Reviews

Obi-Wan Kenobi Overview

Streaming on: Disney+

Episodes seen: 2 of 6

We’re midway between the Star Wars prequel trilogy and A New Hope on this new present, and Ewan McGregor nonetheless seems to be a hell of so much youthful than Alec Guinness did at 63, aka ten years after this collection is ready. Nonetheless, the primary episodes of_Obi-Wan Kenobi_feature scares and stress sufficient to age anybody, and extra importantly some efficient connective tissue between the tone of the 2 trilogies.

As we meet Obi-Wan Kenobi once more, he’s cunningly disguised as “Ben” Kenobi, a desert fishmonger who’s busy holding his head down and a distant eye on Luke Skywalker, with or with out the approval of the latter’s uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton). Then Imperial Inquisitors flip up on the planet, searching for escaped Jedi.

There’s an successfully nasty premise within the cat-and-mouse sport between Inquisitors and Jedi right here: Jedi can’t assist however assist folks, so all of the Inquisitors must do is threaten actually anybody, and any close by Jedi will really feel compelled to intervene. It’s a grubby, real-world totalitarian tactic that’s designed to divide and intimidate. Any fellow feeling turns into suspect; any tie is used to bind; and good individuals are destroyed no matter they do – as a result of if a Jedi like Obi-Wan really seems to be away from such evil to maintain himself protected, is he nonetheless a Jedi? Or has his very nature been corrupted? Such efficient nastiness is then amplified by theatrical sneering, in Rupert Pal’s Grand Inquisitor, and single-minded obsession, in Moses Ingram’s fanatical Reva, to massively entertaining impact. If Sung Kang’s Fifth Brother appears to have a little bit extra restraint, it’s not but clear that it’s going to translate to any actual pity.

In opposition to this backdrop, Obi-Wan receives a name from an outdated buddy begging for assist, and should resolve whether or not to danger his hiding place, Luke’s security and the non secular mission that Yoda gave him so as to reply it. No prizes for guessing which manner he goes, however the present establishes stakes excessive sufficient that you’ll doubt it for a second.

Showrunner Joby Harold (Military Of The Lifeless) and director Deborah Chow successfully handle to make this feel and appear like a little bit of connective tissue between the flat glitz of the prequel trilogy and the grubby weariness of the unique trilogy, with a despairing, cautious McGregor because the lacking hyperlink between the 2. His adventures right here could supply an opportunity at redemption not only for his character however that total under-loved period of Star Wars, cherrypicking the bits that labored and leaving apart the embarrassing Gungans and horrible screenwriting (a minimum of up to now). Positive, you would name it fan service and also you’d most likely be proper, given the variety of acquainted characters right here, however right here’s a prequel character interacting with baddies who really feel totally Imperial, and a drained world that also options traces of neon and cities that span planets.

Whether or not the present can really redeem the prequels with out relying too closely on embroidering the tales of characters we already know stays to be seen, however it’s an excellent pleasure to see an older, wiser McGregor again on this function. He grew to become extra relaxed along with his character with every movie of the prequels, and now these remarkably Jedi-looking outdated robes appear fully snug – even when Obi-Wan himself has by no means been extra at sea. We are able to solely hope he regains the excessive floor by the point it wraps up.

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