Pros: Strong story overall
Cons: Some weaknesses in the first couple of episodes
The Bottom Line:
An untold story
Action filled fun for this fan
After a weak start
"You’re Bleeding All Over My Floor.” “Well, Everybody Bleeds.”
Of the Star Wars projects that had been announced for Disney+, the one I was most excited about was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Having mostly watched the movies that hit the big screen, those are the characters I know best, so I wanted to see what they would do with this previously unknown chapter of the saga.
The story starts ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) is hiding out on Tatooine while keeping an eye on Luke from a distance. Keeping who he is, both his name and the fact that he is a Jedi, as secret is of upmost importance since the Empire is hunting the galaxy to kill Jedi. This effort is led by the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram).
However, Obi-Wan is drawn out of hiding when someone kidnaps Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair). Reluctant at first because he fears it is a trap, Obi-Wan soon sets out. But can he keep who he is a secret while rescuing the ten-year-old?
I will be the first to admit that the show started out a little rough. And I’m not talking about pacing. There was so much laughable about the first couple of episodes. Take, for example, the scene where Leia is kidnapped. The way it is staged, it looked like someone’s home video movie, not a professional production.
Then there’s the fact that Leia is a brat, at least at the beginning. Honestly, I would have been tempted to leave her behind a couple of times. Fortunately, she quickly starts maturing and then I was able to enjoy the show. In fact, by the end, it was easy to see the character we know and love from the original trilogy. She’s still got spunk, but she is mature enough to know when to use it.
It was like the writers and the cast really found their groove with episode 3. That’s when things started to click for me. The characters were beginning to show growth and the story kicked into high gear. There are lots of great moments of character, suspense, and action over the course of the series (yes, even those first two episodes), and as the show progresses, the stakes continue to rise for the characters.
I’ll admit I’m not a super fan of Star Wars, but I didn’t spot any potential continuity issues for the movies caused by this show. In fact, it might help explain a couple of small moments that happen in the later movies.
Outside the one scene I mentioned earlier, the production values are good. We get plenty of exotic planets, and they look amazing. One or two special effects didn’t quite come off, but the majority of them did.
And the acting was uniformly good. While I complained about Leia early on, this was the fault of the script and not the young actress who played her. As I said earlier, we could easily see a spark of A New Hope’s Leia is her portrayal in the last episode.
While this was designed as a one off, they did leave some doors open for further adventures with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Based on this first season, if they do decide to come back for more, I will definitely come along for the ride.