Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram talks representation in Star Wars

·7 min read

Moses Ingram knew she had hit the jackpot when she landed a plum part on Obi-Wan Kenobi (premiering May 27 on Disney+). Not only was Ingram getting to join the Star Wars galaxy, but she was getting to play a fearsome new Jedi-hunting Inquisitor named Reva.

While her character was destined to make an impact, Ingram wanted Reva to make an impact in another way as well — an impact that could be felt beyond the screen among the young Black fans of the franchise. "We had a lot of conversations about hair and what the right hair might be," the actress told EW when we first spoke back in March. "And [director Deborah Chow] was really great about moving from what the initial vision was for hair to what we arrived at for Reva's hair."

The goal for Ingram was not only to create an amazing look, but also to create a look that kids who resemble her could easily emulate. "Part of that conversation when I was talking to Deb and our hair department head was really that I wanted kids to be able to have the opportunity with their own hair at Halloween," she said. "And that's huge If you look at all the kids of color or Black kids with kinky hair. When they want to be Elsa [from Frozen] for Halloween, they can be Elsa, but they got to put on a blond wig. [Now] there are so many kids that'll be able to wear their hair at Halloween, and I think that's going to be really exciting as well."

Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

Matt Kennedy/Lucasfilm Ltd. Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

Now that Reva has made her debut in two tailers for the series, that impact is finally starting to be felt, and starting to sink in for the star, as she told EW when we caught up with her recently.

"I know it's going to mean a lot to a lot of people," Ingram says of playing such a prominent role in the Star Wars franchise. "It's important that when we turn on the TV, we see the world that we live in reflected back to us in what we're seeing. Representation is so important, and I feel so blessed that I get to be the vehicle that this character comes forth through. I am not worthy."

And now that fans have seen the look, the cosplaying has already begun. "Oh, it's wild," Ingram says. "I've already started getting different DMs from fans who've started building out their costumes already. It's hard to wrap my brain around."

With the Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere just a few days away, we asked Ingram to wrap her brain around a few other questions, and the Inquisitor told us just what it's like serving under Darth Vader.

Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

Lucasfilm Ltd. Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, what was it like working with Rupert Friend and Sung Kang on Team Inquisitors?

MOSES INGRAM: It was fun. Every time I hear Reva in my head, or when I say it, I say it [like Friend], because that's how Rupert would say it all the time when we were not working. Also, those two had to get in so much earlier because they had three hours at least of prosthetics, and they'd just be sweating through them, especially on the very hot days outside. And so I had a lot of fun with them for sure.

How about your suit? Did you get a little hot in there too?

Definitely warm, because it's tight and it's leather and it's holding everything. And we were working in days that were up to 100 degrees outside. It was very hot.

How much of Reva's backstory in terms of how she became an Inquisitor was something you and director Deborah Chow spoke about?

What was more pertinent to the story is who she is now, working for Vader, being a subordinate of his as a Jedi hunter, and to please him. She's there to please him, and who he wants is Obi-Wan [Ewan McGregor], and that's what she's there to do — working the offense and always being 10 steps ahead.

What's her energy versus the other Inquisitors, in terms of what does she bring that's a little different from everyone else?

She has no regard for what people think about the way in which she does things. I honestly think that's such a beautiful trait to have, to be like, "You know what? I feel this way, and if you disagree that's your problem and not mine." And I think that's part of what makes her who she is.

You told me last time we spoke that Reva is just like an athlete. And it sounds like you really got a workout filming this show. What was it like taking on some of the physical aspects of the role?

Super involved. It was intense for about four months, and then the upkeep even after that you have to do to keep your body agile and able to do the things that you need to be able to do. But once you get it, you feel really confident in your body, and you're less so worried about what you might not be able to hang onto or hold. So the training was a really important part of character building as well.

Joel Edgerton and Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Joel Edgerton and Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

Lucasfilm Ltd. Joel Edgerton and Moses Ingram in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

We talked a few months back about what it was like being part of the Star Wars universe, and that was after filming. Now that we're getting close to the premiere, and the two trailers have come out and you're doing the press rollout and everything, what has all that been like?

It's different. It's the first time that the fans are seeing us out as a cast together. And so it's really the first time that there's been real response from people in terms of what it is they're seeing. And so the fan part is new for sure.

How much do you pay attention to that? That can be a good thing, or it can be a dangerous thing reading all the reactions.

Yeah, it's twofold, so I try to mind my business. There's a lot of love out there and I'm grateful for the love. And there are also, unfortunately, pockets of hate. But when they go low, they expect us to shut up and take it. And personally, I don't want to get stuck in muck, so I don't get too far into that.

Whether you live or die by the end of this show, once a character is introduced in this franchise, they find ways to pop up elsewhere. Even characters like Cassian Andor or Boba Fett, or Darth Maul, who was literally sliced in half, find their way back on screen, so has there been any talk about potentially playing Reva beyond this series?

Well, it's Lucasfilm and Disney. They can absolutely do what they want. But what I do know is right now we got a limited six-part series and people can get all the Reva they want right there.

Well, if they come to you and they say, "We want more Reva at some point," what are you going to say?

I'd be down. Sure, why not? Sounds like fun.

Finally, Ewan told me he sometimes does a little Force wave with his fingers when he comes up on automatic supermarket doors to make it feel like he actually has the Force, and he's actually been caught by people doing it. Do you ever do that or try to Force-push things or make a choking motion if someone is pissing you off?

No, I've never done that, and I also did not know this about Ewan. But imagine being the person in the grocery store seeing Ewan McGregor walk into the store and doing a Force push on the door. I mean, that's a story that you tell it, no one is going to believe you.

Listen to interviews with Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani, Rupert Friend and more on EW's new Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.

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