Spoiler warning: This recap is for those who have seen episodes one and two of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Welcome to the first of our Obi-Wan Kenobi episodes. Disney+ released the first two episodes this morning so they can debut during Star Wars Celebration, which takes place this week in Anaheim, California. The next four episodes are one a week, which will be released on Wednesdays.
OK, in the words of one Lord Vader, let’s drop the pleasantries and get started.
We opened, somewhat unexpectedly, with a nearly four-minute synopsis of the prequel trilogy—from Obi-Wan as padawan, warning his master of the dangers of training Anakin in the ways of the force, to those fears that were realized on the flaming banks of the lava rivers of Mustafar. I can’t imagine anyone watching wasn’t aware of those events, so my best guess is that the highlight role was there to show us how much better the acting is in Obi-Wan Kenobi than in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. And really, Ewan McGregor was outstanding during these two episodes. Maybe he’s a better actor than he was 20 years ago? But he certainly has better material to work with here, and certainly seems more comfortable in the role. Not to doom the whole thing with the least praise, but this is his best Star Wars rendition to date.
To the actual episode, and we returned to the Jedi Temple during the events of Order 66. When the Jedis were attacking everywhere, five youths, aided by their brave teacher, managed to escape. A quick jump 10 years into the future, and two photos of cold expositions from the bartender later (yes, people watching who haven’t seen Star Wars Rebels, those people in the strange hats are Inquisitors, and they’re hunting Jedi), we were reunited with Nari, one of the five escapees. As always, he couldn’t resist helping someone and his Force powers betray him.
Then we got our first glimpse of Obi-Wan, sorry, Ben, who worked as some sort of butcher/sushi chef, cutting up the insides of what I’m going to call a sand shark. It’s far from being a general in the Clone Wars, but hey, it’s a living. And he gets to take home a piece of meat every day for his eopia (more on this later).
We saw Uncle Owen (I’m so glad Joel Edgerton has come back to play Luke’s saying no moisture farmer uncle, the part he first had in the prequels), and we saw Obi-Wan say no to helping Nari before Nari, murdered by the Inquisitors, were hung in the street. So far, so good, but all fairly predictable. I couldn’t quite put my finger on which western the plot most reminded me of, with its focus on a cunning old marksman forced to hide his skills for the sake of his family before taking up arms one last time. . The fastest weapon alive, perhaps? However, I swallow it.
About under Alderaan
Poor old Alderaan. All those people waving to the Organas – if only they knew that in about 20 years their voices would suddenly scream in terror and suddenly be silenced.
But let’s focus on the here and now, and Leia, a tree-climbing, rebellious young princess, who lives a very different life than her brother, Luke. While he makes his own fun in the desert sands of Tatooine and dreams of escape, she leads a life of waving, processions, formal buffets and barbed wire swaps with her snotty cousin.
It later turned out that the bald head we saw when we spotted her in the woods belonged to none other than Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who played a not-so-smart kidnapper. Nevertheless, after learning of a connection between Bail Organa and Obi-Wan, the Third Sister’s plan to kidnap Leia and use her as bait was brilliantly cunning. Of course, if she’d known who Leia really was, she’d have won a much bigger prize than a stinking old Jedi hiding in the Outer Rim.
Nobody expects the Daiyu Inquisition
I especially liked the fish-out-of-water aspect of Obi-Wan’s mission on Daiyu, with its obvious nods to Blade Runner and continuation of the western theme. Since the old Jedi, who was not in combat form, had no choice but to go up against much younger opposition while caring for a somewhat obnoxious youngster, I was reminded again of a cowboy movie, this time perhaps True Grit.
As a huge fan of Star Wars Rebels and the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game, I couldn’t wait to see the Inquisitors in a live-action show, and I think Disney and the actors got it right. The Third Sister is a new character for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Moses Ingram was chilling as the ambitious newcomer, who coolly took the Grand Inquisitor down in the second episode. In that regard – and careful if you don’t want to make too many predictions here – I don’t believe he’s dead. The Grand Inquisitor (voiced in the Jason Isaacs animated series) dies in Star Wars Rebels, which takes place about four years after the events of this series. So one of three things is true: He’s not dead, it’s a different Grand Inquisitor, or Rebels are no longer part of the official Star Wars canon.
Anakin is alive!
It’s often the ones with the greatest need to know who will find out last. And finally, news reached Obi-Wan that Anakin survived their battle and is still alive. Of course he has to process a lot here, but was it really such a secret? Who did he think was in charge besides Emperor Palpatine, if not Anakin? Was Obi-Wan really so isolated in that cave that he didn’t bother to find out if the Emperor had a new apprentice or not? He may also feel a sense of relief, discovering that he didn’t kill his “brother.” It couldn’t have been easy to live with that for ten years, on top of everything else.
Comments and comments
We’ve seen Nari, but who are the other four youths from the Jedi Temple—and shall we meet them?
Will Obi-Wan ever give that toy to Luke? Is it the same one he plays with while giving C-3PO his oil bath?
I predict that Obi-Wan’s nightmares will become more apparent as we go along, eventually leading him to make contact with Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force spirit.
Obi-Wan’s eopie was played by a camel named Silas, with whom Ewan McGregor had such a strong relationship that he almost ended up adopting it.
That was a lovely cameo on Temuera Morrison’s Daiyu as the bearded veteran who asked for a hot meal.
Obi-Wan had Anakin’s lightsaber buried in the desert along with his own. Did he just leave it in his cave while going to Daiyu?
Have we seen Kumail Nanjiani’s last Haja Estrie? I loved the character, I must say, and his noble turn was unexpected, but perfect. And who are the people he has sent Obi-Wan to meet?
What did you think? Has the series hit high ground? Give your opinion below…