It is always risky to watch a highly anticipated show, because the higher the expectations, the higher the risk of being disappointed.
I remember throwing a tantrum when my two elder brothers went to see “Return of the Jedi” at the cinema, and I wasn’t allowed to join them. I was 5 years old! That is how much of a Star Wars fan I am. When the prequels were announced and Ewan McGregor was announced as Obi-Wan Kenobi, I was over the moon. I am telling you this so that you understand how high my expectations were for the start of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Synopsis for Episode 1 and 2 – Spoilers ahead –
The story is set around 10 years after “Revenge of the Sith”. The few remaining Jedi are being hunted, and the Empire is at the height of its power.
Obi-Wan is hiding on Tatooine, keeping an eye on Luke (Grant Feely) from afar. He is disillusioned and depressed, having turned away from everything it meant to be a Jedi.
When Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped and Bail Organa asks (Jimmy Smits) for his help, Obi-Wan is finally pulled out of his lethargy.
The search leads Obi-Wan to Daiyu, where he runs into a set-up.
The show dives straight back into the universe and does so seamlessly. The look is updated without breaking the visual style, and it never seems off. The fact that most actors reprise their roles is an added bonus, as it helps with continuity. It is particularly exciting to see Jimmy Smith return Bail Organa.
Introducing Leia as a child completes the character, as she always seemed more mature than Luke despite being the same age. The audience sees a new side of her and immediately falls in love with the feisty, little girl (Talking of rebel!).
What bothers me is that Obi-Wan favors Luke extremely over Leia, at the beginning of the show. Although it seems he is simply avoiding a fight, it comes off as sexist and appears out of character. The writers could have found a better way to set the situation up.
The new planet Daiyu has a great cyber punk look that fits perfectly into the overall ascetics, yet is unique in its own way.
Ewan McGregor returns to the role of Obi-Wan with such ease as if he had never been away. His portrayal of a broken Obi-Wan, who has lost his confidence, is simply brilliant. There are a few subtle hints about Obi-Wan’s feelings for the late Padme (Natalie Portman), they are beautiful to watch. Most actors can do big emotions well, but the small gestures and hints show the true artist.
Moses Ingram as Reva makes a chilling villain. She faces a huge challenge, considering she has few scenes to create a counterpart to a character established for forty years. But she rises to the challenge. She is charismatic and manages to create sympathy for Reva despite being the villain.
The expectations were high, but the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi absolutely delivered. Ewan McGregor is incredible, as his performance is a continuation of what he did in the movies, and he aged the character beautifully, especially in the fighting sequences. Young Leia is feisty, and you can see how she grows into the character we all love.
The story has some hiccups, but these are minor and can be forgiven.
Have you seen the first two episodes yet? If yes, what are your thoughts? Don’t forget to check this place when we will be back with another Obi-Wan Kenobi review.
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Maria is our resident nerd and passionate about all things fantasy and science fiction. She is Spanish and grew up in Germany, which is why she is a native speaker of both languages. Becoming a fantasy writer was only logical to combine her skills and passions. In addition, she is working on her English degree and loves to play tennis and dance Salsa. She is currently writing her first novel and will mainly be covering Star Wars, Star Trek and Shadow & Bone.