To many Star Wars fans, and one Illuminerdi journalist, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a massive disappointment.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Star Wars TV series, which streams on Disney Plus, with new episodes arriving at 3AM EST Wednesdays. The series is directed by Deborah Chow, who got her start in Star Wars working on The Mandalorian.
While The Mandalorian is considered by many to be some of the finest work Star Wars has ever put out in live-action, Kenobi does not live up to that same standard of TV quality. While Ewan McGregor’s acting is not the problem, and Kenobi’s return to live-action has many fine fans excited, the creative team is simply not up to this monumental task.
OBI-WAN KENOBI: HOW MUCH DO THE CAST AND CREW TRULY KNOW ABOUT THE FRANCHISE?
One of the first problems with the TV show is that of the Inquisitors. The Inquisitors are a group of Dark-Side wielding Imperial officers who hunt Jedi. Many inquisitors were formerly Jedi themselves. The Inquisitors seen in Kenobi thus far include Reva (Moses Ingram), Fifth Brother (Sung Kang), and The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend).
Relatively early on in the show, Reva appeared to kill the Grand Inquisitor. The problem with this is that the Grand Inquisitor is one of the primary villains of the animated (canon, supposedly) TV series, Star Wars Rebels. Now since the actor portraying the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi did not watch Rebels, he may be unaware of this. However, fans of the animated series will note that the Grand Inquisitor is very much alive in Rebels, which takes place years after Obi-Wan in the Star Wars timeline.
While there is still the possibility that Obi-Wan Kenobi will reveal that the Grand Inquisitor survived Reva’s attack, the third chapter had every opportunity to reveal that and they chose not to. It would appear that the writers needed to establish Reva as a primary antagonist, and bafflingly decided this was the correct way to achieve that. This presents a complete failure of the Lucasfilm story group to maintain a logical sense of continuity and canon, a problem which the franchise has been struggling with lately.
“I really wanted to honor the character as I saw him, and so I almost deliberately did not see the animated interpretation.”–Rupert Friend, Kenobi’s Grand Inquisitor
The Book Of Boba Fett viewers may remember the plot hole, wherein Fett believed he lost his armor in the Sarlacc Pit, eventually going to retrieve it. The issue is that The Sheriff wore his armor in The Mandalorian, and Boba himself can be seen wearing that armor in the Book Of Boba Fett flashback scene where we see him escape the great sand beast. If Disney cannot remember what’s happening in its own TV shows, how can we expect them to know what’s happening in other TV shows? The simple answer is that we cannot.
OBI-WAN KENOBI: “I HAVE FAILED YOU ANAKIN, I HAVE FAILED YOU”
Another challenging element of Kenobi is the portrayal of Darth Vader, the greatest lord of the Sith to ever grace the big screen. While Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones return to the role of Vader was once exciting, eagerly anticipated and highly publicized, his series debut left much to be desired. Lord Vader displays some brutality, snapping necks with the force and torturing innocent bystanders.
Watching Lord Vader unleash the dark side on these people was briefly incredible, however it paled in comparison to the brutality displayed by the same character in Rogue One. That being said, the real issue with Vader in Kenobi however is how he lets Kenobi escape.
Darth Vader realizes that Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the area and begins hunting for him. Without much difficulty, he finds his old master and begins to attack, almost immediately getting the upper hand.
Because Master Kenobi had previously cut himself off from the force (something obvious from his great struggle in picking up Princess Leia and in dueling Vader) he struggled greatly in his fight and rematch against Lord Vader, his demise seems almost inevitable. In fact, Kenobi should and would have died then and there, if it was not for the horribly written script.
Vader defeats Kenobi, and starts a fire, dragging his old Master into the flames. Vader begins telling him that he was going to make him suffer in the same way that Kenobi made Anakin suffer on Mustafar. Vader begins burning his flesh, torturing him, finally exacting revenge after ten long years of violence.
But for apparently no reason, (other than the fact that if Kenobi died here, the show would be over and he would never make it to A New Hope) after the fire grows larger and Kenobi is on the other side of it, Vader seems to just…let him go. Instead of chasing his former master, Vader broods while looking into the camera. No explanation is given as to why the Sith lord would let Kenobi escape his clutches, when all he had to do was grab him with the force, or move above the blaze with the power of the Dark Side.
OBI-WAN KENOBI: THIS IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT THE REMATCH OF THE CENTURY
The greatest challenge that the Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off always faced was delivering a rematch between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then having Obi-Wan Kenobi escape with good reason. This is just one of many examples of Disney storytelling, where the writers do not feel the need to explain very important plot elements. For example where do America Chavez Powers come from in Doctor Strange 2? Who knows? Not MCU fans, perhaps not even the people behind the making of that film.
Furthermore, the Kenobi spinoff made the baffling decision of having Obi-Wan Kenobi running around the Galaxy in full Jedi attire while there are Inquisitors out, while there are stormtroopers who vocalize the fact that they are searching for Jedi. It’s almost as if they felt the need to costume Kenobi in the way fans would expect, with a complete disregard to the logic that would hold in the actual story.
I also find it interesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi had a troubled production behind the scenes with the series being delayed. On top of that this six-episode series released its first three episodes in less than a week. That’s half the show in one week. Compare that to Moon Knight, another Disney Plus original series with the same episode count, which had a release schedule of one episode per week for its entire run. One has to wonder if Disney is aware that the quality of the Kenobi spin-off is not up to par and is dumping it as quickly as possible.
It’s unfortunate that this spinoff isn’t closer to Rogue One or The Mandalorian in terms of quality, or hell, even watchability. From Solo, to the sequel trilogy, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney just doesn’t seem to know how to properly handle Lucasfilm’s incredible IP. Hopefully the second half of the show is a drastic improvement, but from where I’m sitting, that sounds like an impossibly tall order for The House Of Mouse.
What do you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!