Since Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, we’ve found ourselves inundated with movie after movie, show after show, and comics on top of comics. It goes without saying that when you have a franchise as active as Star Wars, you will have your fair share of misses in the bunch. It’s for that reason I found myself going into Obi-Wan Kenobi with very little in the ways of expectations.
However, as guarded as I tried to be, it was nearly impossible to ignore the hype surrounding the limited series as it drew closer. Obi-Wan Kenobi would see the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan, already something that spoke to fans of the film franchise. Still, the show would also see Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. For many, myself included, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the show we’d all been waiting for since Disney acquired Lucasfilm.
Now, after six weeks, we’re at the end of the first season, and only one question remains. Was Obi-Wan Kenobi good, and did it deserve all the hype surrounding it? Spoiler: Yes. There are certain things any good piece of Star Wars media needs to have. Chilling villains, an interesting (albeit predictable story), some inner conflict, lots of lightsaber battles that will make your inner child cry with joy, and Obi-Wan Kenobi has all those things.
One of the most interesting characters and dynamics from Star Wars has always been Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. The question of how the sweet, caring boy we got to know all those years ago could turn into one of the darkest and most evil beings in the universe is one that’s haunted the franchise for years. Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t shy away from this conflict either, and one of the season’s most chilling and moving moments comes in the form of a conversation between the two characters. We see Obi-Wan break down and apologise for failing Anakin, only to have Vader look at him with the most blood-curdling smile and say: “Anakin’s gone, I am what remains. I am not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did”. Absolutely chilling.
It’s in moments like these that Obi-Wan finds its strength. Yes, flashy lightsaber fights are always crowd-pleasers (and something the show more than delivers on) but watching the conflict between two people who used to be bonded and now consider each other enemies cuts deeper than any lightsaber ever could.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is not without fault; there were many moments that I wished the show would press a little harder or deal a little deeper, a sentiment I have for a vast majority of new Star Wars media, but bar for the Force forever remaining an enigma, Obi-Wan has within just six episodes become a vital part of the Star Wars mythos and essential viewing for any fans of the franchise. Obi-Wan has always been an integral part of the Star Wars universe, even when he spent most of his screen as little more than a supporting character. However, in Obi-Wan Kenobi, we get to see for the first time how essential his character truly is and the role he played in shaping characters like Leia and Vader, without which Star Wars as we know it wouldn’t exist.
While most of the big reveal and twists in the show are easy to predict, which is par for the course with a prequel series referencing events we’ve already seen on the big screen, it never takes away from the enjoyment of watching it all unfold. The show still managed to pull a few new rabbits out of the hat by introducing some new characters into the Star Wars fold. From Reva, a ruthless hunter fixated on Obi-Wan who starts as the big bad but who is ultimately a sympathetic character to child Leia, every bit as independent and headfast as her grown counterpart.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is an exciting piece of Star Wars media that breathed a new life into a character we all thought we knew while never betraying any of the media that came before (or after) and was every bit as fan-focused and well-realized as you’d want it to be.
If you find yourself finished with season 1 of Obi-Wan Kenobi and wondering if there will be a second, read our post here. And if you’ve found yourself in the mood to delve further into the Star Wars franchise, click the link here to find out how all the media fit together.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is now available in Disney+ to binge-watch.
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