Star Wars Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi – Episodes 1-4

by Miller C. Lashbrook

Let me first begin with my overall thoughts of the show so far. It is so nice to be spending time with Obi-Wan Kenobi again. Seeing an Obi-Wan that bridges the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is so interesting. This is not a show about more cool action between Anakin and Obi-Wan like some fans expected. This is a show about survivor’s guilt. A show about a broken man that can’t help but try to do good in a broken world. If that is a story that intrigues you and you like Star Wars, I don’t need to say anything else. This show is for you.

Next before I get into spoilers I need to talk about something I hinted to above, the Star Wars fandom. I thought that with the Mandalorian Seasons 1 and 2 the Star Wars fandom was getting to a more healthy place. It seemed like fans were in a place where they were beginning to welcome new story telling and new characters (something that could not be said for some of the toxic reactions to sequel characters like Rey and Finn. But, Book of Boba Fett reminded me all over again that a chunk of the Star Wars fans are the worst.

I should not go on twitter that same day as the premiere of a new Star Wars show to see people’s thoughts and find that people are bashing a new actor. Is it okay to not like the direction of story? Sure. Is it okay to feel like your expectations for a project have been subverted? Sure. Is it okay to take your time and energy to find an actor online and bash them for a character they have played? No. And that is not even mentioning that many are using her race as a reason to target her.

If Star Wars is going to thrive as a franchise with big budgets it needs to grow. The fandom needs to grow, the stories need to grow in variety, and the roster of characters needs to grow. I for one am very much enjoying Reeva as a character and her journey (which I will get more into in the spoilers area). If you have not watched the show and are intrigued by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, go try it. Do not let toxic fandom ruin something that has an interesting story to tell.

SPOILERS AHEAD

As I have said above, I see this show as a survivor’s guilt story. Obi-Wan is one of few Jedi to survive Order 66 and he is living in hiding, on the run, and disconnected from the force. Episode 1 of the series show this very well by contrasting the grandeur of the prequel recap with a mundane day-to-day on Tatooine. We are seeing a shell of the man that we knew in the prequel trilogy. He has lost everything and he has one mission, keep an eye on Luke.

When the show was originally announced, many assumed that the show would take place on the desert planet and would be a “one last mission” western story. Then as the show was developed more the creators mentioned that Obi-Wan would be traveling to other planets. I thought, “isn’t his main concern Luke?” How I had not considered that Leia would be the reason that he has to leave baffles me. It is perfect. Now we know why Leia calls on him in A New Hope. These are the kinds of things that Star Wars has done very well with projects that take place prior to the Battle of Yavin.

The show is moving at a slower pace than I expected, with it seeming like there is still a lot of story that needs to happen in episodes 5 and 6. But on the other hand, I am glad that the story has not rushed itself. The first episode takes its time to set up not only the plot but also the story for our two protagonists: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Reeva. With this character based foundation we better understand what is at stake for these two, why Obi-Wan needs to help Leia but cannot be caught and why Reeva feels she needs to catch Obi-Wan. It also sets up parallel plots for the cat and mouse game that will ensue.

Episode two is all about telling us about the relationships that impact the plots for our protagonists: for Obi-Wan it is his relationship with the young Leia and the ghosts of his past (mostly Anakin and Padme), for Reeva it is her place among the other inquisitors. Reeva also seems to have ghosts of her past, but with her doubling as an antagonist of Obi-Wan’s story, this has not yet been revealed to us.

Episode three continues leans more into the ghosts of the past. The legacy of the Jedi in this era where remaining Jedi are hunted down is present everywhere between the tension of Obi-Wan and Leia crossing a planet, the realization of the existence of a Jedi underground railroad, and in the most physical form, Vader. Vader is the glue that the dual story between Obi-Wan and Reeva needs. Vader is the most obvious ghost of Obi-Wan’s past, he is the father of Leia (and cannot discover her existence), and he is the boss of Reeva that she desperately wants to impress.

Many fans were disappointed by the fight between Vader and Obi-Wan at the end of the third episode and I can understand that. But, it is only episode three. We have to save the big fight for the finale.

If episode three is about the ghosts of the past, episode four is about the realization of the present. Obi-Wan realizes just how far the persecution of the Jedi has gone (seeing the tomb of Jedi in the Fortress Inquisitorius). Reeva realizes that her path to leading the Inquisitors is not as simple or easy as she thought it might be with Obi-Wan breaking Leia out, but more importantly with the Fifth Brother undermining her.

Conclusion: These first four episodes have been an awesome look into the era between Episode III and IV of Star Wars, but I am also nervous about how much needs to be done in these final two episodes.

  • Episode 1: 5/5 Kyber Crystals πŸ’Ž
  • Episode 2: 4/5 Kyber Crystals πŸ’Ž
  • Episode 3: 4.5/5 Kyber Crystals πŸ’Ž
  • Episode 4: 4.5/5 Kyber Crystals πŸ’Ž

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