'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Is Star Wars At Its Best And Worst Yet
By Sal LoCicero | June 27, 2022
Ewan McGregor returns to the role of young Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a new limited series from Disney Plus. In this miniseries, we follow Obi-Wan - ten years after the events of ‘Revenge Of The Sith’ - as he has hidden himself from the Galaxy, due to his last encounter with Anakin Skywalker. He has lost all of the force within him, as he feels that he’s failed both himself and Anakin. When a young Leia is kidnapped by Reva Sevander, a former Padawan who’s revenge mission is to kill Darth Vader (after witnessing the Jedi Training massacre that Pre Vader had caused), the step parents of Leia Organa requests for Obi-Wan to rescue her. This is what pushes Obi-Wan Kenobi to regain the force.
Since the first two episodes arrived, there has been no other show that’s received the most controversy lately other than ‘Obi Wan Kenobi’. This miniseries has made Star Wars the most argumentative topic on social media since 2017’s ‘The Last Jedi’. As usual, many fans went into this show with high expectations, but instead received something else entirely. Expectations are what drove this show into such a collision, nobody was giving this a chance to progress. Directed by Deborah Chow (who directed two episodes of ‘The Mandalorian’), Kenobi’s series takes many unexpected turns along the way. Many new characters who haven’t been introduced before are given a huge amount of screentime, where the entire episode mainly focused on that one specific person - which is both a good and bad idea on the writers’ part.
When it comes to a show (like this one) that only has six episodes, you’d want it to get right down to the fan service. But, just like any movie or show, there needs to be some type of story included for it to have any substance. In the case of ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, the writers gave us a good amount of subplots that may have not pleased fans so much, but were integral to our main character and Anakin Skywalker (now Darth Vader). This is where the series was at its strongest. Everything that connects to Obi-Wan and Anakin before and after the fight in the lava mountains, continues to grow a huge impact on both them and others from the galaxy. Human tragedy and the significant effect it has on us, while overcoming your past and learning from your mistakes is what the real reasoning behind this show is.
Yes, there are some fan favorite moments here and there, and some of them exceed expectations while others unfortunately don’t. In some ways, this is the most deep and mature Star Wars project since ‘The Last Jedi’, in other ways, this is a show that lacks what ‘The Mandalorian’ accomplished for the large majority to love it.
Actor Moses Ingram (‘The Queen’s Gambit, ‘The Tragedy Of Macbeth’) gave her first Star Wars appearance as Reva Sevander, which ended up getting her hit with racial slurs and harassment from online trolls, and although her character wasn’t written professionally, Ingram gives off everything she’s got. Her performance helps add emotion to her role - even if it stirred up the strong divisive reactions that it did.
The cinematography by Chung-Hoon Chung (Oldboy , It , Last Night In Soho) is not impressive. Anytime there is an action sequence in the episodes, an uproarious shaky cam comes into play. The events that occur on screen can barely be seen. It makes one wonder if Chung-Hoon Chung and Director Debrorah Chow had poor behind the scenes communication. The vivid lightsaber colors that appear during the night scenes are reminiscent of the lighting in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, even if the cinematography interrupts the lightsaber fight scenes.
Ewan McGregor gives yet another great performance, as does Vivian Lyra Blair (who plays Princess Leia. Their chemistry blends in perfectly with their relationship that grows along their journey, and it sets up their connection from ‘Star Wars (1977)’.
If there is one thing to take away from Disney Plus’ Original Limited Series ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, is that hopefully it will inspire other writers and directors about what future ideas can help this decades long space opera to satisfy the fans, as well as providing some thought provoking themes along the way.
What are your thoughts?