Now that Disney’s largely in charge of the Star Wars franchise, we’ve seen a lot more content hitting Disney+. In the past few years, we’ve had a few animated shows, The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian, and now, we have Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Again, the Star Wars team is sticking to their guns, relying on the popularity of their big-shot characters to carry their shows instead of exploring a story outside of the Skywalker saga.
That being said, the first half of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series isn’t bad—it’s just ordinary.
(Spoilers ahead for Parts I – III of Obi-Wan Kenobi).
Summing Up The Obi-Wan Kenobi Series
The Obi-Wan Kenobi show takes place ten years after the events of The Revenge of the Sith, with Ewan McGregor’s Ben Kenobi hiding out on Tattoine. Ben works a normal job at a meat factory-thing, taking occasional trips to watch over Luke on Owen’s farm.
The Imperial Inquisitors turn up on Tattoine looking for Jedi, and the fall onto Ben’s trail. From there, Ben manages to escape Tattoine, continuing on a journey to find a young Princess Leia, who was captured from the palace grounds on Alderaan.
Ben’s movements catch the attention of the Grand Inquisitor, and later, Darth Vader. On Mapuzo, another desert-like planet, Vader catches up with Ben, and they have a very on-sided duel, which almost ends in Ben’s demise.
Did We Need An Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Series?
I find myself asking these questions a lot: “Did we need this show? What does it add to the universe?”
For example, when watching Moon Knight, I asked that question, but largely I decided that Moon Knight was a necessary show, and it added some variation to the MCU.
But, after watching the first three episodes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, I felt like I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer for those two questions.
And here’s why.
The Star Wars timeline places many of the TV shows and one-shot films between the large cinematic movies. The era when Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place is between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
But Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t the only treat situated between the prequel films and the original trilogy. Nope, this is the area that Star Wars overloaded.
Between TRotS and ANH, we have Solo, Rogue One, Star Wars Rebels, and The Bad Batch. That’s a lot of screentime for the same era, and honestly, I think this period in Star Wars has been beaten to death. We know the Empire’s bad, we know people are still struggling with the fallout of Order 66 and looking for revenge and all that. I don’t think there’s much else to riff off in this section of Star Wars, but they continue to do so.
The Future Is Already Written
Another problem that I have with shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi is that as much as the series might try to create urgency, drama, or a cliffhanger, it just falls flat, at least for me.
And it falls flat because I already know what’s going to happen.
For example, in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia gets captured and her life is in danger. But not really, because we know she lives on for at least another 60 or 70 years.
Obi-Wan struggles in a battle against Darth Vader, and the tensions are high! Well, not really. We know Obi-Wan survives (as does Vader), and they’ll resume their fight in A New Hope.
If I were a new viewer, and I had started at the very beginning of the Star Wars cinematic timeline, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was a follow-up to The Revenge of the Sith (without me having any knowledge of the future movies), I’d say it’s pretty enjoyable.
You still have cool alien characters, new places to explore, politics between peoples, and classic Star Wars stormtroopers. It’s an entertaining show, and I think it might add some value for people just getting into Star Wars.
But, as a long-time viewer, the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series is blatantly format. Pitting a beloved, outcasted hero against an infamous villain in the vein of the original Star Wars trilogy, but without the high stakes. It’s interesting, but unremarkable.