The problem with prequels is that you know how they’re going to end. There can be an emotion in that. O Star Wars prequels have encountered this conundrum. For many fans, knowing that Anakin Skywalker would transform into the imposing Darth Vader didn’t detract from the enjoyment of, shall we say, Revenge of the Sithbecause its plot seemed to shadow the humanity that the iconic villain needed to cast before A new hope. In the case of a film like a rogueknowing that the improvised heroes we know would succeed (but at what cost?) made that heist movie breeze enjoyable only because the stakes were really high at the level of the broad franchise, but grounded in great character work.
But in either case, you kind of always find yourself anticipating the moment when your ending will merge with the story we already know. No accident, Obi wan Kenobihow these two other properties find themselves coloring a story before the movie that started it all: A new hope. All Star Wars roads lead to it, it seems (hey, even Only, although the less we talk about this movie, the better). Entering this final episode of Obi wan Kenobi we knew that some things would have to happen: Obi-Wan, Leia, Luke, Owen, and Beru would survive. Just like Darth Vader. Our titular Jedi would become a hermit. Oh, and the secret of Luke and Leia’s parentage would remain as such. Which is to say we would end up more or less where we started.
If as a narrative gamble it sounds a little monotonous, you would be correct. But then again, there was so much ambitious artistic license someone could take from these characters when you decided this was the story you wanted to tell. I still wonder what Obi wan Kenobi It would have been as if these six episodes hadn’t revolved around Leia and Vader and instead centered on a more investigative character exploration of Obi-Wan’s lonely years on Tatooine. But maybe that doesn’t sound very exciting. Once Disney/Lucasfilm decided they were going to give us showdowns with Vader/Kenobi and a sassy little Leia, it was clear that what we would have was everything we had time and time again before: In fact, as I’ve noted in many of these recaps, this limited series sometimes feels like a rerun of Star Wars successes. And this ending was no different. An implausible escape from the Empire in all its might? Check. A Jedi and a Sith fighting on a rocky, remote planet? Check. Civilians defending a powerful Sith with only blasters? Check. Even a certain ghostly appearance at the end felt less like a fan-serving surprise (although it was) than an expected narrative necessity of a Star Wars Final.
When you boil it down, there were two things happening in this episode: Vader was trying to finish Obi-Wan, and the Third Sister was trying to kill Luke. Once again, we all knew how these two stories would play out. Except, of course, what would happen to the Third Sister (but more on that in a bit).
The confrontation between Vader and Kenobi was, I admit, exciting to watch. Give me the silhouette of a Jedi and a Sith fighting in an inhospitable landscape, and I’m in (The scene was aided, in large part, by Natalie Holt’s spooky and dramatic soundtrack.) Vader is ripped apart, revealing the ravaged “Anakin” underneath made for a pretty impressive image – a broken man who has clearly armored himself to avoid thinking he was weak. Plus, it’s the only time Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones’s Frankenstein casting really pays off when you see Vader/Anakin as a man truly split into literal and figurative ways: “Anakin is gone,” he might say. “I am what remains.” But it’s hard not to see a little bit of Anakin still there, even if those lines and that vision are what eventually convince Obi-Wan that his ex-Padawan is a lost cause: only an actor of Ewan McGregor’s caliber could pull off the drama. elevated to which he was called. play here.
On the other hand, the third half of the Third Sister episode was, shall we say, a little underwhelming, in part because the feeling that she’s being fueled by revenge feels exhausted at this point. But it’s also because, for someone we’ve seen use cruelty so easily, Third Sister felt pretty tame here as she went looking for Luke. I mean, what kept her from killing Owen and Beru beyond the story requires them to survive so we can find them years later when A new hope begins? I feel like it for a long time Obi wan Kenobi it was a far more fascinating story when viewed through its history – a tale of revenge-turned-atonement that mirrored and reversed Vader’s rather than Kenobi’s – but this final episode so detracted from its narrative that it felt almost superfluous. Especially because we have no idea what happens to her. The final scenes show us what Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan and Vader are up to and where and how their stories will unfold (which we already knew! We’ve seen the movies, folks!). However, the only character whose future we are not aware of is left in the dust. Does anyone wonder if maybe there’s a spin-off in the works? Moses Ingram deserves one, honestly.
I’m not even going to ask if any of us needed this six-episode mini-saga. This question seems unnecessary in our IP-saturated media ecosystem. What I will say is that I doubt the series’ high points (Ewan, Moses, some of Leia’s little jokes) were enough to warrant its existence. For every time I felt dizzy seeing certain sights or enjoying a big plot twist, I ended up disappointed in some narrative choice or character beat. Perhaps Vader was talking as much to Obi-Wan Kenobi as to Obi wan Kenobi: “Your strength has returned. But your weakness remains.”
- “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did.” Again, if we can’t love our Star Wars stories when they speak so deliciously and unintentionally over-the-top dialogue like this, so what are we doing? (See also: “Who you become is up to you.”)
- Speaking of dialogue, a lot of that in that final scene was doing heavy lifting to make sure all the Ts were crossed and dotted. How else could you explain Obi-Wan telling Leia, “No one must know or we could put both of us in danger” after telling her that she could contact him if she needed his help? It’s a way of telling us why she knew how to ask for his help (“you’re my only hope”) when she’s in danger, but it also makes it clear why their relationship was almost non-existent/left unspoken in that original film. Also, was it Kenobi who gave you the holster? I know the gesture was supposed to make me smile, but it mostly made me roll my eyes. Sometimes you don’t need every detail planted elsewhere explicitly: not even the most distinctive piece of wardrobe was of your own making!
- Considering we had cameos from the Emperor and the ghost of Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson!), I’m surprised the show’s creators couldn’t find time to squeeze in other fan favorites for no other reason: Where was our glimpse of Jar Jar Binks? ? A hint of what C3PO and R2D2 were doing? (Although honestly, it also made me wonder what happened to Lola? If we know one thing about droids, it’s that they’re tough! RIP Lola, wherever you’ve gone!)
- where does the Star Wars franchise goes from here? I can’t imagine that we will have a second season of Obi wan Kenobi (although really, I wouldn’t put Disney/Lucasfilm aside to find another way to extend this story in ways that feel unnecessary and profitable). Until then, may the force be with us all!