Obi-Wan Kenobi: Kumail Nanjiani's Star Wars Character Is Something Fans Have Never Seen Before
Kumail Najiani teased how the character he's playing in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi will be different from anything seen in Star Wars so far.
The actor will soon debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Chloé Zhao's Eternalsarrives next month. But he'll also be hopping over to another Disney IP soon when Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney+. In anticipation of both the film and series, Nanjiani spoke to Rolling Stone about what it was like when he was offered a role in the Star Wars universe.
"My agents called me and it was the whole group of them that never call you. And I was like, 'OK, this is either amazing news or really awful news,'" Nanjiani said. "And they're like, 'They want you to play a part in Obi-Wan, and apparently, it's substantial.' So then I talked to [director Deborah Chow] and we had a great conversation. And the character sounded awesome — I was so excited about this character. We haven't seen this exact thing in Star Wars yet. This is like a new version of a type of Star Wars character we've seen before."
While the actor wouldn't go into further detail, his tease is certainly intriguing. Najiani joined the cast of Obi-Wan Kenobi back in March alongside Joel Egerton, Moses Ingram, Bonnie Piesse, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie. Despite the tantalizing nature of playing a new type of Star Wars character, Nanjiani said it wasn't the details of the show or role that won him over.
"[Deborah Chow] was trying to sell me on it. And I was like, 'I was gonna do it before the conversation!' It was kind of perfect," Nanjiani continued. "Right after quarantine, I got to do a job, in town, and it was in Star Wars. It was just the most joyful first job back possible. I didn't know how I could beat the experience I've had, which is a Marvel movie with Chloé Zhao, who is amazing, and maybe the greatest cast ever assembled, and then [to] have Obi-Wan as the next thing, with another really fantastic cast. Ewan McGregor! Really? I don't know where I go from there. [Laughs.] And so I decided to walk into the middle of the woods."
Obi-Wan Kenobi reportedly wrapped filming in August. The series does not yet have a release date, though it's expected to arrive next year on Disney+.