Max unpacks the return of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the two-episode series premiere. But is Ewan McGregor’s long-awaited return worthy of the Force?
The Obi-Wan Kenobi series, directed by Deborah Chow is something that I have been waiting a long time for. I was so eager to see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen return to the silver screen because it has been over 15 years since Revenge of the Sith first aired in theaters. Because of how special this is for many fans (besides myself), this review will have minimal spoilers.
RETURN OF THE JEDI
First off, I can say with certainty that Ewan McGregor still has it. And his portrayal of his character is such that it seems like he never stopped being Obi-Wan. He leads a highly boring exile life on Tatooine, which is right where he’s supposed to be. But a new flavor to the mythos is that he has a day job while in exile. It’s such a weird thing to see Obi-Wan live as a regular Joe. And he has already discarded his name in favor of Ben and seems determined to forget his past life as a Jedi. However, the Third Sister is obsessed with finding him, opening up a mystery for fans as to why?
I had some pretty sharp guesses and I of course will not reveal them. The only bad thing about this series so far, is the budget. The Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother’s costumes kind of look like cheap Halloween masks. And sometimes the action sequences don’t mesh well with the movement of the characters. When the Third Sister uses the Force to augment her jumps and leaps, it looks so forced (no pun implied) and sometimes other physical sequences are a little off as well.
The plot is very unexpected. But it takes notes from The Last of the Jedi series from Legends, where Obi-Wan occasionally left Tatooine to make sure the identity of the Skywalker twins was not compromised. This mission now in the canon depiction is a VERY important mission and Obi-Wan meets someone for the first time, whose identity is sure to give every fanboy and fangirl goosebumps. This character shows compassion and tough spirit at such a young age, and Obi-Wan is lost in a reverie of who this person reminds him of.
Obi-Wan gets his hands dirty, as expected. But let’s just say, he uses highly unorthodox methods of fighting because his Jedi skills are incredibly rusty. This show has a few tics to be sure, but the good far outweighs the bad and I really got into this story. The Star Wars galaxy society is so old and worn (like Obi-Wan) and its interesting to see how these denizens, with all their advanced technology, live like feudal farmers.
THE THIRD SISTER
Moses Ingram plays the Third Sister, and she is new to the mythos. I think her intense obsession with catching Obi-Wan is cool, but I wasn’t a huge fan of her acting. A lot of her dialogue and anger seemed poorly staged. And I think there is a bit of a disconnection between how she expresses herself and the larger role in the story. I will NOT reveal the mystery character that Obi-Wan is dealing with because it took me so off guard. And I want people reading this review to experience it firsthand. There are a few cute funny moments sprinkled throughout the episodes. But unlike some of the acting, its very organic and doesn’t feel forced at all.
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me, and I long for the special effects of the Prequels. Because for some reason, the laser bolts and lightsabers don’t look as “real” as they used to. I know this is a strange comment, but I think special effects of the 20’s just don’t have that authentic feel that the 00’s had. The blaster bolts are too bright and the lightsabers are too opaque. As I said, the costumes are a little lackluster as well, but despite all this, I really like what I saw. The best performance after Ewan McGregor is Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars. And he is portrayed in that sweet spot of half-young Owan from Attack of the Clones and grizzly Uncle Owen we know and love from the original trilogy.
I also love LOVE the emotion on Ewan’s face. Especially the awestruck horror when he finds out the truth about his old friend. There are, however, two huge questions on my mind. How does the Third Sister know about Vader’s true identity? And how are they going to retcon what Third Sister did at the end of the episode? Hopefully these questions will be answered as we dig into this limited treat.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus now.
Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!