Star Wars Regretting Putting Darth Vader In Obi-Wan Kenobi?

By Doug Norrie | Published

obi-wan kenobi

When the word came out that there would be a Disney+ series about Obi-Wan Kenobi with Ewan McGregor in the lead, the first question most people had was centered on whether or not we would see Darth Vader. After all, this was the primary storyline in the prequel movies and it really wasn’t until the end of Revenge of the Sith that we finally saw Hayden Christensen in the suit. Well, he’s back here for the series and it’s paid off so far. But were the show’s creatives a bit regretful that they included extended scenes with Darth Vader? From a production standpoint, it doesn’t seem like it was all that easy.

Joby Harold sat down with Polygon to discuss some of the finer details of Obi-Wan Kenobi and just how much thought went into certain aspects of the production, especially where Darth Vader was concerned. Harold is acting as the head writer for the series and also its de facto showrunner, having been brought in to rewrite the script after the first drafts failed to live up to expectations. Harold said there was extreme care in bringing Darth Vader back to the screen in this series, wanting to make the most of every moment to ensure the correct level of sinister gravity was brought to the moment. But this also required significant work and effort. Check out part of what Harold had to say about Darth Vader’s inclusion in Obi-Wan Kenobi:

“You don’t want to see Vader sitting around looking at a scrapbook’…Everything about (staging) Vader is very difficult. Just from regards to the quarter inch of where he’s standing and his helmet being (held at the right angle) and all the bits of the puzzle, very practically, on the day. Less is always more with him…it comes down to the design, to the director, the performance and all those things coming together.”

It’s easy to see why this would have been such a difficult task for the Obi-Wan Kenobi crew to get this character correct, especially on the second go-around. The time-consuming nature of these kinds of details is just one reason the series is able to work and give fans what they’ve wanted. So while it might not be regret on the part of Harold and company to bring Darth Vader back into the mix, there’s a sense that the practical aspects of the production might have been considerably more than what they planned during the storyboarding and writing process. Regardless, it’s clear from Harold discussing the series that this was an incredibly important aspect of what they were trying to do with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Harold also mentions in the interview that the story in Obi-Wan Kenobi, at least from the Darth Vader side, was going to need to contain the requisite anger and darkness that would accompany the character during this period. It was important that the story not leave it so that fans just picked up with Vader at the beginning of A New Hope. And his story was going to have to be juxtaposed with Obi-Wan’s to have it all make sense. So far, it seems like they’ve accomplished what they set out to do with the character, even if it was a heavier lift.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is now four episodes into its six-episode run on Disney+ and has generally received positive reviews from critics, though audiences haven’t necessarily had the same reaction. Much of this stems from some of the storytelling around the main character and less about what we saw with Vader.