Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Avoided Watching Rebels to Play His Villain

Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on the Disney+ streaming service next week and hype for the series is at an all-time high. The series is set to bring back Ewan McGregor as the titular character and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, as well as introduce us to a major Star Wars antagonist in live-action. The series will bring Star Wars: Rebels villain the Grand Inquisitor to live-action and he will be played by Rupert Friend. During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor gave a little insight into his character.

"Okay, so basically the Grand Inquisitor is the chief of the Inquisitors, and he reports directly to Darth Vader. He's a pretty powerful member of the dark side," Friend says. "And some people who aren't familiar with Star Wars may or may not know this, but he used to be a Jedi. He used to fight for the forces of good as a temple guard. And he also is one of the people who trained Jedi in fighting styles, so he knows all the things that they know about fighting, and that makes him a pretty fearsome opponent."

The magazine also asked Friend if he looked at the animated series to develop his take on the character, and the actor revealed that he did not. "I really wanted to honor the character as I saw him, and so I almost deliberately did not see the animated interpretation. Myself and [director] Deb Chow and [writer] Dave Filoni and all of the guys really wanted to do something fresh that honored and was faithful to the spirit of the character without doing a kind of impression of anybody else's interpretation."

The trailers for Obi-Wan Kenobi gave us our l first look at Friend as the character, and it was pretty intriguing to say the least. Previously, the actor revealed some new information on his new role. While speaking with The One Show, the Obi-Wan Kenobi star broke his silence on bringing the character to life.

"It was a sweaty, sweaty suit and I did sweat buckets inside the prosthetics which would pour across my face at the end of a day," Friend revealed. "And make me look like a very, very miserable clown. But so worth it!" 

Friend went on to reveal his feelings on being a part of the amazing world Lucasfilm and Star Wars have created. The actor praises the fantastic stories the franchise has had over the years as well as how it felt to be a part of the new series: "It's amazing. They have literally built a universe over the years and the incredible thing about is the relationship between the stories and the fans is completely interlaced – they are as connected with those stories as those of us who make it and you really feel like you're in dialogue as you do it... It's an amazing thing to be a part of."

Lucasfilm and Disney+ describe the series as follows: "During the reign of the Galactic Empire, former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi embarks on a crucial mission. Kenobi must confront allies turned enemies and face the wrath of the Empire." Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere May 27th, 2022 on Disney+. The series stars Ewan McGregor, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Sung Kang, Moses Ingram, Indira Varama, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Rupert Friend, Simone Kessell and Benny Sadfie. 

What do you think about Rupert Friend's comments? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @NateBrail up on Twitter!