How do you cope with the load of expectations? When everyone seems to be seeking to you, after they want you, how do you measure up? Are you able to probably be not solely what folks need, however what they want? That is the central concern on the coronary heart of not solely Obi-Wan Kenobi the character, however Obi-Wan Kenobi the present. Extra so than the earlier Disney+ originals, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the one with the very best hurdle to clear, and the one burdened with two trilogies of continuity, in addition to the overwhelming and insurmountable expectations of generations of followers. How within the galaxy would this sequence fare in opposition to all of that?
Judging by the 2 episodes screened at Star Wars Celebration, Deborah Chow and the solid and crew haven’t solely risen to the event, however they’ve exceeded all hopes.
It’s unimaginable to look at these episodes with out instantly copying it to what we’ve already seen — The Mandalorian and The E book of Boba Fett. In comparison with them, Kenobi looks like a real auteur imaginative and prescient. Chow’s stamp is throughout this sequence, making it really feel like a singular entry within the Star Wars saga. If Mandalorian is a low key ode to the episodic motion exhibits of the ’80s, the TV equal of dumping out all of the leftover motion figures and smashing them collectively, then Obi-Wan Kenobi is the primary true status drama of the franchise.
The pacing is concurrently affected person and thrilling, with the primary two episodes placing your consideration in an ever-tightening vice. Someway Obi-Wan avoids the prequel curse; we all know this isn’t outdated Ben’s time to die, and the identical goes for a lot of different prequel actors reprising their roles for the sequence. However even understanding most of those characters’ final fates, Chow’s path — handheld cameras, intimidating closeups, sweeping vistas — makes you are feeling each single emotional beat whatever the continuity that’s etched in each fan’s thoughts. The sequence places you within the second, and this second is stuffed with peril.
It doesn’t harm that Chow’s working with among the best actors ever assembled in a Star Wars challenge. As Inquisitor Reva, Moses Ingram is each bit the power of nature that she’s been offered as. She instructions each single scene she’s in, in some way out-menacing all of her cohorts — y’know, those who’re in scary alien make-up. However in a devilishly intelligent twist, Reva isn’t just a probably unstoppable antagonist. Due to her place inside the Empire’s elite Jedi assassins’ guild, you really find yourself… nearly rooting for Reva — a minimum of till you notice that you just’re rooting for her to seize Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Ewan McGregor’s return as Kenobi is every part you need it to be. Instantly, the sequence instantly tugs on each single little bit of nostalgia all of us have for this actor on this function, utilizing it to not elicit cheers however fairly sorrow. Your coronary heart breaks for Obi-Wan, with McGregor taking part in the previous Jedi grasp with a deflated resolve to cover. After all there’s no present if Obi-Wan continues to do nothing, however when he inevitably does one thing, it feels earned.
Matt Kennedy / Lucasfilm Ltd.
What’s so exceptional about Obi-Wan Kenobi, although, is the way it by no means feels weighed down beneath the entire continuity it’s taking part in with. There are many parts from the prequels at play right here, depicted as all of them transfer in the direction of the period of the unique trilogy. Regardless of all of this, Kenobi feels streamlined — maybe as a result of it’s centered on the perspective of 1 man. However whereas it doesn’t really feel cluttered, it additionally (fortunately) doesn’t really feel as sparse as Boba Fett or as endearingly easy as Mandalorian. Kenobi feels excessive stakes, emotionally deep, and like the primary Star Wars sequence to Matter, capital M. It’s a feat.
If the primary two episodes are any indication, we’re in for not solely one of the best Star Wars sequence to air on Disney+, however probably one of the best sequence to ever air on Disney+.