6 'Star Wars' movies and shows to stream before you watch 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' on Disney Plus

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Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi.' Disney+

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  • The first two episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" hit Disney Plus ($8/month) on May 27.
  • The iconic Jedi has played a big role in many "Star Wars" movies and series.
  • You can catch up on all of the character's major film and TV appearances on Disney Plus.  

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"Obi-Wan Kenobi" is the latest "Star Wars" series on Disney Plus. The new show focuses on the Jedi Master 10 years after the events of "Star Wars Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," and nine years before Kenobi's first big-screen appearance in "Star Wars Episode IV — A New Hope."

Ewan McGregor returns to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time in 17 years. When the show picks up, Kenobi is still dealing with the guilt of losing his Jedi Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, to the dark side. The show's creator Joby Harold explained that the script aims to fill in pieces of the timeline to explain how Obi-Wan goes from fiery and passionate in the prequels (as played by McGregor) to the wise Jedi Master played by Sir Alec Guinness in "A New Hope."

Check out the trailer for 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

In addition to shots of Obi-Wan on Tatooine watching over a young Luke Skywalker, the trailer also shows Kenobi on a new adventure while the Empire attempts to track him down. The end of the trailer teases the return of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, who is played once again by Hayden Christensen. Christensen first played Anakin in "Star Wars Episode II — Attack of the Clones."

If you're looking to catch up on Obi-Wan's on-screen history before streaming the new show, there are several films and series you should watch. Below, we rounded up six "Star Wars" movies and shows that are essential viewing before you start "Obi-Wan Kenobi." All of our picks are available on Disney Plus, which costs $8 a month.

6 'Star Wars' movies and shows to watch before 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

'Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope' (1977)

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Lucasfilm

Stream "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope" on Disney Plus

Though the events of "A New Hope" take place last in the timeline of Obi-Wan's life, this is the movie that introduced audiences to the Jedi Master. We first hear the character's name in the now-iconic scene where a hologram of Princess Leia says, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." 

At the start of the film, Kenobi lives mostly as a recluse on the desert planet of Tatooine. After receiving the message from R2-D2, Obi-Wan gives Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) a lightsaber that belonged to Anakin, Luke's father. He then joins the young hero on a journey to rescue Leia. 

Sir Alec Guinness plays Obi-Wan in "A New Hope," and also appears as a ghost version of the character in "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi." 

'Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace' (1999)

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Lucasfilm/Disney

Stream "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" on Disney Plus

Set 32 years before the events of "A New Hope," the first "Star Wars" prequel features Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) as a Padawan training under Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). On Tatooine, they discover a 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker, who Qui-Gon believes to be the chosen one who will bring balance to the Force. 

The movie shows Kenobi in his prime as a young Jedi. It also features the first showdown between Kenobi and Darth Maul. Maul is a member of the Sith, the Jedi's sworn enemies.

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' (2008-2020)

star wars clone wars show

Lucasfilm

Stream "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" on Disney Plus

Obi-Wan and Anakin are main characters in "The Clone Wars" animated series. The show explores the period of time between "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" when the two Jedi fought together against Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

This show is actually the second "Clone Wars" TV series to be released. The first show was a 2D-animated program that ran from 2003 to 2005. That series is also available on Disney Plus but it's now considered a "Star Wars Legend" title. This means that it's is no longer part of the official "Star Wars" story.

The newer series, however, is part of the larger "Star Wars" canon, and it features a lot of character development. Specifically for the purposes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the show provides an in-depth look at who Obi-Wan was in the years leading up to his exile on Tatooine. 

"The Clone Wars" ran for seven seasons and a total of 133 episodes that can be broken down into mini-arcs. If you don't want to watch the entire series before the premiere of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," here are a few Obi-Wan-centric arcs to check out.

'Clone Wars' episodes focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi:

  • Geonosis arc: Featured in season two, episodes 4-8
  • Mandalore Trilogy arc: Featured in season two, episodes 12-14
  • The Mortis arc: Featured in season three, episodes 15-17
  • Zygerrian arc: Featured in season four, episodes 11-13
  • Deception arc: Featured in season four, episodes 15-18
  • Dath Maul Revenge arc: Featured in season four, episodes 19-22
  • Shadow Conspiracy arc: Featured in season five, episodes one and 14-16

'Star Wars Rebels' (2014-2018)

twin suns star wars rebels lucasfilm final

Lucasfilm

Stream "Star Wars Rebels" on Disney Plus

Though "Star Wars Rebels" is set a few years after the new "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series, Darth Vader is a prominent villain in the animated series and Obi-Wan plays an important role in one episode.

Fans looking to catch up on all things Obi-Wan before the premiere of the new show should check out season three, episode 20 of "Rebels," titled "Twin Suns." In this episode, the long-standing storyline between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, which was introduced in "The Phantom Menace," comes to a head in the form of one final lightsaber duel. 

Angela Tricarico

Streaming Editorial Fellow

Angela Tricarico is a Streaming Editorial Fellow for the Insider Reviews team, where she covers the latest in streaming services. In addition to her arts and entertainment reporting at the University of New Haven and for The Ensemblist, she has a background in theater and loves to tell people what it means to be a dramaturg. When she's not writing, you might find her reading comics or a book club pick, cooking, baking, or trying to catch up on the last ten years of television.

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