The Prophecy And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN. And he shall bring Balance to the Force. "Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
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'Obi-Wan Kenobi' begins !
31st May 2022
The first two episodes of the six-part series of Obi-Wan Kenobi began on May the 27th, with the subsequent episodes to be released weekly each wednesday. Overall, I enjoyed it, it was exciting, tense, visually rich, with great world-building, and great character studies too.
Alderaan was revealed more, inspired by the brief glimpses shown at the end of Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and we were introduced to the cosmopolitan 'low life' world of Daiyu ; in addition, the township of Anchorhead on Tatooine was chosen as Ben Kenobi's local haunt. It was nice to see Jimmy Smits reprise his role as Bail Organa, though it was unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising, that the ROTS actress for Breha Organa was recast. Also there was a begging clone trooper, played by a hirsute Temeura Morrison !
Joel Edgerton reprises his role as Owen Lars, and he now has the opportunity to explore the gruff uncle's psyche further, and give us, the audience, more insight into the dynamic between him and Old Ben. His fear and 'disgust' for Obi-Wan was an interesting exploration, as was his apparent 'loyalty' to a threatened Obi-Wan.... though he justified this as defending Luke.
Ewan McGregor continues to delve deeper into his character of Obi-Wan, consciously introducing more mannerisms 'inherited' from Alec Guiness. For this timeframe, he presents a 'lost hero' who has one purpose driving him through his mundane life on the desert world : watching over young Luke Skywalker. Being assigned a desperate mission to rescue Leia Organa will re-ignite his Jedi identity and purpose and focus.
I was surprised that Bail was able to go straight to Obi-Wan's cave... but then I suppose lines in TPM told us one can (?)'trace route' a hologram location ? I was also puzzled that Obi-Wan didn't use the Force in 'private' close quarters combat - in the street, in the cell. I did wonder, like The Lord of the Rings, if fewer people use the Force, it 'shines' like a beacon to Palpatine/Vader... but then, if that's the case, I'd have a cut-away shot to either of those two Sith villains when Obi-Wan stopped Leia from falling to the ground. Or, it's more the case of tying in with the later line [ANH] "your powers are weak old man", and that consciously divorcing oneself from the Force means you weaken your connection to it ? Hence the visible effort Obi-Wan underwent in catching Leia as she fell. But I'd prefer the former explanation over the latter, since one's midichlorian count is what attunes one to the Force. not solely one's exercising of the Force.
The Sith Inquisitors make their live-action debut here. I followed most of REBELS, but not closely, so I'm not too clued up on the Inquisitors, but I was interested to learn - from Obi-Wan - how would an exiled hermit know ?? - that most if not all were lost Jedi padawans gathered up in the wake of Order 66. We are presented with a prologue that shows a Jedi teacher and her Younglings trying to flee from the clone troopers attacking the Temple, and it's implied that one of the Younglings becomes Reva the Inquisitor, who in turn, seems bent on a personal mission to capture Obi-Wan Kenobi.... unless it's solely to curry favour with Vader and Emperor Palpatine. But there was a line from the Grand Inquisitor that suggested she was not once a Jedi padawan. I was very surprised that one (or all) Inquisitor knew Vader's true identity as Anakin Skywalker, as I always had the impression that was a closely guarded secret known to very few. Presumably, if the Inquisitors are killed, the secret will die with them.
I liked the 'Jedi conman' character and subplot, that was a refreshing take on things, especially post Order 66. An early scene in Anchorhead implied that the concept of Jedi was still known, which puzzled me, since Lucas' direction with the Prequels implied there was only a relatively small number of Jedi in the Republic, and not widely known, and presumably not on a backwater Outer Rim world.... but then one could argue that Watto knew enough to recognise Qui-Gon's attempted Jedi tricks. Canonically, ten years on again, Han doesn't know of the Jedi [with Han acting as the audience's greek chorus, providing exposition], and Tarkin says it's a "forgotten religion".
I am still struggling with the rocky outcrop outside the Lars farmstead that was first revealed in the trailer. For 45 years I have believed the farmstead to be situated on a flat horizon, from the canonical fictional evidence, as well as the real-world location itself [and Lucas very probably selected that location precisely for its solitude].
Having had a far-off glimpse of young Luke, his sister Leia seemed far too infantile in physique to be a ten year old.... but she made up for it with her insights and her Carrie/Leia wise-crackin'. We were given two chase scenes with her, and her little legs out-ran the adults....which did not seem very convincing at all !! Granted, she could slip through foliage and branches, and a busy marketplace, easier than the adults, but still, I am sure she could be out-paced and caught - extending the chase scenes verged on the side of unwanted comedy.
I really did enjoy the start of the show, and I am genuinely looking forward to the next four episodes. Admittedly, I had followed overall plot spoilers for this series, so I know where the plot is going, but I'm still excited to see it unfold. In fact, I am already wondering how a sequel could be made, as recently hinted by both McGregor and Kathleen Kennedy, especially if Obi-Wan does not now meet Vader again [after Series 1], and presumably keeping his interaction with Leia minimal. In ANH she refers to him serving her father in the Clone Wars, and not serving her. I suppose one could argue that Luke in ANH at least knows of and recognises Old Ben, so it could be construed that he and Luke had met at least once before - either during the course of this show or its sequel.
At the recent Star Wars Celebration (26th-29th May), a new trailer for the upcoming rebelllion series Andor was revealed.
SWNN summarised the revealed details here, in particular the character arc that we will follow for Cassian Andor over two lots of 12 episodes, as well as a concurrent plot for Mon Mothma.
The illustrated virtual edition of Episode VII : Plague of Doom continues, and Commander Kane checks on Doctor Bloodory's progress in repairing the mind control consoles.