We go over the best of the first two episodes of this series highlighting what fans should look forward to and why they must check it out
When I first left the theatre after Revenge of the Sith I remember having this feeling of completeness. The prequel trilogy, after years of hype during my childhood, with the Star Wars special editions, and Star Wars: Tie Fighter wars, had finally reached its end.
There was a finitude to that strange and weird moment. This question about what to do with my life now that Star Wars was finally over.
Instead, we had a rebirth. A spin-off series, some sequel movies, and a George Lucas selling his rights to Disney. Actions that brought about some of the greatest Star Wars expansions of all time.
It’s been close to two decades since we’ve last seen live-action Obi-Wan. Two decades since the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, when we saw him undergo birth by fire in his transformation into Darth Vader.
Why a sequel was needed, nobody really questioned nor cared. Because we’re here now, to see the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the creation of Jar Jar Binks, George Lucas once defended that despite fans finding the character somewhat annoying, it was never for your average fan. You see, Star Wars was meant for kids. A brand that we’re likely never going to leave behind. Seeing these characters return. Seeing what’s happening in the now.
It reminds us of better times. Obi-Wan provides this strange glimmer of hope. An ember against the darkness of an empire. A budding beginning against the militarized leaders and imperial states.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 1 and 2 Review
The story picks up right at the end of the prequel trilogy, with glimpses at the worst moment of the Jedi order: Order 66 executions at the Jedi temple. It’s a moment of epic lightsabers, padawans, and an attempted escape. Soon after, the series explores what Obi-Wan has been doing on Tatooine all this time. Knowing full well what all Star Wars fans do: that at some point, certain benchmarks must be reached in the inevitable bridge between this series and A New Hope.
What’s best about Kenobi, is that the episodes are unafraid of tackling adult themes. It’s less the pretense of the premise, and more, Obi-Wan coming out of hiding for one last necessary mission. For that reason alone, this subversion of fandom expectations, makes the first two episodes are really cool. Add on some celebrity cameos (Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers was one. Kumail Nanjiani is another) and I can’t stress enough, that what makes this so refreshing: is that they somehow found a way to genuinely surprise you still.
It should be noted that this isn’t the Obi-Wan from the prequels. This is not a Jedi Knight at the height of his capabilities, but rather, a broken, old man Obi-Wan Kenobi. A man who’s willing to explore the scourge and filth of society to sort of do what needs to be done. Which I will omit for the sake of spoilers.
Probably the biggest mark of the series is the introduction of inquisitors. Jedi hunters and former Jedi themselves, who go after all the remaining Jedi across the galaxy. Led by the Grand Inquisitor, these terrifying villains make their slow-moving entrance scouring Tatooine. The planet that, for such an Outer Rim backwash station, seems like the setting for almost every single major story in the galaxy.
Regarding the inquisitors, the most intriguing of the three introduced in the series is easily Reva. Moses Ingram is nothing shy of fantastic in her role, providing a terrifying performance. A strong and willing to do any deranged thing to get the job done sort of character, she is someone that’s excelling as a villain as she is genuinely scary. Why exactly she so badly wants to hunt Kenobi is arguably the biggest threat and thread in the first two episodes, as finding the big fish for the group, seems to be locating the old Jedi Master.
The inquisitors overall make for some fantastic villains in the series that creepily feel reminiscent to the Gestapo. The entire thing has some strong holocaust themes. Given the imperial nature of Stormtroopers being inspired by WW2 Germany, it does make sense why Star Wars has gone in this direction. It just feels as equally scary as it is sad… and serves as a great way to introduce the series villany themes.
Most audiences thought this was going to be strictly about Obi-Wan which is why it’s awesome that the coolest thing about the first two are seeing Leia in her kiddo years. She’s sort of everything we love about the character and it’s great to see the roots of her badass character begin to take shape here.
There are also, a lot of parent-protecting children vibes. Like Mando and Grogru, you start to see that type of relationship with Leia and Kenobi. All for what feels like a Logan story with very Lone Wolf and Cub vibes.
It’s impressive that we got to see the kids, specifically Leia, as young actress Vivien Lyra Blair, hits kiddo Leia’s portrayal with just the proper amount of snark, wisdom, and courage beyond her peers. Excellent job all around.
It’s amazing to say that there really aren’t that many bad moments in the series. The shaky camera work for some of the scenes. Maybe the ‘new canon’ that’s got me questioning, why did Princess Leia send a message to Obi-Wan saying, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” if she was going to be so prevalent in this series. It feels very different watching it from the lens of the present, into the past. Though there’s still room to fit the retcon if needed. Overall, it’s a fantastic series that no Star Wars fan should miss.