Did the new series, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, hit the floor running or stumble a little out the gate? Let’s find out.
For many fans, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series has been met with bated breath as Star Wars fans high expectations are so rarely met and the fear that one of the fanbases favourite characters would be done dirty. So I watched it wondering if it would meet those expectations now I want to answer the question, has Kenobi met expectations? For the first two episodes, it looks like things are going well.
This isn’t the best first episode in the world, but it does convey very effectively the context of the situation that we find our titular character in. Kenobi is a broken man after Order 66 and believes he himself is part of the reason as to why the Jedi lost. It’s slow, but it is necessary to really understand what Kenobi is dealing with and where he is at this time of his life.
The newly introduced characters are interesting with Reva, the Third Sister, topping the list. She is full-on dark side in this, and her rage fuelled escapades are a joy to watch. She wants to prove herself to Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor despite the prejudice set against her. It’s interesting to see a character overcoming prejudice whilst still acting evil, it’s an interesting dynamic. She doesn’t seem to be want to be good and merely wants to excel in her field amongst the Inquisitors so rather than her overcoming prejudice being a part of her defection to the light, it might prove to be the foundation of her eventual failure. It’s a great way to depict the power hungry, ouroboros-like quality the Sith have.
Of course, the star of the show is still Ewan McGregor who gives a touchingly emotional performance. It’s great to see McGregor getting to work with better writing than he had during the prequels. This isn’t a shift in character as drastic as Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi and it isn’t present in the series to simply to play with expectations, it’s a logical step forward for Kenobi’s character. Everything he believed and almost everyone he ever cared about, is gone.
The downside, as I saw it, was the very action movie-like way that they get Kenobi back into action. “Just one more job.” If you’ve ever seen Commando, John Wick, or really any action movie from the 80s, you’ll know what I mean. The protagonist is retired or “not that guy, anymore” but the higher ups need the best and by God, Kenobi is the only man who can get the job done. It feels very cheesy, but they need to get Kenobi back on the horse somehow. Could it have been more interesting? Yes, but it is serviceable and once we get to the second episode, you could care less.
Now that we’ve got Kenobi back in the mix, the series really starts to ramp up in episode two. Thankfully, we have left Tatooine and landed on Daiyu which looks amazing. It’s dripping with atmosphere and reminds me a little of Tokyo or someplace akin to that. Tall buildings, neon, and wet streets. Great stuff.
It was great to see during the action scenes the lack of lightsabres. That might sound silly given that this is Star Wars, but what it means is that the action scenes are more creative. Kenobi doesn’t just walk into a building, lightsabre at the ready, and mow down his foes. He has to be actually sneaky and keep his identity and abilities a secret. He does this both out of necessity as the Jedi are being hunted, and due to his own feelings of inadequacy as he struggles to come to terms with his perceived failure at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
It’s great and the rapport that Kenobi has with a 10-year-old Leia is fantastic. She seems to be able to give Kenobi some hope. Vivien Lyra Blair does a great job playing a wise beyond her years Leia that was an unexpected joy to watch.
There isn’t really anything to gripe about in episode two, it’s solid from start to finish with great performances and visuals aplenty.
This has been a very solid start for Obi-Wan Kenobi and it is sure to only get better as it goes on. And this is despite the fact that we kind of already know how this ends. Being able to make prequel stories interesting is an art in itself, as you have to get the audience to care how these events happened.
Be sure to check back here after every episode to see what we thought.
Watch Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ now.
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