Star Wars has come a long way since the introduction of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Some might say that McGregor was one of the best things about the prequel Star Wars trilogy and that he surpassed the original actor, Alec Guinness. Well, only of those actors received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Act so perhaps it's up for debate.
Either way, McGregor (and friends…) is back for a mini-series set prior to the events of A New Hope and post Revenge of the Sith.
Yes, we get to see “old Ben” himself looking over Luke Skywalker on Tatooine and also over his own shoulder as some inquisitive Inquisitors get on his trail.
This is the show fans have wanted for years. More Ewan, more Obi-Wan.
And has Disney delivered? I.E. is this show as good as or better than the Mandalorian?
Well this first episode… is a slow burn.
It sets up what has been clear since ANH. Obi-Wan keeps a watchful eye over young Luke Skywalker. He is known as Ben and Uncle Owen wants nothing to do with him.
We revisit Tatoinne yet again as we basically see some sand.
Then a sudden switch and introduction to the plant… Alderaan. Yep, we meet 10-year-old Princess Leia.
She's great. Whoever found her did a top-notch job. And the writing capture's the Leia we know and love. Basically, she's a 10-year-old going on 30.
And I kept wondering all through this introduction, why are we visiting Leia? What's the point.
Turns out, she was bait for the Inquisitors who are the big baddies of the show. You may have met some Star Wars Rebels.
Once Leia is kidnapped, the bait is set and Ben must decide if he is to become Obi-Wan Kenobi again.
That's pretty much it. No big surprises or plot twists, just basically a really slow but enjoyable waltz down memory lane as we build to the true plot of the series – the chase for Kenobi is on.
MacGregor imbues the spirit of his version of Kenobi so very well. His face emotes so well, especially in the desert scenes. We know what he is thinking from the way he looks at young Luke and we know he cares by the way he works a ‘factory job' that he is selfless, the way a great Jedi is.
Kenobi has two tense exchanges with Luke and Leia's parents. The first is with Owen who clearly does not respect Kenobi and does not want him around. He insults him with a reference to how he failed Anakin to hurt him. This can be contrasted with Bail Organa who indeed notes that ‘we all made mistakes' and effectively forgives Kenobi for those mistakes.
Organa is forgiving to help save Leia while Owen is unforgiving to continue to protect Luke.
While this episode was a slow burn, it sets the scene and plot points very well.
This show is clearly worth our time and I suspect it is going to get very big, very soon in Episode 2.
Calling it now based on the excellent ‘recap' – we will see the return of Qui-Gon Jin at some stage.
Fun facts and trivia:
The ships Luke has in his room in ANH hope turned out to be gifts from Ben as he watches over him.
Alderaan is so beautiful, we hope nothing bad happens there.
The kidnapper that does all the talking is Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers
That indeed was indeed a C3PO cameo you spied during the political event on Alderaan.
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.