Anticipation for Obi-Wan Kenobi was at an all time high before it aired its first two episodes. A project and character that Star Wars fans have been vocally wanting for many years just to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as the iconic character. Sadly, it could not match the levels of anticipation as there are questionable story beats which felt eerily similar to what we saw throughout the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
The thing about Obi-Wan Kenobi is mainly due to the lack of capitalisation on its potential, the series’ big moments were often diluted and the character arcs feel meaningless in the grand scheme of things – such as the Grand Inquisitors involvement throughout the series. The most notable missed opportunity is the fact that the showrunners decided to ‘blow their load’ in Part III by having the rematch between Obi-Wan and Vader; this is something that should have been built up throughout the series, the tension and anger between the two characters should have culminated in the season finale. Instead, akin to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, where the confrontation happened way too early in the season with zero build up and a half assed battle in the season finale which made this feud underwhelming to most Star Wars fans. A positive aspect about Obi-Wan Kenobi was that it explored the relationship between Obi-Wan and Princess Leia. Throughout the series we were shown the highs and lows of the two characters’ relationship, mainly how Leia came to trust Obi-Wan with her life. This is a great call back to A New Hope where Princess Leia utter the famous line; “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are only hope’” – this series built the foundation for this line as we saw the relationship grow between these two characters from strangers to an almost father figure for Leia. When we first met Obi-Wan he was working as a meat farmer and as the episodes went on we started to explore his journey with not only Princess Leia but also his relationship with the force. Throughout each episode we saw Obi-Wan slowly start to engage with the force again and not only reunite with the force but grow with the force as we see him do things we haven’t seen before such as hold back the force of an ocean. By the series end we see Obi-Wan fully reunited with force but also burying his demons with Darth Vader as his priority is now set on watching over Luke which transitions into A New Hope.
Ewan McGregor to no surprise was fantastic as Obi-Wan, picking up right where he left off 17 years ago as he embodies this character to perfection and it is easy to see that he loves this character. While his appearance was very miniscule, Hayden Christensen was an absolute delight to see on screen as Anakin Skywalker again but sadly he was nothing more than a cameo and left fans wanting more. The real surprise throughout this series is the return of James Earl Jones voicing Darth Vader in his usual menacing way. Other than that the rest of the cast were underwhelming, Viven Lyra Blair as young Leia wasn’t as captivating as she should have been but as a young actress it’s hard to fault her and she’ll continue to develop. Moses Ingram as The Third Sister, Reva, lacked the intimidating presence it is to be a Grand Inquisitor and she just came off as a sidekick to Darth Vader in the latter episodes.
Just like the sequel trilogy the visual effects is a great addition to this series, with the neon blue and reds from the lightsabers illuminating the screens whenever they are drawn. The CGI throughout the series is mostly fantastic, most notably during the space scenes and the wide shot of the planets, however there are times where the CGI couldn’t quite keep up with what was happening on screen, this is usually seen when ships are flying past in the background or flying across the planet’s plains.
The musical score throughout Obi-Wan Kenobi is hit or miss. Don’t get me wrong there are some great musical pieces throughout the episodes and you can’t help but feel empty inside due to the missing prequel pieces. We all heard Dual of the Fates in the first trailer for this show but surprisingly it doesn’t show up during the series. Lets not forget the great musical piece when Obi-Wan & Anakin were dueling it out on Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith, not once was that played during the Obi-Wan and Darth Vader scenes. However in typical Star Wars fashion it is their sound design that excels. The humming of spaceships, the iconic blaster sounds and the screeching alarms in enemy bases is all too familiar with Star Wars fans and is a great addition to this show.
The downward spiral of Star Wars continues and it seems that its only saving grace at the moment is The Mandalorian. Obi-Wan Kenobi had heaps of potential but ultimately failed as it became a buddy series between Obi-wan and Princess Leia. Like most rematches nowadays, the reunion between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan was lackluster and less meaningful as it should be; the force is most certainly not with Obi-Wan Kenobi.