Year after year, Kumail Nanjiani finds himself picking up some of the best roles in Hollywood. And both this year and next year, he’s got two great projects, both stemming from the Disney umbrella. On Nov. 5, he’ll appear as one of the heroes in Marvel’s Eternals. And sometime next year, he’ll also be starring alongside Ewan McGregor in Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
We don’t know much about Nanjiani’s role in the Obi-Wan series beyond the fact that he’s a part of the cast in some major role. But the actor did get a chance to speak about filming the series in a recent interview with Rolling Stone (via ComicBook.com).
For the most part, even though Nanjiani has become quite a big star himself, he seemed absolutely star-struck that he got to work with Ewan McGregor for this Star Wars project. He recalled in the interview:
"I’d heard Ewan [McGregor] was super nice. And then we got to know each other a little bit, just hanging out and talking. Then there was this weird moment where I’m talking to Ewan and they yell “Action,” and he’d started talking to me, and I was like, “Oh, I’m talking to Obi-Wan right now. This is not Ewan McGregor. This is Obi-Wan Kenobi that I’m talking to.” My character is supposed to be a little bit intimidated by him, and I was a little bit intimidated. You know, it’s f*cking Obi-Wan, what are you gonna do?"
So, that’s one clue about Nanjiani’s character in the series: he definitely shares some scenes with Obi-Wan. And his character is supposed to be intimidated by him — so we’ve got a bit of a power dynamic going on.
But, on top of that, the actor also shared what it was like working on the set using the Volume — the large-screen technology first used in The Mandalorian. He said:
"The first scene we shot, it was Star Wars outside the windows, with aliens walking around and ships flying by and all this stuff, but the rest of it just looked like a warehouse. So I did a couple of takes and then Ewan was like, “You know, none of this is real.” I knew the windows weren’t real, but the walls weren’t either! I looked and I was like, “Wow, the walls are projected.” The only thing that was real in the whole room was the desk I was sitting at. It was wild. It was really, really exciting. I love shooting like that, because you don’t have to pretend that you’re on a spaceship flying through space. It really feels like you’re in a spaceship flying through space. And it’s amazing to be inside the world of Star Wars, the world that I’ve been watching since I was born."
Kumail Nanjiani in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series
Now, this still doesn’t tell us a ton about his character. And the whole “aliens walking by and ships flying by” is totally generic Star Wars stuff that can happen just about anywhere at any time. But if there is one particular detail to pick out, it’s the fact that his character sits at a desk at some point. Desks are for doing work — so, is he a professional of some sort that Obi-Wan has to consult? (Cara Dune, for example, sat at a desk for her job as a marshal in The Mandalorian.) Or, do he and Obi-Wan have to do some kind of research together?
Whatever the case, there was a recent rumor we covered just yesterday about Obi-Wan needing to rescue someone of importance. So perhaps this mystery person is Nanjiani’s character, and maybe he gets to play one of the handfuls of Jedi who escaped Order 66.
I’m thinking more answers about the Obi-Wan series will be revealed on Disney+ Day on Nov. 12. That’s just about a month away, so more answers should be coming soon!
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