+++ Opinion +++
What were the expectations of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” not huge? The return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi was more eagerly awaited than almost any other project by the younger “Star Wars”-Past. This is not only because the main actor under “Star Wars” is enormously popular with fans and is even described by declared prequel opponents as one of the bright spots in “Episode 1-3”, but also in the incredible potential of the story. The title character has lost his student, nay, his best friend, to the dark side of the force, which resulted in the Jedi’s near-extinction. Watching Obi-Wan wrestle with his guilt: There’s an emotional impact behind it that gives you goosebumps just thinking about it.
In a few small moments of the Disney + series, this force was felt, but unfortunately far too rarely. Episode 6 of Obi-Wan Kenobi marks one of the low points. Unfortunately, the finale left me completely cold and revealed one of the biggest problems of the series: its placement in the “Star Wars“-Timeline is a corset that severely restricts any tension and narrative freedom.
Warning, spoilers follow!
There are numerous passages in Episode 6 that simply serve to better put “Obi-Wan Kenobi” into the “Star Wars’ continuity, but which add no value to the series itself. Episode 6 doesn’t feel like a finale, but rather an epilogue that painstakingly works through all the open questions raised in the previous episodes.
Obi-Wan’s farewell to Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) was my highlight of the episode. But the way it double-emphasised that the Organas should turn to Obi-Wan should they ever need help again, pulled me out of the moment. Suddenly all I could think about was the writers of the series, how they connected to the original “Star Wars’ movie in which Leia sends a cry for help to Obi-Wan.
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A similar thing happens when Obi-Wan and Luke meet, which is supposed to explain why young Skywalker knew a certain Ben Kenobi in “Episode 4”. And then there’s the cameos of Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine and Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn. The cameo appearance of Obi-Wan’s master ties into the Force Spirit ability Kenobi mastered in the original trilogy, and of course Darth Vader’s superior has to show up again to stop his apprentice from continuing to hunt Obi-Wan.
All of these moments are not a problem at all in and of themselves. But since the series hardly does anything different than others “Star WarsPreparing or following up on adventures, episode 6 degenerates into a blunt completion of a checklist. The immersion, that Experience history suffers.
Not only is Obi-Wan Kenobi busy maintaining connections with the old movies, but new ones too.Star Wars’ content needs to be positioned. The Reva spin-off has only been a rumor so far, but after this finale, it seems obvious that Disney is preparing to do just that, or at least keeping the option open.
We already reported at the link above that the Reva spin-off plans weren’t there from the start. The Inquisitor was supposed to die in a fight with Vader in episode 5, but then the script was probably rewritten. After her bumpy heist in episode 6, I’m inclined to believe the rumor.
Because Reva (Moses Ingram) has no relevance to the plot of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” in the finale. The main purpose of her final appearance is to rehabilitate the villain so that she will be known in the future as “Star Wars“ protagonist can function. Moreover, their motivation is unclear. Why does she want to kill Luke? Just to get revenge on Obi-Wan? It’s never really explained and it’s not clear from the context either, because their hatred has been directed at Darth Vader so far. She has done bad things, but only to avenge worse things. The fact that she is now planning to murder a child comes out of nowhere.
Reva’s performance looks as if he had been squeezed into the finale in a makeshift manner and under time pressure. But the problems don’t stop there.
The duel with Darth Vader is also a disappointment for me. Not only because the fight itself is very generically staged compared to the Sith Lord’s previous appearances and only offers a desolate rocky landscape as a backdrop, but also because it destroys much of the powerful aura that otherwise surrounds Vader. The pathetic way he gets taken down by Kenobi at the end is something I personally never wanted to see.
But what does that have to do with the “Star Wars“-shackles to do? Oh well, the scene probably also exists to avoid the apparent contradiction with “Star Wars: Episode 4” when Darth Vader says: “When I left you, I was the student. Now I am the master.”
Completely unnecessary! Because episode 5 had already solved this problem, and much more elegantly:
In addition, the duel due to the placement in the “Star Wars“-Timeline lacks any tension. We know both will survive, which is why the creators of Obi-Wan had to push the boundaries of credibility to send them back into the fray. Vader can’t seriously have thought a few rocks would be enough to take down Kenobi. In all his hatred he should at least have checked again if his former master is really dead.
But Obi-Wan doesn’t act in an understandable way either: Why does he simply leave the defeated Sith Lord behind? Though Jedi code forbids him from killing, at that moment Kenobi should have had a much stronger motivation to end the threat to the galaxy than to repeat the mistake he made defeating Anakin on Mustafar. In any case, simply letting him get away is not an option, but rather a death sentence for many more innocent people who will die at the hands of his red blade. The guilt that Obi-Wan takes upon himself is enormous, but the series doesn’t even address it.
I didn’t need another duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. I found the clash in episode 3 and the Jedi’s mental victory over the Sith in episode 5 (including the flashback sequence) both really strong and that would have been enough for me. Instead, the creators had the two compete against each other one more time to close the last supposed gap in the story.
But that would not have been necessary in this consequence. Being able to fill in the blind spots of the stellar saga with your own imagination often holds far greater fascination than the meticulous explanation of every detail.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” has the “Star Wars”-Universe therefore possibly taken more than given. It’s about time Disney broke free from the shackles of the Skywalker saga and presented us with completely different stories in an as yet unexplored part of the “Star Wars” timeline offers. My hopes are on Taika Waitit’s upcoming film and series The Acolyte. I’ve had enough of the Skywalker family and a certain Mr. Kenobi after this finale.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Episode 6 Explained (DashFUN Original)
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