by Pat Clifford
Why hello there.
I was a little shocked to see Kenobi returning to our screens in a series all his own but pleasantly surprised when it was confirmed that Ewan McGregor would again be returning to the character gave me a little bit of hope. After the critical and widespread panning of episodes 1-3 of the Skywalker Sage movies it was hard to imagine there was a lot more Disney could do with these characters yet here we are.
Before we get into the show I want to talk about the opening. Any Star Wars fan knows about Order 66. The order given by the emperor to exterminate all the Jedi was carried out by the clone armies the Jedi were fighting alongside. Until now I had not seen it happen in a live-action setting and I was deeply moved I have to admit. We knew what was coming but the way it was portrayed was so well done I have to bring it up. The scenes along with the rising score reminiscent of Star Wars past is a perfect way to begin our next foray into the Skywalker’s world.
Kenobi is set 10 years after the events of Episode 3 and old Ben has been hiding his Jedi powers from the world. Working out a humble existence on Tatooine he spends his days cutting up meat and his nights haunted by the past. The Jedi are still being hunted by the Inquisitors working under the direction of Darth Vader and Tatooine isn’t free of their raids.
In the first episode, we get to see a few glimpses of the young Luke Skywalker with his Uncle Owen on the family farm. Kenobi has been keeping a distant yet watchful eye over Luke hoping one day to see if he exhibits any force abilities. The episode also introduces a lot of characters we are going to see throughout the series like Owen who find out his true feelings towards Kenobi and the Inquisitors who are a force to be reckoned with.
Episode 2 however is really where Kenobi comes into its own. Not only in the story but also in McGregor’s portrayal of Obi-Wan, finding his way to act naturally and let his own genuine charisma shine through while still having enough of the original Obi-Wan, Alec Guinness’s mannerisms that were used to define the character in the originals. During the prequels, McGregor was often criticised for looking a little stiff and weighed down in trying to be like Guinness. It was a hard act to follow but McGregor has definitively made the robes his own.
Episode 2 also fixes one of my most disliked parts of Star Wars in this era. Leia and Luke are obviously split up at birth and sent to different parts of the galaxy but Kenobi always seemed to only be focused on Luke. Episode 2 brings 10-year-old Leia into the spotlight. It is so refreshing to see the little hot-headed princess on-screen and her character is well written being a little version of the princess we know.
A noteworthy addition is the ruthless Third Sister Reva, an Imperial Inquisitor who is ruthless in her pursuit of the Jedi. She has her sights directly fixed on finding Obi-Wan and winning favour with Vader yet is devoid of any concern for the law the Inquisitors follow or who she destroys along the way. I look forward to seeing the line of destruction she carves towards Kenobi and what I can only assume will be an epic conclusion.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episodes 1 & 2 are out now on Disney + and we’ll aim to bring you a rundown of each episode as they come out. My Friday nights are set for the next month at least.