Obi-Wan Kenobi: review of the Disney+ event series with Ewan McGregor

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For years, there had been rumors of a possible solo project on Evan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, thanks to the actor’s repeatedly expressed desire to return to the role of the beloved Jedi.

Started as a movie, but abandoned still in an embryonic state due to the Solo flop (it’s still unclear how it’s possible such a thing got released in theaters), eventually saw the light of day as a TV series event on Disney+ in the weeks that have just passed.

Before we say anything, we decided to watch the full 6 episodes of Obi-Wan. Expectations were really high, but were they met? (Spoiler: NO.)

Premise: The editorial team saw the series in the original language, and considering the many (too many) dubbing errors, it’s safe to say this was a wise move. Therefore, no comments will be made regarding the Italian adaptation. We add that the review contains SPOILERS, therefore: readers warned, media saved.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: the plot

As the title suggests, Obi-Wan Kenobi is all about the Jedi Knight played by Ewan McGregor: what we are presented with is a destroyed man in exile, who lives on Tatooine in hiding and his Force powers from the Empire: He’s a soldier who knows he’s lost the war but is still being asked to fight it, constantly watching over young Luke Skywalker from afar.

Fifth brother (Sung Kang) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.  © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  &™.  All rights reserved.
Fifth brother (Sung Kang) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

He’s not the Obi-Wan we met in the second Star Wars trilogy: he doesn’t talk like he used to, but his actions tell a story. McGregor’s return to the role he first played over 20 years ago and redefined for a second generation of Star Wars fans helps underscore his portrayal of an oppressed man trying to save what’s left of his legacy. In six episodes, Obi-Wan goes from a broken Jedi barely comfortable with the Force to a man who has regained Strength and meaning.

Before him is Moses Ingram’s Reva, a relentless and determined inquisitor who works for Darth Vader to hunt him down: in an attempt to find him, The Third Sister orders nothing less than the kidnapping of an old man’s daughter. ally: Princess Leia Organa. The beloved princess’s parents, trying not to draw too many prying eyes into the matter given the uncertain times, enlist Obi-Wan to bring her back to safety.

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Obi-Wan and the new characters

As of now, the show expands to be more than just Obi-Wan as an individual, focusing on his relationships with key characters from the Star Wars universe. There’s Leia, who is slowly transforming from a reckless child to the leader we know as adults, thanks in part to Obi-Wan’s guidance. Over the course of six episodes, Obi-Wan also changes and becomes himself again, regaining not only his Jedi powers, but also the compassion that is so fundamental to his character.

(L-R): Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.  © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  &™.  All rights reserved.
(L-R): Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

Then there’s Reva who, as slowly revealed, was a survivor of Anakin’s massacre in “Revenge of the Sith,” and became zealous to find Obi-Wan as part of a long drive to get closer. enough Darth Vader to kill him. for revenge. There’s a tragic story here, which you can infer from Ingram’s performance (as Reva is continually being destroyed and rebuilt in her quest for revenge) but it’s a story that strains the credulity of the whole affair. as Reva’s story ends with her gaze for Luke Skywalker, even though her goal is only to kill Vader: why? We do not know. We adjust it and that’s it.

But Dart Vader? Don’t worry, now we come to him too.

Darth Vader and Obi-Wan in the new Disney series

The focal point of the series is the relationship between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader (variously embodied by Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, both reprising the role): Obi-Wan and Vader seem to dream of only one of ‘other. , the events of the prequel trilogy haunt their sleepless nights.

For six episodes, the show slowly develops until the much-needed showdown between Vader and Kenobi. Most of the time, we’re shown Obi-Wan learning about the Force and at the same time re-establishing just how terrifying Vader can be. Vader has raw power that is clearly unmatched: there are scenes where he drags victims behind him just to scare people and a moment where he manages to stop a large merchant ship halfway up using only the Force. It’s Vader at the height of his powers and a reminder of why the galaxy is so terrified of him. And while some of the tension is removed because we know they both will live, the final showdown still manages to be an amazing moment (and an absolute classic lightsaber duel) when the two finally face off in the final.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his eopia in a scene from Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.  © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  &™.  All rights reserved.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his eopia in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

“Anakin is gone” are Vader’s words, “I am what remains.” His voice oscillates between the trembling Christensen and the baritone Jones. “I am not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did it.”: The only thrilling moment in the entire series, a perfect anticipation of the most sensational cinematic reveal that took place in Episode IV.

Obi-Wan doesn’t convince: The problems of the Disney TV series

Too bad, however, that practically all the rest of the series is to be thrown away, really terrible. Obi-Wan Kenobi became the story of a very boring man and various interesting women who sublimate their personal narratives in not-too-exciting lightsaber fights (the last one excluded of course).

The thing is, even the simplest rules of spatial logic are completely thrown out the window. The main characters keep trying to kill each other, then regularly walk away long enough for their injured opponent to recover. Why? Another unanswered question.

But the story doesn’t end there: The Third Sister (Moses Ingram) is a former young Jedi who has spent ten years joining Vader’s inner circle. This subterfuge required a murderous engagement for revenge – she became a fierce Jedi hunter. After all this time and so much sin, he chooses an absurd moment to strike: when Vader is alone, in a huge echoing cave, doing nothing. He sneaks up behind him and ignites his lightsaber – a notoriously noisy weapon – and almost knocks his feathers out: totally unpredictable, after all, it’s not that Vader is the most powerful Sith in the galaxy…

(L-R): Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.  © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  &™.  All rights reserved.
(L-R): Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

Back to Darth Vader and Obi-Wan: In their first big duel, Darth Vader takes full control of Obi-Wan’s body, forcibly lifting his former teacher and throwing him into a wall of fire with the intention of burning him vivid. . At some point, however, Tala (Indira Varma), a rebellious double agent, arrives, who after firing the blaster lights an oil canister, throws it away and raises the wall of flames, in the meantime managing to save Ob- Wan with the help of a droid. All in Vader’s silence. Exactly why would the upper flames render Vader’s Force powers useless? Yet another unanswered question.

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We really wish the nonsense would end there, but unfortunately the discomfort never ends.

Speaking of Darth Vader, in fact, in the secret headquarters of the underground network of fugitives known as the Path, the Sith Lord arrives at a space dock just as a ship flies through the air. Bring the ship ashore by force, then watch an identical runaway ship drift nearby, seemingly forgetting the powers it literally just used. He could close the game at this point, instead he decides to stay and watch the rebels as they flee.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Problems

Leaving the rest aside, the real issue is that most of the big surprise reveals are easy to predict, the flashback sequences are very enticing, and the Force remains a mysterious force (more or less, in part because after 11 films , countless series and fuetti we now have an idea) that seems to bend to the will of the show’s writers as much as Jedi and Sith. Obi-Wan would have been a much different show if the people who ran him had really taken a moment to understand Kenobi’s history and evolution.

Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) and Stormtroopers in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+.  © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  &™.  All rights reserved.
Fifth Brother (Sung Kang) and Stormtroopers in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. &™. All rights reserved.

However, it should be noted that Obi-Wan Kenobi suffered from a problem not just his own, but the entire Star Wars saga: the current state of the franchise is fragile to say the least, preferring to focus on passion old fans. at work to earn new ones. (Mandalorian excluded of course).

Given Disney’s expansive plans for this franchise, we hope Obi-Wan Kenobi will serve as a warning against the potential repeat of the same mistakes.

ps We loved Qui-Gon Jinn’s micro-cameo, definitely SPACE.

CREDIT COVERAGE: Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All rights reserved.

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