Behold, one of the most awaited moments by the fandom in Star Wars (as everyone knows, one of the most passionate and demanding in the world) has arrived. Since taking over the classic franchise of Lucas Films, a Disney been facing some setbacks with a portion of the fans of the saga created by George Lucas. Despite the indisputable quality and commercial success of its films, the company received several criticisms (some unfounded, others not) regarding the directions taken by the company in the trilogy known as sequel (with probably just Rogue One, 2016, being unanimous).
Given the uneven reception that its films were receiving, the company decided to give the franchise a break in theaters and take advantage of what is the big lode of the era of streams: the serials. The huge success of the Mandalorian (besides the less unanimous Bobba Fett's Book), showed Disney a niche where it could expand and enrich its universe, introduce new characters, and establish a new canon (much to the dismay of the most passionate fans of the old Expanded Universe) before its return to theaters. And that brings us to the series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which premiered this Friday at Disney +.
Obi-Wan is one of the most important characters in the entire saga, the mentor of both Anakin how much of Luke Skywalker, in addition to being extremely beloved both in its original version (played by Alec Guinness), and in the trilogy prequel (where he was incarnated by Ewan McGregor, which now returns to paper). While McGregor has always shown an interest in playing the character once more, there was doubt whether messing with one of the pillars on which Star Wars stands would be a good idea.
After watching the first two episodes of the series named by him, we can say yes. Obi-Wan appears here aged, almost halfway between the General Kenobi, from the prequel trilogy, and Alec Guinness's old hermit, reluctant to relinquish his surveillance of young Luke, who grows up on his uncle's farm Owen Lars. The consequences of order 66 and the battle with Anakin are so deep that he now fears using the Force, even if it is to help a Jedi fugitive from the fearsome inquisitors of Empire. But when he is summoned by the Organa family to rescue little Leia, he is forced to help.
The series' pacing may seem slower than The Mandalorian's, but it breaks down into a more episodic narrative, as Obi-Wan Kenobi takes on a single, constant narrative thread. The plot of Obi-Wan being hunted by the Inquisitors is thought-provoking, alternating the presentation of the Inquisitors, the dichotomy between the realities experienced by Obi-Wan and Luke in tatooine to little Leia's life with the Organa family, the Jedi's seclusion and his hesitation to return to active duty, the search for Leia and her attempt to escape the planet Daiyu (which mixes the typical exotic atmosphere of Star Wars with something of a cyberpunk). There's room for a lot of what made Star Wars so popular, like its menacing villains (and both the Inquisitor review how much the grand inquisitor play this role properly), desperate escapes, action scenes, and planets with exotic environments.
In the series we see a hesitant Obi-Wan, who needs to use more direct methods than the famous lightsaber duels of the past. McGregor is very comfortable in the role, and it's clear how much he wanted this opportunity. Little Leia, played by Vivien Lyra Blair, in turn, already shows the brave and untimely temperament of its adult version, being one of the great highlights of the series so far.
The Inquisitors prove to be a palpable threat, being feared by everyone the moment they arrive on a planet. Rev, played by Moses Ingram, the only human among them harbors an obsession with hunting Obi-Wan, while the Grand Inquisitor, played by Rupert Friend, shows a calm and cruel grandeur. In addition, the series features excellent guest appearances, such as Kumail Nanjiani (like the crook Come on debut) and Temuera Morrison(as one of the Empire's many veteran clone troopers).
The series still has a lot to present, obviously, but the initial impression is very good. It's something new and fresh, but without being Star Wars at all. It's different from The Mandalorian, but it's not lacking in quality. And yes, it's nostalgic and satisfying to see Ewan McGregor back in character. So very much looking forward to the next chapters, yes and totally.