Given its placement within the Star Wars timeline, proper between the tip of the prequel trilogy and the start of A brand new hopethere are specific issues that Obi-Wan Kenobi simply cannot. At its core, the Disney Plus collection is a slow-simmering battle between the titular protagonist and his former protege, Darth Vader. However as epic because the lightsaber battles are, we all know neither can actually die. The identical goes for cute little princess Leia, each time she makes a daring escape with the assistance of Obi-Wan.
And that is a part of what makes the six-episode collection, which simply concluded its finale, so spectacular. Even with a lot already identified and lots of the characters analyzed and researched so totally, it manages to maintain the stakes and suspense excessive. Clearly Obi-Wan makes it by way of the present alive – however seeing him try this is among the finest Star Wars very long time. Even when life and dying aren’t at stake (for everybody), the emotional confrontations between these friends-turned-enemies will be as satisfying as a well-choreographed lightsaber duel.
This evaluation comprises spoilers for all six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi† For our evaluation of the primary two episodes, go right here†
Because the title implies, Obi-Wan Kenobi is centered across the Jedi Knight performed by Ewan McGregor. At first, he lives as a hermit on Tatooine, hiding himself and his Pressure powers from the Empire, which nonetheless plans to wipe out all remaining Jedi from the galaxy. He additionally makes positive to keep watch over Luke Skywalker from a distance – in a manner that is just a bit creepy. However as a retired felony, he’s drawn to at least one final job after Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped. Her dad and mom, eager to be discreet, enlist Obi-Wan to get her again to security.
From there, the present expands into extra than simply Obi-Wan as a person, specializing in his relationships with pivotal characters within the Star Wars universe. There’s Leia, who’s slowly shifting from reckless youngster to the ability (no pun meant) we all know her as an grownup, thanks partially to Obi-Wan’s steering. Over the course of six episodes, Obi-Wan additionally adjustments and steadily turns into himself once more, not solely when it comes to reviving his Jedi powers, but in addition within the compassion that’s so important to his character. And he does all this with a younger and impressionable Leia watching him – her fiery persona helps pull him out of his shell.
Obi-Wan additionally brings in a couple of new threads. Reva (Moses Ingram) begins out as the principle villain, a ruthless fighter fully fixated on Obi-Wan. And she or he makes an incredible traditional Star Wars villain, one who initially has no conscience however ultimately turns into likable — even when her parentage was very clearly telegraphed from the present’s opening moments. Plus, she has a particularly cool lightsaber. A lot of the different new characters are principally background materials, although they’re nonetheless entertaining at occasions, like Kumail Nanjiani’s tackle a con man masquerading as a Jedi.
However the obvious point of interest is between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader (performed alternately by Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, each of whom reprise the roles). Their fallout is the entire crux of the present. Leia is captured in an try to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding in order that an inquisitor, Reva, who’s a part of a small group of terrifying Jedi-hunting elite commanders, can acquire Vader’s favor. Father, in the meantime, is clearly by no means over the occasions of Revenge of the Sith, which, to be honest, burned him a lot that he wanted a sophisticated robotic go well with to operate. Each Obi-Wan and Vader appear to dream about nothing however one another, because the occasions of the prequel trilogy hang-out their sleepless nights.
Over six episodes, the present slowly builds as much as that final showdown between Vader and Kenobi. It spends a lot of that point exhibiting Obi-Wan re-discovering himself with the Pressure, whereas additionally recovering simply how terrifying Vader will be. Whereas lots of the Pressure customers on the present are adept (or wrestle straight like Obi-Wan), Vader has a uncooked energy that’s clearly unmatched. There are scenes wherein he drags victims behind him to scare individuals and a second when he manages to cease a big freighter midway by way of take-off with solely the Pressure. That is Vader on the peak of his powers – and a reminder of why the galaxy is so fearful of him. And even when a few of the stress is eased as a result of we all know they will each stay, it is nonetheless an unbelievable second—and completely traditional lightsaber duel—when the 2 ultimately go head-to-head within the closing. (In actuality, Obi-Wan comprises a handful of nice one-on-one motion scenes, most of which contain Vader and his laser sword.)
there’s nonetheless sufficient Star Wars foolishness in Obi-Wan† A lot of the large shock revelations are simple to foretell, the flashback sequences are very on the nostril, and the Pressure stays a mysterious, uh, pressure that appears to bend to the need of the present’s writers, similar to the Jedi and Sith . Characters additionally sometimes make mind-boggling decisions; Obi-Wan would have been a really totally different present if individuals had actually taken the time to verify their victims had been lifeless as an alternative of simply strolling away. It by no means will get too large, however you will need to droop your disbelief a couple of occasions on this house wizard present.
With its collection of upcoming books, reveals and flicks, Disney plans to re-fill each little void on the earth Star Wars timeline. (RIP expanded universe.) To date, the outcomes have been blended. Regardless of what my Kenner motion determine may need predicted after I was 12, Boba Fett’s internal life is not all that fascinating. He is extra fascinating as a thriller. However for Obi-Wan, a personality who’s an integral a part of this universe and but so usually performs a supporting function, it makes a number of sense to dig into this necessary a part of his story, one which additionally helped form the motivations of characters like Leia. and Father. It helps that Obi-Wan does a number of classical Star Wars issues very nicely – cool lightsaber battles; menacing villains; a good looking, lived-in world — along with telling an fascinating story.
So despite the fact that you know the way issues will finish, the present manages to make the highway to that conclusion a needed a part of the… Star Wars mythos – one which reminds you ways a lot enjoyable this universe will be.
All six episodes by Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming now on Disney Plus.