You already know the story ofbut the creators of this new Star Wars miniseries have done a smart job creating a . At least in the first two episodes, anyway – which are streaming on Disney Plus today, so let’s go with an in-depth (and very spoiler) recap of episodes 1 and 2, including character arcs and eggs. (and that nifty Star Wars cameo).
Ewan McGregor stars as the titular Jedi General, no longer the callous youth of earlier films, but not quite the gray-moustached old man played by Alec Guinness in the original 1977 film. With links to the prequels and the original trilogy, the show is rich in both Star Wars continuity and intriguing new elements.
The first two of the show’s six episodes are available now on Disney Plus, with more to follow every Wednesday from June 1 through June 22.
When did we last see Obi-Wan Kenobi?
The series begins with a recap of the prequels, which saves you six hours of your life (just kidding,). Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi master and enemy of the evil Galactic Empire, started out in the prequels as an apprentice to Liam Neeson’s hapless Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, who discovered a very young Anakin Skywalker on the desert world of Tatooine. After Qui-Gon’s death, Kenobi attempted to train Anakin, but was unable to prevent his troubled young protege from falling under the influence of the evil Emperor Palpatine. Eventually, Anakin succumbed to the dark side, especially after the death of his love, Padmé Amidala.
The last time they met was on high ground, where Obi-Wan cut off Anakin’s legs and left him to melt into a volcano. Anakin’s last words to Obi-Wan were “I hate you!” to which Obi-Wan sadly replied, “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.”
Those moments, those deaths, still haunt Obi-Wan in his nightmares. But Episode 2 culminates with a punch of a personal relationship. We know that Anakan was rebuilt as an asthmatic, black-helmeted Darth Vader, more machine than man. But Obi-Wan had no idea! Which raises the stakes of his mission to protect Anakin’s twin children: young Leia, adopted by Galactic Senator Bail Organa on Alderaan, and young Luke, sent to live with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. on Tatooine.
Ten years later, the mini-series begins…
What did Obi-Wan do?
Hanging out in the desert watching Luke, mostly. We pick up 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and nine years before A New Hope, at a time when the Jedi Order was all but wiped out. Obi-Wan hides out, calls himself Ben, and leads a humble existence as a meat packer in the carcass of a giant desert creature. He even rejects the desperate pleas of another hunted Jedi, young Nari (played by actor, writer and director Benny Safdie).
Although still young, Luke is already showing signs of restlessness that prompted him to embark on a new adventure in the very first film. When he plays piloting, it sends shivers down Obi-Wan’s spine who watches with echoes of young Anakin’s pod race in The Phantom Menace. And we know that foreshadows Luke’s later maturity as the pilot who destroyed the Death Star.
Speaking of foreshadowing, Luke is raised by Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, portrayed as in the prequels by Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse. In A New Hope, it’s fair to say that things get pretty hot for the ill-fated couple, which adds emotion to Owen’s plea for Obi-Wan to leave the boy alone. Edgerton is an award-winning Australian actor, screenwriter and director known for Animal Kingdom, The Gift, Loving and The Great Gatsby.
Help me, Obi-Wan
But the show pulls something out of a switcheroo when it turns out it’s not Luke who’s threatened. Echoing the beginning of A New Hope, Obi-Wan receives a holographic message begging him to come to Princess Leia’s aid. This time it’s his old pal Bail Organa, played by Jimmy Smith also reprising his role from the prequels, and his wife, Breha.
Charmingly played by Vivien Lyra Blair, young Leia is a feisty moppet more interested in running through the woods to spot a spaceship with her droid Lola than royal duties. His relationship with Obi-Wan reminds us of the badass/cute kid dynamic of, but more importantly, we’re getting some strong vibes from Leon: The Professional. Which can’t be a coincidence, as Natalie Portman starred in Luc Besson’s 1994 hit just a few years before playing Padmé Amidala (Luke and Leia’s mother, and Anakin’s great love) in the prequels to Star Wars.
Who are the Inquisitors?
A major step in Palpatine’s plan to establish his evil empire was to eliminate idealistic Jedi Knights, who might oppose him. The series opens with Order 66, when many Jedi were treacherously murdered by Palpatine’s clone troopers in Revenge of the Sith. But enough remained for the Emperor to set up a death squad of Jedi hunters: the Inquisitors.
Dark side-wielding Inquisitors have previously been seen in the CGI animated series Rebels and the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. Their fortress from the game will also appear in the series, as seen in the trailer. Among the characters we’ve seen before, Rupert Friend brings the moon-faced Grand Inquisitor to life, while Sung Kang plays the Fifth Brother.
Moses Ingram stars as Reva, an inquisitor created for the Obi-Wan series. His relationship with the Grand Inquisitor mirrors the Jedi teaching style of assigning a Padawan apprentice to a Jedi Master. Like Anakin and many youngsters, Reva is ambitious and impatient. She’s also something of an underdog, whose Force powers come in handy to Imperial officers who nonetheless will never let her forget her humble origins. Ingram brings the character to life in an engaging way, and yes, in case you didn’t know, I find myself slightly rooting for her. She’s a sadistic fascist, but also a multi-layered character. It’s smart writing.
Yep, that’s Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea as Cosmic Abductor Vect. But the funniest new character is Kumail Nanjiani’s trickster who pretends to be a Jedi. At least he proves he has a decent heart, for all the good it does him.
Obi-Wan quickly notices that Haja Estree is using magnets and remote controls to perform his Jedi sleight of hand, but for a moment I wondered if he was actually an actual Ancient Jedi. After all, when the young people scattered, they wouldn’t all turn into wandering heroes of the underdog like the hapless Nari. It stands to reason that some would find new and potentially shady ways to survive.
When Obi-Wan arrives in the grim town of Daiyu, he is shocked to encounter a destitute war veteran begging for crumbs. The decrepit vet is played bystar Temuera Morrison, who also played Boba’s father, Jango Fett, in the prequels. Jango provided the template for Palpatine’s army of clone troopers, and Obi-Wan fought alongside many of these identical troopers in the Clone Wars (as seen in the cartoons). No wonder he looked shocked. There’s also the bitter irony of a soldier forced by an indifferent regime to do unspeakable acts, then cast aside (and simply replaced by a new generation of hardcore trigger men, in the form of the Stormtroopers passing through this stage).
When is the next episode?
You’re in luck: Disney decided to drop the first two installments today to coincide with the Star Wars Celebration live event, but future episodes air on Wednesdays. This means you only have to wait a few days until episode 3, which airs on June 1. here is the.
If you want to fill in even more of the gaps or just can’t wait to get your fix of Obi-Wan action, CNET’s guide to everything Kenobi includes a handy list of anime TV shows, novels and comics featuring the man in the bathrobe.
- How come Reva can read Haja Estree’s mind but not Owen’s?
- It remains impossible that Ewan McGregor, who is 51 and does not look like it, will transform into the grizzled Alec Guinness between this show and A New Hope. Curiously, Guinness was 62 when he created New Hope, only 10 years older than McGregor is today. Again, to paraphrase it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.
- In A New Hope, it’s Uncle Owen who introduces Obi-Wan, trying to put off young Luke: “That wizard is just a crazy old man. You stay away from him, you hear me? He’s dangerous. “
- In 1977, Uncle Owen was played by Phil Brown, an actor who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and moved to the UK. He died in 2006. Aunt Beru was played by Shelagh Fraser, an English actor whose career spanned from the 1940s to a final television appearance in 2000. She died the same year.
- No idea if we’ll ever see an Aquilian Ranger hunting down the Merson Pirates, but it looks cool. Just one of the neat little world-building details in the show.
- See also: Spice is a drug in Star Wars, with variants such as Kessel Pure, Glitterstim, and Felucian.
- How many of these recaps will I write before I stop typing “Oboi_Wan” every time… Stay tuned to find out.
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