'Obi-Wan Kenobi': Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen on Darth Vader's 'Surprise' Reunion With Ben (Exclusive)

In episode three of the limited series, the two characters face off -- and both actors talk to ET about reuniting on set.

Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t wait long to reunite the titular Jedi Master (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). In “Chapter III” of the limited series, the two come face to face as the Sith Lord tracks his former mentor down on the planet Mapuzo, where Ben and a young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) ended up after fleeing Daiyu. 

Ahead of the episode’s debut on Disney+, McGregor teased that the moment “will be a surprise” -- and indeed it was. While speaking with ET, he and Christensen as well as director Deborah Chow opened up about the characters’ onscreen reunion, which will be the first of several before the end of the six-part series. 

“Getting to play these characters again and work with Ewan has been just the coolest thing,” Christensen said. “Ewan is someone that I have a lot of love for and a great amount of respect and admiration for. So, getting to do this with him, it has been huge.”


In the episode, Kenobi unexpectedly found himself face to face with his former predecessor after first being chased down by stormtroopers, who were on the hunt for the Jedi fugitive. While looking for a way to escape, Kenobi found himself drawn to Darth Vader’s presence -- and the fact that he was the force to torture the people of Mapuzo. 

But eventually, it’s just the two men, alone and armed with their lightsabers. And in that moment, a horrified Kenobi asks Vader what’s become of him. “I am what you have made me,” Vader responds (with James Earl Jones reprising his iconic voice role), telling his former apprentice that he “should have killed me when you had the chance.”

As the lightsabers crash, Vader moves in on Kenobi. And it’s become clear in the 10 years since their last encounter on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith that Vader has gained the upper hand on the aging Jedi Master. 

After being dragged through the flames – a fiery nod to their last duel -- Kenobi is eventually saved by an Imperial double agent named Tala (Game of Thrones’ Indira Varma), who’s able to distract Vader long enough for him to escape. 

“Given where we are in the timeline, [it] made a lot of sense,” Chow said of bringing them back together. “Especially given that we’re telling a story about a Jedi and hiding.” 

And for Chow, it was “incredibly exciting” to bring “dark side characters” to life here. “It was super cool,” she said. 


But given that this battle is far from over, there’s likely to be one -- or more -- duels before the finale. “There’s not just one scene with me and Hayden,” McGregor teased, noting that each of their encounters “are all different.” 

“I have such a love for Hayden and it was just amazing to be back on set with him,” McGregor said, explaining that “being back on set with Hayden was pretty full-on after all the work we did in the prequels and how much time we spent together, you know, in the fight gym and learning all the choreography for the fights [and] shooting together.”

For Christensen, it was also the first time he was back on set in full costume -- a moment that McGregor previously described as an “amazing” experience, especially given how many people showed up to set that day. 

According to the actor, “hundreds of people appeared [all over the set] and I was like, ‘Why are there so many people here today?’” Of course, they were all there to see Christensen as Vader. “Hayden walks out in the suit, and I was like, ‘Oh, of course, that’s why everyone is here. Everyone is here to see this moment,’” McGregor continued. 

Reflecting on that, Christensen said, “It was a huge deal for me.” 


“What was cool about working on this was so many of the crew members were, like, proper Star Wars fans. That’s sort of the fun of working on a Star Wars project, everybody’s really excited to be there,” the actor said. “I’m sure when they saw Ewan for the first time, they had the same response. But, yeah, that was a big moment for me.”

The series also gives fans an opportunity to see something new, especially what happened with Vader in the tens after the film and where he’s at in this moment leading up to A New Hope. “This is a time in the timeline that hasn’t been explored yet,” Christensen said. “There’s a lot of great character exploration there.”

“The series is very much about these characters trying to reconcile their past,” he continued. “I don’t want to give anything away, but Vader has a very strong character arc in this.” 

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi debut weekly on Wednesdays until June 22.