Another Happy Landing: Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

For Star Wars fans around the world, there is always hope. The tiniest ray of hope they held on to and refused to let go. Hoping that maybe, just maybe (if the Force was really on their side) their long-held dream would come true. And when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy took to the stage at the D23 Expo in 2019 to announce the return of one of cinema’s most iconic figures, hope was truly rekindled.

There is always a lot going on in this project. Since its alleged formation in 2015, with Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, the project has always been kept secret, especially for the show’s star Ewan McGregor himself, whereby information must be kept secret. confidential for the entire four years.

But what is it about this strange character, whose existence in the franchise has not been present since 2005 that has left fans so amazed and haunted? Why is the Obi-Wan project important to the community?

Since the late Sir Alec Guinness played the character for the first time more than 40 years ago, the world has been introduced to the old ‘Ben’ Kenobi who, in his hermit-like existence, served the cause. A wise mentor to the franchise’s protagonist, Luke Skywalker. Guinness’s role in the trilogy was initially limited but left a lasting impact on fans at the time.

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Just over two decades after Return of the Jedi ended the Star Wars saga, George Lucas announced a Star Wars revival with the Prequel trilogy. With the debut of The Phantom Menace, the world was introduced to the young Obi-Wan, played by the famous Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.

Expectations for the prequel are really high. It’s not surprising, of course, considering how an army of die-hard fans wait with strained, aching breaths for the chance to see their beloved characters on screen just in time. once again. And let’s just say the reception of the prequels when they were first dropped and over the years has been enjoyable, at least.

George Lucas changed the dynamics for Star Wars with his new trilogy. Green-screen special effects replace realistic effects, CGI-rendered creatures replace puppet models, and most importantly; Poorly scripted dialogues and goofy performances have replaced Originals’ refined charm. The prequels were bombed when they first crashed, and that’s when the trolling started.

In an era when the internet was still in its infancy, cheery Star Wars fans mobilized and sought out some form of individuality against Lucas, the prequel, and the actors, like Maybe they made a mistake in the process. Actors were mocked, mocked, and remembered and things took a turn for the worse when a wave of hatred began to roll in, sending some performers into a severe depression with subsequent ramifications. its.

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At the time, the Star Wars fandom was at its worst, with almost no stone unturned in the hunt for the witcher actor. Save for one. As Carrie Fisher’s late Princess Leia once said, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the only hope in the midst of this time of great uncertainty.

Out of all the characters from previous installments, Kenobi paved the way to transform the story around a wave of taunts and memes. McGregor has always carried a confident temperament, confident in his abilities and attuned to his skills. His performance always twirles the boundaries of cheesy comedic timing and incredibly deep emotional depth. And so much of the jokes and memes surrounding his character were essentially weaponized to his advantage, and started a new wave of subversion.

Obi-Wan has become this messianic-like figure, revered and revered by fans beyond belief. These ‘Space Jesus’, prequel memes and his series of thinly layered cartoons are now the most cherished part of the Star Wars fandom. And through this, over the years, has blossomed a new appreciation for the prequels themselves, where fans have begun to celebrate the prequels for what they’ve been and strived for. repair the damage done by paying tribute to all the actors through these memes. These little inside jokes and references have been deeply entwined within the fanbase to this day.

McGregor’s Kenobi and Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker, are responsible for the prequel renaissance and thus, community favorites. That is why it is not surprising that when rumors of a new project starring Kenobi are in the works, it has been responded to closely resemble the Second Apparition. Moving on to May 2022, where these dreams are finally translated into a six-part miniseries, it’s all Star Wars fans have ever hoped for. Their Lord and Savior has finally returned.

The series begins a decade after we last saw Obi-Wan on screen in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith: forced into hiding and existing incognito after the Galactic Empire imposed an Order scary 66 after a Jedi attack. Kenobi currently lives a modest life as a chain worker at a meat processing plant on the desert planet Tatooine and follows young Luke as he grows up with his aunt and uncle.

Director Deborah Chow’s slow-burning world-building with its pilot episode creates a tense atmosphere, with the Inquisition raging. McGregor’s has aged with his typical personality but maintains the beard charm he’s always had, just a little rough around the edges. There was a certain sadness in his eyes that eased the burden he had carried all these years, as he continued to labor monotonously, barely uttering a word.

In a pleasant surprise for fans, the focus is shifted from Tatooine to a more familiar but less explored environment of Star Wars lore: Alderaan is, of course, home to a character another beloved legacy, Princess Leia. The sudden shift away from Luke, who was originally supposed to accompany Kenobi in the series and to Leia, is a stroke of genius. 10-year-old breakout star Vivien Lyra Blair personifies the Princess as we explore her maturity and rebellion against her royal upbringing. Blair nailed Leia down to her teenage years, emulating Carrie Fisher’s mischievous smile and wisdom in her eyes beyond her years, in what seems to be the only piece of life in the episode. Another sad Kenobi movie goes introspective.

The crux of the plot involves Leia being kidnapped to force Kenobi into hiding, as the Grand Inquisitor deftly mocked the Jedi’s fatal flaw – they couldn’t help but help those in need. What follows is a simple Kenobi rescue operation, a humorous slow chase in a cyberpunk cityscape, and Leia learning Kenobi for his lack of judgment as the Mandalorian-Grogu Cave.

While the first two episodes can be excused to set the mood, the next two are slow-paced and unbearably long, although Vader himself has sensed his presence. . A back-to-back confrontation between the two saw a dramatic chase and a series of mind battles reminiscent of earlier corny writing styles.

As things seemed to fall apart for Star Wars fans as their expectations for each passing episode plummeted, the season’s final episode introduced Hayden Christensen as Anakin in the flesh, in a series of flashbacks. Pleasing fans has come a long way as the episode breathes new life into an otherwise dull series, with Ingram’s Reva now participating in a climactic reveal as a former Jedi padawan. This tie-in with events from previous installments, giving a fresh perspective to the events of the legacy films has been a sure-fire formula for the new wave of Star Wars media, The Mandalorian is an example of the same thing.

The anxiety surrounding the finale has taken a toll on the fandom (Disney + originals have a horrible history of landings), especially after they were unhappy about the series as a whole. Even so, Kenobi has a few tricks up his Jedi cloak sleeve that are yet to be made available.

On a fundamental level, the series attempts to explore Kenobi coming to terms with his traumatic past, one of the nightmares that still haunt him. Fear of his failures as a Jedi Master crippled him and left him with no light. However, this small quest proved to be fruitful for the old Jedi, as underground uprisings, selfless acts of rebellion, and even acts of resistance against the tyrannical forces of A stoic 10-year-old boy has renewed his sense of self. He found it in himself to face his fears.

A hair-raising confrontation between his master and his padawan begins when Kenobi takes on Vader in a battle of epic proportions. The technical prowess of the production is on full display as cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung captures a fascinating duel with lightsaber complemented by conductor John William.

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Several sword strikes and some Force-push all but fixed the score as Vader buried his former master under a pile of debris, only to have Kenobi return to his full power when the Images of Leia and the rebellion flooded his mind, paralyzing his ex. and slashed his iconic helmet in half. A defining moment in Star Wars history, in Kenobi’s part, and in the series’ climax: Kenobi heartbrokenly apologizes to Anakin for everything as an emotional McGregor gives his all in the scene. this sensation.

As the blue reflection from the saber illuminated the scarred image through the shattered mask, Anakin’s face morphed into a sly smile. He stated, “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did,” as his voice shifts from his own voice to the broken robot of the mask, and a flash of red from the shroud with his sword. His friend was lost, but Kenobi found his peace and left the battle scene, with a motionless Vader shouting his name in rage.

The film ends with Reva having a change of heart, struggling with her past sins and burdened with memories of Order 66’s trauma, as Ingram gives her the best performance in this scene. . Kenobi offers a sentimental tribute to the lovely Leia, as notes from William’s leitmotif to the Princess in the background play. And before we’re greeted with a brief cameo by Liam Neeson as his former Master Qui-Gonn, the series’ writers have given fans a moment where they all been waiting for so many years when Kenobi greeted boy Luke for the first time with one of the most iconic dialogues in Star Wars history: the “Hello” prompt.

The movie somehow, against all odds, pulls one person out of pocket, at the last minute, with emotional depth, technical achievement and fan indulgence in the finale. , which almost completely makes up for the blandness of previous episodes. It can be said that, despite the turbulent journey that the series has gone through, Disney +’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is really “a happy landing” for the character.

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