There’s a moment early in the first episode of Obi Wan Kenobi‘s two-part premiere, which, while an astute observation of how the Jedi function as characters, seems intended explicitly as an explanation of why everything happens the way it does: Reva, the Sith Inquisitor known as the Third Sister (Moses Ingram), states that “the Jedi code is like an itch”. Jedi can’t resist helping someone in trouble. So if you want to track down a hidden Jedi, just start hurting people and eventually you’ll end up with a blue or green lightsaber in your face.
Reva’s ruse works very well on Nari, a terrifying Jedi who’s somehow survived a full decade of Imperial pursuit, although his version of “hiding” is more like “just being a Jedi and hoping no one notices.” “. See, Obi Wan Kenobi— if Disney+’s recap of the prequels and its prologue scene, which we’ll get to later, didn’t warn you — takes place in the increasingly crowded window in between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the original war of starswith Emperor 66’s Order turning the Jedi into criminals and his Sith Inquisitors (introduced in Star Wars: Rebels) Hunt for the few that are left.
Obi-Wan himself doesn’t appear in the first episode for a while, and when he does he seemingly serves as a counterpoint to Reva’s argument about Jedi. He spends his days working on Tatooine with a crew that harvests a large dead monster, chops up its parts into meat, and then gets their daily paycheck from a hired robot. When one of Obi-Wan’s co-workers complains about not getting what he’s owed, another yells at him. Obi-Wan looks on rather than resist the (admittedly small) tyranny.
At night he goes home to his den and occasionally sneaks out into the desert to spy on little Luke Skywalker (who was sent to his aunt and uncle on their humidity farm at the end of the year Episode III), and that’s it for Obi-Wan… until Nari shows up and asks about him, brandishing his lightsaber around to prove he’s a Jedi, and ignoring Obi-Wan’s pleas to shut up and accept that the Empire and the winner is. “The time of the Jedi is over, he says.” But, like Reva said, he’ll have to scratch that itch at some point.
Which brings us to the surprising main plot of these first two episodes: the young Leia Organa, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, falls into disrepair on her adoptive planet, Alderaan. Running away from her parents’ fancy party (including a welcome return of Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa), she is captured by a criminal idiot named Vect, distractedly played by Flea. Bail Organa turns to Obi-Wan for help because he’s the only one who knows there’s more to Leia than just being the adopted daughter of a famous politician. Obi-Wan initially refuses, but after seeing Nari dead and hanged in the middle of town, he relents and agrees to break his oath to keep an eye on Luke so he can save Leia.
Here the show encounters a number of war of stars Canon troubles that it only creates out of wanting to give something to Obi-Wan do moreover sitting in a desert leading up to the events of the original film. Leia’s “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi” message she gives to R2-D2 in the film seems to imply that she and Obi-Wan don’t know each other, but she eventually meets Obi-Wan in part two of the premiere and she overhears , as he is referred to as Obi-Wan – although he insists his name is “Ben”.
It’s too early to tell if this is a problem as this is just the premiere and there will be many more episodes to come but as war of stars Nerd questioning the necessity of some of these big and important spin-off stories, I can’t help but notice.
The good news is that the second episode is much more interesting and exciting than the first. Obi-Wan uses the Game Boy Advance he has hidden in his secret Jedi box to track Leia from there to Los Angeles Bladerunneror at least the war of stars version of it. Obi-Wan, who dresses like a Jedi and wears his lightsaber on his waist, has adopted Nari’s highly unsuccessful version of “hide and seek,” and a kid quickly invites him to meet up with a suspiciously helpful Jedi named Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani who is clearly having a great time ).
Haja helps Force-sensitive kids get out of town, and while he lies about being a Jedi, his heart is still pretty much in the right place. He leads Obi-Wan to Flea’s hideout, and after sabotaging some sort of drug lab, Obi-Wan finds himself in a fight with some jerks, who cleverly makes it clear that he can no longer easily hold his own in a fight – he was in it after all A den for a decade that sows some continuity for the fact that in a couple of years he will turn into Alec Guinness.
Speaking of Obi-Wan’s age, little Leia repeatedly refers to him as old, which is definitely not the case, but it feels like a small wink in waving away the inconsistency of Ewan McGregor’s looks compared to Guinness . Also: Little Leia is a lot of fun. Extremely precocious and cute as a war of stars Version of Anya from Spy X familyand I like that her precocity actually becomes a problem for Obi-Wan as she immediately finds out that he’s a Jedi and that the bad guys are after her to get to him.
That being said, I’d also like to note that the complexity of this evil conspiracy where Reva kidnaps Bail Organa’s daughter just because she knows Obi-Wan met Bail during the Clone Wars and she wants to flush Obi-Wan is absurd. She has no way of knowing that Bail won’t send his army, as Leia anticipates. It’s just very handy for Reva that bail got to keeping the kidnapping a secret and therefore unable to ask anyone but Obi-Wan for help, although she had no reason to think he would want to keep it a secret… no matter who Leia’s father is, she’s the adopted daughter of a famous senator! It can be a big deal when she’s kidnapped, and nobody’s going to be like, “Wait a minute, why is this guy so concerned about his daughter being kidnapped?”
Obi-Wan eventually gains Leia’s trust by using his powers to save her from falling, and with a little help from Haja (he’s a nice guy!) they find a way to escape. Before that, however, Obi-Wan tells Leia that she reminds him of someone he knew, a “fearless and stubborn” woman, making this perhaps a first ever the war of stars has acknowledged the existence of Padme Amidala since her death. It’s nice to see that not every member of the Skywalker family has to define themselves by their relationship (or lack thereof) with Darth Vader.
And hey, the episode ends with Obi-Wan learning from Reva that Vader is actually still alive, and we get a hard cut to a crumpled and toasted one Anakin Swimming in a tub with a breathing mask on. Of course…it’s really going to break canon if Obi-Wan and Vader meet at any point before that A new hopebut we’ll see how Obi Wan Kenobi fixes that.
- Reva is obviously one of those Padawans from the start, right? Why else show that? And if it’s so obvious, why not just make it explicit?
- On the subject of “why the show”…err, it probably wouldn’t have hurt Disney to throw a disclaimer or something in front of this episode, just so everyone knows the first thing you’re going to see is what essentially cops are shoot at children. Certainly not from Disney mistakebut it’s still hitting hard after this week.
- The meaningless sci-fi babble in each Alderaan scene felt very dissimilar war of stars me. Yes, there are things about “bouncing womp rats” and “banthaa poodoo” in the movies, but every line in those scenes was “it’s like raising a glor-ag” or “you’ll get sweet mallows.” What’s wrong with Han Solo saying “I’ll see you in hell” and whatnot?
- It’s worth noting that the basic plot here – a Jedi in hiding under Order 66, doing a menial job and forced to face the threat of Imperial Inquisitors – is very similar Jedi: Fallen Order. This game also spent time humanizing a Sith Inquisitor (sort of), specifically the Second Sister, with Reva being the Third Sister here.
- Hi! I won’t be your regular Obi Wan Kenobi recapper I’m only checking in this week. if you want to know mine war of stars To determine whether my opinion is valid or not, my ranking is: 1. The Last Jedi2. All others including the other shows, 3. The Rise of Skywalker. Oh, look at the time! Must go!