“Obi-Wan Kenobi” picks up ten years after the events of the prequel trilogy, and leading into the original trilogy beginning with “Part I” & “Part II.”
As the Star Wars universe continues to expand on Disney+, fan-favorite character Obi-Wan Kenobi gets his own spinoff series, aptly titled Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series takes place ten years after the events of the prequel trilogy, with Ewan McGregor reprising his role, and begins to set the stage for A New Hope. “Part I” & “Part II” are a strong introduction to the series and leaves potential for more exciting moments to come.
McGregor slips back into the role easily, as he explores Obi-Wan’s life in the aftermath of the events of Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan remains haunted by Anakin’s turn to the dark side and presumed death, the prior loss of his former mentor Qui-Gon, and his fellow jedi being slaughtered by Order 66. On Tatooine, he has turned away from the jedi lifestyle and taken on an ordinary existence as a minimum wage meat carver. The series does a good job of showing the monotony of Obi-Wan’s current life and McGregor effectively portrays Obi-Wan’s grief.
Meanwhile, the inquisitors continue to hunt the remaining jedi throughout the galaxy, and Reva (Moses Ingram) quickly becomes the show’s primary antagonist. She is quick to defy her superiors and is ruthless in her obsession with finding Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though not much is known about Reva, she is already as intriguing as she is formidable.
Though Obi-Wan remains in hiding, he still takes the time to watch over young Luke (Grant Feely) from afar. He buys Luke a toy plane, but Owen (Joel Edgerton) takes issue with it. Though Obi-Wan insists that he will eventually need to train Luke, Owen is understandably hesitant after what happened with Anakin. Despite his issues with Obi-Wan, Owen thankfully refuses to expose him to the inquisitors, even when Reva has a lightsaber pointed at him.
Though Obi-Wan is as compelling as expected in his own series, the presence of a young Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is a highlight of the first two episodes. Blair captures the essence of Leia’s character beautifully, and it is easy to believe that this Leia would grow up to become Carrie Fisher’s Leia. At a young age, Leia is already sassy, adventurous, and strong-willed. Her introduction shows her running off into the woods and later isn’t afraid to call out her rude cousin. In the first episode, Leia also has a touching scene with her father Bail (Jimmy Smits), who assures her that she is still his daughter despite being adopted.
Leia’s kidnapping, a trap Reva sets to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding, sets the main plot in motion. The fact that Reva knows about Leia’s parentage raises some questions, as it would be assumed that Darth Vader’s actual identity and the identity of his children would be a well-kept secret even in the Empire. Bail and Breha (Simone Kessell) seek out Obi-Wan, telling him that he is Leia’s only hope and that she is just as important as Luke. Though Obi-Wan is reluctant at first, he eventually comes around and goes to dig his and Anakin’s lightsabers out of the desert.
The second episode has Obi-Wan arrive in a city called Daiyu in his quest to rescue Leia. Obi-Wan is affected by the sight of a begging veteran clone (Temuera Morrison) and soon after loses the signal he had been tracking. He is soon led to a “jedi” named Haja (Kumail Nanjani), who is pretending to be a jedi (with the help of magnets and co-conspirators) to make money off unknowing people. Though Haja could easily be an unlikable character, his decision to help Obi-Wan and Leia in the end redeems him somewhat.
Obi-Wan soon finds Leia, who is immediately distrustful of him and makes fun of how old he is. She demands that he prove that he is a jedi, which he refuses to do. He tells her that her father sent her, and she reluctantly goes with him. The dynamic between Obi-Wan and Leia is amusing, and the moment that he implies that she reminds him of her mother is very sweet. Obi-Wan’s caving to Leia’s demand to buy a pair of gloves when he buys her a disguise continues to show his softer side when it comes to Luke and Leia.
Reva soon arrives to Daiyu and puts out a message to every bounty hunter in the area to find Obi-Wan. Leia sees Obi-Wan’s face on a hunter’s hologram and makes the wrong assumption that Obi-Wan is working with her kidnappers. This leads to a thrilling chase sequence through the city, as Obi-Wan chases Leia and Reva chases both of them. The chase ends with Leia falling from a rooftop, and Obi-Wan must tap into the force for the first time in a decade to break her fall.
As the two reunite and make their escape, Reva kills her superior and finds them soon after. As she attempts to corner Obi-Wan, she reveals that Anakin is alive. Obi-Wan’s shock and devastation is palpable, and the revelation presents interesting questions of how Obi-Wan will continue to process the revelation and what role Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) will play in the remaining episodes.
The events of “Part I” & Part II” successfully bridge the gap between the prequel and the original trilogies. There are nice callbacks to both trilogies, and Leia’s message to Obi-Wan in A New Hope has more meaning after seeing their adventure together. Though it remains to be seen whether Leia will reappear, or any other characters will make cameos, Obi-Wan Kenobi is off to a promising start in its first two episodes.
Until next week, check out our coverage of The Mandalorian!
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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