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TV Series Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) Disney+ *Spoiler Section*

Obi-Wan Kenobi One Sheet.

While I do consider myself a Star Wars fan my fandom is limited to the live action shows and movies. Even though I've watched almost all of The Clone Wars animated series I never really connected with the ongoing stories of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Though I did like the first prequel, The Phantom Menace, the two subsequent prequels I've always found to be difficult watches. Largely because we get too much in the way of Jedi. They no longer feel special or formidable. In fact with so many youngling Jedi, in addition to all the adult Jedi, being a Jedi seems more like a trade that anyone could study.

I mention all of this to say, as much as I do like Ewan McGregor, a series or movie about Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn't anything I was hoping to see but it's live action Star Wars so of course I'm going to watch. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is set a few years after the  last prequel, Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan, now going by the name Ben, has made something of a despondent life for himself on Tatooine as he watches over Luke Skywalker from afar.

As the Empire hunts down the few remaining Jedi, Ben is forced to come out of hiding to help an old ally.

As a series Obi-Wan Kenobi falls under the same category as The Book of Boba Fett in that, like that series, this isn't what fans of Kenobi had in mind when they pitched their ideas for a show. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you deliver something even more inspired that the fans embrace.

Unfortunately that hasn't been the case here with the reception being very mixed, much like the show.

The story itself is pretty strong as it unfolds, with an unexpected direction early on that totally makes sense, albeit executed in a very clunky manor. It's not totally clear why a washed up Jedi is the only option for this particular rescue mission given how well resourced Kenobi's ally is but you have to just run with it.

Early on the series has some obviously cringe worthy moments that are as unlikely as a Stormtrooper with any kind of accuracy with a blaster but, if you stick with it, later episodes feature some of the best live action Star Wars you'll see anywhere. Plus this is the most peak Darth Vader we've seen outside of the original movies, in live action, to date.

As I said, this isn't really the show fans were expecting. Kenobi, like Boba Fett in his show, is in a very different place to how he is remembered. He's a broken man going through the motions, only because he was charged with keeping an eye on Luke. That guy isn't going on any 'damn fool idealistic crusade'.

Fortunately, where the character ends up, could lead to a second series more inline with what the fans had in mind. Though at the time of writing no second series had been confirmed.

Kenobi is fine for what it is. It definitely has some strong ideas and makes some really strong contributions to bridging the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy. However it really didn't need to be that.

It could have easily been Obi-Wan going off on a series of damn fool idealistic crusades because, as the show notes, Jedi can't help wanting to help.

As it stands, I did enjoy watching it week to week despite some very questionable, eye rolling moments. However it's not something I'd rewatch with any great enthusiasm. Though I'm down for watching a collection of highlights any day.



Spoiler Section

I just wanted to comment on the final episode and its 15 to 20 ending scenes (well alright, maybe it's not quite that many but there was a lot of ends being tied up in the last 5 minutes).

  • Reva returns carrying young Luke having just crashed through Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's home looking to take down the kid. Neither Owen nor Beru say anything at all to Reva as Luke is returned. Not so much as a "If you've hurt him..." angry word or even a harsh stare.
     
  • Obi-Wan flies all the way to Alderan to say a few words to young Leia then immediately jumps back on his ship and flies off. Leia's parents don't invite him in for a catch up, drinks, or a meal? Does Obi-Wan have some place he has to be? Does he need to get home before the tradies he's booked to renovate his new 'crazy old man' pad show up?
     
  • Qui-Gon Jinn shows up just in time to help Obi-Wan renovate his new pad. Can other people see blue force ghosts or is this how Ben gets a reputation for being a 'crazy old man' who talks to himself? It's cool that Jinn shows up but he's kind of late to the party at this point because Kenobi has already resolved his uncertainty and is focused on setting up his new digs.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of this kind of multiple endings to tie threads up with a series of disjointed scenes. Especially if they don't really leave you with any kind of hook to keep you engaged in any way. Just one ending where everyone gets a medal (even the Wookie) is fine with me.


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