Obi-Wan Kenobi released on Disney+ last week to well-deserved hype. The series features an older and tired Kenobi, who after enduring the loss of almost everything he knew, is going through a mid-life crisis. He’s currently in isolation on the desolate sand planet of Tatooine. He was once a member of group of warriors called the Jedi. They are all but extinct. The Jedi are deemed social pariahs across the galaxy. Obi-Wan was hiding to evade capture and certain death from the Empire, under the rule of former chancellor-turned Emperor Palpatine.
The sad truth is that Obi-Wan made a promise to his friend and late mentor Qui Gon Jinn. Jinn found a slave boy on the planet decades ago. The boy helped the Jedi and in turn, the Jedi secured his freedom. Anakin Skywalker was no ordinary boy. Anakin was particularly strong with the Force. Obi-Wan promised Qui Gon Jinn he would train the boy. He saw this young boy become a man. He became a padawan and a Knight. The pair fought alongside each other. They became brothers.
This was not enough. Obi-Wan along with many in the Jedi Order failed to see Skywalker as an equal. Skywalker devoted years of his life only to not being given the rank of Master. Someone else saw greatness in Skywalker and exploited that. This led Anakin down the path to the dark side over many years. Obi-Wan had to watch the place that gave him meaning and purpose be destroyed in an instant. Obi-Wan Kenobi failed. He had broken his promise. He has spent ten years knowing the truth and what could have been. The people he called his friends and family are in hiding or long dead. His goal must be to preserve what is left of the Order by keeping watch on Anakin’s son: Luke Skywalker.
This show has been in development for quite some time. Ewan McGregor’s performance as the titular Jedi once played by acting legend Alec Guinness has been lauded for years after the release of the prequels. There was talk of a movie during the success of the Force Awakens. However, the financial and critical failure of Solo A Star Wars Story stalled plans for a film. Ewan McGregor expressed interest over the year in reprising his role much to the excitement of fans.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was finally announced at D23 in 2019. A happy landing indeed.
It was also announced Hayden Christensen would reprise his role as Darth Vader. The reaction could only be compared to Andrew Garfield’s rumors to donning the Spider-Man costume again.
I am so happy this series finally exists. John Jackson Miller wrote an excellent book called Kenobi released in 2013. The book according to director Deborah Chow served as an inspiration for the series but included no major plot points weaved into the show. The book perfectly shows Kenobi in isolation after Order 66 and trying to find meaning and purpose as Jedi once more.
Obi-Wan is now known as Ben on Tatooine. He is a simple laborer by day and keeps his eyes on Luke much to Uncle Owen’s chagrin who wants nothing to do with him. Joel Edgerton reprises his role and you can tell he is enjoying it. Edgerton makes each scene his own has he calls Obi-Wan out for his failure and shows little fear against those who are trying to hunt him down. Obi-Wan knows how to hide and the moment with the Jawas is just brilliant. He is a hustler. Qui Gon would be so proud. McGregor shines, for there is not a dull moment. He evokes such confidence, but shame. Fans of Star Wars: Rebels will rejoice since The Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother make an appearance. They are tasked with hunting down the Jedi.
Rupert Friend evokes Jason Isaacs fear and strength as he makes a daring speech to the people of Tatooine. The fifth brother makes terror look so easy. Sung Kang best known for his role as Han in the Fast franchise evokes the Darth Maul sensibility. Strike when necessary. I was hoping the actor from Rebels would have played him but Kang doesn’t disappoint.
Along comes Moses Ingram. SHE IS A BADASS. She plays Reva Sevander AKA the Third Sister. A ruthless, ambitious Inquisitor who feels a need to prove herself to the Grand Inquisitor and Darth Vader. I liken her to Shego from Kim Possible without the Disney Channel training wheels. Her ambition will somehow be her undoing. But she seems to be on the right track to take Kenobi out. The fact she was willing to wound her boss shows her cards early.
Also, it is so cool seeing a black woman with a lightsaber. I’M SHOOK.
Obi-Wan is forced to leave Tatooine when Bail Organa pleads for him to go save Leia Organa. I did not see that coming. Leia is also the progeny of Skywalker and must be kept hidden. Leia is just too precious for this world. She evokes so much strength, fearlessness, confidence, and spunk of the Princess who knows and love. Carrie is smiling down in adoration. Someone give the casting director a raise.
Kenobi must venture to Daiyu and must hustle his way to find Leia. He runs into the charismatic Haja Estree: a street-level con man working on the streets of Daiyu, posing as a Jedi. Kumail Nanjiani takes his comedic chops from Marvel and hits a home run. I feel some Hondo Onaka vibes and I am loving it. Haja is a scoundrel. I love the dynamic between Leia and Obi-Wan. Leia is a step ahead as Obi-Wan is trying to keep up.
We have been used to the Luke and Obi-Wan dynamic, I like how they change it up allowing Obi-Wan to step into a larger world. They narrowly escape death thanks to Kenobi getting his groove back with some slick moves. However, he needs to refresh himself fast in the ways of the Force. The ending of episode 2 was compelling but worried me since it may break the fabric of continuity. The Grand Inquisitor is supposed to meet his demise in Star Wars Rebels which is not for a couple of years. So I hope Reva’s attack against her boss is a simple fix in the bacta tank.
All in all, I enjoyed the pair of episodes. I look forward to Obi-Wan getting used to being Master again. John Williams never disappoints. It felt great to see Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa. He is always a win. The cast is stellar and the fun is just beginning for the next chapter in the star wars saga and the legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Fingers crossed for a rematch between Vader and Kenobi or a certain actor who is known for a particular set of skills making an appearance; he could use some guidance.
Mack’s Thoughts and Musings
First I wanted to thank Dumo for putting together a review and recap of the first two episodes of Kenobi. Here are some of my general thoughts about the premiere: I’m in agreement with Dumo—it was a real treat to see Obi-Wan Kenobi again. So many moments of the first two episodes hit just right: the music cues, the exterior shots of planets like Alderaan, the performances of McGregor and Ingram, and the gentle reminder to all Star Wars fans that Princess Leia is just as important as her brother, Luke Skywalker.
I’m excited to see the direction the series will take in the next few weeks and I can’t wait for Obi-Wan Kenobi to dive into Reva’s backstory. She’s tied closely with Kenobi and Skywalker, and unlike the galaxy at large, knows the truth about Darth Vader’s identity. The very existence of Darth Vader has been a secret up until this point; Emperor Palps was slow to reveal his mechanical right-hand man (or in this case—-handless) to the galaxy. This was a nice little touch that reminds me of a Legends book: Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. Once the galaxy becomes fully aware of Darth Vader, the rumors and secrets become ones of horrifying reality.
It’s a reality Kenobi will have to grapple with in the upcoming episodes. I love the role of Princess Leia in the show and I like how she challenges Kenobi. I also loved that Kenobi was reminded of Padme—cue the waterworks! All in all, I was mostly a fan of the first two episodes. I have some little nitpicky issues with the episode, but mostly I’m excited to see what future awaits the show. I’m a little concerned with the fate of Grand Inquisitor since he would have a later role in Rebels, but I’m sure the series will address whether he is injured or truly dead.
What did you think of the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let us know in the comments. For all things Star Wars and pop culture, check out our website! Stay nerdy.
2 Replies to “Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Premiere Spoiler Review”
Same I hope that the canon remains and the Grand Inquisitor is alive. Great reviews from both of you. Reva is my new favorite character and the actress who played Leia did a fantastic job. Looking forward to the rest of the episodes and I’m so glad this show got made. It’s a real treat for SW fans.
LikeLiked by 2 people
thanks nisar appreciate that the women of star wars never disappoint i agree so much long overdure and glad we got it