Not the series you’re looking for – The Quinnipiac Chronicle
When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, then-CEO Bob Iger announced a flood of new “Star Wars” content with talk of an “Obi-Wan” solo production processing film made the rounds when “The Force Awakens” took off in 2015.
But it was a time when “Star Wars” found itself in the midst of a huge resurgence. Fans rejoiced at the prospect of seeing new adventures. Now, IP has fallen far from its peak, sinking to a point where the best deals are timid, messy TV installments on Disney+.
Outside of a collection of satisfying moments, the return of a few classic characters, and a few fun callbacks, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is unfortunately no exception.
The new series released its final episode on June 22, wrapping up a chaotic six-episode run that made it difficult to think of a proper consensus for the project.
“Kenobi” finds the titular fan-favorite at a low point, rummaging aimlessly around the overtly familiar planet Tatooine. His job is to quietly watch over a young Luke Skywalker and protect himself from a band of bloodthirsty Inquisitors, who make it their mission to hunt down the last remaining Jedi.
Star Wars fans, fickle and aloof as they are, were treated to the show’s first scene, providing another glimpse into the universe’s most infamous event, Order 66. The Intensity flashback sets the tone for what we originally had. thought was going to be a dramatic look at Obi-Wan’s tragic years after the Clone Wars. Instead, the show’s first minute and 29 seconds is its de facto peak, never overcoming its energy deficit.
The show spends most of its opening episode depicting a typical day in the life of an elderly Kenobi, voiced by Ewan McGregor. The ancient Jedi Master’s mundane routine is finally interrupted by a call for help from Alderaan and a new adventure to save Luke’s twin sister, Princess Leia Organa, from a particularly ruthless inquisitor.
This premise was ultimately the show’s downfall in our eyes. The particularly fast-paced plot setup made it worthy of what is normally a two- to three-episode arc in any other show. However, as the third episode ended with Leia falling back into the arms of the Inquisitors, it became tragically clear that this was going to be the direction the series was going to take. At that point, fans were forced to stay for the ride or jump ship right there.
Performance all around was solid. McGregor delivered a quiet, melancholy work throughout and occasionally burst out with a painful energy that tells of all the misfortune that befell him during the prequel trilogy. Hayden Christensen’s hyped return as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader was more than welcome, and it’s hard to deny how cool it was to see him back on screen.
Although louder than necessary on a few occasions, Moses Ingram correctly conveyed the aggression and anger of Reva Sevander, a member of the Inquisitor team. The writing began to fail in its development towards the finale, but it rightfully escaped racist negativity and hate. directed at her by fans onlineand it will be interesting to see if she resumes her role on the road.
However, the main issue that overshadows the entire series is the aforementioned writing, which largely failed to build proper development arcs for any of the show’s core themes or concepts. Running for a total of 270 minutes, the series found itself trapped by a truly terrible pacing.
Iconic character beats and surprising developments were rushed and pushed aside as soon as the tension mounted, while more mundane setups and introductions went on too long. It’s one of the worst types of story problems, and none of the individual installments could escape the mess.
The problems continued even further. In any given episode, there were far too many weird gaps in logic, weird errors in continuity, obvious plot flaws, and bizarre creative choices for camera work, to name a few- one. Director Deborah Chow impressed with her work in the first season of “The Mandalorian,” but that show’s creative spark didn’t quite resurface here.
Some of the show’s plot beats, especially during the second half of its run, seemed to have been developed as an attempt to enlighten the audience.
At the end of episode four, we were introduced to two rebel fighter pilots as they rushed to extricate deus ex machina Obi-Wan from a crucial traffic jam. When one of the pilots is shot down, the characters spend the last five minutes of the episode mourning them, leaving me screaming at my screen and wondering if we’ve ever met these characters before. We didn’t. Mourning the death of a character introduced less than a minute in advance isn’t worthy of a three-minute morbid session from the titular character, no matter how you cut it.
An episode later, Reva is rightfully humiliated in a duel against the original Darth Vader, with her signature red lightsaber plunging into her torso as a winning move. While struggling to stay alive, Reva learns that Luke is being kept on Tatooine, unfortunately due to some unusual incompetence by Bail Organa, and decides to leave.
However, in the final episode, Reva is seen searching the planet for young Skywalker with no evidence of the normally fatal injury she suffered minutes earlier. It may have been unintentional, but this way of writing almost comes across as an insult. Thanks to her seemingly easy survival, the writing team hinted that former young Reva is stronger than former Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who died almost instantly from a similar injury at the end of The Menace. phantom.
Ultimately, the most upsetting fact about “Kenobi” is that it all seems so tired. It’s as if the House of Mouse’s creative energy has been exhausted, and high fan demand for “content” has the writers and crew scrambling for a story that’s just… half decent for streaming. Certain moments in the series had the potential to be some of the best in the entire saga, but there was always something that kept them from really taking off.
Maybe it’s budgeting or the tough creative constraints imposed by Disney’s top executives. Either way, it can’t be understated how disappointing it is that this series has fallen so far below the hype. The period of its setting is a rare segment in “Star Wars” canon that fans have little reason to complain about. It’s a time before corporate greed and mismanagement took hold of the franchise, and fan resentment created an exhausting and hostile environment for online discourse.
It would have been fantastic to experience a much stronger reminder of the saga’s better days and a much more emotional return for two of its most crucial characters. Again, potential is littered in “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and the crew occasionally pulled it off. But there are too many things holding this latest “Star Wars” outing back.