REVIEW: Disney’s ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Series Balances Nostalgia and Action

May was a BIG month for Star Wars fans!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Between all of the Star Wars Celebration announcements like Baby Yoda, the Mandalorian, and more coming to Disneyland, a new trailer for the Andor series, and a timeline for the next season of The Mandalorian, there’s been a lot of news from a galaxy far, far away to keep up with. But, perhaps the biggest Star Wars drop of the month was the first TWO episodes of the new Disney+ original series about one of the franchise’s most memorable characters — Obi-Wan Kenobi

🚨 Warning: Proceed with caution if you are looking to remain completely spoiler-free! 🚨

Obi-Wan Kenobi, a 6 part mini-series streaming on Disney+, premiered its first two episodes on Friday, May 26th. The series sees the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, and Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars. It also introduces Moses Ingram as the Reva, the Third Sister, Kumail Nanjiani as Haja Estree, and Vivien Lyra Blair as Leia Organa.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) with an eopie in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The series takes place in between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and finds Obi-Wan living on Tatooine watching over a young Luke Skywalker.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The show feels familiar, yet still has moments that come completely out of the blue. It does a great job of balancing the nostalgia of returning characters with pockets of action that we did not see coming. While there are elements from the Star Wars franchise that aren’t the widely-watched movies, the story is still accessible, and you don’t need to know every last detail about the universe to understand the stakes.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Obi-Wan Kenobi unifies generations of Star Wars series, comics, movies, and more through a character who has strong connections in several different corners of the galaxy.

It’s easy to look at the original Star Wars trilogy, the prequel trilogy from the late 90s and early 2000s, and the animated Clone Wars series as different entities due to the differences in their medium and tone, but if there’s one thing that can connect all of these franchises — it’s Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his eopie in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has been a grounding presence throughout Star Wars since 1977, so who better than him to navigate us through the tumultuous transition from the Republic to the Empire. The warmth and compassion that we see in Obi-Wan throughout the saga allow for a vulnerable look at the very real consequences of the war he has lived through.

©Disney

Ewan McGregor returns as the well-known Jedi, and has the unique opportunity to continue to develop a character that he played for the first time in 1999.

The Obi-Wan we see today is more jaded than we’ve seen him in the past. Understandably so, given everything that he lost in Revenge of the Sith. He’s dutifully watching over Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, but with Order 66 still in effect, demanding that all Jedi are eliminated, he’s forced to live much of his life in the shadows.

©Disney

If there is one thing that can pull Obi-Wan out of the physical and metaphorical shadows that he has been living under in Tatooine, it’s one of the Skywalker twins. Jimmy Smits reprises his role as Bail Organa, who tells Obi-Wan that his daughter, Leia, aged 10, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, has been kidnapped. Kenobi leaves Tatooine to rescue the young princess and is forced to confront some of the darkness from his past while continuing to avoid the deadly Inquisitors.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Vivien Lyra Blair plays an excellent Young Leia. She’s bold, sassy, and unapologetic, and you can see exactly how she grows up to be the fearless and headstrong leader that Carrie Fisher created.

Seeing these interactions between Leia as a child and Obi-Wan before Episode IV brings more meaning to her plea to him in her infamous “You’re my only hope” hologram. The two already have a wonderful dynamic of intellectual challenge, and we can’t wait to see where this goes throughout the series.

©Disney

Moses Ingram also breathes a breath of fresh air into the Reva, the Third Sister. A driven and compelling villain who has already shown that she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants.

We can objectively tell that her vision is clouded, but Ingram’s conviction in the first two episodes is captivating. We’re not sure what to expect from her in the rest of the series, but we’re excited to find out!

Reva (Moses Ingram) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The first two episodes — and it seems the series as a whole — is building to a reunion or confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.

By far the most jaw-dropping moment in the show so far was the reveal of Hayden Christensen’s Vader at the end of the second episode. Earlier in that episode, Obi-Wan learns what really happened to Anakin Skywalker for the first time in a heartbreaking realization, and we’re looking forward to seeing the plot continue to thicken between these two.

©Entertainment Weekly | Lucasfilm

Overall, Obi-Wan Kenobi is bringing balance to Star Wars by bridging the gap between the prequel trilogy and the rest of the saga through one of the franchise’s most compassionate, memorable, and grounded characters, and the anticipation that it’s built so far is sure to have us and many other fans on the edge of their seats for the rest of the series.

With 4 more episodes to go (and many more Star Wars series on the horizon), we’ve got a lot to look forward to, so be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for more of the latest!

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One Reply to “REVIEW: Disney’s ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Series Balances Nostalgia and Action”

  1. I don’t think this is an accurate review. It was horrible. The reviews that I have seen confirm my sentiment.