Here are the fans of Star Wars and finally waited for the return to the screens of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Albeit without the participation of George Lucas and in the format of a series, not a movie. Luckily, given the budgets that Lucasfilm and Disney have, streaming shows are so easy and indistinguishable from feature-length shows. The only pity is that before the premiere they did not release the director’s version of Revenge of the Sith for four hours-the picture clearly deserves it. Obi-Wan Kenobi in all respects perfectly continues the story of the third episode of the Skywalker Saga, while maintaining the same atmosphere.
It is not known what couch critics expected from the series, but this very criticism with an emphasis on disappointment is in abundance. Unlike The Mandalorian and The Boba Fett Book, Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t need fanservice like Grog, Luke Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano-and that’s an indicator. Set in 8 BBY, the series is seen as a bridge between Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One in tone and story.
The main advantage of the show was the cast, and this is by no means only about Ewan McGregor, who, with great enthusiasm, 17 years later, again picked up the flashlight. And not even about Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker rejuvenated with the help of computer graphics until the days of Attack of the Clones. Rupert Friend (Homeland, Hitman: Agent 47) and Song Kang (Fast and the Furious) perfectly got used to the images of the charismatic Grand Inquisitor and the fifth brother, there are no complaints about Tala performed by Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Carnival Row). Separately, it is worth noting Vivienne Lyra Blair, who perfectly played the little Leia Organa. But most recently, the girl starred in Robert Rodriguez’s film for Netflix called We Can Be Heroes, the sequel to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava. In which, by the way, Pedro Pascal and Song Gang appeared.
With the plot, things are a little worse, but in general it turned out quite well. By the way, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who is leaving her post next year, forced the first version of the script to be rewritten-it was too reminiscent of The Mandalorian. Because of what, the shooting and the premiere had to be postponed, not to mention the production of the series in a pandemic. The story ultimately came from the pen of Joby Harold (Anesthesia, Army of the Dead), Stuart Beatty (30 Days of Night, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) and Hussain Amini (Drive, 47 Ronin ). Let’s start with the fact that the team managed to surprise the audience: instead of looking after Luke on Tatooine, fans were offered the rescue of Leia and much more diverse locations.
If we discard the secondary and not always so necessary storylines, then two main ones remain. First, a story about a broken, not only mentally, but also spiritually and physically, Jedi Master, who reproaches himself for the fiasco in the past, vegetating in the wilderness and closing his eyes to the gloomy realities of the Empire. This item is implemented to the glory, thanks to the talent of McGregor. Secondly, a demonstration of those very realities, of what the Republic has become ten years after Palpatine came to power. Sometimes it is very succinct to recall at least a short episode with a clone performed by Temuera Morrison. In addition, the inquisitors, invented by Dave Filoni for the animated Rebels, are organically woven into the story. Yes, and without violence over the canon managed.
At some points, the level of logic of what is happening on the screen, of course, sags. There are questions about the outcome of the duel between Kenobi and Vader. Yes, the message seems to be clear: Obi-Wan frees himself from the burden of the past, discards regrets and self-flagellation in order to open up to the future. All this is very cool, but the Sith Lord before leaving was still worth chopping. Yes, this is not an option, because it was possible to beat the forcedly interrupted battle. Initially, Obi-Wan Kenobi was conceived as a complete six-episode story, but with the filing of the same McGregor, there was talk of a second season, against which, if the fans approve of the idea, the studio bosses have nothing against it. But the scope remains-let’s say, it is quite possible to return to the Rebels once again to rethink the final resting place of Maul.
The work of director Deborah Chow (Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul), who managed to have a hand in The Mandalorian, and cameraman Chung Chung Hoon (Oldboy, It, Uncharted: Not on the cards) is also on level, the legendary John Williams again took up the soundtrack, and the lightsaber duels, as promised, are really close to the level of Revenge of the Sith. Green screens are a thing of the past, giving way to huge LED panels on which visual effects are displayed in real time using the Unreal Engine, but more traditional methods were also used-say, an old, but quite real camel played the eop. So the content, the picture, and the sound are pleasing, from the opening scene in the Jedi temple to the final scene with Qui-Gon Jinn, where already without him (even if Liam Neeson recently stated that he did not want to appear on television). The pirates also appreciated the importance of the premiere, so they released as many as two dubs, dividing the official Russian voices of Hollywood actors led by Evgeny Ivanov, which made it possible to maintain an atmosphere so close to a full meter.
The opinions of critics and viewers were divided, in many ways, as it happens, from overly high expectations. Obi-Wan Kenobi is an expensive and beautiful story, organically inscribed in the canvas of a galaxy far, far away. And no attempt to make easy money on the Star Wars brand. This is exactly what the continuation of Revenge of the Sith should look like, it really smells like Logan, even though the correct ending for such a story is impossible, because the fate of the Jedi is sealed. Well, the icing on the cake was, of course, the brilliant performance of Ewan McGregor-the actor took a liking to his character and put his soul into his return. With all due respect to Sir Alec Guinness, his Scottish counterpart managed to bring the image of the hero to a new level. The script would do well to polish a little, you can’t argue, but there are no unforgivable holes in it either. So, as if all sorts of haters poured out their toxicity, this is exactly the Obi-Wan Kenobi that you have been waiting for so long.