the new Star Wars spin-offs getting sequentially worse?
I loved the Mandalorian (perhaps it was because we had next to no expectations when S1 was first released); season 2 was alright, but not as good as the first; Boba Fett was even more meh, I came to this realisation when I realised that I didn’t care if Boba Fett lived or died as I wasn’t emotionally attached to his character; and Obi-Wan Kenobi………. Ok, before I let you know what I thought in the very first paragraph of this post, I might as well draw it out a little bit longer since I have your attention.
So, the reasons why we were excited about Obi-Wan Kenobi when the chatter first started, was for the fact that Ewan McGregor was back to reprise his role as Obi-Wan! So, that’s check-mark one!
Second, with the advances in technology and where CGI is currently at, the expectations were super high in how this Star Wars chapter might look! That’s check-mark two.
And thirdly, there was great anticipation in the fact that after 2 years of Disney Plus and Star Wars being a part of our daily lives, we were finally going to see a new story which was at the heart of the Star Wars saga, after thus far only skirting at the fringe story-lines. So, that’s check-mark 3.
So, after all that being said, to say that the anticipation for Obi-Wan Kenobi was high? Now that’s an understatement. And did it live up to the hype?
Unfortunately, not, unfortunately not.
So, the story-line of Obi-Wan Kenobi occurs 10 years after Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith. As you may remember Anakin Skywalker was defeated by his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, leaving him horribly injured and disfigured. And then in Episode 4 A New Hope, we have Darth Vader. So, this latest 2022 Star Wars series seeks to fill in the gaps in those intervening years let’s call it 20 years. How did a left-to-die Anakin become the hulking 6’6 black visored Darth Vader? And let’s just say it wasn’t from protein shakes and lifting weights.
We learn in Episode 1 of Obi-Wan Kenobi, that Luke and Lei are now 10 years old., both living with their adopted families on their respective planets. For Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s living on Tatooine, to remain close to Luke, while he works a 9-5 job as a Fishmonger or is it a Butcher? It’s actually hard to define, as he butchers some giant alien whale carcass thing on a production line. Obi-Wan remains close to Luke like a phantom sentry, But his attentions ought to be with Lei, as she’s the first to be abducted and Obi-Wan is called into action to save the kidnapped princess.
All the typical Star Wars ingredients are there, i.e. lightsaber battles, cute droids, jokes at the expense of the Jedi, disillusioned Imperial officers, ridiculous looking humanoid aliens, and of course a cute kid (Disney’s influence on the Star Wars formula). So, all those elements are there. However, I couldn’t help but think, that Obi-Wan Kenobi felt more like a fan-fic. You know, like those fan run discussion boards where people post up alternate endings or dream-up back-stories to fill in the gaps.
And isn’t this just that? We have a gap of 20 years between Revenge of the Sith and a New Hope, so let’s fill that gap with a new series? Like how the Mandalorian is a gap filler from Episode 6 to Episode 7?
But what particularly annoyed me about the need to bridge the gap between trilogy 1 and trilogy 2, was the fact that the accents needed to be bridged as well. The fact that Anakin had an American accent in Ep 1-3, but then as Darth Vader he sounds like James Earl Jones. And the fact that they had to get Ewan McGregor to sound like Alec Guinness, a Shakespearean actor. And I have to admit it was super annoying hearing Ewan trying to copy the voice, to little success- that put me off big time. And it was interesting at the end in how they tried to merge Hayden Christensen with JEJ’s voice, to bridge that continuity gap.
And the other two things which particularly annoyed me, was the lack of ‘seeing the job through to the end’. Like honestly who runs someone through with a lightsaber and then turns their back and walks away, without actually hanging around long enough to ensure that the person’s actually dead? Four times this happens! I know, I know, these characters need to live to fight another day, but this lack of seeing things through to the end annoyed me. Haaha.
And the last thing which annoyed me was the fact that the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, at least for those who required Audio Describe, the episode is defective! I know? How could this be? But the audio track and the visuals are out of sink, by perhaps 2-3 seconds. To an extent which it’s unwatchable. Sure, for a person who is blind, who cares!? But if you’re watching it with someone sighted, it’s unwatchable. We put off watching the last episode for 2 weeks, thinking that Disney would fix the problem, but they never did. So, we ended watching the non-audio described version together, and afterwards I re-watched it with Audio Describe on my own. This is such a first world problem, but you’d think a company of Disney’s size, they shouldn’t have these problems with a global product! Come on guys!
So, as you can see, I was let down by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but the bar was set so high- There could only be unmet expectations and disappointment as a result. But would we watch the next Star Wars release? Of course, we would! But are we guaranteed that we’d like/love it? Yeah, there’s definitely no guarantees there.
To watch Obi-Wan Kenobi now, click HERE! You can decide for yourself if I was too harsh in my verdict?