Andrea’s film review – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi  ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

TV miniseries exploring the Jedi Master’s untold story. Ten years after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan Kenobi has to save young Leia after she is kidnapped, all the while being pursued by Imperial Inquisitors and his former Padawan, now known as Darth Vader. Available to watch on Disney +

The original concept for this series has been in the making for many years. Originally it was meant to be a stand-alone film, then after the Box Office failure of Solo it was pulled off and shelved until it slowly morphed in this new six-parter series on DisneyPlus.

Given how bad the previous Star Wars TV series was (I’m referring to the abysmal The Book of Boba Fett), let’s just say that the Force needed to be particularly strong with Obi-Wan Kenobi in order to regain some trust among fans.

This is also the first time a live action series has positioned itself between the “infamous” prequels (though today they’re regaining some support from those who were children back when they were first released) and the original films (now known as Episode IV, V and VI).

So “Obi-Wan” has a lot of work to do: it needs to please fans of both trilogies (not an easy task) without alienating the other half; it needs to add more details about a time-span which we’ve never seen before and also needs to feel “essential”, since we all know that everyone we care about eventually survives.

I must say, I came to it very suspicious, for all the obvious reasons…  but left pretty satisfied on the whole, by the time the final episode aired last night.

I don’t think it completely succeeded in avoiding that feeling of redundancy and I’m sure if you sat down at the start of the first episode and thought hard about it, you might even be able to plot it all from start to finish, but at the same time, it manages not to ruin the memories of what we hold dear about the original films, nor mystique by giving us information nobody cares to know.

In fact it even retcons some of the weaknesses of episode II and III by adding a little bit of context through some welcome flashbacks.

Production design-wise, the series has more of that inhabited, rusty and old look of the original trilogy (IV-V and VI) than the prequels, but at the same time it doesn’t discard those films either and even gives fans of those films a few unexpected surprises, which have been wisely kept very secret: watching the last episode last might we all cheered aloud at the return of one particular character.

Ewan McGregor by now inhabits the role of Obi Wan to perfection and I’m sure the fans would have been able to spot many similarities to the Obi-Wan played by Sir Alec Guinness. For example, if you are a nerd like me, you’d find impossible not to spot how the last line of this series “Hello there” is spoken in exactly the same way as the first line in 1977 Star Wars by Guinness.

What the series does particularly well is how it handles the character of Darth Vader, who after all is still one of everybody’s favourite baddies in film history, and how it builds on his relationship with Obi-Wan. It all leads to acceptance to the fact that his old friend Anakin is now well and truly gone and now Darth has replaced him, something which feels possibly even more poignant if you’ve seen the surprisingly good animated series The Clone War.

Overall Obi-Wan Kenobi is skilfully made, the pace is fairly brisk and the action scenes while not really ground-breaking are all perfectly good, but even though there are individual good elements in it (and I did enjoy watching it), it’s probably all the above-mentioned slavishness to adhere to fans’ demands and the lack of any real new interesting character or storyline (as opposed to what the Mandalorian had given us), which eventually makes this a rather uninspiring and overall not very interesting exercise.

Fun yes, but undemanding and not very original.

You can watch the whole series on Disney+

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Obi Wan Kenobi is available to watch on Sky and Now TV.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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