Word of the Nerd: Sleep on the new ‘Obi-Wan’ series at your own peril
By Dan Isenberg
Caution ahead for minor spoilers for Disney+’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which completed its six-episode run on Wednesday.
Allow me to say this to the notoriously vocal minority in the Star Wars community — sleep on ‘Kenobi’ at your own peril.
‘Kenobi’ tells a very strong, self-contained story during the era after the fall of the Old Republic and the Jedi and the rise of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader after Order 66.
Obi-Wan, as we were told at the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” is living in exile on Tatooine, working as a butcher and watching over a young Luke Skywalker, living in the desert under the watchful eye of his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (who have a couple of awesome scenes in the episode 6 finale). The old Jedi has lost his connection to the Force and has buried his lightsaber in the desert sands. He still, even 10 years later, hasn’t forgiven himself for what happened to his friend and student, Anakin Skywalker/Vader.
Meanwhile, the Inquisitors, Vader’s secret order of Jedi hunters, appear on the planet, led by Third Sister Reva, hunting Kenobi. She herself is later revealed to have been a padawan learner at the Jedi Temple when Vader led the attack the night of Order 66, who joined the Empire in an effort to hunt Vader and take revenge for her friends who were slaughtered.
So you have two characters both with Vader squarely at the center of their thoughts, brought together by the kidnapping of a young Princess Leia Organa from Alderan, forcing Senator Bail to seek the help of his Jedi friend.
It’s your classic tale of the hero reluctantly taking on his journey and fighting through and overcoming his demons, rescuing the princess and making some new friends along the way, culminating in another epic lightsaber battle in the finale between Vader and Kenobi. By that one fight alone, and how well it wraps up so many minor plot points at once, I justify people watching this show.
But let’s circle back to Luke and Leia.
After having what some fans called a largely unnecessary presence in “The Book of Boba Fett,” young Luke plays a very minor role until the final episode until he runs away into the desert during an attack on their compound.
Leia, on the other hand, plays a major role in the events of ‘Kenobi,’ and actress Vivien Lyra Blair was an absolute treat. The sass she brought to the young future leader of the Galactic Rebellion left me wanting more on young Leia in a future series. Even Hayden Christensen, who reprised his role as Anakin/Vader in the show, praised Blair for her portrayal.
Christensen, too, was excellent. And it goes without saying, Ewan McGregor’s return as the titular Kenobi was one fans had been looking forward to since this project was announced.
For this Star Wars fan, just like “The Mandalorian,” “Book of Boba Fett,” “Rogue One,” “Solo,” “The Bad Batch,” the finale season of “The Clone Wars,” and yes, even the new Trilogy, I am again impressed by what Disney has been able to do with the Star Wars franchise since taking it over Lucasfilm nearly a decade ago.
To the minority who hate everything Disney has done with the franchise and were soured even more by the new trilogy, do not sleep on ‘Kenobi.’ But also don’t read too much into it, either. There are certain plot holes that seemingly come up throughout the six episodes that are eventually resolved in the end. As fans of these genres, we enjoy them because of their detachment from reality.
So try not to get hung up on the little things and just enjoy the show.
Dan Isenberg is a copy editor who writes regular columns on gaming, tech, fantasy, science fiction and other nerd culture topics for the Mirror. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheseDanTweets.