How Kumail Nanjiani Was Cast In The Obi-Wan Show

Kumail Nanjiani talks about how he landed his role and teases his mystery character in Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff series.

Kumail Nanjiani recently revealed how his casting experience went for Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff series. Although the show is one of the most highly anticipated projects in Lucasfilm’s slate of new projects releasing in 2022, little is known about the plot or characters — that is, apart from the actors who are set to reprise their roles from the prequel trilogy such as Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton, and Bonnie Piesse. In addition to these legacy actors, the show also confirmed a star-studded supporting cast that includes O’Shea Jackson Jr., Benny Safdie, Indira Varma, Sung Kang, and of course Nanjiani himself, among many others, though their roles are still shrouded in mystery.


Obi-Wan will pick up eight years after the cataclysmic events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, following the titular Jedi master during his exile on the desert world of Tatooine. The exact plot is still under wraps, though Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy herself confirmed that the series would feature a rematch between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader — a shocking revelation considering how many believed the pair’s duel on Mustafar to be their last interaction before their final clash aboard the Death Star in the original Star Wars. How Nanjiani will factor into this pivotal moment is still unknown, though his role is confirmed to be “substantial.”

Related: Sung Kang’s Obi-Wan Reveal Supports Darth Vader Inquisitor Rumors

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Nanjiani discussed just how he landed the role. Apparently, the process was an anomaly in the actor’s career, as he says that his “agents called [him] and it was the whole group of them that never call.” He goes on to express his excitement about his role, saying that audiences “haven’t seen this exact [type of character] in Star Wars yet.” Check out Nanjiani’s full comments below:

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.” 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. And she 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’s enthusiasm about the role is infectious. His tantalizingly vague teases are open-ended enough that the character can be just about anything in the Star Wars universe, from a Force-wielder to an alien storekeeper. Whatever his role may be, Nanjiani confirms that he will share scenes with McGregor’s Obi-Wan.

With Obi-Wan Kenobi rumored to release sometime around May next year, audiences won’t have to wait too long to see Nanjiani in the Star Wars universe. If his character is received well, hopefully the actor will return to reprise his role for future Star Wars projects similar to how Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera has appeared in numerous animated shows and games since his character’s debut in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With so much Star Wars content on the horizon, there’s bound to be opportunities for more Kumail Nanjiani in a galaxy far, far away.

More: Obi-Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader’s Rematch Will Break A Star Wars Record

Source: Rolling Stone

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