Obi-Wan Kenobi Director Deborah Chow: "There is no Obi-Wan Kenobi without Ewan" - SciFiNow

Obi-Wan Kenobi Director Deborah Chow: “There is no Obi-Wan Kenobi without Ewan”

Obi-Wan Kenobi director and showrunner Deborah Chow talks to us about having Ewan McGregor on board for the Star Wars series…

After a painfully long wait, the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series is finally arriving on Disney+.

Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan is back, watching over young Luke Skywalker while Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader tasks his Inquisitors with eradicating all surviving Jedi. We talked to director and showrunner Deborah Chow, who previously directed episodes of The Mandalorian, about the show…

How nerve-wracking was it to pick up Obi-Wan, Luke and Vader’s stories?

I definitely felt a pretty big responsibility to these characters and to this period in the timeline, but at the same time we had to tell our own story and have our own vision for it. I think that was probably the most challenging thing, trying to find that balance.

In terms of the visual and storytelling language of the projects, are there similarities between Kenobi and Mandalorian?

For me Star Wars always connects to westerns and samurai films, it feels like it’s very much embedded in the DNA of the franchise. So those references were very viable for both shows, honestly, but we did something a little different.

The way I think of it is if Mandalorian was a little bit more classic western, what we were trying to do with Kenobi, because it’s much more character-driven, with Ewan at the centre of it, was to do a little bit more of an atmospheric, emotional western, something more similar to The Proposition, or Assassination Of Jesse James, visually. But at the end of the day it does always come back to westerns and samurai films.

Deborah Chow wanted Kenobi to be visually similar to The Proposition and The Assassination Of Jesse James.

How valuable was it having Ewan on board from the start?

There is no Obi-Wan Kenobi without Ewan, he is the character, and there would be no show without him. He was such a pleasure to work with, I was so fortunate with him. He’s been living with this character.

Not only did he play him in the prequels but he’s also lived with this character for years in life, so to have somebody who knows the character so well, but is still very open and collaborative, was just a gift for me.

There are a lot more Jedis in Kenobi than in The Mandalorian – how does that impact the action scenes?

It was exciting actually. I really love doing action. In Mandalorian I did a lot of blaster fire, we did a lot of shoot-outs on Mandalorian, so it was exciting to get some new weapons and to be able to do some sequences that were more lightsabre-based.

Chow was excited to do some lightsabre-based action sequences…

You’re in the tricky middle part between two stories – how do you find the drama in a story when the audience knows how it ends?

That’s a really good question and that’s something we were asking ourselves for quite a long time. Essentially we’re right in the middle, so it’s almost like trying to tell the second act in a story where everyone knows what happened before and after, so it’s challenging. But it’s also really interesting because you have a huge backstory that’s already been developed and the audience already knows it so we don’t have to tell that part of the story.

So to take George’s characters and all the backstory and all the history and to come into this show, it made for a very interesting and compelling starting point.

Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts exclusively on Disney+ from 27th May.