If there’s a production that has always been highly anticipated by fans, it’s the series from Obi-Wan Kenobi. Whether for the love of the character or for the love of its interpreter, Ewan McGregorall fans knew that it was only a matter of time before the production was greenlit in Disney+. And with this wave of series set in the universe Star Warsthe project got off the ground and occupied the televisions of millions of people around the world in recent weeks.
The premise was what everyone expected: to explore the period between the first two trilogies, in which Kenobi was protecting the young man. Luke Skywalker from a distance on Tatooine. Among some changes in the canon and the lack of inspiration from the writing team, the series managed to have some good moments, but ended up coming to an end without justifying why it was approved.
Let’s start by talking about the negatives. The main one is the script, which doesn’t know what to do with the characters it has introduced and has no idea how to explore its protagonist in a minimally interesting way over six episodes.
The greatest example of this is Princess Leia. The character is too good, and the casting people were right on choosing the child actress. The problem is that halfway through the series, they didn’t know what to do with it anymore. So, they started to put her aside or put her to solve situations that left her off screen. That’s lazy scripting.
The premise of having an Obi-Wan disbelieving in The Force is simply fantastic, but there’s no point in throwing it on screen and not developing it. In the series, he arrives at the last episode believing in The Force again without working this recovery of hope well. The original trilogy, which was conceived as a children’s fantasy with a political plot in the background, knew how to work these points magnificently. The series doesn’t seem to have understood very well the context in which it is inserted and finds very easy solutions to the problems of one of the most wanted people in the galaxy.
The villains are also extremely poorly written. Apart from Reva, who has a greater prominence, the other “brothers” come and go without the public having the slightest sympathy or dislike for them. If they weren’t there, no one would miss them.
Another point we talk about in the weekly reviews is the two tiresome conveniences of the episodes. Okay it’s canon, but the Tank of Bacta being used is always narratively terrible, because it takes the brunt of all the other deaths in the saga. Always using it in movies and series is a shot in the foot. The other convenience is Darth Vader. Every time he was about to complete his revenge, he would give up and let his rival get away. The series itself says that this is a kind of arrogance of him, who wanted to face Kenobi in his prime. Okay, but letting the guy get away always stops being arrogance and becomes annoying.
Another point that left something to be desired was the makeup. Star Wars has a history of excellence in makeup, which creates characters and helps with beautiful practical effects. However, in the series, the look and makeup of the villains compromised a lot when it came to making them serious characters.
The work was bad, especially considering that the races of the Inquisitors had already appeared in franchise films and with infinitely superior makeup work.
Likewise, the CGI department fell short of the saga’s standard, even by the television standards Disney+ set with The Mandalorian.
Ending the negative reviews, the direction of Deborah Chow can be safe at various times. In others, however, she was pitiful. Of course it was made worse by the very weak script, but the chase and escape scenes involving Leia were shameful. There was the possibility of making these scenes so that they didn’t look like sequences from a movie by the clumsybut she ended up opting for angles and framings that only explained the badness of the plot.
On the positive points, the dedication of Ewan McGregor, who is extremely passionate about his character, is fantastic to see on screen. He gives his all and is super comfortable like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The scenes where he interacts and tries to give little Leia a little bit of development are very good and are different from the rest of the series.
Likewise, as frustrating as it may be at times, the presence of Darth Vader it’s always wonderful. The villain is imposing, menacing and steals the show every time he enters the room.
The fights between the two are also very exciting. In fact, it is the final duel between master and apprentice that raises the level of the last episode.
In the end, it feels like the series was made solely to explain why Obi-Wan told Luke, in A New Hope (1974), that “his father died”. At the same time, the series doesn’t have the courage – or creativity – to let its characters develop – see Reva, who was not allowed to be either villain, hero or anti-hero. In other words: the series comes out of nowhere, goes nowhere and seems to have been written by a member of the saga’s fanfic community. It’s sad to say that, because it was a huge potential show that didn’t understand its own size, its own relevance. It is already the second consecutive production of Star Wars in live action that Disney+ launches with this issue. If they keep to that standard, the series will achieve something that seemed very difficult not so long ago: saturate Star Wars.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is available on Disney+.