This OBI-WAN KENOBI article contains spoilers.
It’s the reunion of a lifetime. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker clash again as Darth Vader stalks onto the small screen. This episode also gestures at the fates of some famous Prequel and Legends Jedi, illustrating exactly how much trouble they’re in (and how at this point, 10 years after Revenge of the Sith, the Empire is still struggling to hunt them down).
Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
– Hayden Christensen returns from the Prequels as Anakin Skywalker. It’s a reunion many fans thought would never happen as the actor drew flack for his performance under George Lucas’ direction. In the TV series, he even shows his face in a vision.
– Star Wars legend James Earl Jones brings the original Darth Vader voice back for TV. He first provided the iconic voice of Darth Vader in the original 1977 film, while actor and bodybuilder David Prowse wore the suit.
Mustafar and Fortress Vader
Vader’s home base, appropriately named Fortress Vader, sits on the same planet where Anakin underwent his greatest tragedy. Obi-Wan chased Vader to Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith, when the recent dark side convert was sent to murder Separatist leadership. That’s the planet where Anakin was burned, a punishment he tries to inflict back on Obi-Wan this week.
Obi-Wan mentions Quinlan Vos as one of the Jedi who’s survived the Empire’s reign for the last 10 years and passed through the safe house on Mapuzo. Quinlan’s survival isn’t a complete surprise, although that information has mostly come from more obscure sources like the Star Wars Card Trader game. Quinlan’s morally gray personality made him a fan favorite in the Clone Wars era.
You can read much more about this Jedi Master here.
Indira Varma as Tala Durith
Game of Thrones‘ Indira Varma plays Tala Durith, the undercover rebel working as an Imperial Officer. In Game of Thrones, she was Ellaria Sand, the calculating mother of the Sand Snakes. You can read Varma’s own thoughts on Tala here.
Zach Braff as Freck
Mapuzo’s mole man miner (say that five times fast) is played by Zach Braff, who is best known as the lead character, J.D., in Scrubs. In Star Wars lore, Freck is a new character from an unknown species.
Obi-Wan has a brother? His mention of dimly remembering a sibling from before he was taken to train as a Jedi is a major reveal. However, this little piece of lore has a long history. In an early screenplay of Return of the Jedi, Owen Lars (Luke’s adoptive uncle, and Anakin’s step-brother) was revealed to be Obi-Wan’s biological brother. In fact, this reveal can still be found in the original 1983 novelization of the film written by James Kahn. A 2015 short story re-contextualized this as a vision in which Obi-Wan was mistaken about seeing the past instead of the future.
In a less literal sense, Obi-Wan having a biological brother is just another way of twisting the knife about Anakin. Having grown up with an early sense of the loss of a sibling could have primed him to grow very close to his apprentice. Who he then also loses…
The Jedi who pass through the safe house are headed for the planet Jabiim. This planet featured in several now non-canon The Clone Wars era comics as the site of fierce battles. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Asajj Ventress all ended up there at one point. The planet has since been re-canonized with a much shorter history.
Read more about Jabiim here.
Corran Horn and Valin Halcyon
The graffiti inside the safehouse doesn’t just reveal than Quinlan is alive. The Aurebesh on the walls also reveals that a few classic Legends Jedi are canon again! Among the names is Valin Halcyon, who was renamed Hal Horn in order to hide the Jedi padawan during the Purge.
Hal would later have a son, the fan-favorite Legends Jedi Knight Corran Horn. Interestingly enough, there was character named Corran appearing in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 2, which left some fans wondering whether the police-officer-turned-Jedi-mentor who often appeared in stories about Luke’s Jedi Academy would one day return.
Read more about Corran and Valin here.
The name Roganda Ismaren is also graffitied on the safehouse wall. She may also be familiar to Legends fans, but it’s also a bit of a bizarre shoutout, emblematic of the beloved but wacky Bantam era. She appeared in the novel Children of the Jedi as a Force-sensitive former consort to Emperor Palpatine. Her son later became the one-off New Jedi Order villain Lord Nyax.
Djinn Altis is another relatively obscure Legends Jedi, first mentioned in that same novel as Roganda, Children of the Jedi, and later fleshed out in a Clone Wars era novel. He was the leader of a Jedi splinter group, the Altisian Jedi, who believed members of the Order should be able to take multiple apprentices at one time, as well as be allowed to marry. He’s also notable for being the mentor to Callista Ming, Luke Skywalker’s love interest from Children of the Jedi.
Nur and Fortress Inquisitorius
The Inquisitors also have their own dramatic base. The Fortress Inquisitorius is located on the ocean moon of Nur, which first appeared in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order after a mention in the Marvel Darth Vader comics.
Mapuzo and Tawl
– Mapuzo is a new planet. Its landscape and folksy miners seem to be based on the American southwest.
– Obi-Wan and Leia claim they’re from the planet Tawl, another new place.
NED-B and R5
– This is the first appearance of the “loader” droid represented by NED-B, the strong-but-silent (until its owners let it speak) mining droid.
– The little guy seen beside the larger mining droid when Obi-Wan lands on the loading bay on Mapuzo is an R5-series astromech, a classic model that dates all the way back to 1977.
Imperial Probe Droid
In this episode we see the launch of the Imperial probe droids featured throughout the Original Trilogy era, especially in The Empire Strikes Back.
One of the background aliens in this episode is a Caskadag, a design first seen on screen in The Force Awakens.