Synopsis: Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) watches over young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely). And evades the Empire’s elite Jedi hunters. During his exile on the desert planet Tatooine.
Kenobi’s first episode sets the scene of the former Jedi eking out an existence as a factory worker on Tatooine. The Jedi hunting Inquisitors oppress and bully the civilian population in their relentless quest to wipe out the light side. Moreover, there is tension between Obi-Wan and Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton). Who is afraid of Luke growing up to be like his father Anakin AKA Darth Vader. Fans are treated to some charming scenes of young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair). As she challenges her royal upbringing even at age 10. However. Bounty hunters soon capture young Leia. Which brings Obi-Wan out of retirement to rescue the princess at Bail Organa’s (Jimmy Smits) behest.
Episode 2 sees Obi-Wan arrive on a city planet. And use his cunning and considerable fighting prowess. To rescue Leia. Indeed, I was put strongly in mind of Meetra Surik’s KOTOR 2 adventures. On Nar Shaddaa. With Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) putting out a bounty on Obi-Wan and Leia. There are some touching scenes between the Jedi and his charge. I really loved when Obi-Wan levitated Leia to stop her plunging to her death. And for Leia to realise that Kenobi is who he says he is. What’s more, the action builds to a gripping climax. As Reva stalks a hiding Obi-Wan. Telling him that Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is still alive. On top of that, our heroes escape and Kenobi is left shaken by Reva’s revelation.
Ewan McGregor’s quiet charisma as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Is back in full force. Indeed, McGregor conveys a lot with just his facial expressions alone throughout both episodes. And seems to channel the legendary Alec Guinness when he tells the Jawa to wash what he sells him.
Additionally, McGregor shows a stern yet poignant side when he tells Nari (Benny Safdie). That the fight is over and they lost. And of course his physical acting at Reva’s Anakin news was fantastic. Vivien Lyra Blair was sensational as young Leia. Showing the princess’s rebellious and inquisitive side. Also her courage and wisdom beyond her years.
Rupert Friend brought out the Grand Inquisitor’s cloying menace very well. Moses Ingram put across Reva’s toughness and strength well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Third Sister ends up siding with Kenobi ultimately. Joel Edgerton delivered Owen Lars’s anger and bitterness at Obi-Wan. As well as some quiet courage when Reva threatened him. Jimmy Smits was very likable as Bail Organa. Sung Kang showed Fifth Brother’s chilling menace well. Kumail Nanjiani played a good nuanced scoundrel character. Who poses as a Jedi but winds up helping Obi-Wan and Leia. Bill Burr was great as a bounty hunting scumbag. Whose men capture Leia. Last but not least. Grant Feely was charming as Luke Skywalker. When he pretends to be pod-racing.
Kenobi’s incidental music was great. Also it really created that old school Star Wars feel. Which reminded me of KOTOR 2. There was a nice lift in the music when Obi-Wan learned that other Jedi still exist. As well as a great tense score when Nari tries to get through to him. Leia’s theme in this was very Lord of the Rings. And put across the adventurousness in her character. The main Kenobi theme really captures the magic and mystery of his character. What’s more, there was a really good cyberpunky theme when Obi-Wan was on the city streets.
Kenobi’s CGI was very good. Tatooine and Alderaan were well realised. Which helped to create the story’s world. I liked the FX of the transport ship flying through the clouds. As Obi-Wan travelled to rescue Leia.
Kenobi’s first two episodes were absolutely brilliant. You really got that old school Star Wars feeling from them. Indeed. Watching these two episodes gave me a similar feeling to when I watched A New Hope for the first time. Massive, massive thumbs up from this reviewer.
- Incidental Music10