Actor Kumail Najiani has had some very good years. First, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of the main faces of the cosmic team of Eternals. Then, he was cast in the highly anticipated Star Wars series. Obi Wan Kenobi. These are enough high-profile projects to be part of back-to-back – the editor of moon knight even wanted to put it in his own series.
According to a potential leak, his new role as Haja in the Star Wars universe will be a contact of Bail Organa – so he will apparently be a friend of Kenobi. His character can also be seen briefly in the project’s most recent trailer.
One has to wonder, though, how different is the experience of working on Marvel Studios projects from Star Wars? Luckily, someone thought to ask the actor that exact question in a recent interview.
The Star Wars-Marvel Difference
In an interview with Weekly entertainment, Eternals and Obi Wan Kenobi Actor Kumail Nanjiani has commented on his role and how his Star Wars experience differed from his time at Marvel Studios.
The actor noted how, with his time on the Marvel Studios project, “people [didn’t] really know these characters [or that] part of the MCU”, but for the next Star Wars series they were “really stepping into something that has been established for a very long time:”
“I think with Star Wars the difference was…Obviously working on Eternals is the MCU. Everybody’s such a fan of the MCU, but we kind of work with new characters, isn’t People don’t really know those characters and don’t really know that part of the MCU, so it’s a new universe that’s created as you go along, with Star Wars you really get into something something that’s been established for a very long time. It’s still the same visual language, people know these characters.
Kumail went on to admit how “[he’s] never done a job where every day you could feel everyone was grateful to be there,” something he felt strongly while working Obi Wan Kenobi:
“So for me, what sets Star Wars apart from any other work I’ve done is that the whole team was huge Star Wars fans. Every day, people wore Star Wars clothes, t shirts with Chewbacca on them. And everyone was really, really excited every day to work on Star Wars. And I’ve never done a job where every day you could feel like everyone was grateful to be there.
He clarified that “the joy for the crew was truly unique and special:”
“I was going to work and they were like, ‘Oh, you know what we did yesterday, we did this. And then we did this, and then we did that. And everybody was really excited about it. go to work every day. It’s something that everyone has loved since they can remember and the fact that they get to work on it has not escaped this team. So the joy for the crew was truly unique and special.
Kumail revealed that his character’s name is Haja and how “[he] I would love to play this character again” in the future, exclaiming how “[he’s] never had to play a character like this before: “
“That’s all I thought about. I don’t know how it feels, but yeah, I’d love to play that character again. Not just because of Star Wars, but he’s a really, really, really fun character to play. I have never played a character like this before. I think that’s a type of character that we haven’t exactly seen in Star Wars either with a crook, you know?”
To prepare for the role, the actor “searched a lot about [magicians and con men] to learn how to really play a character like this: “
“He can convince people to do things, so he’s a really fun character to play. And I’ve done a lot of research online about con artists and magicians as well. Because magicians, let’s face it, they’re kinda like crooks, aren’t they? They cheat people. So I really researched a lot of things about that to learn how to really play a character like that. And I love that so much character. It really would be a dream come true to play him again. Can we get Kathleen Kennedy here?
Love Star Wars Triumphs?
It’s interesting to hear how he felt so strongly the love and passion for Star Wars from those around him when he was working. Obi Wan Kenobibut i didn’t feel the same Eternals. Obviously, these are all newly introduced characters, but even then, you’d think there would still be a passion for Marvel in the air.
Hopefully all of that passion translates well to the screen and the next Star Wars project does well. However, it would be difficult for him to do worse than Eternalswhich was not well received by the masses.
As for Haja, the character of the actor, many had speculated that Kumail Nanjiani could play the infamous Hondo Ohnaka, who appears regularly in both clone wars and rebels animated series. While it appears that isn’t the case based on the actor’s quick look in the recent trailer, it’s ironic how he’s playing the same trickster.
Kumail is a great actor, so the more the better. Hopefully his character survives his encounter with Obi-Wan and can easily return in other projects.
Obi Wan Kenobi arrives on Disney+ on May 27.