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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ finale review: Yet another iteration of the same ‘Star Wars’ saga

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Apart from looking very good, and a solid performance from McGregor, the biggest plus for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ is Vivien Lyra Blair’s Princess Leia

Apart from looking very good, and a solid performance from McGregor, the biggest plus for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ is Vivien Lyra Blair’s Princess Leia

Instead of re-watching the execrable Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), the concluding film in the dreadful prequel trilogy, in preparation for the mini-series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, I should have watched Star Wars (1977), the movie that started it all, including its annoying retroactive renaming as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

It is immense fun to watch C3PO tell R2D2 not to call him a mindless philosopher, and dismiss the little whistling droid as an overweight glob of grease. There is also the poignant dread of Lord Vader telling his former friend and mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, “We meet at last,” before that final showdown.

Unfortunately watching A New Hope also reveals the endgame for Obi-Wan, which is one of the biggest problems with the eponymous mini-series. Obi-Wan faces off with Vader, and like Gandalf, gives his life on the bridge, while the others escape. An aside — does Gandalf say “run” or “fly you fools”? Like Gandalf, Obi-Wan also returns more powerful. So now that you know what happens to Obi-Wan and Vader, the smart thing to do is to tell a different story about other characters.

The joy of The Mandalorian (director Deborah Chow helmed two episodes), apart from cutie-pie Grogu, was the new characters, different from Solo and the Skywalkers. While the Force and Jedis are there in the background, we are caught up in the Mandalorian and Grogu’s story. Obi-Wan Kenobi, on the other hand, seems like yet another iteration of the Star Wars story.

A princess needs rescuing, the Jedi are being hunted, and if there was a planet destroying Death Star and smart-aleck smuggler, you would be felled by déjà vu—and no, not because of a glitch in the Matrix, but because of creative bankruptcy. Maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi could have focused on the Path, the Jedi version of the Underground Railroad.

Ewan McGregor reprises his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi from the prequels. The series is set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan is broken and watching over Luke in Tattooine where he stays with his uncle Owen (Joel Edgerton). In the show, Obi-Wan talks of his lost brother; is Owen that lost brother?

The Jedis are being hunted, and when one of the inquisitors, Reva (Moses Ingram) hits upon the bright idea of kidnapping Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) to smoke out Obi-Wan, he is forced into the fight. Reva, incidentally, is one of the interesting characters; the conman Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani) is another.

Obi-Wan’s light sabre duel with Vader (Hayden Christensen) begs the question of why Vader tells Obi-Wan, “We meet at last,” in A New Hope. Did he forget this meeting, or does he mean it metaphorically?

Apart from looking very good, and a solid performance from McGregor, the biggest plus for Obi-Wan Kenobi is Blair’s Princess Leia. She is beyond cute and behaves just like how Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher in the original) would have when she was 10… She even has the hairdo, that Fisher famously called the buns of Navarone!

While Christensen storms here and there with his cloak flying about, James Earl Jones still gives voice to Vader—so it could be anybody under that black outfit… Finally when does Obi-Wan get Darth Vader’s light sabre that he gives Luke in A New Hope?

Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar



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