Hello my friends, and happy weekend!
So of course the Obi-Wan Kenobi series premiered this past Friday, and it’s so big and exciting that I decided to dedicate this whole post to the first two episodes that dropped. So beware: SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven’t seen them yet.
So this was pretty much me the whole week:
I prepared simply by rewatching Revenge of the Sith. And was surprised that at the beginning of Part 1, we got a quick recap of the prequel trilogy, mostly as it applied to the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, which makes sense. This whole series is mostly about Obi-Wan dealing with feelings of guilt and regret about Anakin, and how he presumably will come to terms with it.
Ten years after the events of ROTS, Obi-Wan is about halfway between Obi-Wan the heroic Jedi Knight and Ben Kenobi, the Zen desert dweller that Luke comes across. Here, he’s a broken man: defeated, depressed, traumatized, clearly suffering from PTSD, with nightmares about Anakin. He’s not living in the home he’s in from A New Hope; here, he’s just living in a cave with very little else. Perhaps he feels he doesn’t deserve much else. He works at a job cutting meat, which I find interesting: he’s a butcher, and I wonder if he feels that way about himself concerning Anakin, with the limb-severing and all. I love that he cuts a little piece for his Eopie, and I kept waiting for him to get in trouble for that, but he never did.
He watches over Luke from afar, as Owen clearly wants him to stay away. I love the little bits with Owen, too, since we don’t see much of him in the prequels, and only as a grumpy old guy in ANH; we see that he just wants to protect Luke because, well, he loves the kid. Obi-Wan represents to him everything that destroyed Anakin, and he wants nary to do with it. I get it. But it hurts to see Obi-Wan so disrespected and rejected.
I found the Inquisitors to be kind of cartoonish, lol, but after all, they’re based on animated characters. I’m not sure how I feel about Reva yet. I’m theorizing that she was one of the younglings being trained during the Order 66 scene at the beginning; why else show yet another reiteration of Order 66, which has been burned into our brains many times over already? I’ll be interested to find out her backstory.
So then we get the other side of the coin: we see Leia as a little girl on Alderaan, being raised by Bail and Breha Organa, and I just love this little girl. She’s not only cute as a button, but precocious and sassy as only Leia can be. And we see how the Force manifests in her: she can see into people’s psyches quite easily and ferret out their innermost thoughts, as seen with that horrible cousin of hers.
So Leia gets kidnapped, and we’re not sure by who yet or why (by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, of all people, lol. But it works!). So Bail and Breha ask Obi-Wan to find her. And he says: no. We see just how far Obi-Wan has fallen, as he has absolutely no confidence in himself to help anyone. “I’m not the man you once knew,” he tells them, and it’s at least superficially true. We know the old Obi-Wan is in there somewhere, and it takes a personal visit by Bail to change his mind. Bail cuts to the chase: we failed, we made mistakes, but get over it and move on. He couldn’t save Anakin, but he can save his daughter, etc. So off he goes to Daiyu.
In Part 2, he finds himself on Daiyu with no leads. He sees an old clone down and out on the street, begging for money (he’s from the 501st, no less), and Obi-Wan is startled and appalled, and maybe a bit afraid (clones did massacre the Jedi, after all.) And it shows just how callous and cruel the Empire is, casting aside the clones they used for their own purposes. Anyway, a boy can tell he needs help and offers to lead him to a Jedi for a price. The “Jedi” turns out to be a fake, who uses the guise for credits, but to be fair, he does help people (he’s played by Kumail Nanjiani, seemingly fresh from his Kingo role in Eternals). From him, Obi-Wan is pointed to a spice refinery, and after a skirmish with some baddies (not using the Force, just fist-fighting and feeling every punch and hit), he finds Leia. And meets a tiny force to be reckoned with, lol.
I love that Obi-Wan gets to meet little Leia. It actually helps to make A New Hope make more sense, and why Leia would turn to him for help in her most desperate hour. Sure, Bail could have just told her, “If you ever need help in a big way, look for my Jedi friend Obi-Wan on Tatooine.” But this is better. I love that Obi-Wan gets to meet both of Anakin’s children. And as Bail told him, she’s just as important as the boy.
So anyway, off they go through the city with Obi-Wan trying to corral this little miss sassafras. It turns out that Reva had hired the bounty hunters to kidnap Leia to draw Obi-Wan out (doing a little research in the archives and finding that Obi-Wan and Bail were–friends? during the Clone Wars–seems like a reach to me, but whatever). Leia finds out that he’s the reason she was kidnapped, and suddenly doesn’t trust him and runs away. Obi-Wan chases after Leia as the bounty hunters and Reva chase after them. When Leia tries to jump across a chasm that’s too far for her, she plummets–and Obi-Wan has to reach for the Force to save her. And we suddenly realize Obi-Wan hasn’t touched the Force for a long, long time, as he struggles to find it and save her. And it seems to me that that’s why he’s never been able to reach his master Qui Gon Jinn–he’s cut himself off from the Force (remind you of someone? Luke from The Last Jedi instantly comes to mind). How does he expect to reach Qui Gon if he won’t touch the Force? I imagine he will by the end of the series, having come to terms with his demons and touching the Force again.
Anyway, Leia finally believes he’s a real Jedi (but doesn’t think Ben is a good name for a Jedi, further making me think of the sequels as she names her own son Ben–food for thought, eh?) They encounter the fake Jedi again, and he wants to help–he sends them to a cargo port with coordinates to a place where others will help them. There’s a poignant moment when the decisive Leia reminds him of Padme, but then Reva catches up to them and he sends her off to the ship ahead of him.
And this is where Reva drops her bomb–she tells him that Lord Vader will be pleased when she brings Obi-Wan to him. She intuits that Obi-Wan did not know this–that Anakin had survived. He nearly has a panic attack with the information–what an awful revelation. Anakin dead was bad enough–but Anakin surviving as the twisted Sith Lord Vader? Poor Obi-Wan. Reva nearly gets to him, but is interrupted by the Grand Inquisitor, who wants to bring Kenobi in himself. Reva stabs him in the gut, and I’m just assuming that he somehow survives to cause trouble for Kanan and Ezra in Rebels. But for now, it’s a chance for Obi-Wan to get away and take off with Leia.
On the ship, he’s still a wreck from the information and whispers Anakin’s name. We then cut to Vader in his bacta tank, opening his eyes as if he’s heard his old master. Daammnnn…..
So I’m just loving this series so far, as I predicted I would. One weird thing I noticed is that I’m hearing Ewan McGregor’s character of Halston in his Obi-Wan accent. I keep expecting him to light up a cigarette and hold it up between two fingers, lol. I think he’s trying to get closer to the Alec Guinness accent, but he definitely doesn’t sound like the Obi-Wan from the prequels. But his performance is still wonderful here, and I can’t wait for Part 3!
What did you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!