Disney Plus’ upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series is just about the hottest production in town, with fans around the world excited to see how Ewan McGregor’s return to the Star Wars franchise will fill in the (increasingly thin) gaps between movies.
And recently, we got more than a few clues about what to expect from the prequel sequel and sequel prequel (work it out), with Disney unveiling a large cast of well-known faces including Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma and Rupert Friend alongside McGregor and Hayden Christensen (apparently playing Darth Vader). But two cast members in particular caught our eye.
You see, the casting announcement also included the surprise appearance of Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Owen and Beru Lars, aka Luke’s aunt and uncle who had a short and tragic appearance in the original 1977 Star Wars before meeting a sticky end (which Luke got over… suspiciously quickly.)
While Edgerton and Piesse later played younger versions of the characters in the prequel trilogy (which McGregor and Christensen also starred in) no-one seriously expected the pair to return, especially given Edgerton’s much higher profile since that earlier role. But despite this they are back, which begs rather an obvious question…will their young charge Luke be in the series too?
Including them in the cast is certainly suggestive. The last time we saw Edgerton and Piesse’s Owen and Beru they had accepted Luke into their home at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and kicked off his eyesight-threatening sun-staring habit in the Tattooine desert. Obi-Wan Kenobi is set some years later, but before the 1977 Star Wars movie – and if Owen and Beru are in the series, it stands to reason that Luke would be knocking around in the background as well.
Previously, some had thought that the series might dodge the question of "young Luke", instead focusing on Kenobi’s other adventures between the two trilogies – but the fact that they managed to get Edgerton to sign on suggests a fairly meaty role for Owen is on the cards, which makes it hard to picture a version of the story that ignores Luke’s childhood on the moisture farm altogether.
If Uncle Owen has a big part to play, why wouldn’t young Luke? We know Luke has known “Ben” Kenobi for a number of years (albeit not too closely) by the time of A New Hope, so there’s room for some stories to take place in the unknown years of their relationship. Sure, Obi-Wan would have to keep his distance and you couldn’t show Luke being made aware of his or his future mentor’s Jedi heritage, but there’s still wiggle room within that to explore their early days together.
Would Obi-Wan worry about Luke’s own path, given what happened to his father? Would he consider Luke’s training a risk (as Ahsoka did with Grogu in The Mandalorian), and prefer to leave him without a Force connection to remove the risk of him turning to the Dark Side? And what would he have to do to keep him safe from those who might try to corrupt or otherwise hurt him?
The possibilities are rich – and given Disney’s habit of dropping Luke Skywalker cameos in their streaming series (well, in one so far) we’d be more surprised if we didn’t see lil Luke crop up.
As to who could play the younger Skywalker is a mystery – for once, we feel like Sebastian Stan might escape the fancasting considering the fact that this would probably be a preteen Luke – and it remains to be seen whether his actor would be revealed before his appearance in the series anyway.
But from hereon out, we’ll be watching closely. Or taking a closer Luke, anyway.