It’s no secret that Lucasfilm’s next big Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, will be filled to the brim with nostalgia and fan service. The first trailer confirmed the show will bring back Luke Skywalker, Uncle Ben, and Aunt Beru on Tatooine; the Inquisitors from the Rebels animated series will be hunting Kenobi; and Darth Vader is back for revenge. And there are plenty of rumors and leaks out there suggesting that these are only a fraction of the cameos and callbacks in this six-episode limited series. Obi-Wan Kenobi will undoubtedly deliver the easter egg-y goodness Disney fans crave.
Bringing back these elements from the Prequel and A New Hope eras of Star Wars is a no-brainer, considering the Disney+ show takes place in between the two — 10 years after Revenge of the Sith but 9 years before the Original Trilogy. Like Rebels before it, Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the unique position where it can marry the gilded age aesthetic of the Prequels with the more rusted look of the first Star Wars. It also means new takes on fan-favorite characters are on the table, such as a 10-year-old Luke Skywalker, who will be played in the series by Grant Feely (Creepshow).
In fact, young Luke was always in the cards, even before Joby Harold (Army of the Dead) replaced Hossein Amini (Drive) as the show’s writer. But according to THR, Luke was set to play a much bigger role in the Amini scripts until a “creative overhaul” saw the production start date delayed while Harold and director Deborah Chow took the series in a new direction. It’s now unclear just how much Luke there is in the show.
In the first version of the story, Obi-Wan would have come out of hiding to protect little Luke from a group of villains trying to hunt the son of Anakin Skywalker down. Chief among these baddies would have been none other than Darth Maul, played once again by The Phantom Menace star Ray Park, undoubtedly setting up a similar rematch to the one between Kenobi and Vader in the Harold version.
Per the outlet, Maul and the story of Obi-Wan helping Luke evade a band of hunters were scrapped because Star Wars executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni felt they played too similarly to the Lone Wolf and Cub-inspired story of The Mandalorian. Although Park may have shot some test footage and gone through stunt training for the series, it sounds like Maul’s big return to live-action has been thwarted once again.
Maul was of course revealed to still be alive in The Clone Wars animated series despite being cut in half in Episode I. He later cameo’d on the big screen in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story as the secret leader of the Crimson Dawn criminal organization, which seemed indicative of future theatrical plans for the villain, but those were scrapped when the film bombed at the box office.
Since Solo takes place just a year before Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Star Wars timeline, and seven before his eventual death on Rebels, his return in the Disney+ series could have potentially worked — although some adjustments to continuity would have been necessary. For example, Maul doesn’t know Obi-Wan is hiding on Tatooine, or who Luke is, on Rebels, so how can he be chasing them on the desert planet years earlier in Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Regardless, it sounds like Lucasfilm will keep Maul on ice, a shame for fans who have long wished for Star Wars to bring him back to live action beyond a small cameo. Of course, the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader is certainly a nice consolation prize.
But what about the other Prequel character fans have long wanted to see again in a Disney+ series? Since Grogu called out to all remaining Jedi on that seeing stone on Tython, Samuel L. Jackson’s stern Jedi Master, Mace Windu, has been at the very top of the fandom’s list of characters deserving a comeback. Just search “Mace Windu” on Twitter. You won’t have to scroll too far to find all kinds of fan art depicting an older, scarred Windu wielding his signature purple-bladed lightsaber once again.
Most recently, fans wondered whether Windu might step out of the shadows for The Book of Boba Fett. After all, the bounty hunter has some unfinished business with the Jedi Master who beheaded Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones.
Even if fan theories about Windu’s return are yet to come true on The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett, the good news is Jackson has confirmed he’d love to reprise his role if Disney were to give him the call.
“There’s a huge history of people with one hand returning in Star Wars,” Jackson told Happy Sad Confused when asked whether there’s a chance Windu could pop back up in the future. “The only person I’ve ever said that to about coming back was Bryce Dallas Howard, ’cause I just did a movie with her. And she directs episodes of The Mandalorian, so, ‘You think you might be able to hook a brother up? I mean you like me, right?’ She’s like, ‘I love you, you’re amazing!’ So, ‘Put me back in there… Put me in coach, I’m ready!’ You know, I’ll learn to lightsaber left-handed. Come on, hook me up.”
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until Ewan McGregor started saying in interview that he’d love to do more Star Wars that Lucasfilm gave him a call. Now that Jackson has also said on the record that he’s up for more Windu, might it no longer be a question of if but when?
But if you’ve watched the Prequels, you might be wondering how a post-Revenge of the Sith Mace Windu story could even work. Didn’t he fall to his death after Anakin chopped off his hand and Palpatine zapped him with Force lightning? Well, maybe. If Maul can survive being cut in half, his torso tumbling into the depths of Naboo, only to rise up once again by fashioning himself spider legs made out of trash (seriously), Windu’s resurrection should be a piece of cake. And like Maul in The Phantom Menace, we never actually saw where Windu landed…
While we wait for Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on May 25. You can check out the full schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV series here.