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Whether it’s the dark cloaks, ruby-red lightsabers or the tangible air of menace which surrounds them, there’s something unquestionably iconic about a Star Wars villain. From the dual-bladed wielding Darth Maul, the volatile Kylo Ren or the original Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, few fictional bad guys manage to ascend the dizzying heights to become true pop culture icons like those which come from that very famous galaxy far, far away.
In honour of the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi Master, we got to sit down and talk lightsabers, villainy and more with the latest Star Wars baddie set to grace our screens and capture our imaginations. Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) joins the Star Wars franchise as Reva Sevander, or the Third Sister, a member of the Imperial Inquisitors whose job it is to hunt down and purge the last remaining Jedi who survived Order 66. Fans of the Star Wars: Rebels animated series will be familiar with the leader of Reva’s order, the Grand Inquisitor, who is also set to appear in this latest series played by Rupert Friend (Homeland, Anatomy of a Scandal).
“It’s sick,” Ingram enthuses about her joining the ranks of Star Wars villains. “And I’m so glad that I’m the person to bring to life Reva Sevander in this series. It was great fun for me.”
As for the inevitable action figures and merchandise that are part and parcel with playing a Star Wars character, “Oh, I’m making as much [shelf] space as I can. I think that’s been really wild seeing myself in toy form.”
When asked what it is that sets Reva apart from the greatest Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, Moses explains, “Well, I think there is some part of Vader that knows that he was taught by the best. And, you know, I think… Reva doesn’t have that.
“[I’m] theorising that [doubt] may exist within Vader… that thing that [he’s] always fighting against… [While] she has nothing that she’s always fighting against, because she just believes that she’s the best.”
Moses herself admits that coming into the role she was not overly familiar with Star Wars lore, and her introduction to the franchise came mostly through the new series. “I had not seen any of the movies,” she admits. “Believe it or not, I’ve seen one of the later ones with Daisy [Ridley] and John [Boyega], but this series was my introduction into the galaxy far, far away.”
While this may surprise some, Moses feels there is an advantage in coming into the role cold. “I prefer [it] that way,” she explains. “I feel like sometimes when you love something, it’s hard to separate the love and the work… I think with this, it has afforded me the opportunity to get to know it and get to love it through moments and memories and people and now friends and, you know, I’m more of a fan than I think I would have ever been before.”
Not being an existing fan of the franchise certainly didn’t hamper her enthusiasm for getting the chance to swing a lightsaber around, and, like Ewan McGregor, she sometimes had problems stopping herself from making the accompanying noises. “It was very fun to do the noises,” she admits. “But we also had these lightsabers in training that they made the noise for you, you would swing it and it would go ‘vmmm’ for you in your hands. Very magical.”
Of course, learning to use a lightsaber is not all fun and games. Moses describes the training regime as “very intense” for five months – and then there was also upkeep throughout shooting. “So about like nine months where it’s really training. And [when] you really think about it I was in the best shape of my life, twirling with no problem. I mean, of course, when you start it’s not… not pretty.”
Intense lightsaber training was not the only challenge that Moses faced, and shooting in the desert landscape which would stand-in for the harsh world of Tatooine had its own set of difficulties. “It got really, really hot in the summertime,” she recalls, “especially those days in the desert. We sort of were shooting in this like hole in the ground, so the sun would just beam into it. And you know, we’re wearing leather and Sung [Kang] and Rupert had all of these prosthetics. It was rough.”
Charting the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi has made its streaming debut with the first two episodes available now, only on Disney+.
LEAD IMAGE: Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars and Moses Ingram as Reva in Lucasfilm’s ‘OBI-WAN KENOBI’, exclusively on Disney+