Warning – this article contains all the spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Star Wars stories.
Ten years have passed since Revenge of the Sith and Obi-Wan has been living a quiet, anonymous life on Tatooine, keeping a distant but watchful eye on Luke Skywalker. During this time the Empire consolidated its power and started a galaxy-wide hunt for Jedi and any potential Jedi. Obi-Wan being a Jedi Master, a general in the Clone Wars and the guy who sliced up Anakin Skywalker is probably top of the most wanted list. After Leia is kidnapped Obi-Wan goes after her, despite protesting that he is not the man he once was, no longer the legendary Jedi Master. This mission has him meet criminals, storm troopers and the Inquisitors, Jedi who switched sides and lead the hunt for survivors of Order 66. And, of course, Obi-Wan encounters Darth Vader.
A Star Wars Fan’s Opinion
Let me start by saying – I loved Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have wanted to learn more about the story of what happened to Obi-Wan between the Clone Wars and A New Hope for decades. But I will also say this – it wasn’t first-rate television like The Mandalorian, it was a bit shakier, a bit more fan service, and a bit too keen on convenient rescues, but I still loved it. We have seen Obi-Wan go from padawan, to Jedi Master, to recluse, to willingly going to his death and it’s been quite a journey.
When I heard about this show I had actually hoped for some kind of western drama set on Tatooine. Obi-Wan unable to get involved in grand affairs of state cannot help but get involved to help people and fights some evil gangsters on Tatooine. What the show was actually about was much better. The show I envisioned was cool and exciting, the show we got dealt more with Obi-Wan as a character.
Not Obi-Wan Kenobi
The show was also full of great characters aside from the titular one, Vivien Lyra Blair was fantastic as young Leia and wonderfully captured Princess Leia’s (and to be honest Carrie Fisher’s) attitude of not taking bullshit from anyone. Moses Ingram as Inquisitor Reva was an interesting villain clearly dealing with obsession. Kumail Nanjiani as fake-Jedi and occasional hero Haja was another highlight, as was Indira Varma as Tala Durith, Imperial officer turned rebel. Finally, I have to mention NED-B, a loader-droid and rebel, who didn’t even have R2D2’s limited means of communication but whose death was terribly sad. Star Wars has a fantastic ability to get us to connect with droids – from whistling R2D2, Rogue One’s K2 and even The Mandalorian’s IG-11 the bounty/nurse droid.
Obi-Wan & Darth Vader
It is established in this show that Obi-Wan did not know Anakin Skywalker had survived their battle. As the Inquisitors are closing in on Obi-Wan, Darth Vader appears to personally deal with the Jedi and the two meet. The Jedi chose to meet Vader to give others a chance to escape and when he and Vader finally meet…he runs. The fight that follows shows Obi-Wan constantly outmatched by Vader and only escaping because of outside help. To see Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Master who lead armies, defeated Sith and occasionally fought monsters, run was somewhat heartbreaking. It’s not a question of cowardice, or at least, he’s not afraid of Vader in the conventional sense. Obi-Wan has not recovered from what happened – Anakin’s betrayal, Order 66 and his last battle with Anakin where he left his best friend for dead. Obi-Wan might be sure he did the right thing in fighting Anakin but it broke him. Obi-Wan runs to buy time, because he knows he’s not as good as he used to be, and perhaps most importantly, he cannot face what he did to Anakin.
Over the series, Obi-Wan regains his confidence and drive and when Vader and Obi-Wan meet again things go differently. This time Obi-Wan wins but still, he cannot get over what happened and he even apologises but Vader does not accept his apology. This gives rise to explaining one of the odder things Obi-Wan does in the original trilogy, telling Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered his father. Vader angrily declares that it was he, not Obi-Wan, who “killed” Anakin Skywalker. When Obi-Wan returns to his life on Tatooine it is with a new sense of peace, something he’d been lacking for the past ten years.
This show has given me so much enjoyment and it’s tricky as I recognise many flaws in the programme, ranging from plot holes to dialogue. More than once I wanted to scream at the TV – STOP LEAVING PEOPLE FOR DEAD! MAKE SURE THEY’RE DEAD! As again and again characters do this. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a great show for anyone but a must for all Star Wars fans.