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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ trailer brings Star Wars’ iconic Jedi to Disney+


By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

“Hello there.”

That’s what Star Wars fans were saying about the first look at Disney+’s upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which the company premiered Wednesday.

Disney showcased the trailer for the platform’s new Star Wars series at its annual shareholders meeting. It immediately went viral online.

Of course it did. Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most beloved characters, not just in Star Wars, but in all of pop culture. And if that isn’t enough, Ewan McGregor, who played the wise (and younger) Jedi master in the Star Wars prequels, is reprising the role in the Disney+ show.

The surprise trailer opens to the saga’s iconic “Duel of the Fates” theme before taking viewers to the desert planet of Tatooine, where the original Star Wars movie also began. Once there, the teaser introduces McGregor’s grizzled Kenobi, who is looking through binoculars at a child who is clearly Luke Skywalker.

From there, the teaser whizzes viewers through the Star Wars galaxy as evil Empire agents attempt to track down the last remnants of the Jedi order. The new series takes place before the events of the original trilogy, but slightly after the prequels.

“The fight is done,” McGregor’s dour Kenobi says in the trailer. “We lost.”

The series, which debuts May 25, is arguably the biggest premiere for the Star Wars franchise on Disney+. Although “The Mandalorian” helped build the service into a streaming powerhouse, “Kenobi” acts as a bridge between two sets of blockbuster trilogies and could drive Disney+ to even greater heights.

McGregor isn’t the only returning star. Hayden Christensen is also reprising his role as the young Darth Vader.

All of this is great for fans, who cannot wait to see McGregor return and discover what made the character into the Obi-Wan they met in 1977’s “Star Wars.”

And it’s a big deal for Disney, which has put most of its eggs in the Disney+ basket.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is the kind of series that should bring in a trove of subscribers while keeping those who already signed up very happy. Disney+ currently has nearly 130 million subscribers, behind only Netflix and Amazon Prime, no small feat given that it just launched in November 2019.

That’s important to the company’s bottom line and stock price as it competes with so many others in the hyper competitive streaming marketplace.

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