Somehow, Obi-Wan Kenobi returned.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was released in 2022 and is a mini-series exclusively on Disney+. The show stars Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Moses Ingram as Reva, and Hayden Christiansen as Darth Vader. 10 years after the devastating downfall of the Galactic Republic, and rise of the EMPIRE, former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi must come out of hiding in order to aid an old friend.
There are few things I, and many others, have wanted to see since Disney took control of the Star Wars brand, and a project staring Kenobi was at the top of my list. It’s hard to say I didn’t have massive expectations going into the show. The limited series is 6 episodes long, each around 45-55 minutes, off the bat. I wanted to take my time before sharing my thoughts on the show, as the last time I jumped the gun on a Star Wars show it was The Book of Boba Fett, and let’s just say, while it has cool moments, I have not watched it since and do not plan to again anytime soon.
To put it mildly, what Obi-Wan does right, it does RIGHT.
What Obi-Wan does wrong, it does very WRONG.
The return of Ewan McGregor was, no doubt, “A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.” His first line of dialogue is nothing major, yet, to hear Ewan back again, brought great warmth to my heart. His voice felt like reliving a childhood memory. He is spectacular, and while what he’s given to work with, at times, can be rough, he puts in 110%. I loved seeing him again, and by the finale, his homecoming felt earned.
Of all the stories they could have told, they made a very wise decision to not have it all take place on Tatooine. We’ve seen enough desert planets in recent Star Wars projects and it was nice to see a familiar character in unfamiliar territory. All the different sets and new locations were cool, and the story does a good job, location-wise, keeping a good balance between what hardcore and casual fans will know.
The action is all exciting and makes even the dullest episode, still seem memorable. We were promised the rematch of the century between Kenobi and Darth Vader, and I’m happy to report, that is exactly what we get. We get to see Vader at his prime, in general, which was awesome. There’s this part where someone literally just looks at Vader and he just casually uses the force to break their neck. Good stuff, man. The show has plenty of moments that add to Kenobi and Vader’s relationship, and one moment, in particular, that adds to Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s time together that was achieved in a tasteful manner.
John Williams came back to score only the main theme, in this case, you won’t be humming it after your time with the show, but it does make Obi-Wan feel a bit more a part of the Star Wars mythos, and feels rewarding in the right ways.
When you hit play on the first episode, you might notice that the recap feels a bit long. In my case after about a minute, I decided to skip it, to get into the real meat. When I hit the skip recap button, to my shock, it took me to around the 4 and a-half minute mark, which only lead to the title card, which then lead to the Star Wars opening animation. Definitely what I would consider a red flag, boys. Not the greatest way to start your show, for future reference.
We’re then introduced to the Inquisitors, which are Jedi hunters, and honestly, you could just as easily replace them with a no-name bounty hunter and I don’t think anyone would be upset. Though, maybe not, as the no-name bounty hunters that are briefly in the show, can’t chase a 10-year-old girl through the forest when a literal stick is in their path so, yeah, maybe not. The Inquisitors exist in this story to bring Vader to the attention of where Kenobi might be, and that’s about it.
Reva. She is a new character, an Inquisitor, and has an obsession with hunting Kenobi. The actress does what she can with the material given. Nothing against the actress. Her character though is given much, much more screen presence than needed (or wanted.) When rewatching the show, I plan to skip basically all scenes including her. The exception is a fight between her and Vader, where he lays her out which was very satisfying. Although, there is one scene including her and Vader that goes against the version of the Sith Lord that is presented in this show.
One smaller aspect that most people won’t care about, but I’m going to bring up anyway was the really weird use of handheld camera angles. At times it’s used to symbolize anger, which is shown well in a scene of Vader walking down a hallway. Then, it’s used in a shot of people just walking?? If you’re specifically going to use this filmmaking technique to establish a mood within a character, you can’t just use it whenever you want, otherwise, it takes away the impact of the entire purpose of the idea as a whole.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is not quite where the fun begins, unfortunately. It’s very hard to sit here and not say I wanted more, but, I am still happy with what we got. At times you will find yourself saying, “No, R2, we need to be going up, not down.” Yet moments, when you’re able to remember why you love this franchise, are just enough to keep the show from being forgotten. Besides, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”
[My Grade for Obi-Wan Kenobi is a B]