Disney. In exchange for the wait, though, you’re also getting a clearer look at the cast — McGregor and Hayden Christensen aren’t the only big names in the show.
A few of the cast members are veterans from the prequel-era movies, including Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton (Beru and Owen Lars). However, you’ll also find a host of newcomers with strong credentials, including Game of Thrones‘ Indira Varma, Homeland‘s Rupert Friend and Kumail Nanjiani (who will have achieved a nerd trifecta of appearing in Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Files).
Veteran The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow was already slated to direct Obi-Wan. The series takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin became Darth Vader and Palpatine had the Jedi effectively wiped out.
This won’t be a long-running show. However, the casting says a lot about Disney’s goals — it wants this to be a marquee series with strong supporting characters. And that level of star power might be necessary. While the Disney+ catalog of originals is expanding, it’s still small enough that the success of the service hinges on every new release. A strong showing for Obi-Wan could be crucial to fulfilling Disney’s new focus on streaming.