‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ threaded the needle between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’ | CNN

'Obi-Wan Kenobi' threaded the needle between 'Revenge of the Sith' and 'A New Hope' | CNN

2022-06-22 19:23:29

Editor’s Observe: The next comprises main spoilers concerning the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” finale.


Dealing with an much more formidable activity than “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” deftly threaded the needle between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” within the “Star Wars” timeline, filling its finale with sufficient motion and callbacks to cap off a extremely satisfying and massively nostalgic run.

A sequence the place the easy phrases “Howdy there” produce waves of recognition in followers clearly possesses sure benefits but additionally should grapple with the burden of expectations, in addition to the problem of laying the story into this between-movie interval with out inflicting too many tremors for that viewers to nitpick.

Such debate is inevitable, however hardly something right here offset the pleasures of seeing Ewan McGregor again and fully proudly owning the title function, and a light-saber rematch with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) that delivered spectacularly on that promise.

In a approach, the present’s actual triumph was its preliminary, very intelligent ruse in focusing not on a younger Luke however somewhat a pint-sized Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair), establishing a bond between Kenobi and the princess whereas making a rousing excuse to carry him out of hiding and again into the world of journey and heroism.

That was solely the tip of the mission’s inventiveness, which included cleverly using a flashback to offer Christensen precise display screen time with out being buried below that Darth Vader armor or completely ceding his voice to the good James Earl Jones.

The inventive spark prolonged to the finale, and provides huge credit score to the writing workforce (Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton and Hossein Amini collaborated on the script) and director Deborah Chow, who – having additionally labored on “The Mandalorian” – has greater than earned the precise to play a significant function in Lucasfilm’s plans ought to she select to proceed working on this a part of the cinematic galaxy.

Even anticipating among the prospers, it was nonetheless thrilling – and for some maybe chill-inducing – to listen to Kenobi echo his earlier phrases to Anakin by saying “I’ll do what I need to” earlier than their muscular duel, or to see Obi-Wan reunited with the ghostly specter of his grasp, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), a gathering foreshadowed for the reason that finish of “Sith.”

Ditto for Vader telling his former grasp, “You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did,” a line that feeds straight into Kenobi’s rationalization to a extra grown-up Luke about his father’s destiny in “A New Hope.”

Leaving few stones unturned, even the long-suffering Owen (Joel Edgerton) and Beru (Bonnie Piesse) had their overdue second within the highlight, defending Luke from a vengeful Reva (Moses Ingram). After the ugly response to the character in some quarters, Reva’s tragic arc created a stable emotional hook within the later episodes earlier than feeling considerably overshadowed by all the opposite huge moments and cameos tying again into the unique movies.

As for different potential quibbles, there’s the problem of Kenobi once more leaving his one-time protégé alive to proceed his reign of terror, although the glimpse of Anakin’s face by means of the masks (recalling a scene from the animated “Rebels”) offered logical cowl for that, and in any case, it’s not just like the battle may have resulted in a extra everlasting approach.

It’s value remembering “Obi-Wan Kenobi” was initially conceived as a film, and regardless of the “Solo”-induced chilly toes that despatched the idea to streaming, every thing right here suggests it will have been a crowd-pleasing blockbuster. Regardless of the monetary ramifications of that, the six-episode format for Disney+ did permit subplots and characters extra room to breathe in useful methods.

Though the ending definitely felt neat and conclusive, it’s not arduous to think about a situation the place Disney and Lucasfilm plot a return to Tatooine if McGregor’s prepared. As a result of whereas followers may need their very own concepts about when it’s time to journey into the dual sundown, after a mission as polished and commercially marketable as this one, properly, studios will do what they have to, too.

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