Is “Obi-Wan Kenobi” Worth Watching?

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the newest series on Disney+. Starring Ewan McGregor reprising the titular character, the miniseries follows Obi-Wan during his exile on Tatooine, where he is struggling with his guilt and trauma following Revenge of the Sith. An Obi-Wan-centered spin-off has been in the works for years. It has also easily been one of the most highly anticipated Star Wars spin-offs since Disney acquired the rights to the franchise. So did the miniseries live up to the hype? Not really. Let’s talk about it. Also, there are spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Revenge of the Sith ahead.

The thrust of the story is that Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) has been kidnapped by the Galactic Empire, and Obi-Wan must rescue her. This plotline is certainly interesting because we get to learn more about both characters before the events of A New Hope. But it falls off about midway through the show, and then the story just starts to meander. In particular, episode 4 could be completely cut from the story, and it wouldn’t change much. It definitely feels like this was supposed to be a movie that got chopped up into a TV show. 

Another shortcoming of the show is the characters. 

Besides Obi-Wan and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), it feels like the writers don’t really know what to do with other characters after a while. For example, Blair’s portrayal of a young Leia is great, but it feels like the character overstays her welcome. By the fourth episode, she doesn’t really get to do much. 

Third Sister (Moses Ingram) is another character who suffers greatly from this. She is a youngling who turns to the Dark Side to get revenge on the people she blames for the death of her friends only to see herself nearly become the very thing she swore to destroy. So, this nicely parallels Anakin’s journey in the prequels. Plus, watching her dive deeper and deeper into darkness over the course of the show is fun. However, the twist that she’s actually trying to kill Vader not only comes out of nowhere but gets paid off way too quickly. Also, the writers are forced to give her a contrived character arc conclusion, making it fall flat. 

The presentation of the show is also not great. Compared to other Disney+ shows, Obi-Wan Kenobi looks very cheaply made. 

I think they were trying to go for the same aesthetic as the original trilogy. But those movies had sets that distinguished themselves from one another and captured the grandeur of the universe. But unfortunately, the sets of this show are all repetitive and very generic. 

In addition, the dialogue is very hit or miss. The scenes that involve Obi-Wan talking about his past and his shortcomings with other characters like Leia or Tala (Indira Varma) are great because you can really see how haunted he is by the past. However, a lot of the writing is just very weak and predictable. There are so many scenes that you can walk into blind and pretty much guess exactly what will happen and what the characters are going to say. 

Despite these problems, there are definitely some enjoyable things about the show. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi is full of moments that are pleasing to all fans of the original films. The show draws on elements of various films, TV shows, and Expanded Universe. So it’s very easy to just turn off your brain, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Also, a lot of the pacing issues I talked about are due to the fact that the show was broken up into episodes released weekly. If you watch it in chunks, then it’s very easy to see  as just a long movie.

Without a doubt, the two leads are the best part of the show. 

Ewan and Hayden bring so much life and energy to Obi-Wan and Vader, respectively. What’s more, Ewan shows range and emotion that we didn’t get to see in the prequel trilogy. The version of Obi-Wan who is broken and disconnected from the Force is completely different from what we’ve seen before. And his character arc as he comes to terms with his past and moves beyond his guilt really drives the narrative forward. 

Like Ewan, Hayden’s character gets a lot of compelling moments. He steals the show in every scene that he’s in, and you can really tell he’s enjoying his time. This is the angriest and most ruthless Vader we’ve seen up to this point, and it’s so much fun to watch. The final confrontation between the two characters perfectly encapsulates everything great about their dynamic, setting the characters up nicely for where they are by the time of A New Hope.

Overall, Obi-Wan Kenobi is not a bad show. If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, there’s a lot to like about it. But overall, it certainly did not live up to its hype. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we get to see these actors portraying their iconic characters. 

Personally, I give Obi-Wan Kenobi a 6 out of 10. But what did you think of the show? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Peace!

Featured image via Disney+


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