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SYFY WIRE obi-wan kenobi

Hayden Christensen teases 'very powerful Vader' in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but how much will we see him?

Vader's back, but we still don't know for how long.

By Matthew Jackson
Hayden Christensen GETTY

The much-anticipated first trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi arrived this week, and it gave us a lot of what we were hoping to see in the Disney+ miniseries. Ewan McGregor's glorious Jedi beard is back, the Sith Inquisitors are on the prowl, and young Luke Skywalker is playing around on Tatooine, unaware of his destiny as one of the galaxy's most important people. 

Sadly, though we heard him a little bit in the background of the teaser, one thing we didn't see in the footage was the long-awaited return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, who by the time of the series is fully transformed into the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader. We've known about Christensen's involvement in the show for a while now, but many questions remain over how much the show will actually use Vader himself. And of course, Christensen isn't spilling any spoilers about the show. 

"We're going to see a very powerful Vader," Christensen told EW as the outlet released the first image of the Dark Lord from the new series.

The image itself, which you can check out over on EW's site as an exclusive reveal, also doesn't give us much. We see Vader in silhouette emerging from what looks like his meditation and recovery chamber in his castle on Mustafar, drafted head-to-toe in his signature black armor. When asked if the castle's interior would also give us a chance to glimpse Vader without his helmet several years after his burning in Revenge of the Sith, Christensen replied that he was "sworn to secrecy."

It makes sense that Vader's level of involvement in the show is a major secret that Obi-Wan Kenobi viewers will need to discover for themselves, particularly since the show is focused heavily on the idea of Jedi hunters trying to track down the title character even as he watches over young Luke on Tatooine. In A New Hope, Vader seems to suggest that it's been years since he's seen his former Master, which would still technically be true even if they did cross lightsabers in the series, but it's also entirely possible Vader will be watching from the sidelines the entire time. 

Here's how Kenobi writer Joby Harold explained Vader's presence in the show while still keeping a lid on spoilers. 

"His shadow is cast across so much of what we do," Harold said. "And the degree of his proximity to that shadow is something that we'll discover. But he is very much a part of the show emotionally for Obi-Wan, and possibly beyond that as well."

Just how far beyond the emotional connection Vader will go is something we'll probably have to wait a couple of months to discover. Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives May 25 on Disney+.